May 7th, 2010 by John Trenaman
How to Start a Link Building Campaign:
1. An Explanation of page rank & authority
2. Cross Industry comparisons of Link Building Strategies
3. Checking up on yourÂ competitorsÂ Backlinks
4. How Â to find good BackLink Sources
Website Authority & Page Rank
As many of us know, your websites Authority in Google’s SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) is mainly determined by the quality of its Backlinks and the context in which you receive those backlinks. The concept of using backlinks as anÂ independentÂ way to measure a siteâ€™s importance was first made popular when Google implemented its page rank algorithm.
Link anchor text, link relevance, Â link authority and link trust are the four factors that Google looks at when determining the relevance of web pages for inclusion it their search results.
Having good content goes hand in hand with your back linking strategy, especially for developing long term relationships with potential customers.
The authority of your website is greatly influenced by the quality of Â web page that links to your website. Generally speaking the higher the page rank of web pages that link to your website, the more â€ślink juiceâ€ť will be passed on to you (assuming it’s not set to ‘no-follow’). The more quality links your website gets, the more authority it will achieve in Googleâ€™s search listings for different key word searches.
Planning Your Link Building Strategy:
You can put together a link-building campaign in many ways, and making the wrong choices can lead to a poor ROI. What people need to understand about link building is that it can and indeed should take time.
Itâ€™s not like PPC campaigns where you can buy your way to the top of the pile. Yes, good content is still important for PPC but a huge emphasis is still put on bidding prices for certain key words, which letâ€™s face it, arenâ€™t getting any cheaper!
A lot of Â people decide toÂ outsourceÂ their Link BuildingÂ Campaigns. You should be careful when doing this. All over the web Â many “agencies” offer you “X” amount of links Â in “X” amount of time. ItÂ shouldn’tÂ work like that.
You need to know where your inbound links are being placed. You dont want somebody placing 500 links to your website from “link farms” and “spamming link” sites. This will do more harm than good for the authority of your website as Google seems to be cracking down on this type of manipulation.
You should find out which Link Building strategy best suits your business. Every day we read articles claiming that â€ścontent is kingâ€ť. I donâ€™t disagree with this.
But what about industry sectors that have traditionally shyed away from having an online presence? AÂ local hardware shop or a plumber looking for some online visibility. How are they going to reach out to people online?
How can these types of businesses build the authority of a new website? How would they differ from toÂ an internet marketing agency with a clear understanding and healthy budget or a new hotel looking to develop a brand awareness campaign.
Whatever business your involved in, your link building campaign has to start somewhere!
Letâ€™s take a look at how 3 different industries might begin a link building campaign:
1. Hardware/ DIY Shop:
Letâ€™s take a typical hardware/DIY shop in Ireland. This could be seen as a small scale link building process. But if done effectively it could drive a huge amount of people to the shop. They will probably be relying on local search, whichÂ isn’tÂ a bad thing. Nowadays 40% of searches are of local intent.
To give you an idea of the type of keywords being searched on in this sector and the numbers;
- hardware stores – 368,000 global searches monthly , 2400 monthly local (Ireland) Â searches
- online hardware store – 6,600 global monthly searches, 46 monthly local (Ireland) searches
So, there you are, a hardwareÂ storeÂ owner withÂ yourÂ new website! How do you start building the authority of your new website?
To start off, you should make sure you are present in as many relevant local directories as possible. To cover themselves in the UK for example,Â they could useÂ homeandgardenlistings.co.uk/ and for a more local intent they could start off with Homewise.ie.
These directories are have numerous listings of DIY shops Â and will give them greater visibility on the web as well as increase their websites authority byÂ creatingÂ an inbound link from a directory.These directories will be just the fist two of hopefully many beneficial link sources for this Hardware/DIY Shop.
You could also get in contact with any websites that promote the local area and see if they can place an ad or a link on their website. Google condones these so called one way or indeed reciprocal (2 way)Â linkingÂ tactics but it should be OK as long as you are not paying for links coming from â€ślink farmsâ€ť or directories that are just full of spam links.
Setting up an ecommerce website just isnâ€™t feasible or realistic for many people. A presence on eBay would be very beneficial to them too.
eBay has massive authority, so if someone was to search for a niche product that they happen to sell, there would be a good chance that it would rank highly in Googleâ€™s SERPS (Search Engine Pages) if it was on eBay.
They should take part in all DIY blogs and discussions, this a great way to get build up some inbound anchor text links as well as discussing industry related topics.
Google Places (formally Google Business Centre) :
It would be wise for a Hardware Shop to register their business with GoogleÂ Places. You donâ€™t even need to own a website for this but it could dramatically increase your brand visibility.
Having your business present in local directories is of huge importance for Googleâ€™s Local Search indexing algorithms. It will increase your chances of getting into the original 7 pack listing for searches with local intent. If you are part of that listing,Â thereÂ is no telling how fast your customer base will grow.
The search below was done on: “Hardware Stores Dublin”
So how do we Find Good BackLink Sources for your Business?
- Spy on Your competitors
If you click Â “reviews“Â (on the right side of all the search listings above)and you scroll down to where it says:â€ťMore about this Placeâ€ť (see below) you will be able to see exactly which directories different companies you compete with are registered with.
- This is a great way to see how your competitors are building their inbound links from different link sources.
- This is a great way to find reputableÂ directories Â that you can register your website with also. (Highlighted in Yellow)
To Check any backlinks of any website:
Go to Yahoo.com and type in: site: â€śwww.anywebsite.comâ€ť. This will give you a full list of Link Sources that a webpage uses.
You can also check the page rank of any website or directory you are thinking about getting an anchor text link from by using the page rank checker. If it ranks below 2/10 then its probably not worth using it for inbound links.
Thereâ€™s also numerous plug-inâ€™s for all browsers that show page rank of all web pages as they are listed in Googleâ€™s SERPS. (Search Engine Results Pages)
2. Hotel Linking Strategy:
A hotel will look to get as much visibility as it can in the online hospitality sector. They could start by becoming partners with aggregator websites that also have booking engines.
Cheaphotels.ie, www.goireland.com or www.bookassist.com are all very useful directories which carry page ranks of between 4-6. Their page ranks are so high due to the amount of websites linking to them due to their commercial nature and value.
These Aggregator websites allow for hotels to be categorized so Google can index them accordingly. They have onsite search engines that bring back lists of hotels for anyone who searches for one under many different categories/locations etc…
More often then not, they have a decent page rank(4+) due to the amount of online business linking to them, so aÂ sufficientÂ amount of authority or “link juice” will be passed back to your website form any inbound links they accept.
Even promotion for the restaurants within the hotel could be used by submitting links to menupages.ie for example. Link Building is never ending once you begin!
Holiday directories, booking engines and any tourism related websites that promote the local community are all more examples of where they could begin looking to get backlinks.
Itâ€™s key to research any directory or advertising site before you use them. Some of them could have already been black listed as â€śspam link” websites and being associated with them could seriously harm your websites authority. Make sure that the directories orÂ advertisementÂ websites are reputable and do not use a â€śno followâ€ť linking attribute.
Do a Google Search on a well known business you might see in on direcroty site. If it comes up on the first page and is associated with the URL of thatÂ directory, chances are its good one!
3. Online Marketing Agency Link Strategy:
An online marketing agency has a variety of tools at its disposal; they have the power to write good quality content and syndicate it all over the web, which will lead to a huge amount of other websites linking to them over time.
They might have the healthy budget and time to plan a large scale online marketing campaign which could involve Search and PPC campaigns and the optimization of all different pages on their website for different key words and anchor text links.
They can build up link profiles form numerous social networking and social media sites on a daily basis. Social Networking sites like LinkedIn have the follow attribute enabled so you can put your company website on your public profile and your website will gain some benefit due to LinkedInâ€™s high authority.
These companies can implement easy link bait strategies such as the new Facebook â€ślikeâ€ť button which automatically creates a permanent link from your Facebook profile information page to the website unless you manually delete it.
They have the negotiating power to pitch link partnerships with high authority sites that could be highly beneficial to their websites page ranking.
Search engines value diversification. If all of your links come from a single class of site it can appear as manipulation.
Depending on your business, you could for example start out by targeting; university sites, media websites, social bookmarking sites, directories, social media sites. The list goes on and on. The important thing to remember is that it takes time and you will not see instant results.
Have you tried link building strategies and beenÂ disappointedÂ with the results?
Have you Outsourced your link building and seen very little impact on the authority or page rank of web pages on your website?
What do you think are the best ways to build your website’s authority?