(If you’ll check out our new “Other Blogs You Should Be Reading” area on the right, you’ll notice that we’ve added a new blog to our Blogroll. Written by Jason Amunwa, The Zest is very funny, very informative and, well, we just like it and we think you will too!) In this, the latest (and probably last, for awhile) post in my series on SEO tips for novices, I’m going to touch upon another one of those phrases SEO types toss around, which unlike a lot of other marketingspeak, is actually pretty self-explanatory. That phrase is linkbuilding. What is linkbuilding?
- Linkbuilding, is the neverending task of increasing your website or blog’s site traffic or site authority by getting other websites or blogs to link to yours. (Increasing your site’s authority with the search engines should, in turn, increase your Pagerank and, as a result, your site traffic. ) Get the picture?
Linkbuilding is the last in this “mini series” of SEO tips because it is the last task most SEOs or webmasters take on after site creation, rather than before or during. While some digital zealots might object to the analogy, linkbuilding can be thought of as “PR for your website” or digital “word of mouth” marketing. Basically, the idea is this: you get other sites or blogs to send incoming links to your website or blog and, by increasing the number of those links, the search engines assign greater weight to your site’s ranking in their results. A general rule-of-thumb of linkbuilding is this: the more credible and authoritative the site sending you links is, the more the links will “count” as things that will bump up your Pagerank and, ultimately your site traffic. Linkbuilding, in short, is one of the most important ongoing tasks you can do for your site. Aaron Wall at SEOBook has an exhaustive article on linkbuilding strategies. I’ve borrowed some of his ideas directly and modified or added my own in this “top five” list of basic principles for getting colleagues to link to your site or blog.
- Write original, engaging and topical content. No one’s going to want to link to your site just for the heckofit. You can bet that, if your content is stale, or repurposed or just-plain-BORING, no one will want to link to it. This piece of advice gets back to our earlier post in this series about the value of blogging.
- Lower your goshdarn literary standards and make a “top ten” list. This could be item number “1a” since it really relates to writing original content. People love Top Ten lists or lists “for Dummies” or anyone of a number of other slightly cliche categorized lists. And they search for lists with those names in them. Add one or two to your blog and people will (hopefully) find them and link to them.
- Exchange links with other credible authorities. This is where a little strategic thinking comes into play. Identify other blog writers or sites devoted to related, but-not-exactly-the-same topics or services. For instance, for our blog, we’re looking for a well-written Philadelphia-based public relations blog. We don’t do PR here, so the relationship would simply be complementary. We link to their blog and they link to ours. Another permutation of this strategy is to link to other blogs or business sites which might be in your industry but aren’t likely to be competitors, due to their lack of geographic proximity.
- Get your site listed in a credible paid directory or two. Business.com and Best of the Web are the oldest paid search directories in the business. Although both cost money, they offer the opportunity for both inbound links and increased site authority.
- Syndicate a Press Release. Do you know about PRWeb? If you don’t, you should. Basically, PRWeb is a do-it-yourself press release service for the Internet. For about 80 bucks a pop, you write a press release for your company (announcing, for instance, a new product launch, promotion or change in personnel) and PRWeb distributes it to every major online news site and search engine.
So, then, now that we’ve laid the groundwork for your ongoing SEO efforts, get get linkbuilding!