Don’t believe the blogs which claim link building is dead, because without links the entire basis of Google’s algorithm would crumble. Understanding how we relate to each other is a core of human society and hence replicated on the web. As with powerful nation states, supported by strong economies and large numbers of soldiers, websites need a similar approach to be successful in a post-Hummingbird world. Your websites economy – it’s basic currency – is good content. Build as strong a site as you can, offering the most exciting, visually stimulating resource of anyone in your industry and you’ll succeed. The more informative well researched articles you publish, the stronger your site grows.
As for the army side of things, well this is your links. You need powerful associations with other sites, showing you’re producing information worthy of being talked about by others. Our testing shows that social media, while a valuable traffic source in its own right, doesn’t yet carry much impact onto your rankings so you’ll want to focus on finding strong industry sites which merit your attention. Here are the basic steps.
Finding sites to link to: Checking Quality
Moz’s superb DA or domain authority rating is the best way to gauge whether or not someone is worth getting a link from. Use their free tool here and check for a number that should be no less than 25. This tool also gives you a snapshot of their link profile so, as a safety measure, check to see that their links are on topic and relevant, with nothing dodgy on show. If it all checks out they’re a viable place to link from.
Writing for other authority sites remains the best way to put your name about in the right places. It’s like being a freelance journalist – if you write for enough top newspapers, eventually you’ll build a solid reputation for yourself. On the web, writing for the best sites is a way to find contextual links on sites with extremely high domain authority. Guest posting sites which you may find useful include:
Link Research Tools
Another tool we consider essential and which includes finding guest blogs in a much larger scope is Link Prospector from the smart minds at Citation Labs. For a minimal monthly fee this tool can find your linking opportunities in places you hadn’t dreamed of, including blog comments, reviews, giveaways, forums, interviews and many more. It takes a bit of know-how to really get to use but once you’ve cracked it, this is an essential tool.
Competitor Backlink Mining
The final tool for any serious link building campaign is to see what your competitors are up to. Use a decent link profiler like Raven Tools, Moz or Majestic to run a backlink profile on your top ten competitors. Nothing else is going to be so efficient at seeing where they’re getting their links from, what content is working for them, and so forth. List these carefully in an excel sheet, them take time to consider a strategy for obtaining any which are worth going after. Remember, a good link is worth a huge amount of time and money so plan your strategy carefully and when you contact a webmaster, do it with politeness, a knowledge of their site, and a clear reason why they should add you to their linked out sites. This is when the work you’ve done on your own website’s design and content is really going to pay off because, if you’re site is authoritative, webmasters are often happy to link back. If it’s thin and looks unprofessional, the opposite will apply.
Meet the author
Piers Ede is a journalist and published writer, as well as the father of one. He specialises in content marketing, link building, and is a regular speaker at variety of industry conferences on SEO. He owns the Sussex based design and search agency, Lewes SEO. Connect with him on Google Plus here.