Once a website has been optimized using targeted keywords the next step in a search engine optimization campaign is link building. While website domain age and trust factor into the search engine algorithm, one of the biggest ranking factors is inbound links. Inbound links don’t magically appear. They need to be earned. This means that a website owner can’t just sit around and wait for their site to get noticed by their target audience and by the search engines. They need to take action themselves by implementing a link building campaign. Perhaps the most important thing to know about a link building campaign is that the link portfolio of a website needs to be diversified.
A diversified link portfolio includes links from a variety of sources. It’s important to get links from websites that are niche specific, but links from other websites that are in some way related to the niche are useful as well. The most frequently used link building strategies include article marketing and document sharing, social networking, directory submission, blog post writing, blog post commenting, blog directory submission, video marketing, press release distribution, and search engine local profile creation. The best link building strategy uses a combination of each of these tactics planned out over a span of six months to a year. After a year it’s a good idea to analyze the success of the campaign and then customize a new strategy for the next twelve months.
There are three main reasons that a link portfolio should be diversified. The first reason is that it increases the chances of being noticed by a target audience. For example, some people may not read blogs, but they are active in social media. Links from different sources increase the odds of being found. The second reason is that the search engine ranking algorithms can change at any time, so it’s important not to rely too heavily on one strategy. Google could all of a sudden decide that links from blog comments are irrelevant. If that’s the only link building strategy that a website owner was using it’s likely that they will see a dip in rankings. The last reason that the strategy should be diversified is that links should appear to be natural and well rounded. If too many links develop too quickly from one source it could appear to be spam to the search engines.
Another important aspect of a diversified link building approach is to vary the actual links. Not every link needs to point to the homepage. There are numerous pages of a website for a reason. Don’t forget about the interior pages. When using anchor text, use a variety of the keywords that are being targeted.
The key to link building is to use a diversified approach over time. Eventually, links will build naturally from outside sources. While the mentioned strategies work well, it’s okay to try something new and creative as long as it isn’t spammy or unethical. After all, the most popular tactics that are used today are based on the success and failure of others that have been willing to share what they have learned.