When done right, building targeted backlinks to your website is perfectly “legal” and you shouldn’t feel like you’re breaking any “rules” by doing so. In fact, if you created your site in the hopes that people would find it and visit, you’ll NEED to build some links to it or that’ll never happen. Backlinks aren’t exactly easy to come by though, therefore it’s a good idea to squeeze every last drop of potential benefit from the ones you do manage to get.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when embarking out on the campaign trail.
1. Control what you can:
If you consider that most sites will link to you using either the title of your page or the headline of your piece (blog post, article etc), it gives you the perfect opportunity to implement your preferred anchor text. Make sure you’re using some descriptive keywords in there and don’t waste a perfectly good link opportunity, because someone linked to your post using your post title, that, although was extremely clever and humorous, didn’t include a single shred of optimized anchor text.
Keeping this in mind, you can actually begin to control what type of links you’re attracting by plotting out a series of posts, based on set of keywords you’re targeting. This technique will also allow you to target keywords you previously may have considered too competitive to tackle.
Most will only consider this step when it comes to optimizing for search engine rankings, whereas the wise site owner will also keep backlinks in mind, to a certain degree, when writing their content.
Recommended Reading : How to Explore Backlinks Anchor Text
2. Optimize your existing backlinks:
You probably already have a number of backlinks that aren’t being used to their full potential. For example, a certain site may link to you via an image of your company logo (with no alt text or image title). Or you may be listed on a great page but it’s a straight url link instead of a descriptive text link. It’s definitely worthwhile to hunt down all the links you’d like to change and then actually work towards getting them changed. Even if only 2 or 3 sites comply with your request, that’s 2 or 3 great links that just got better.
3. Lend a helping hand:
Getting a link strictly for the search engines is one thing. An added bonus is when the link boosts your link popularity and sends targeted traffic to your site.
Some of the best double-whammy links I’ve received though, were obtained, not because I campaigned the link for ranking purposes, but because I simply saw a need and filled it thereby creating a logical yet natural partnership. Instead of the backlink being the sole motivation behind my actions, helping someone in need was the driving force while the double-whammy backlink was the added bonus. This has caused me to realize that, a) most people will ignore a link request email yet almost everyone will listen to logic and b) almost everyone needs help with something.
Try not to look at every site as simply “the next link prospect”. Instead, try to look for opportunities to genuinely help people and recognize that the best rewards often come when you’re not even trying.
4. Strengthen your site’s inner linking structure:
If you’ve ever examined a site’s link popularity and found they were being credited with a bunch of backlinks from their own domain, you’d know that your site’s inner linking structure is a pretty important part of your overall link popularity. After all, if you’re not even linking to your own pages using your targeted terms, then how can you expect others to?
Keep this in mind whenever you write a new piece of content or if you’ve got some content that was previously popular and received a lot of backlinks. You can (and should) use those popular pages to give a boost to the newer pages you’re promoting. Linking to your own up-and-coming pages from your strongest pages is almost the same as getting a “real” backlink.
Recommended Reading : Link Building Steps : Clean Up Your Own Backyard
5. Be link worthy:
Of course none of the above is of any value to you if your content isn’t link worthy to begin with, therefore write about your industry… a lot. Remember, if you write like you’re an authority on your subject, then you’re more likely to get backlinks from credible sites such as edu’s, gov’s and news outlets when they’re looking for credible sources or resources for stories or articles.
Also recognize that YOU are part of your company’s content, so be the face of your company by interacting online and naturally promoting it everyday. Get involved in your industry by being friendly and helpful to others (yes, even your competition). Keep your company on the minds of your network, so they’ll be more likely to link to you when an opportunity presents itself. Sometimes with link building, there is such a thing as being in the right place at just the right time.
Recommended Reading : How to Optimize Your Site for Link Building
Melanie Nathan is a Canada SEO consultant offering custom link building services. Follow Melanie on Twitter to learn more about her and the work she does.