This week for Ask An SEO, we have a question from Anand in India who asks:
How do I build links for my services pages or product pages? It’s hard to build links for those pages (like via a guest post). Any suggestions?
Link building is hard.
That’s how it should be.
Real estate on the first page of the major search engines is scarce.
There are most likely more than 10 websites competing for customers in your niche – and they can’t all be on the first page.
Just as in life, in the game of SEO, there are winners and there are losers.
If you want to be a winner, you need to understand not only how to build links – but how the algorithms in the major search engines take links into account when deciding where to rank a site.
A High Tide Raises All Boats
There are some that will disagree with this assertion – but in my experience, the concept of domain authority is real.
The term “domain authority” was coined by the industry site Moz.com, but has become common nomenclature in the SEO world.
Many SEO professionals cringe when the term domain authority is used, because the metric is not really a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.
But I believe the concept is correct.
The concept of domain authority asserts that when you build links to any page in a specific domain, other pages within the domain benefit.
But here’s the rub – the benefits are not universal, and in many cases, defy my capacity to predict.
But if you build links to pages within your domain, you should see a lift on your product and services pages.
Don’t Forget Internal Link Building
Internal link building – the process of ensuring that the links within the confines of your own site are optimal – is one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO.
There is no excuse for failing to implement an internal link building program.
Unlike external link building, you control every aspect of the internal link building process.
You don’t have to hope that a webmaster will add a link to your product or service page.
You have the ability to create an internal linking structure that will help boost your search engine visibility.
In many cases, a stellar internal link building campaign may be enough to push your product or service page to the top of the search engine results (depending upon competition and many other factors).
I’m not going to go into the ins-and-outs of internal link building in this article.
But if internal link building isn’t in your arsenal – I recommend you do some research.
It’s one of the most powerful assets an SEO has for pages where its difficult to build external links.
Creativity & Link Building Go Hand-In-Hand
I’m personally not a fan of any automated link building techniques.
In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say if you are reading about a unique link-building technique, that technique is probably already overplayed and not as effective as it once was.
When everyone jumps on a link building tactic bandwagon, it becomes abused, and in most cases less effective.
Sometimes the decline in effectiveness is algorithmically from Google.
But more often, the technique loses its effectiveness because those who are providing the links get tired of the same pitches over and over again.
That’s where we are with traditional guest posting right now.
Personally, for just my agency site, I receive an average of 4-5 guest posting requests per day.
Most of these requests are generic, with no clear benefit to me other than free content that is most likely not appropriate for my site.
But I’m not going to talk about how to effectively do guest posting, because that’s not a creative way to build links to a product or service page.
As I said earlier, building links is hard.
But if you can get creative, and create real relationships with the right people, you can be effective in building links to product and service pages.
Look for people who write about items related to your products or services and suggest a story where a link to your product makes sense.
Make sure to subscribe to HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and read it every day, looking for opportunities to pitch your products.
Find sites that are offering reviews, gift lists, or product comparisons, and then pitch your products.
There are just a few ideas – I’m sure you can get more creative than me.
Link building is hard, but if it wasn’t, everyone would have top rankings.
Get creative, and don’t be everyone else, and you can build links to any page with a little (or a lot) of extra effort.
Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!