Beef up Your Link Building: 5 Tips To “Hulkify” Your Website
Posted by Matt Krautstrunk on June 28, 2011 in SEO [ 5 Comments ]
Do you ever wonder why SEOs use the terms “linkjuice” and ‘linkbait”? Besides for making you hungry, these terms reference the fact that links are essentially food for your website. Links strengthen your search relevance and attract new audiences from different sites, but for newbie link builders where can you get these links?
In a “kill or be killed” world, in order to hulkify your site you must first be able to survive. What I mean by this, is if you view links as food, you don’t need to go for the T-bone steak for your first meal. Establishing a solid platform of basic links to your site and then going for those first class meals will beef up your SEO, and ultimately improve business. But how do you go about beefing up a site?
1. Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
You will notice a consistent theme here (hint: relationships are key). Reach out to new websites that are similar to yours and give them an offering. Take a publisher’s viewpoint. These people are pitched daily from blackhat SEOs who are only looking out for themselves. If you embrace a different viewpoint and actually put yourself in an editor’s shoes you will get a basic understanding of how to please them.
For instance if you want to guest blog on so and so’s marketing website, shy away from pitching them with a boiler plate email. Customize your communications to actually pertain to that unique individual, you will see much higher success and more relationships come from each first relationship.
2. Provide Value to Your Partners
This goes for all things business, if you want to get something you must give something. If you want links (food) for your site to grow, you must take time researching sites within your niche that you can provide value to.
If you have a strong editorial team, try guest blogging on sites for links. Content partnerships are a great way to get valuable home page links as well as hard to attain anchor text links. Here are a few tips for guest blogging for beginners:
- Don’t view the relationship as a link exchange. If you contact an editor and explain to him/her why you are interested in writing on their site, they will typically say yes if you convey a sincere emotion to provide value.
- Use Google, Myblogguest and existing partnerships to find guest blogging opportunities.
- Don’t Quit: Guest blogging is a long and rigorous process, but it is extremely valuable if you do it the right way.
3. Try an Inbound Out Strategy
Getting a large number of low and mid level links will likely keep your site ranking for head terms. For this, try an inbound out strategy, which is, as I like to call it a “blog & promote” strategy. Leverage your blog, to build links if your content is scraped by including internal links in your blog. Shift resources to spend time writing and promoting your blog to drive key traffic to your site. Some of the most powerful SEO sites have been able to gain valuable links from their blogs.
Use a social bookmarking service to promote your best blog posts each week. These services will get your ranked quicker and give you more traffic to your site; typically ranging anywhere from $75-$300 per promotion.
4. Research & Creative Intuition Go A Long Way
The chart below was taken from SEOMoz and their latest webinar on link building. Justin explains how link building isn’t a traditional low-level strategy anymore. The industry has matured and it takes something truly unique for publishers to sacrifice a link. Doing competitive research with site explorer and SEOMoz tools, competitive analysis, brainstorming ways to approach this competition and forming actionable ideas keep the links on the table.
What is the one site you would love to be featured on? Is it a niche industry publication or is it a corporate conglomerate publisher with multiple sites? Figure out the dirt on your target sites and pitch them an article idea to guest blog for them. According to Justin Briggs and SEOMoz’s webinar on link building, higher level sites actually boost link relevance in lower level directory submissions. So your lower level links become more powerful after you receive links from higher level sites.
Guest blogging may open the door to many other things other than links, like advertising partnerships and other content relationships. Going for the gold is never a bad idea, you just need to make sure you are taking time to craft a personalized message to the right people, because it only takes once to tarnish a name.
Hustle is something that beefs your website’s SEO. Hustle is the term used to describe SEO professionals who go above and beyond, thinking outside the box to find new and unique solutions to get links. Even if you do outsource SEO, think about unique ways to build links to your site. Whether that is creating infographics, guest blogging contests or something completely new, link building is no longer a traditional SEO activity. It should be an activity that every business segment is actively involved in.
Image Credit: Popstarplus.com