If we were to dissect link building (i.e. link campaign building) and the reasons why people decide to spend time and money on it there would be two main answers:
- Building links to get high rankings on Google and other search engines.
- Building links to get new traffic to their websites.
These two might sound like they mean the same thing, but it’s not exactly like this. Of course, when you get high rankings on Google for some quality keywords, good traffic is most likely to follow. However, if it’s only traffic you’re after then there are other ways of getting yourself a bunch of it.
In this article, we’re going to focus on some high-reward (and also hard-work) techniques of running a link building campaign from both SEO and traffic standpoints.
Link Campaign Building for Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to SEO there are two main principles: (1) do what works in the long haul (short-term black hat techniques are just not worth it), and (2) build links on quality websites with big authority.
Thankfully, both these principles combine into a range of techniques congruent with each other.
If you’re operating in niches that are affiliate marketing heavy then you can find it hard to rank for top keywords, as there probably already are tens if not hundreds of people occupying all the top spots on Google.
Therefore, you’re going to have to do things a little bit better than your competition in order to beat them.
The most obvious approaches at link building are things like: article marketing, web 2.0 sites, free blog publishing, guest posting, forum posting, and blog comments.
They are all nice, and they surely work, but you need to boost them by using some additional tactics, which we’ll discuss in a minute.
But first, getting the above techniques right.
- Article marketing. Submit a range of unique articles to quality directories around the internet. Start with EzineArticles.com, thefreelibrary.com, articlesbase.com, and goarticles.com.
- Web 2.0 sites. It’s all about creating quality sites that won’t get banned after a week or so. Don’t publish duplicate content and don’t steal anyone else’s articles. Start with sites like: squidoo.com, hubpages.com, weebly.com, webs.com.
- Free blog publishing. This is similar to web 2.0 sites, only this time you’re creating free blogs. Start with: wordpress.com, and blogger.com.
- Guest posting. This is where you go out and actively network with other people (bloggers, publishers) to get them to publish your work on their sites, along with a link pointing back to your site. The more popular the site you’re guest posting at, the better.
- Forum posting. Every niche has its forum (or forums). It’s your job to find those in the space you’re currently doing your affiliate business in, and start posting relevant and quality threads and responses. Of course, use your signature for links pointing back to your site.
- Blog comments. Same story, only this time you’re searching for relevant and popular blogs in your niche. Thankfully, the way blogs are set up these days is that your every comment is automatically linked to the site of your choosing with your name as the anchor text (some blogs allow SEO-d anchor texts).
Once you’re done with your initial layer of links (described above), which will take some time – unfortunately – then you can start implementing the second layer. This is where the true power lies.
The second layer of links is where you build links to your initial layer. In other words, it’s where you link to your articles, blogs, web 2.0 sites, and so on.
You have to remember that every site on the internet has a given strength (i.e. authority) and that you don’t have to for the default level of authority. In fact, you can boost it by building additional links to those sites.
Here are three ways of how to get it done:
- Interlink your sites from the initial layer. This is where you link your articles to your blogs, your blogs to your web 2.0 sites, and then your web 2.0 sites to your articles. This creates a sort of wheel. Don’t ever link two pages to each other (blogs <> web 2.0 sites, for example).
- Use social bookmarking. There are services available that will bookmark your pages by 100s a day. Use these services only for your initial layer links. You can try to do this by hand as well, if you don’t want to spend any more money.
- Use blog/article syndication networks. There are networks that will build 1000s of links pointing back to wherever you like in a relatively short span of time. Targeting them at your own site is not a wise thing, but using them for your initial layer sites does work really good.
Now for a little different approach.
Link Campaign Building for Traffic
Essentially, the technique described above is perfect for traffic as well, but here let’s focus on some not that standard approaches that can give you an additional head start.
- Rank Builder: This tool automatically creates accounts at the top social bookmarking, and web 2.0 properties. It automatically submits your content and builds links from over 800 link sources, as well as creates RSS feeds and sites on more than 50 powerful web 2.0 properties AND fill them with your content. Sign up for Rank Builder.
- Contests. If you have a budget of any size and some actual presence on the internet then you can launch a contest. The idea is simple: you set a prize (maybe an iPad), and you set the rules that whoever wants to join has to send a tweet, like you on Facebook, mention you in a blog post, or something like this. This sort of contests usually generate a spike in traffic because everyone gets excited about the possibility of winning something cool.
- Free WordPress themes. Investing in the development of a free WordPress theme can pay off in terms of both SEO and traffic. When you create a theme you can add your link in the footer of the theme, and restrict people from removing it. If your theme gets popular you will automatically get tons of links from many different sites that have decided to use your theme.
- Facebook app. Facebook is the biggest social network out there. Creating something for Facebook users might be the perfect thing for you depending on the niche you’re actually in. For some it works better than for others. Also, coming up with the topic of your app will be easier for some niches than others.
- Create a survey and a badge to go along with it. The idea is to create a survey in which you present a series of different questions, and when someone goes through all of them they get a score of some kind and a badge that goes along with it. Such a badge could say something like “I’ve got 67 points in YourSite.com survey on ____.” The badge itself is then linked to your site. This way, if someone decides to place the badge on their site you get a free link and some exposure to new audience.
- Conducting a webinar. Webinars are kind of popular these days. The only difficulty is that you have to be able to attract interesting people to conduct the webinar with you and an interesting enough topic for people to tune in. Then once you get this right you can promote the webinar in your niche by reaching out to other sites and inviting them to take part in your project. Since the webinar is free and the topic’s interesting people shouldn’t find it hard to mention it to their readers. And by “mention” we mean “link.”
These high-reward tactics for link campaign building should pay off relatively quickly, but keep in mind that it’s the long term success we’re after here. You want your SEO and traffic generation to work for months and years to come, so you need to work constantly in order to make it happen.
How about you, do you have any favorite techniques of performing a link building campaign you’d like to share?