Editor's Note: Who's linking to your site? Why does it matter? Check out the embedded video from our Learning Center to find out!
Editor's Note: What makes a good link? You'll never know unless you analyze it-- and to properly analyze it, you have to know the right way to go about the whole thing. Don't worry, this will all be second nature by the time you're done with this video. And if you're still hungry for more, you can check out way more videos over at our Learning Center page.
Editor's Note: Anchor text is a hot button issue right now. People are afraid of anchor text in a lot of ways, which is pretty crazy. As this video shows, though, if you keep it diverse and act like a human being, you'll be just fine.
Editor's Note: In this installment of our Learning Center video series, we take a look at one of the fundamentals of link building-- keyword research. Watch the video below and learn how to find your keyword.
Editor's Note: Welcome to our new video series, The Page One Power Learning Center. You can find these videos in our learning center page (along with complete, detailed transcripts) or on our YouTube channel. We also wanted to bring them to the P1P blog because we think they're great videos-- Jon and Thomas worked super hard to make them what they are. The first video is embedded with a brief description. Let us know what you think!
Long ago I realized a very important truth about the work I do, as the CEO of a link building firm: most people have no idea what link building is.
I don't mean only the average Joe, either. Tech savvy people, people interested in the power of the internet, often don’t understand link building, the importance of links, or the nuances therein. Even people that do know about link building often have only a superficial understanding.
Not long after my brother Zach and I started a link building firm I began speaking at SEO and marketing conferences all across North America. It’s exceedingly normal for me to hear the question “what is link building?” at least once per trip.
With this post I aim to explain link building in an honest, straight forward fashion that will not only educate, but enlighten. I’ll go beyond a surface explanation and take a look at the nuts and bolts of link building.
This will be a long read, but if you’re looking for a straightforward definition, never fear – that’s what I’ll lead with.
What I’m going to cover:
Link building is one of the best ways to catapult your brand to the top of Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and it’s also an important part of any integrated online marketing plan. The problem is, not everyone has time to build the amount of quality links it takes to get to the top of the SERPs.
Link building is hard work, and it takes a considerable amount of skill. It’s also a time sink.
The good news, however, is that there are a few types of easy, effective links you can build with a minimum of time. These links are white hat, relevant and sustainable. They’re not spammy, sketchy or toxic.
This post is about those easy links. They’re effective, but they’re also so easy that a monkey could build them. I doubt you have a monkey, though, so the task of building these links is going to fall into your lap.
These links alone won’t get you to the top of the SERPs, but they’ll help your SEO efforts tremendously—and everyone has to start somewhere.
This post is inspired by numerous conversations I've had with clients, as are many of the posts I write.
This conversation typically kicks off at the start of a new link building campaign, when I’m explaining quick (yet quality) wins in link building. One of those quick wins is local link building - local links are great, typically based on prior relationships, and rely upon inherent - as opposed to established - authority (being a local business).
Plainly said, local links are easy to acquire because:
So, you should already have everything you need to build quality local links today.
If you’re only interested in how to build local links, follow through to the link above, which is a guide I wrote for Search Engine Watch back in June.
The point of this post is to discuss relevance in local link building - which is where the conversation with clients routinely goes after bringing up the possibility of building local links.
The SEO world is full of myths and misconceptions. As soon as one myth gets busted, another pops up and replaces it. We’re constantly arguing about best practices, Google penalties and the “right way” to do things. That makes the SEO industry, and particularly the world of link building, daunting for beginners. We sometimes forget that not everyone has been at this for years when we go on our witch-hunts and build haunted houses.
It’s because of those attitudes that I thought I’d take a moment to address some common myths that beginning link builders frequently encounter.
If you‘re new to link building, these 7 myths and misconceptions might be holding you back.
They say mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery.
No fresh link building campaign would be complete (or even truly begun) without a competitor backlink analysis.
Link building through competitive analysis is nothing new – it’s been around and espoused for years. Often it’s a solid tactic to score easy links, with the “if they can do it, why not us” attitude. It’s certainly something you shouldn’t be skipping over.
I would caution spending too much focus solely on competitors however. I strongly believe the best link building tool in the world is human creativity. Time and time again the best links I’ve seen built are solely the product of 100% human ingenuity, not the result of mimicry.
Having said that, there’s no reason not to pursue great link opportunities that your competitors have already secured.
Just remember to be selective in the links you do pursue – just because a competitor is outranking you and has the link doesn’t mean the link is inherently good. More than likely, competitors who’re currently ahead of you will have plenty of links that you should actually avoid.
So, instead of getting trapped in this self-defeating cycle of mimicry, you need to take competitor analysis a step further and be building links with your competitors, instead of behind.
What do I mean by that? Simple – use your analytical skills to determine their strategies, tactics, and link building goals to supplement and inspire your own link building campaign, and add your own creative energy to that, taking it beyond simple mimicry.
Are you a link builder? If so, is that where you want to be? Is it really? Would you rather be a link builder than an inbound marketer, a relationship builder or a growth hacker? If the answer is yes, that’s great. I’m a link builder, too. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Link building doesn’t get much respect, though. A couple of months ago, Barrie Moran wrote a post called “A Little Respect” that deals with the relationship between SEOs and their clients. It tackles another issue, too—why aren’t we respected by the inbounders, the growth hackers, webmasters and even some online publishers?
It’s because we need to clean up our act. This article isn’t here to tell you how to build effective links; it’s here to make some suggestions about how we can all clean it up a little bit and remove link building from the “four letter word” category.
Invariably, we encounter clients who think that PageRank, or Domain Authority, should be treated as the north star of link building.
True, there’s value in measuring and assessing these two metrics before chasing a link, but it certainly shouldn’t be concern numero uno.
Domain Authority, the metric from Moz, is better, but still relies on the same approach – perceived authority through an algorithm. True, it updates faster, reports more detailed information, and I trust it more than the PR toolbar, but still I don’t believe it’s the metric we should be chasing.
“I’ve reached the end of the internet,” you say with a sigh and a heavy heart.
It’s happened to all of us. Link building is hard work, and it’s easy to feel like you’ve reached the end of your niche when it comes to guest posting opportunities. There’s no perfect way to find relevant sites, and I’ve found that you need to combine many methods for true success.
Here are 7 methods that my team at Page One Power and I use every day. They work for us, seeing as how we haven’t run into the end of the internet yet.
Creating a website is daunting. Marketing that website is just as daunting. Where do you start? Which marketing channels do you use? What’s going to work?
The best answer I can give you is this: take it one step at a time.
Link building is just one of those marketing channels, but it’s an effective one. Unfortunately, it’s also intimidating for some people. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be afraid of links or the process of building them—you just need to invest some time and creativity.
With that in mind, I’m going to walk you through building your first link.
Page One Power doesn’t get hit up by a lot of people looking for guest post opportunities, and I’m not quite sure why. It’s not difficult to contact us and we’ve featured guest posts in the past. Our guest post guidelines aren’t even that crazy.
I might be biased, but I think our site is decent looking and full of pretty good content. It’s not intimidating, either. So I’m puzzled when people start talking about guest post abuse. I know the spammy, canned emails requesting a link in exchange for a terrible, spun content guest post come in once in a while, but I haven’t seen an egregious amount.
I don’t think guest post abuse is as rampant as people like to say it is, especially now that Penguin 2.0 is waddling around.