Strategies for link building

The definition of link building is probably unsurprising. Simply put, it is the act of creating links from key pieces of text (and, to a lesser degree, images) to supporting content. The recurring theme of theme that runs through Getting Found on Search Engines to build strong, sticky and genuinely helpful content and as smooth a user experience as possible and and part of that task involves provide all the links necessary to supporting content external to the page you're building, whether that means linking to other pages on your site or to others' sites.

Link building is not about tricks or gimmicks, but creating relationships -- relationships between pages, relationships between you and your visitors, and relationships between your website and others'.

And, like the previous section, "Ongoing 'organic' SEO & link building," you never reach the end of link building. That may sound like a daunting prospect but it's really no different than eating. You don't reach the end of eating until... the end, but most of us don't think of eating as a tedious, unending task, but an act that gives us energy, or happy, or strong. Link building lends interest, ease and search engine strength to your pages and your site as a whole.

But link building does have one key difference from organic optimization. Whereas both tasks have no practical end point, link building is unique in that there is also no practical end to the methods it can be accomplished. Let's call these endless methods "strategies," because, as with any complex and important task, you should approach it with a clear plan of attack. Below are just a few linking strategies that are:

  • Basic in their implementation
  • Proven effective relative to the time; and,
  • Equally useful regardless of your industry or budget

Create a blog

In "How do search engines think?" you'll recall that what search engines love the most is ever-changing, linked, selectable text on your home page. With regular posts containing relevant text and healthy links to other pages on your site and external websites, you're. And since Church111 allows you to have a blog integrated into your home page, you have the opportunity to fulfill all four of the search engines' wishes for strong content. Even if your specific need doesn't allow for a home page blog, accomplishing three out of four is still more than respectable.

The added benefit of using a Church111 blog is that you already have an RSS feed built in -- no extra work needed. An RSS feed allows for subscribers to your site, making repeat visitation to your website much easier, and since repeat visitation is something that search engines track, technically, you have the opportunity to included five search engine hooks with the addition of a blog.

Linking within your site

Llinks between pages within your site can be candy to search engines. It's also a tempting method to use since you can guide your visitors in exactly the fashion you wish by placing links where you want them and wording those links however you choose. So, in the course of describing a topic, you can link from a likely keyword right to the page supporting exactly content that would be found using that same keyword.

Searching for and including supporting resources

Searching for and "appropriating" lists of links that support your content can be a strong search engine pull. You'll have to insure that you've reworded the links, though, or you risk being penalized for not having original content.

This strategy may sound "black hat," but, done correctly, it's choosing not to reinvent the wheel. If the link list is relevant to your topic then use it. However, 111 Web Studio strongly suggests giving credit to the orignal source and taking the opportunity to add your own relevant thought in support of the content you've repurposed. Doing so makes it genuinely original.

Ask others for links

You know people. Simply asking them to place a link to your website from their website or blog is usually met with a positive response. Try friends, family, clients, partners, industry associates, trade publications and associations, etc.

Provide easy links

Assuming you've created quality content, people will want to link to you, many of whom may not be Internet savvy. So try to provide easy ways to link to blog posts and page content. Church111 provides a variety of link types for every page you create and every blog post includes a easy links to social media outlets like Twitter plus a wide array of others.

Study your competitors' backlinks

Again, this may sound like a black hat strategy but it's not as there's nothing wrong with sizing up your opponent before heading into fight. SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer provides a clean list of your competitors' backlinks simply by inputting their urls. Study what they're doing right -- or wrong.

Utilize social media

This strategy, like the others, mostly intuitive but is, in its depth and complexity, broad enough a topic that utilizing the above strategy, "Searching for and including supporting links," is certainly the best start. Refer to these articles to get you started:

And finally...

Keep up to speed on other and new link building strategies

With new developments every day -- in how people use Internet, in how Google and other major search engines index content -- you'd be wise to invest a little time each week to keep abreast of new strategies and successful trends in link building. Remember that whether or not you do, some competitors sure will and it only takes one, before they're showing up above you in the SERPs.