--Research competitors

A large chunk of my time finding links is by looking through my competitor's link profiles. Essentially, you're piggy backing off of their success. While some links are unobtainable (i.e. a random mention in a news post), others can be diamonds in the rough (a high quality niche directory). I suggest using Ahrefs for this. Plugin your competitors and export their backlinks to a CSV. Do this for all of your competitors so you can get all of their links in one place (Excel). Then you can sort them by various link metrics to find the best opportunities.

But you don’t have to stop at just direct competitors. You can also look at how indirect competitors in your vertical (i.e. if you sell flashlights, a site that sells flashlight batteries) or really any other niche-relevant sites are getting links. If you’re local, look at other sites in your geographical area. If you’re ecommerce, look at how other ecommerce sites are getting links to the same types of pages you’re having trouble with.

--Profile links
If you sign up to become a member for a site, you'll get a link in your profile. Well, not every site. Some sites will allow quality links in your profile, while others won't. Some are in the middle, such as Twitter, which gives nofollow links (links that don't pass link juice). You should also be looking for niche relevant profile opportunities.

Is there a prominent industry community that you can get a link from via a profile? If so, these usually go further than general opportunities that would make sense for really any website. If you want people to link to you, make it easy for them. Create HTML ready snippets that people can plug right into their content to link to you, because some linkers in your community might not be too web savvy.

I suggest either creating a "Link to Us" page or by using a little JavaScript to generate the HTML at the end of each article or post. Note: this might not be the best option based on the community you're located in. Are you in the cement niche? Then this is perfect. Are you talking about Internet related business? Then this might not be your best bet, because the majority of your audience probably already knows how to link.

--Link out
Linking out is huge. Don't be a link hoard; you're going to create content, so use it to gain favor with other people. I'll go more into depth below with specific tactics on linking out, but in general, you only have something to gain when you’re linking out. The only time when I wouldn’t suggest linking out is if you’re in a hyper-competitive industry (i.e. gambling) where no matter what you do, linking to someone isn’t going to catch their eye and possibly return the favor sometime in the future. But I’d say less than 10% of industries are competitive enough to justify this.

--Interlink
You have pages and posts on your website, so make the most of them. Internal links are HUGE for link building because you can control everything about them, from the location on the page to the anchor text. If you’re thinking about using a CMS plugin that automatically hyperlinks a certain word every time it appears on your website (i.e. like Wikipedia does), I’d suggest refraining from doing so unless you’re a relatively big brand or if it makes complete sense from a UX perspective.

Instead, go through all of your content that’s been previously published, and if you’ve got more detailed content written on subjects that you briefly go over in your posts, then link in that context where it makes sense. But make sure you consistently mix it up from an anchor perspective. For future/new content, as you’re writing it, try and steer your way into certain topics that you’ve already written on so you can link to it & so it makes sense from a user’s perspective.

--Get people to see and read your content:

People won't link to your content unless they see it. At the same time, you need the right people in front of your content; not everyone is a potential linker. This is where social media, content marketing, and brand awareness comes into the link building realm. Getting people to see and know your content & brand is a massively important strategy to build links. Because a lot of the tactical ways to get eyeballs on your content aren’t direct ways to get links, I decided to delete that section in this guide, and instead list all of them here.

So here they are. Segment your content - If you catch yourself writing a few monster paragraphs, cut them up into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Make sure you use headers, lists, and bullets when ever possible. Don't forget to add appropriate spacing. This strategy directly correlates with increased readability, and thus, linkability. Minimal grammar & spelling mistakes - It just looks bad when you link to content that's full of spelling & grammar errors. Do your potential linkers a favor and make sure your content is free of them. Evergreen content - Timeless content can not only be used for manual outreach, but it can also give your content the ability to be rediscovered, and thus, a second chance to be linked to.

Offering your content in multiple languages - Your potential linkers might not all speak English, so get your content translated as soon as possible. When you do this, remember to submit to non-English directories as mentioned above! High Flesch-Kincaid readability score (readability) - If your content needs a Literature major to be deciphered, then you're probably not going to get a lot of links.

Why? Because if they don't understand it, they have no reason to link to it. Social platform optimization - Your linkeraiti and my linkeraiti are two entirely separate groups that find content on two entirely different platforms. Whether it's Twitter, LinkedIn, or a niche news site (ex. Inbound.org), you need to find the right place that gets your content in front of the right people. I also want to point out that you don’t have to limit yourself to just sites in your close knitted niche. You might find that your space is full of stuck-up webmasters & bloggers that wouldn’t even smile at their own wedding, so move past it and find other semi-relevant spaces full of webmasters that you can catch the eye of.

--Check Keyword Rankings:
You can use Google Webmaster Tools to see the average ranking position for keywords by landing page as you start optimizing. This will show you the keywords for which you should try to improve search results. If a keyword is contributing significantly to the business goals and it is not reaching top results, it makes sense to try to improve rankings.

An increase of a couple of positions in the search results can make a significant difference once it’s on Page 1. By building a short list of potential keywords for each landing page with their average ranking positions, you’ll also know all the important keywords so you don’t inadvertently hurt search results for any of them. I’ve seen this scenario many times:

People optimize a page for a couple of keywords, not realizing that at the same time they decreased the rankings for some other important keywords that were converting too. Note: In the new Google Analytics version, you can import the ranking data from Webmaster Tools and see the average ranking positions. See Google Analytics Webmaster Tools SEO Reports Now Available for more. --Finding More Potential Keywords:

Again, we start with the keywords proven to convert as this should help increase conversions on the site. But at the same time we look for more keywords and test as many of them as possible in PPC with custom landing pages if needed. Use your favorite keyword research tool and look for very related queries, which you should test in PPC. Also look for somewhat related queries and the questions people ask such “How Do You xxx” and “What is XX” that you might focus on with new content (which you might test in PPC in a limited way). In future articles, I’ll cover the next step in optimizing existing pages on a site and adding new content to improve search results. If you want to submit some pages and a few keywords that I could use as examples, just submit them below in the comments. http://searchengineland.com/organic-keywords-the-first-step-in-search-engine-optimization-97075
 

 

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