Link Building Tactics - What does and doesn't work
If you open up your Google Analytics account and look at where all of your traffic is coming from, you might have noticed a certain number of referrals. When you have referrals it means that another website has a link that is bringing people to a page on your website.
The process of gaining referrals is often referred to as link marketing. And likewise, the combination of all of the links that are pointing towards your site at any given moment is called your link equity. So websites that have a lot of link equity are ones that are well established and have valuable content. When a website with a lot of authority and link equity links to your site, Google passes some of the website’s authority to you and this can help you rank higher.
Years ago, people started to realize they could manipulate search engines by buying links from link farms (websites that are built for the sole purpose of linking to a certain page) and using other shady link building practices. However websites that were using these tactics have been hit hard by Google’s Penguin updates.
This isn’t something most people need to worry about however. If you are gaining links from real websites that have real followers and content that doesn’t look like your most recent spam email, you are probably safe.
If you’re website is still young and hasn’t reached very many people yet, having valuable content isn’t always enough to help you build links. So here are a few common things that you can do that may help:
Because this method was abused so much, Google introduced the nofollow tag to make sure link equity wasn’t being passed for those spamming blogs with random comments. However, if you have a less established website there is no harm in gaining visibility by posting some thoughtful comments on blogs. And you might even gain some new fans in the mean time.
What not to do:
What to do:
Getting involved in local directories or directories that are directly related to your website is a great idea. Once again, do take caution that it is not a shady website. But most popular sites or ones that have a fair amount of traffic are safe.
A few local directories that would be good to consider include:
If you are not trying to target a local audience however, there are a few well known quilting directories you could try and be a part of (and there are likely many more):
Do a Trade Off
This one is pretty simple, if you see a website that you’d like to gain a link from, offer the owner of the website a link back to their site in return (or anything else you could offer them e.g. free products, an ad, guest blog, etc.)
Do Some Research
Take a look at the types of links you have linking to your website. This can give you a better idea of the types of people who are interested in sharing your content and can spark ideas of others who may want to link to your site. For example, we had a client who sold water detectors that notify people if there is a water leak in their house. After looking at their Google Analytics account, we noticed that someone was linking to their site from a fish aquarium website. This brought on the idea of an entire new audience to market towards and find links from. You may be surprised what you’ll find with a little research.
Our advice is to focus on building links that are meaningful to you. Whether it is a website that will pass link equity to your site or not, it is best to have natural links from many different sources. And link marketing really can be fun when you start to become part of conversations and build connections with others on the web!