Welcome to the Plush Blog’s New Series Focus
We’re kicking off 2016 with new blog series that covers the basics or the essentials of SEO (search engine optimisation). Our new blogs will be published in parts to help things sink in a bit better. Best of all, this will give our growing audience the chance to ask any questions they want in the comments, and get them answered! We are kicking off 2016 with one of the more difficult levels of SEO – link building.
Every Thursday you can expect our series to continue, and new topics to be written about and discussed.
Link Building for Beginners
As SEO specialists and link building experts we hear ourselves repeating the same mantra over and over again:
Link building is important, not just a little bit important, it is as important as water for a fish, air for fire, Star Wars premiere cinema tickets for our office geek Sonia, a selfie stick for Justin Bieber and so on and so on… well you get my drift.
Link building is important; it can make or break your online marketing campaign.
I say break because yes… you can mess it up royally and then you have achieved exactly the opposite of what you set out to do, so take it from the experts, build your links manually, organically and naturally and you will be fine! We promise!
We should also point out something rather obvious…obvious as in you can find out what Google really thinks of link building online. Here’s where it can get really tricky when we try to help our clients or future clients understand specifics about marketing your website. You see, Google tries to discourage link building and make you focus on content. Yes, we all know content is king and always will be, but to completely ignore link building as a Google representative recently tried to imply, flies in the face of what the algorithm essentially does when organically listing sites in the SERP’s.
Here’s our perspective or better yet, our direct opinion on the matter:
The algo developed by Google is programmed to “crawl” links. This is why they call it a “spider bot”; because it crawls the web of LINKS to determine the authority of a site. Basically, if another huge authority site is actually linking to your content, you just got the big A grade from Google. So to say to us, “don’t focus on link building because it can cause more damage than good”, is sort of a conundrum.
BUT – and as you can see, we got a big BUT there; link building not done properly, as in “too fast” or “unnatural” can sink your site and sink it fast. Google’s warning has a hidden agenda in a sense – they are trying to help beginners avoid catastrophe when attempting to link build without the proper knowledge of how it all fits together.
Alright, let’s get back to the topic at hand – link building, and why it’s so important.
What is Link Building?
Oh, now you ask!
We all know Google will never reveal exactly how you can achieve the all illusive first page status, but we do know Google LOVES it when your site is mentioned on other sites with a naturally beautiful link. Especially if that site represents your niche and of course the expertise subject.
If someone looks for your niche online and stumbles upon a website where your link is hanging out, they might click on it and really get to the bottom of their search. Google loves that the searcher doesn’t come back to the search engine because they have found what they are looking for in just 1 click from the search engines.
This makes Google feel fantastic, and he (yes, in our office, Google’s a he!) didn’t have to do too much work for it (hence the “he” status).
You see, Google does not want people to come back to their search engines to look for the same thing over and over again. If Google can’t deliver you the exact thing you are looking for in 0,000000002 seconds, then it has failed. And Google doesn’t like failing.
So if your link to whatever it is that the searching public is looking for appears on another site, that makes Google very happy and it will reward your site by making your rankings go up. Naturally Google now also realized that your site is ACTUALLY what people were after, so if your link building is done right, you will soon bypass all your competition and get to that desired number 1 spot in the search engines.
Sounds easy right? WRONG!
Link Building is not easy
Now here’s the deal… why would your competition want your link on their website? How do you get your link out there among all the other thousands who all want to promote the same thing?
Once you know where you want to add your link, you need to build a rapport with the owner of the site. Become friends and have them accept your proposal of including your website link onto their site.
A good way of doing this is to ask for a “link exchange”. Here you basically take their link and add it to your website and they will do the same in return. You can do this by simply asking for a link exchange but chances are your email with the request goes straight into the desired site’s owners trash box. People with popular websites get these kinds of emails on a daily basis, and why would they need your link when they are already ranking so well? No, what you need is ammo!
A big favorite in the “ammo” department is a guest post. You write a blog about their particular niche where you use your website as the anchor link (the link at the bottom of your blog or post).
Don’t make the post too obviously about promoting your site, they won’t accept that (would you?) instead, make it an interesting post, praise their business if you can (flattery is the shortest route I have learned) and end your post with a short link to your own website where people can find more information about the subject of your post.
Check out Kissmetrics Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging
Please remember not to over do it! I have to say, we’ve become quite partial to that phrase; “Don’t overdo it!” – you see when it comes to Google, and if you’re still reading this very interesting and awesome blog, you will have read just how many times we’ve said “be careful”. Guest blogging was BIG in it’s day, meaning Pre-Panda days. But, just like every time before it, black hat SEO tactics were used to the MAX, and the down fall of guest posts began. Now, in 2015, and more than likely the next few years ahead, guest blog posting has it’s very strict rules.
A couple of guest posts over the span of a couple of months really can make a huge difference to your rankings, but when we say a couple, we mean it. Just in case we haven’t said it enough BE CAREFUL. Another important piece of advice – get smooching in the online world!
Now I hear you say… that’s too much work! I have a business to run and clients to smooch instead, isn’t there an easier way?
Yes, there are many factors that make up a good link building campaign, and you are lucky, because we have explained every single one of them!
So take your pick and start organically growing your sites rankings today!
- Link building through free Business Directories & social media
- Link building by social bookmarking
- Link building through high page ranking or high authority directory sites – this means buying yearly memberships
- Link building through forming online relationships or B2B
- Link building through involvement on Blogs and posts
Now you have set the first step into the link building world. Keep an eye out for our follow up blog after Christmas where we take it a step further. You can also sign up for our newsletter here so you never miss out on important tips and tricks from our SEO Dungeon!