The Dark Art of Link Building
Why Link build?
Link building is an essential part of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) process. Search engines value a site with links pointing to it more than a site with no links pointing to it.
An inbound link (a link pointing to a page on your site) is seen as a “vote” for the page that it points to.An outbound link (a link from a page on your site pointing to a page on another site) is seen as a “vote” for the page that it points to.A page with more links pointing to it will often rank higher for a search term than a competing page. Having multiple links pointing to a page on your site will help the page rank for a highly competitive key phrase.
Also the “anchor text” of a link will be considered. The anchor text is the linked text, so for a link going to http://www.onlinebikeshop.co.uk/ you could have the link text say “Click here”. This would be a wasted opportunity though, far better would be “buy bikes online” this will help your page/site rank for the term “buy bikes online”.
It would be easy to make pages of links pointing to your own pages to boost the number of links to your site/page, but search engines also take into account the quality of the link. A page filled with links pointing to the same destination would be viewed as a page of poor quality links. I stick to the rule of one link to one destination per page, occasionally duplicating important links (home etc) is ok, but it can be confusing for a user if there are ten links pointing to the same destination.
As well as the amount and quality of links, relevance is also a factor. For example, a page on diet and fitness linking to a zoo website would not really benefit the zoo website. It is unlikely that someone browsing a diet and fitness page will want to view a zoo website, so the zoo website will not benefit from referred visitors and the link will appear out of place (or inappropriate) to a search engine.
In summary, links are needed to generate referred visits and to help a page rank.
Want to know how to Link Build?
Link building is a fairly normal process in SEO. There are a number of ways to go about it and I have put together an easy to follow guide.
Make a list of your businesses online competitors; do not list businesses that you compete with offline but do not turn up in a search for key phrases your business needs to rank for. Find an example of a business in your area that is highly successful at ranking for suitable keyphrases.
Find the URL for each business. Using Google or Yahoo, type in the search box “link:” followed by the URL of the business. This will bring up a list of all the links pointing to pages on that URL. You can then look at the pages that link to the site and email them asking for a link to your site if you feel that:
a. there is some benefit for them
b. It is a suitable site to link from (in a similar area)
c. They do not compete with your business (this will save your time because competing sites will just say no)
(This is mostly common sense)
The fruit of link building
By using various linking strategies I have improved my clients websites performance. In one case my client was in a very niche area. Their income was more or less directly relative to the number of registrations made on the site, the more registrations the more profit.
Because my client was in a very niche area I had to research longer than normal and find targeted, relevant sites where the users would already be interested in my clients services. I suggested several links/adverts on certain relevant forums and they now benefit from 30 visits per month from the adverts/links I suggested. This may not sound a lot, but the visitors were already interested in my clients’ service because of the topic of the forum. These are effectively pre-qualified customers and a higher percentage of these visitors registered than the normal search engine traffic. This makes the 30 targeted visits worth equal to 90 normal visits because of the higher registration rate.
Good luck link building!