When link building experts Patrick Altoft, Kristjan Hauksson and Mikel deMib Svendsen got together this year at London SES, the result was an insight into the world of advanced link building Here is what these experts had to say.
Patrick Altoft www.branded3.com
1) Get just enough links to win - the aim is to get just enough links to rank number 1 for your target keywords, without putting your site at risk. According to Patrick, bad links can hurt a website and if link builders want to keep their clients then they’d be wise to avoid any nasty surprises. So, avoid spam link building.
2) Think about the long tail - when starting out with a link building campaign a good approach is to improve long tail traffic. This can be a good way to get more traffic and help build stakeholder confidence quickly.
3) Automatic content ideas - a major challenge with link building is to find ways to produce good content, which resonates with visitors. One way is to use automated content ideas from your analytics. Identify 'how to’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ type searches in the analytics data as this can show you what people are searching for and thus the content they want.
4) Use news to build links - speak to your client or PR team each week. Gather the news information and communicate this to anyone working on SEO and link building. Every time a piece of content to get links is placed, run it in sync with the company’s news agenda. From the press release, to articles, to the anchor text of links - they can all run in tandem. This not only makes your link building more powerful, but also helps produce a natural looking footprint of links.
5) Borrow from competitors - borrow from your competitors’ successes and use it to your advantage. Software like Searchmetrics can tell you what content your competitors have produced have had the most shares on social media websites. You can look to identify the most popular content that has worked well for others and look to do a better job yourself. If you can improve on the original then there’s a good chance you can acquire good links than perhaps they did. Even if someone else did it last year, people may have forgotten about it, which leaves the door open to do it again.
6) Leverage influencers and bloggers - it’s critical to have a social hit list. Look for blogs that publish content related to what you may want to produce and then contact those blog owners directly. With a hit list in place any new content can be promoted via a bulk email, and many site owners will help promote it.
Kristjan Hauksson - www.nordicemarketing.com
7) Link building should be simple - KISS (keep it simple, stupid). There is nothing necessarily advanced about link building according to Kristjan. Link building is in essence all about creativity, identifying small problems internally and externally, then dealing with those simply.
8) Remember the rules haven’t really changed - Nothing has really changed that much with link building from 1998 to today as it’s all about content and content seeding. If you have quality content then you can build a quality website and attract good links.
9) There’s no such thing as a bad link - according to Kristjan, at worst links gained can only be neutral. JC Penney is an example of a site that ranked well with very bad links, until the Google investigation
10) Be unique - produce unique, thematic and good quality content. Quality is one of the main drivers of acceptance, whether it’s getting others to host or share content, or producing something search engines want. But remember be unique. Distributing the same article too often and/or having too many links in it can be counter productive.
11) Be clever - this is key when it comes to content creation and seeding. However today’s link builders also need to be patient. It’s important that any key decision makers (or clients) are educated to be patient when it comes to link building and remain focused on the end goal.
12) Look at secondary links - when looking for quality links identify the paths and consider the secondary options. There will be authority websites where a link could be great but may be impossible to secure, so have a look at who they link to, and try and get links from those sites. This option can be a lot easier and the authority site’s link juice can still flow to you from these secondary website links.
13) Go slowly but surely - take time to research and write quality content but don't over-do your keywords. Link builders should think more about a soft sell. Do it right and the mountain will come.
Mikkel deMib Svendsen - www.demib.com/
14) Google can show you the links you need - when looking for the best link you can get, just ask Google. By getting the top results for a search, you can see the top sites and identify the best links. Some will be competitors, but even getting a competitor to link to you is always not impossible. Offer them something compelling in return.
15) Use SEO link building tools - seek out SEO tools that can work for you. Tools can be a great way to mine data, useful information and save you time.
16) Create a natural link profile - you need a lot of bread and butter links as well as top links, so try and mix it up so you help build a natural link profile.
17) Use articles to get deep links - on ecommerce websites with thousands of products it can be tough to get a lot of deep links. However a small number of low page rank (PR) links can help rank those deeper pages. You can still use article websites and spin content to achieve low quality links to deeper pages.
18) Use competitions to get links - people love competitions and they can be good for driving traffic to your website. Competitions can be great for social media integration too. Ensure you make it easy to participate in a competition and you can get more users. Remember, Google doesn't mind if you pay for creativity that can get links!
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