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The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building

How to build and maintain quality backlinks

The Best Way to Build Backlinks

Link building will take a lot of time and effort but the results are more than worth it. It is essentially free advertising because it earns you a high rank in Google without the need to spend your hard-earned marketing budget on PPC advertising. What is more, a well-run link building campaign helps people get to know you so they’ll trust you enough to do business with you. This helps build your local presence (a good starting point for any company). For example: As a Denver Web Design & SEO firm our keywords would pertain specifically to our area, such as, Denver SEO or Website Development Denver.

If you aren't sure where to start, this guide is for you.

– – It applies to any company or business website and following it is guaranteed to generate positive long-term results. – –

Choose the Right Keywords

You need to know what keywords you want a high rank for before you start a link-building campaign. The most important things to take into account when choosing focus keywords are:

  • How competitive a keyword is
  • Who is most likely to be interested in the keyword in question

Trying to outrank entrenched competitors that have been around for years is not easy. That’s why it is best to start with keywords that could get you plenty of traffic but aren’t super competitive, maybe even focusing in your area first like San Diego plumbing or Dallas roofing contractors or Website Development Denver.. Generally speaking, long-tail key phrases are your best option because they usually aren’t too competitive. What is more, they make it easy for you to appeal to a particular niche market that others aren’t reaching.

It is also extremely important to make sure the keywords you choose will actually appeal to your target audience. Consider geographic location, age, gender, financial standing and other factors to ensure that your website not only earns a high rank but is reaching the people that you want to sell your goods and services to.

Tools we recommend:

Offer Quality Content

Quality content gives people an incentive to keep linking to your blog. While such content on its own is not enough to generate top quality links, there is simply no way you can get links from leading websites if you don’t have something amazing for them to link to. This content should not only benefit your potential customers but also include the keywords you chose when you first started your link building campaign. At the same time, your content should also appeal to people you want to get links from. This provides great opportunity to reach out to the people around you. For example, some of our keywords would be Denver Web Design firms or Denver SEO or Denver Mobile Apps, we would reach out to local companies within Denver that blogged about SEO or were interested in this kind of content, then share with them (after constructing our original content) by sending a simple message asking them whether they are interested in our newly-minted article/blog post. If they are interested, send them a quick email with our content attached (therefore establishing a backlink for us).

Make Yourself Interesting

Making yourself interesting is another way to obtain links. Some businesses do this by offering a freebie, discount coupon or free eBook or white paper. Other companies make themselves stand out by organizing a charitable event and then getting local newspapers to come and cover the event. This tactic is particularly successful for small companies that want to reach local customers.Several years back, a DUI attorney in Colorado discovered that a little bit of controversy can also help you earn links from large websites that would otherwise fail to notice you. Together with an SEO expert, this lawyer created a scholarship and offered it under the headline, “Lawyer Offers Scholarship to Students who Admit Drunk Driving”. In short order, he had links from several major online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Above the Law and The Denver Post.

Feel free to get crazy (not too much over the top). Show people the uniqueness of your brand. For us, we are a company that does Web Design in Denver, as well as, SEO and mobile apps in Denver but with our focus and attention to detail, it gives us a uniqueness due to our design principles so we make the a focal point when building any content.

Tools we recommend:

Start Networking

Once you have a website or blog that is worth linking to, it’s time to start getting in touch with people you hope will eventually link to you. The first thing, however, is to make a list of people you want to get links from. Following are some tips on how to go about this successfully:
  • Start small. Don’t expect a nationally or internationally recognized leader in your field to immediately link to your content. Instead, go after small yet influential bloggers and industry players. You can often find them by doing a blog search for your target keyword. StumbleUpon is yet another good way to find people who can give you a quality link. Be sure to also consider news outlets as links from established online newspapers and magazines carry a lot of weight.
  • Once you find people you want to get links from, get acquainted with their blog, website and social media websites. See if they give links to other, similar companies, how often they blog and what type of content they like to share. You need to know what they want so you can give it to them.
  • Create personalized email letters to each person you want a link from. The letter should include your name, your company’s name and contact information as well as a personalized request for a link to a specific page that you think will catch their interest and be useful to their audience. Explain why you think that your content is worth linking to and thank them in advance for considering your request.
  • Alternatively, you could publish content on your website that you know will catch the interest of someone who can give you a link and then write the person to tell them about it. It could be an infographic that mentions their company, a link to one of their blog pages or a case study that features the other person’s blog or business. It could even be a positive review of a product or service they offer that is related to but does not directly compete with your goods and/or services.
  • If you want links from local news websites or magazines, be sure to sign up to HARO. The acronym stands for Help a Reporter Out and it’s a program that is used by small and large news websites alike. Once you sign up, you’ll see a list of topics that reporters from various websites need information on. If your business is related to a request for information, provided detailed information that a journalist can include in his or her article.

Tools we recommend:

Don't Just Rely on Others

Networking plays an important role in any link building campaign; however, you can’t just rely on others to get you where you need to go. You can generate links for your website by using social media channels such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google +.If you aren’t sure which social channels to start with, do some research to see what channels your audience enjoys using. Pinterest is the site of choice if you want to reach single women and mothers. Using Twitter should be a priority if your target audience is under the age of 25. LinkedIn is an ideal website for companies that want to reach businessmen and women while Facebook is best if you want to reach seniors.

You also need links from reputable business directories such as Yelp and Angie’s List. You can sign up for your own profile for free, link to your business and even provide optimized content with your target keywords. Anyone in the entertainment and hospitality industries should also sign up to TripAdvisor.

Tools we recommend:

Keep Tabs on Your Link Building Campaign

It takes time for links to boost traffic to your website, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results from your efforts. At the same time, you do need to keep tabs on your campaign to see which links bring in the most traffic and/or generate the most sales. Keeping tabs on your campaign will enable you to see who to send targeted link requests to, what keywords to prioritize in your campaign and what type of content to generate. You also need to make sure that the websites that have given you links remain genuine, as links from a website that Google has marked as spammy will do your business far more harm than good.

Tools we recommend:

In Summary

Every single business website needs good links in order to earn a high rank in Google. It will take time and effort to get these links but the good news is that just about anyone can do it.Set both short-term and long-term goals for yourself when creating a link-building campaign. Plan carefully to decide who you want to ask for links, make sure you have a good incentive for people to link to you and then ask for the links you need. You can also help yourself by using social media channels and local directories to get links for your business. Finally, assess your link building efforts on a regular basis and fine-tune your keywords, email request letters and other strategies to ensure they are as successful as they are meant to be. If you follow these tips, you will almost certainly notice a positive difference in how Google ranks your website.

About Tag Team Design

For small to medium enterprises, Tag Team Design is the partner that truly drives incremental customer demand. Unlike traditional digital agencies, Tag Team Design takes a team approach to creating profitable strategies for each and every client. Contact us today!

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