Our last post was the first in an ongoing series about the importance of link building, in which we introduced the basics and spoke about essential tools, such as WordPress and link auditing resources. Today, we will essentially go along the same lines, but also provide a rather more in-depth look at what tactics and tools link building 101 is all about. To this end, we cover some basic concepts, such as link checks, anchor text, and more. Read on, and let us know in the comments section what other aspects of link building you would like to see covered in our following installment.
- Know thy Google guidelines
While this may seem like the most basic step, it’s also one that often gets overlooked, when starting out to build a back link profile. In part, this is because Google’s guidelines are often updated and the search engine giant itself doesn’t seem to be trying too hard to make their updates transparent and easy to follow (just read their ‘What’s new?’ descriptions on the latest versions to understand what we mean). However, professionals need to know what the rules are, especially if they plan on operating in the grey area back linking. While we, at the Guest Post Shop, are staunchly against black hat, it doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge its existence. However, the answer to whether or not back linking should be entirely white hat is simple: in order to break the rules cleverly, you need to know them well enough first.
- Run wild with back link checks
We also covered the topic of link audits in the previous post, yet it cannot be said often enough. With so many great tools and resources out there, it would be a pity not to take full advantage of them. In fact, while we swear by Alexa, Moz, and domain authority checks, it’s always a great idea to invest in as many paid tools for back link profiles as possible. The reason is simple: they all essentially advertise to update their databases on a regular basis, yet few of them actually do. What’s more, in terms of metrics, there is a wide assortment to choose from and the only way to figure out what you actually need is by testing as many resources as possible.
- Thoroughly analyze your anchor selection
Picking out anchor text is a complex process, in the sense that it needs to be strategized from the end to the beginning. What does that mean? Different types of anchor text will provide different sorts of information, once the links go live. Your brand name, simple URL anchors, and keywords aimed at organic searches will all serve different purposes and yield different types of metrics. Factor in Google’s new-found preference for non-optimized key phrases, such as “click here” or “read more” and you’ve got a varied range to choose from. But the bottom line is that your link building campaign needs to be planned out with specific goals in mind. In other words, at the end of the day, when the links are live, what information would you like them to provide you with?
- Analyze your competitors
In SEO, generally speaking, and in link building in particular, it’s not all that difficult to know how you rank up, compared to your main competitors. This, too, is a part of the overarching back link profiling that needs to be mapped out beforehand. You need to figure out your specific niche, as well as the type of competitive content you are going to be putting out there. Then, select from the numerous platforms that provide competitive analysis resources (hint: some have more comprehensive databases than others). Finally, be serious and critical about the results of the analysis, for they are your best bet as to why your competitors are out-performing you. It’s also a good idea not to do this only when rankings and traffic appear to be plummeting, but also when everything looks like it’s going just fine. That way, you’ll be prepared for whatever worst case scenario the great gods of Google may toss your way.