Mike Hanbery October 31, 2012

Building Higher Quality Links

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One of the hardest parts of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is building high quality links. It is the one aspect where you do not have full control of, you cannot fully control who links to your website. In the old days of SEO, link farms and directories popped up like Starbucks that allowed people to submit the links they wanted and “organically” build links. This is no longer a practice that is going to get you anywhere as these sites pass on essentially no authority to your website, and now they can even count against you.

So what exactly makes a high quality link? Here are a few things that can influence how much going after a link is worth to you:

  1. Authority- how authoritative is the website you are trying to obtain a link from? The more authoritative the website, the more the link will positively impact your rankings. These links are often harder to get, but are worth putting in more effort for.
  2. Visibility- How many eyes will this link put directly back to your website? If the link is on a high traffic page that doesn’t have a lot of other links on it, the link may be worth putting more effort into, even if it isn’t as authoritative as you like. Of course the high visibility, authoritative links are the ones worth putting the most effort into.
  3. Relevance: make sure that the link is relevant to you, your product/service, or your industry. This not only increases your chances of obtaining the link, it also makes your website more of an authority in the right areas. It also increases the chances that someone will follow that link back directly to your website.

So how exactly do you go about getting these high quality links to point back to your website? While you can’t control everything, there are some things you can do to increase your chances. Most important, your content has to be high quality enough to be worth linking back to. Nobody is going to endorse your website with a link if they don’t believe in it. It also helps if your website looks professional and clean, even if the quality of your content is amazing; your chances drop if your website looks like it was built in the 1990’s tech boom.

How to use this Information
If you have these things on an already popular site, then links will start accruing naturally as people are inclined to share it. Chances are though if you are reading this blog, like most websites, you don’t have this luxury. There are many strategies you can take to get your content out there. First and foremost you need a plan, identify the sites in which you want to target and determine how much effort you think the link is worth. Really it is about establishing a relationship with the webmaster of the site. Whether that is by calling them and talking them to directly or sending them a personalized email, or even through other tactics like promoting them through your website and hoping that it gets noticed. Think about it like you’re asking someone on a date. You won’t get what you want unless you ask. You have to present yourself in the best light without being over aggressive, tactless, or annoying.

There are many other tactics such as social media and press releases that can help get your content out there that I do not have room to go into in this blog. If you would like to learn more about building high quality links or any of these other strategies please leave a comment or get a free online marketing evaluation today!

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