How to Build Links in 2013
Hey guys, so after a few e-mails from readers requesting for my advice around link building strategies for SEO, I’ve decided to put forward my thoughts on the best methods to success in 2013. For me, 2012 was the year of ‘quality’ in which the impact of Google’s Penguin and Panda updates were felt by numerous websites which offered poor quality or were trying to manipulate Google with spammy backlinks. The theme for 2013 is very much the same – quality content is still the primary factor used to determine whether your site ends up on page 20 or in the top 3 search results.
By quality, I mean staying away from quantities of links from poor blogs and article directories, instead putting yourself in overdrive and hunting for high quality links to your website. The aim should be to make yourself an authority in your niche, so you should stay clear of buying cheap comment links from Fiverr from which may get you a few extra visitors a month and instead focus on less links but quality ones from niche authority sites and blogs which receive high traffic.
The below list are just a few top places to find quality links in 2013.
- Guest posting on blogs with solid traffic: What I do is search for the top blogs in my niche (for example, Technorati search), aggregate a list of the most informative articles. Now you should share the information which you have learn by contacting specific blogs and requesting for a guest post. The best method is to write one article per month over a period of 6 months, however, you don’t do this for one blog, but instead target 6 or 7 different blogs so you get direct traffic from different sources which are “quality” links. Just to kick things off, you can guest post on my blog, to find out more read here.
- Be the “Know it all’ for news in your industry: I had an opportunity this morning to browse a forum on PPC advertising / Organic SEO and one particular contributor was gaining serious kudos from other forum members simply because of his insights on a particular strategy. Other bloggers and even journalists contact him to obtain his opinion on SEO. Journalists would publish his content and quote him “Arthur Jenns of Arth Mowing agrees with that”. In order to reach his level, you should contact news sites, journalists who specialise in your topic and even other blogs. I would also recommend opening up a free HARO (Help A Reporter Out) account which will send you alerts to your email when there are journalists looking for content on a specific niche. If your niche comes up, bingo! Put your name out there and submit your thoughts.
- Dedicate your time to generating link bait: Link bait is when you add content to your blog which other sites link to out of their own will (not by you asking them). One example of link baiting could include thanking one of your competitors or partners by citing them and hope they apply the same gesture when the time is right. Of course producing great content is always a great link baiting strategy so how about having an ebook which solves a problem in your niche or even a ‘How-to’ tutorial.
Avoid changing strategies
With every new year there is always some who claims to have found the best method for hammering Google and “legally” grabbing the number 1 spot on Google. The most obvious catch is that you need to fork out $200 to find out there ‘super’ idea only to find out that Google penalises their tactic and you never see your refund again.
My advice for succeeding on the web – keep it simple and apply the strategies which are proven. Instead of jumping from one strategy to the next, draw your attention to:
- Strong keyword research
- Try and obtain blog comments from your readers
- Targeting authority sites and traffic sources efficiently – focussing on the tested methods will never go out of fashion.
I am not saying to not try new traffic generation methods or link building strategies as there might be more efficient tools that arise later this year but you should not jump at every opportunity. Stick to the basics and the fancy stuff will happen later.
Link Building Strategies to avoid in 2013
- Pumping your anchor text with keywords: We produce our websites for readers, not bots so don’t stuff your anchor text with keywords just for internal linking or links back to our blog. Pay more attention to readability to ensure your site visitors return and this also helps build a loyal fan base.
- Creating duplicate content: We all know how this story goes, if you produce duplicate content and plagiarise you will find yourself on the last pages of Google. Post your best work on your website and then use your ‘weaker’ articles to send to article directories like eZine.
- Stuffing Affiliate links all over your website. I know you’re trying to make an income online, but believe me, having links on each page will not only drive your visitors away but Google will also penalise you. My suggestion would be to target a product name + review and then build information around that. Instead of inserting your affiliate link, look for targeted leads. This will provide you with numerous opportunities to convert the visitor to a buyer while maintaining your position as a great content source instead of a hard sell affiliate site.
In order to succeed with link building and SEO in general, please absorb the information I have provided. As always, I preach quality and maintaining a basic plan focusing on proven strategies – slow and steady wins the race. So just to wrap up, keep producing fresh quality content, stay clear of bulk links and instead obtain less links but from high PR authority sites and most of all, be the authority and own your niche.