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What works for link building?

Link building is all about getting relevant and credible sites to link to you so that you look equally relevant and credible. Social media can be a fantastic tool to help you get great links, and build your link build profile. The following are some tips for what works for link building. Like any other aspect of online marketing and social media, how you approach link building will depend a lot on who your competition is, and what you want out of link building.

First it depends a lot on the keywords and the competition, as well as the environment you are in. The best way to determine what works is to do some research and set some goals.

You want to look at your competitors and research (using SEO tools, many of which are free) who ranks best for the keywords you are trying to rank for. Once you know who is ranking the best for the keywords you want, you can do a little more research. Look at their backlinks. How are they getting their ranking? What kind of links do they have? It is possible to rank well for a keyword with just reciprocal links (I link you, you link me) and directory links (where you submit yourself). Understanding how they are getting ranked can help you get the ranking instead. It is like a road map for what you should be doing, and then outdoing. (So if they are getting ranked by recipricol links, get as many, and more than them).

You also need to set goals for link velocity (how quickly you will get links) and consequently, how fast you will rank well for your keywords. Do you want links that bring direct traffic, like guest blogging links? Or do you just want search engine rankings? You have to know your goals in order to come up with a campaign to make it happen. Increased ranking only? Or increased traffic, and ranking?

Once you know what you have to compete with, and what you want, you can come up with a link building strategy. If you see competitors getting links from only directories, you need to get on the same and more directories. However, if you want to get more traffic as well, then you should probably start using social media more to create connections with webmasters, and to get direct links, and consider guest blogging as well. Guest posts have been shown to be a great way to get direct links. This will help you not just get ranked, but get more traffic as well.

It is good to use metrics to track your progress, and mix things up. As you evaluate your competitor sites, do an internal analysis as well, make sure you are getting the easy links (like directories and social bookmarking sites), as well as working toward the more difficult ones. You want to make sure your link building looks natural, and that you try different approaches to keep search engines happy.

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