Here are some lines on which a person could create a whole link building strategy.
First, we have my favourite, the competition check. Best tools for finding what your competition does for links are Yahoo’s siteexplorer and SEO SpyGlass. Just by checking their URL you will discover a lot of interesting thing about how they approach their link building campaign. Are they buying links, exchanging or submitting to directories? Do they comment on blogs? Are they more into article marketing? How many press releases have they released? These are just some questions for which you will get answers by doing this check.
Second, there is the keyword research. One of the best ways to find gaps and cover them by ranking your long tailed keywords on Google’s top page. There are several tools that can be used for keyword research, choosing which one to use strictly depends on each and anyone’s taste. Obviously, see who ranks better for a keyword, analyze their on-page SEO and go back to first method and check their link building efforts.
Here comes the next strategy, and this is strictly related to whether you are looking to promote your services/products on local market or international. There are literally hundreds of local directories or local classifieds websites that allow placing a link in company’s profile, or even if they do not, a free listing is always good while you cannot have too much exposure when it comes to online. Do not forget about important listings like the ones in Yellow Pages, Thomson Local, Google Places (now Maps) and so on.
The non-commercial and authority websites strategy it is more difficult than the ones above while although you get a lot of exposure and link juice from this kind of websites, it is harder to get into their pages. The best method to approach would be to offer something they need, usually well-documented articles, research papers and so on. Let’s say you are in the “furniture” business. With just a search for “furniture associations” and “furniture organisations” you have some interesting results that could become a great place for a link. Being in the same niche, strictly related to what you are offering and having a great authority in furniture industry makes those links a goldmine for your business. The examples could continue, but you probably got the point.
Last, but not least, is the link bait. The link bait is the most popular link building method among link builders while it is considered a great way to gather natural links. It actually means creating something that can be talked about and, in the end, linked. From just a contest that spreads through blogging networks to even writing something bad about a company/well-known person, a successful link bait will always attract traffic, fans, links and, why not, haters.
Although these strategies are very time consuming and sometimes require a medium-large budget – if you do not have the necessary time to do it yourself – you cannot go wrong with its. Are there any other strategies that I missed and should I have written about? Share your thoughts below.