A Guide to Creating a Link Building plan for Your Business

Just so that you are aware…before you start, the more you put in to this the more you will get back. You need to decide how much time and effort you can dedicate to this area of online marketing.

Link Building is a time consuming and often frustrating exercise that will typically take some time before results show. But if you can develop an effective link building strategy it will pay back – and all the time and effort you put in will be well worth it.

Step 1) Baseline your current position

Find out who is linking to you right now. There are many free tools on the web that will help you do this. Try a Google search for “link popularity tools”.

Google will also tell you if you are using Google Analytics (and you should be) or use Google’s webmaster tools. Bing has it’s own webmaster tools set up as well.

When you have a list of who is linking to you – visit them and see why they have linked to your site. What type of site are they? What other sites do they link to? If you can understand why these sites are attracted to your site you can use this in future link building approaches to other similar sites.

2) Check out your competitors

This is as important, almost, as knowing who is linked to you. Again you can use free online tools and resources to find this information, try here http://www.seobook.com
This exercise is beneficial for several reasons;

  • You’ll see what you are up against and it should help you set some targets. It should also motivate you!
  • You will inevitably find some good link target sites for you to approach
  • You will see which sites are playing a role in your industry. Check out these sites and you’ll find a load more potential link sites

You can further expand your target links list by visiting industry portals and other more general portal sites. You can also run a search using your own keywords to see which sites get found – run down the search returns and look for possible sites to approach for links.

3) Make sure you understand your appeal

If you are going to succeed with your link building strategy you must understand what value you offer to your potential link partners. Visit their sites and ask yourself;

  • Do you have any tools on your site which their visitors might wish to use?
  • Have you got some resources on your site – white papers, videos, surveys,” how to” guides etc. that are relevant to their visitors?
  • Do you have an inside track, or access to breaking news relevant to them or their visitors

his is your value and the reason why your target sites might link with you. If you have any of these, can you create more of the same, or enhance them or expand them in some way?

4) Set clear and realistic objectives

You can set basic number based targets such as increasing the number of links by 50, or generating 20% more unique visitors. Or you can be more sophisticated about it and set targets related to increased sales, increased revenues and improved page rank.

Whatever you do make sure you measure your performance monthly at least.

5) Create a link friendly site

Look at your site from a potential link partner’s point of view.

  • How easy is for them to link to you?
  • Is your site organised in sections so they can link to the relevant section that their visitors are interested in?
  • Are you blocking access to resources by having unnecessary registration or log in requirements?
  • Does your site have a lot of java script or does it use frames? These are not good because to achieve a link requires each page or resource to have its own url.

6) Link out when it adds value to your visitors

Do not be afraid of linking to other sites yourself when it adds value to your own visitors. This simply makes your site more useful and valuable – so your visitors will return to use these resources again and again.

7) Ask for inbound links from your target list

Prepare a linking request carefully and treat each link building approach as unique and personal. Understand why the site you are approaching might want to link to you and then send a short linking request e-mail. Make sure it goes to a person if at all possible (not “the webmaster”), state where you’d like the link to be placed, state the value to them/their visitors, provide them with link code, request a confirmation.

Keep a record of requests made and do acknowledge sites that link with you.

8) Measure and monitor the results

This is important – even if you just look at the basic level you should measure;

  • increased link popularity,
  • your position vs. your competitors,
  • new sites appearing without being approached and
  • website traffic levels.

Make no mistake – link building is a time consuming exercise that will take some time before results show. But if you can develop an effective link building strategy it will pay back – and all the time and effort you put in will be well worth it.

If you would like to know more about Link Building or for a Link Building program tailored for your business please just call us and we’d be delighted to talk to you. Contact Steve or Casey on 07816 998341 or just send an e-mail to sales@searchinternetmarketing.co.uk