Make Link Building Work For You

On August 24, 2011, wrote:

Link building is a great tool to help the popularity of your blog or website (in the eyes of your audience) and gain authority (in the eyes of search engines). This is all assuming you go about it the right way, though – buying links will only work so far, and if you always go for the low-hanging fruit of spammy blogs that automatically accept your articles, you’re more likely to be penalized than helped.

Relevancy

While it is definitely possibly for you to post on a completely irrelevant blog and link back to your website in your author bio – it is ultimately best to focus on the relevancy of the topic of the blog – writing about your green products on a green lifestyle blog. More often than not, unfortunately, that kind of serendipity doesn’t happen too often. Most people will focus on niches that are more tangentially related – for example, if you maintain a guide to your city online, write for a travel blog.

Don’t treat linkbuilding as something that you do just for the search engines. Look at a site and see if it is something that your customers would be interested in, if it is something that you would actually tell people that you wrote, and not something that you just brush aside and do a poor job on because its “just for linkbuilding.” Don’t think that way!

Guest blogging is something that you can do just for linkbuilding, but there is so much more potential with guest blogs. You’re reaching out to a new audience and the quality of your article can help determine whether or not the folks reading your guest post will be your next customers.

Which brings us to the second point of…

Audience & Community

People. Guest posting is a great way to engage potential customers. Especially if you write a relevant piece, it can be engrossing and informative – plus, guest posting is a place where you can let your hair down – the writing doesn’t have to be stiff and formal, but more casual and humorous. Keep the readers hooked and curious, not only about what you have to say, but who you are. They will usually try and find out more about you if you treat the audience like a real person and engage.

There are technical factors you should look at with the community of the blog that you plan on posting on, so you get an idea of the environment that you’re putting yourself in. Are the commenters more negative than positive? Are there commenters? Are they actually commenters, or are they obviously people who have been paid to linkbuild in article comments? (Believe me, it’s obvious if they are, usually.) If you can get an engaged audience with a positive spin, the word of mouth of your site will spread – probably more than you expect.

Page Authority and Back Links

Page authority and backlinks is one of the standards of SEO practices, one of the things that drives why people guest post in the first place. Page rank is a shaky estimate at best – Google is never fully upfront with the entirety of their algorithm, which means that the page rank of a site is really only best in comparison. Plus, the number of links can be misleading – the number given up front is usually just the number of links – to find more relevant numbers like unique linking domains, you have to be able to dig deeper into the numbers.

Keeping all this in mind, the number of backlinks and PageRank is only so important – most site owners don’t need to put as much weight on these factors as the rest of the community seems to think that SEOs do. Put it this way – would you rather post on an engaged, positive blog relevant to your topic that only has 600 links, or a spammy irrelevant blog that has 6,000 links. The answer should be obvious. Relevancy and engagement win, just like quality content wins over low quality content.

These are just some things that everyone should keep in mind when attempting to increase the visibility of their site through guest posting. This practice is more than just the technical aspects and numbers, though there are people who do reduce it to that – try and take a more wholesome look at the situation, and your website and online reputation will fare much better in the future.

About the author: Jessica Meyer is a freelance writer who frequently works with Reputation Observer, a German-based company helping people manage their online presence. She’s always interested in helping people find new ways to get their websites found on the web.


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