An Introduction To Link Building

An Introduction To Link Building

Matt Cutts Link Building | Blueprint

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room. The one that 41% of Enterprise-level marketers admit is the single hardest SEO strategy to implement.

Link Building

You know what’s hard about link building? It takes time, creativity, a bit of psychology and a ton of hard work.

The immediate reaction following the Penguin update blamed link building for the fall in millions of results pages. This led many to declare link building a dead art form.

But link building is not dead, it just takes effort and agility. Let’s walk through the basics.

Wait, What is Link Building Exactly?

Link building is the act of submitting a link to another site? There! Done! Let’s all go home. We’ll see you all again on Friday.

Okay, you got me. There’s a bit more to it, so let’s dive in.

Identify Sites With Authority

If you hop on Open Site Explorer, you can find your website’s Domain Authority (DA). This is a simple ranking (–/100) that determines your site’s credibility to the big search engines.

The higher the DA, the higher you rank for keyphrase searches that matter to you and your business.

So if your site has a DA of 30, you should only build links to sites with a greater authority than yours.

Reach Out To Them

Open a dialogue with the writers of more authoritative sites, and offer them something tangible: quality content. That’s something they should be interested in, because that’s what makes a quality site.

If you can offer them media too good to refuse, they’ll be more than happy to include it, even when this media includes a link to your business.

You Said, “Offer Them Some Media.”
Like what?

Keen eye, reader!

Media is a broad term, which means – anything you can produce that’s interesting to another person.

The media must be interesting otherwise no one wants it!

  • Do you have a great in-house video team? Make a video that’s not about your product, but about something affecting your industry or your consumer.
  • Is your niece an intern with more creativity than business savvy? Take her out for ice cream and brainstorm to develop an infographic that is informative and entertaining.

Get creative. Determine what makes your business special, what tools you and your team have at your disposal, and offer media to sites that actually matter.

And whatever your strengths are, make sure what you produce is of the highest caliber.

Quality Matters; Or, Why Link Building is Hard Work – A Play in One Act

The reality is that quality across the board is needed for efficient link building.

  • You need creative marketers to come up with intriguing ideas for the fast-paced Internet age.
  • You need smart and productive content specialists who know how to keep a reader or viewer’s attention for more than just the headline.
  • You need a staff willing to find sites that matter, with the will to make an outreach campaign to identify just the right blogs, websites and businesses for your content.

Link Building Is Not Only Safe, It’s Necessary.

Imagine you’re young, it’s summer vacation, and you’ve just moved to new neighborhood. Being industrious, you’re trying to launch a new lemonade stand to save up for a Stretch Armstrong toy that you crave.

You get a few customers, but none are local. They just happen to be driving down your block. After a few days you sadly realize that it will take you the entire summer to save up enough for Mr. Armstrong.

Then you get a great idea…

Sell Lemonade To The Mayor And Superman

Link Building Is Like Selling Lemonade | Blueprint

Mayor of Boston on National Lemonade Stand Day

The next day you decide to offer one free lemonade to a new neighbor of yours that is pretty popular amongst your soon-to-be peers.

In exchange, he tells another kid in the neighborhood about your fabulous lemonade stand. When he stops by your stand, you give him one free lemonade, and he runs off to tell one of his friends.

You repeat this, until eventually the whole neighborhood is paying attention to your lemonade. Soon enough, it’s not just local kids, but youngsters from other neighborhoods.

Then the Mayor visits, followed by Superman, who decrees you are King Of The Lemonade Kids, and you rule over the town’s lemonade stands in perpetuity!

I got carried away a bit, but that’s really what link building can do for your business.

Who Are The Mayor and Superman?

Allegories for Google and Bing.

Take the time to do the work needed to manage an efficient link building campaign, and you’ll be the popular kid with Stretch Armstrong in due time.

By: Blueprint
  • John

    This is a great introduction. I liked the part about the in-house video team. 😉 The analogy at the end was very effective, and illustrates really well the potential of link-building.

  • great illustration of using the lemonade stand. nice job

  • Rebekah Faucette

    The doomsayers that claimed Penguin killed link building were truly only mourning their pages, not the art form. These anguished cries were also feeling the loss of the unethical tactics of link building from the past. No more could these lazy SEO marketers post spam comments on blog with a site’s link or submit content to a web directory!

    Instead, Google continued to push the best practices you’ve described. Unfortunately, the utopian search world Google is dreaming of where all links are earned and only high-quality content is hard to regulate, even with the might of Penguin on their side. I’m glad that Blueprint is following best practices in such areas and has such a great team to produce that content!

  • Adam Baxter

    Smart and to the point. Nice job, Alfredo.

  • Chuniq Inpower

    Thank you for sharing the resource on the digital site explorer. This is a great tool to start researching insights into your web presence.

  • Naima

    It is good to know that link building is still alive! The tricky part is to decide which methods will improve your site vs. methods that will hurt your website. Instead of investing money, it is best to invest in time and link-build the right way! Great link earning suggestions Alfredo!

    • Alfredo J. Rodriguez

      Thank you Naima! I definitely plan on expanding on the topic of proper link building, so keep an eye out.

  • Samantha Torres

    Great to see a link building guide that recognizes it’s the quality of what you present and who you’re trying to link with rather than spewing blanket statements like “Guest blogging is dead.”

  • Jason Corrigan

    If content is king, links are the publicist keeping the image of the king in tact. Great article!