The phase three link building strategies are definitely the most time consuming and often times some of the hardest links to get during a link building campaign. Because these links are some of the hardest to get, they are some of the best links as well. Enough said… Lets get started!
1. Competitive Links
Competitive link building is what I consider to be link building that “level the playing field”. Competitive link building is when you analyze your ranking competitors backlink portfolios and going after their juiciest, strongest links. Using tools like Open Site Explorer and Raven Tools can really help assist you in the competitive link process and reduce the amount of time it takes to find these links and request them.
Competitive link building helps you in two ways. First, as stated above, it levels the playing field with your competitors and second, it helps associate you with those competitors when Googlebot and the other spiders visit those sites, sees your competitors links and also sees your links as well.
You can also take your competitive link building a step further by analyzing competitors that rank for lateral keywords. For instance, if you are trying to rank for the term divorce lawyers, you could also analyze the backlinks of those websites that rank or divorce attorneys. Because most people are lazy when it comes to link building, finding these opportunities and securing those links can put you light years ahead of those you are competing against in the SERPs.
2. Link Bait
Link bait can come in many forms, but lately, come in the form of Infographics. Sharing a lot of information about a particular topic (preferably about something that is being discussed a lot… like the BP Oil Spill) in a easy to read, easy to understand graphic attracts links like crazy. Probably the biggest hurdle with Infographics is finding someone skilled enough to build them for you and stick to a budget.
Another form of link bait are Top 10 Lists, or other “resource” type content that will help people answer questions or help people find a lot of reliable information in one place.
As with any form of link bait, you will always want to put this on your blog… yes, you should ALWAYS have a blog on your site, then drive the links to that particular blog post. You will then funnel that link juice that you attract to your money pages via in content, anchor text specific links.
3. Industry & Keyword Specific Links
Industry and keyword related links are good links to get because they solidify what your site represents. If I had the choice of getting a PR7 link on an unrelated website and a PR2 link on a very relevant website, I would always take the PR2 link all day, every day. Getting these links aren’t always hard to get, but it is time consuming digging them up. I use tools like SoloSEO to find good search queries that I can search on in Google, Yahoo, and in Bing to dig up these link opportunities. You can also use advanced search operators to help you find these links as well.
4. Local & Review (Citation) Links
A great way to get highly authoritative and very credible links is by setting up Google, Yahoo, and Bing Map listings. In these listings, you are given a link to your website and sometimes, those links drive traffic to your website, especially if you are targeting local traffic.
Where the true value comes in is when you get citations to supplement your map listings. A citation is any reference to your local business, including the business name, address, telephone number and other information about your website. There is a great article written by David Mihm that helps us understand why citations are a good idea to get for your business. You can read that so I don’t have to repeat it.
There are many places to get citations on the internet and some of the good ones to start out with are as follows:
Best of the Web Local
5. .edu & .gov
Many SEOs put a ton of value in .edu and .gov links and I’m not going to discredit their beliefs. While I do believe they are valuable, I wouldn’t say that not going after them is going to destroy your link building campaign and your overall success in ranking well in the SERPs. If you choose to go after them, I wouldn’t recommend spending a ton of time focusing on obtaining these links since you can put that time toward other link building that will yield better results. Just know that adding a few of these links to your link profile will help you diversify the types of links you have pointing back to your site and obviously help you rank better in the long run.
Now that we have gone through three phases of link building, you should have a better guide to helping you get your link building campaign started and put on cruise control. There are other methods of building links, some are better and some are worse. You should always remember that you should never rely on just one method of link building. You should ALWAYS build different types of links at different intervals to ensure that your link portfolio is bulletproof and can handle any algorithm changes so that your site doesn’t fall victim to those devastating Google filters and penalties.