With the US Search Awards fast approaching some of the Judges have been sharing their Link Building Tips. Below is a selection of recommendations ranging from why images are so important when dealing with the media, to how you should silo your digital assets, or use dual purpose links which drive both human traffic and SEO authority value; so there is some real nuggets of information! If you wish to submit an entry for the show, please also note the deadline for entries below too.

  • Kate Morris, Director of Client Strategies, Outspoken Media | @KateMorris
    “If you have a site that keeps editable customer profiles, have optional fields in those profiles for company and/or personal website URLs. This information will not be requested upon sign-up but rather when the really engaged customers go and fill out their profile a bit more. In enough time, you’ll have a database of possible linking opportunities!”

 

  • Michael Bonfils, President, SEM International | @Michaelbonfils
    “When building links for Baidu, you should be careful not to employ the same tactics as you would with Google.  On Baidu, it is not about the quality of the publishers’ website, it’s more about the unique relevancy of the content (as it relates to your content) and the quantity of links to your pages.  Baidu penalizes duplicate content and it also disallows irrelevancy. Authority and quality of the publisher is a non-issue (for now).  In short, the more the merrier as long as it’s not duplicate.”

 

  • Grant Simmons, VP of Search Marketing, Homes.com | @Simmonet
    “Today isn’t your father’s link building era reminiscent of boiler room outreach program scripts ‘I think your site is great, can I put a link on it?’ We find that a large part of our link acquisition comes from understanding key audience needs, building valuable content to address, getting the content visible, and then making certain it’s easy to share / link to. I guess its old fashion to expect great content to be the nexus of link acquisition initiatives, but it works. The hard bits are audience segmentation, research and content creation, ensuring it’s valuable and addresses a need.”

 

  •  Kelsey Jones, Executive Editor, Search Engine Journal | @Wonderwall7
    “One strategy that works well for us at SEJ is to make sure to mention the Twitter handle or Facebook page of the company and person being interviewed in a podcast, written interview, or even when they are the author of the piece or the presenter at one of our bi-weekly webinars. It gives them a little nudge to share the link on their own social media profiles, as well as hopefully mention it other places online, like their email newsletter, website, or press page. People also love being recognized by name, and we are happy to do it because without them, we’d have no podcast, webinar, or much written content!”

 

  • Lexi Mills, Head of Digital, Dynamo PR | @LexiMills
    “For any link-building work, it is critical to have images to go with it. Media are exceptionally busy and finding images to go with a story takes them time, by helping them with this you help push your story live quicker and prevent it falling off their list. I would recommend having both landscape and portrait images available in a Dropbox folder at 300 and 72 dpi. It sounds simple, but many people forget to do this.”

 

  • Lisa Williams, Digital Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Networker & Columnist; Sustainable Digital Marketing | @SEOPollyAnna
    “Create a mission statement about your brand and link building. When working in-house or with your client, everyone should agree on what “link building” means and how to acquire links. For example:-we create content that is link worthy (content serves business objectives and customer needs) so we acquire links from sites where our customers spend time (it’s relevant). We disavow links from sites that don’t meet this criteria; (we’re vigilant about protecting our link profile), and think of link building as brand building; (meets criteria of supporting our brand values) – every team (content, search, social, PR, media, etc.) builds links and creates link equity (it’s not just an SEO exercise), and choose links wisely because you’re known by the company you keep – (it’s authoritative)”

 

  • Bill Hartzer, Senior SEO Strategist, Globe Runner | @bhartzer
    “Use Majestic to identify the most powerful sites linking to competitors. Spend time reading their content and understanding their visitors. Create content that their visitors would find interesting. Then, if appropriate, use typical outreach tactics to tell that site’s owners about your content.”

 

  • Chris Boggs, SEO Rockstar | @Boggles
    If you are thinking of it as link “building,” then you are doing it wrong. For years I have often laughed at the simplistic few visionaries whom stated “build good content and they will come.” In many industries this was proven to be not enough for SEO. This led to the launch of sneaky and sometimes sordid link “acquisition” techniques, preceding Google’s link-building inquisition, which is still happening. No one can argue that if you create something unique and valuable for your specific target audience, you will get mentions and links. This especially holds true for shared widgets and apps. Although there is specific text included in the link schemes guidelines from Mountain View decreeing links from syndicated and “low-quality” widgets suck; (paraphrased), you can easily still benefit from this tactic if you create something useful. How about HVAC distributors creating an app that helps you control temperature more efficiently in your house? A widget for food distributors which allows small and medium-sized restaurants to check orders against end-of-day inventory? Making an investment in helping your audience will likely lead to what I consider to be the best citations of them all: dual purpose links which drive both human traffic and SEO authority value.”

 

  • Shari Thurow, Founder, Omni Marketing Interactive | @ShariThurow
    “Many people make this fundamental mistake when creating link-worthy digital assets on a website: they limit accessibility by siloing them. I understand the reason why people silo valuable content. Creating categories such as Tips, Resources, Knowledge Base, Links, Videos, White Papers, and so forth seems like a good way to help users locate and discover this content. The mistake is not providing other meaningful ways to access this content via contextual navigation. For example, if 2 tips support each other, or if a website contains a how-to article and corresponding video, these items should link to each other. Likewise, suppose a website sells televisions and TV mounts. The site might have a helpful tool or article about “How to Select the Right Mount for Your Television”. An appropriate location to place a link to this article might be on specific product and category pages for televisions that can be mounted on a wall or ceiling. In summary, don’t silo your digital assets. Categorize them appropriately to make them easy to find and easy to cite. Provide additional and meaningful ways to access the information. Your users will appreciate it. Remember, Content is King. Context is the Kingdom!”

The deadline for submitting an entry to one of the 22 categories in the US Search Awards is 17th July so download the entry form today and you could be a worthy winner at the glittering Las Vegas event in October!

 

 


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