The following is a guest post by Zac from Dejan SEO.
Each one of us has a unique approach to link building, for both personal websites and large scale link building. If we are talking about large scale link building that turns into a whole new story as there are much more things to keep an eye out for, but when it comes to simple link building for a certain website there are a few things that you can try to get those quality links.
Now, we already said that everyone has a different approach to link building, some prefer guest posts, which is a great way to score quality backlinks, some prefer partnerships, sponsorships while others focus on easy link opportunities. We won’t talk about the actual types of links, but how to do your research, how to approach people, and how to get any type of link you have in mind.
Now the basic idea I always follow is to see what my competitors are up to. I don’t try to imitate them, sure I try to get a few of their backlinks, but that will only get you so far, you need more to overcome them and outrank them in the SERP. I prefer to use Open Site Explorer to check out my competitor linking domains, linking pages and their top pages. I look at the linking domains to get a better understanding of what type of sites link to my competitors and how powerful those links are, so at the same time I get a clue about how powerful my links should be as well. The second thing is to look at the linked pages and the pages that provide a link.
By researching your competitors most linked pages you will get an idea of what type of content on their website is the most popular and what type of content you need to create in order to get those links yourself. By looking at the pages that link to your competitors you can get an idea of what they are looking for. So these two crucial aspects of linking preparation will give you insights into the type of content you need to have in order to attract the same links. The idea is to create even better content than your competition and ask for links, but we will get to that a bit later.
But once you are done with scraping your competitor backlinks you get back to the original thought and that is to gain new backlinks based on the research you just did. You know what type of content attracts links and you know what type of websites and people link to that content. So the next step is to reach out to those websites and connect, we want new links that your competitors don’t have in their arsenal.
This is the same approach we take when we want to grab a hold of our own market; we find influencers and engage them using social media, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other market networks. But instead of going after your own market only, you are going after the type of people that like to link to the content you are creating and promoting, which can be very broad. What most people still don’t realize is that mailing webmasters is a slow process, and one that stopped working effectively a long time ago, but at the same time we have an explosion of social networks where all of the people can be found, contacted and engaged in a manner that will look natural even to the biggest skeptic.
There are various tools you can use to see influencers in your market or for a certain keyword; you can use anything from FollowerWonk and Topsy to WeFollow. Start with Twitter; you can easily connect with those people on Facebook later if this is your preferred platform. Now in order to get close and to be able to ask for a link, a partnership opportunity a guest post or anything that will get you a link you need to do a few things. First of all start following those people and see what they are talking about. Using lists for this type of thing is recommended as you probably won’t be able to monitor them closely in your own stream. Learn more about them by really paying attention to their tweets, posts on Facebook and from their own websites. Also, be sure to know what they tweet about and what type of stuff they like to retweet.
With all this going for you it is time to engage them. Start retweeting their stuff and liking their posts. Make a constructive comment or critic that may get their attention, basically start talking to them about things you now know they are interested in. Reach out and even ask them a question, sooner than you know you will be able to propose a certain form of promotion that can get you a link, in some cases they will approach you. In your communication you will surely have a window of opportunity to show them your website, ask for their opinion and build up on that. The best part about this approach is that everyone can see it. When you send mails to webmasters you send them one by one for their eyes only, on social networks you are interacting with one person, but everyone can see it and everyone can be hooked with your bait.
One of the tricks I learned along the way that always gets links, grabs attention of others, helps you create even better content for linking while promoting your brand and your website is to utilize the power of surveys. Surveying your visitors, customers, followers on Twitter and Facebook is a great way to make people know about you and get some important data you can harvest to your benefit.
This is just one simple approach that can create long lasting connections for you and help you find quality link opportunities. While doing this, you are not just building links, you are improving your content, spreading the word and promoting your brand, and most importantly you are gaining valuable connections, and those connections are the gold mine in the online industry.
Author Bio: Zac Grace works as advanced SEO strategist and link building team leader at Dejan Dejan SEO, a company providing specialized link building and SEO services for Australian market. You can connect with Dejan SEO on Twitter.