The Four Keys to Link Building That Increases Google Page Rank
If you want to thrive online, you need to master the skill of effective link building. Most SEO experts believe link building is one of the most important––if not the most important––step to build site authority and increase page rank.
There are many different factors that influence page rank, but today we are going to focus on 5 keys to link building that give you the biggest bank for you buck.
Moz recently conducted a survey of leading SEO’s to determine what they think are the most important factors that increase Google page rank. The number one and number two factor they listed was link building at the domain level and page level respectively. This research helped them develop a Beginner’s Guide to Link Building which I strongly recommend in addition to this post.
Link Building Defined
Simply put: link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. More links from more important websites = better website. Sometimes you will hear these links referred to as backlinks. There’s not a right or wrong name, just know that link building, and backlinks mean the same thing.
There are no shortcuts to developing good links. In various articles on the web, you’ll see advertisements or links to places that promise to provide you with free backlinks. But as in most areas of digital marketing, the free backlinks shortcut doesn’t help your site build trust and authority.
Search engines are becoming continually more sophisticated in how they analyze your site, content, and referral traffic. Building an authoritative site is not a simple endeavor that can be done quickly.
Think of a website like a beautiful piece of real estate that you take care of over time. It’s a property that requires years of nurture and care to become truly valuable. You can’t neglect it for long periods of time without consequences. This post is focused on building that kind of robust, durable strategy.
Key #1: There Is No Substitute for Quality Content
There simply is no substitute for quality content for link building. Obtaining lots of authoritative links from other sites will really depend on how good your stuff is. Both the quality of your content and the relevance of your content to your target market. If you want to improve your Google ranking, you need to focus on improving the quality of what you and your team publish.
It’s easier than ever to publish online and consequently, users are presented with copy, video, audio, images, and slide decks that aren’t worth their time. An audience-focused, high-quality content campaign really stands out in the flood of digital marketing. Focus on quality, and you’ll find that organic link building will naturally occur. This kind of strategy allows you to depend less time begging for favors from other sites and allows you to hyper-charge your link building efforts with an army of self-interested social sharing.
Imagine you have a friend who just opened up a barber shop. You go into the shop and it looks a little sketchy. He breaks out a rusty old pair of shears, and gives you one of the worst haircuts of all time. Then he asks you to please give his business card out to your family and closest friends to help him get his shop off of the ground. How likely are you to refer him?
Link building works the same way. No one wants to refer a bum that does a poor job. Authoritative websites want to share content that is relevant, and helpful to their audience. They don’t want to burn up their relationship capital on products or services that can’t support. The best thing you can do to improve your link building game is to publish mind-blowing content that really is helpful to your audience.
Key #2: Focus on Link Building Using Authoritative Sites
Successful, authoritative sites have high numbers of links pointing to their domain that are from trustworthy, high-ranking sites and pages. Many SEO’s feel this is the most important step in link building that influences page rank.
Start by understanding which sites are going to be powerful and authoritative referrers. You’ll need to brush up on a few essential SEO tools. In particular Google webmaster tools. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, make sure you read up on this Beginner’s Guide to Google Webmaster Tools by Moz’s Scott Krager.
Google webmaster tools won’t give you everything you need to find sites you want to target. I recommend installing SEO Quake, a free Google chrome plugin that will help you determine the authority, traffic, and relevance of various sites in your content neighborhood.
You’ll have a pretty good idea where your audience is at online, start by examining the authority those sites have and target the most influential sites. Regardless of what tool you use, perform link analysis and figure out which sites are going to give you the biggest results.
Start by doing a backlink check on your own site to see where your linked traffic is coming from. A quick google search for backlink checker will yield a variety of free tools, including this Open Site explorer from Rand Fishkin to help you see which sites are linking to your site.
Key # 3: Build the Right Pages With Proper Keyword Research and Anchor Text
Each page needs to be optimized with proper keyword research and anchor text in order to effectively support your overall strategy. This post by Neil Patel has a great guide on how to search effectively for keywords and avoid penalization. The google page rank, keyword placement, and anchor text distribution are essential components of gaining site authority. Make sure you know what you’re doing before you start.
I recommend building a map of keywords you want to rank for in your post and your overall site before you just starting writing. This exercise is an essential step in the link building process. For a step by step guide on how to construct your own keyword URL map, read Carson Ward’s post from Moz. He nailed it.
Each page on your site should be optimized for specific short-tail, and long-tail keyword searches. Make sure that all links from referring sites point to the page that you are trying to rank for in a Google search. Domain-level links are great, but you need to develop authority on specific pages if you want a successful strategy that gives users relevant content to their search. Every prefers being delivered information that is relevant to their situation, so do you best to provide specific users with specific pages that will fulfill their desire for information.
Consistency of process really is everything. Just try and stay consistent with these 3 keys. Produce great stuff, identify authoritative sites in your space and obtain links, and continue to build out your pages to optimize for search traffic. Consistent application of these 3 keys will yield great link building results and you will be rewarded with consistent site traffic.