In this podcast today we are going to talk about link building and how you should spend your time. Before we get down to it let’s discuss a quick tip from the previous podcast.
Tip from Podcast #22: Are you stuck and need fresh ideas for your blog?
Sometimes as bloggers we start to panic and worry that we have run out of ideas. I think that the reality is that we think people won’t care about what we write, so why waste the time. If that fear sounds familiar just know that it is not true. People are surfing the web all day long every single day and they need and want content to consume. Here is a quick idea from the previous podcast.
What Five Things Do You Wish Your Clients Knew About Your Products or Services?
Now, let’s get down to it and discuss link building
Give’m all some link bait
Write something worth talking about. Write something that will inspire people to link to you. Links from other websites are a crucial part of getting your blog ranked higher in the search engines. Be focused on your topic and write content that people will want to share. Link bait is a phrase that we all hear thrown around the SEO jungle and all that it really means is be the answer.
Ok don’t freak out but I am about to say something that is counter intuitive to SEO, don’t spend your time link building.
It does not seem right, what I am saying but pay close attention. I am not saying to ignore links, instead I am saying don’t spend time trying to do link building.
Now before we get much further, let’s make sure that we are on the same page.
What do I mean when I say link?
For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Using sophisticated link analysis, the engines can discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways. ~ This is from Moz.
What does that all mean?
Basically there are two types of links to think about internal links and external links. Both of these types of links are crucial to ranking your website high on the search engines.
Internal links are when you link to a post or page of your own website from a post a page. For example, I am currently doing a blog post series about Bad Blogging Advice. It is an 11 part series. Each time that I release a post in the series I provide a summary of the previous posts with a link in case someone wants to read it.[su_note note_color=”#ffb766″ radius=”5″]Whenever it makes sense try and include at least one internal link on a page or post.[/su_note]
This is when a completely different website links to yours. This is extremely powerful and crucial and this is where most of the people spend their time, trying to get these links. Sometimes people pay “link farms” for these links or trade links with their buddies.
Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover that, and maybe over time social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that. ~Matt Cutts
In the interview on Stonetemple.com Matt made it clear in this statement that links to your site or blog is still crucial, so why would I say don’t spend time link building?
He went on to say:
No, not all link building is bad. The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it. And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards. They try to get the links first and then they want to be grandfathered in or think they will be a successful website as a result.
Their goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.
Here is a link to the full interview: Eric Enge interviews Matt Cutts. Notice here what I just did. I am going to link to the stone temple article. The author, Eric, wrote a great and compelling piece and as a result I am here talking about it on my podcast and this blog post and linking to it. This is exactly what Matt is talking about.
In the end this is why I say, don’t spend time link building because in reality I want you to spend your time developing great content. Develop content that people want to reference. Be the answer to someone’s question. If you do that, in time links will come to you.
There is such a thing as natural link building. Here are a two ideas:
#1 The indirect help of a press release
While a Press Release will not help you with link building directly, reference the stone temple article where matt talks about that fact, it can help you indirectly. Perhaps a media outlet will find your press release and do an article on you as a result. That is a natural link that was derived from Press Releases.
The reason that I put this first is because there was a time when a Press Release would help you with SEO but Google has gotten smarter now and mostly ignores them.
#2 Email people in your industry
When you have written something that you believe is of true value email people and tell them about it. Email people in your industry and ask them to look at the article. Ask these people what they think and perhaps they will be inspired to share it with their people or reference it in one of their posts.
Keep in mind that in the end Google wants to provide their customer, the searcher, with the best possible match to their search. If you spend your time being that answer, it may take time but you will win.
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Thank you so much for stopping by my show notes for this podcast, I hope that it has helped you.
[su_box title=”What do you think?” box_color=”#81c11d” radius=”6″]Please tell us your experiences with link building. Do you have a tip that would like to share?[/su_box]
I would love your comments and feedback. Also, if you have any questions that you would like discussed in future episodes, please either leave them in the comments below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Don’t forget to clickety on my PDF download of Tips on Blogging for Business. It covers some tips about the Yoast Plugin and a few others that I install on all of my clients’ blogs.