Link building for bloggers is substantially different than it is for a regular website. Link building is the SEO technique of using back links from one website to another to create Clout for a website or an organization in the search engines. These links tell the search engines a site is worthwhile to other users. Links directly influence organic rankings and this is something every website and blog needs to pay attention to. John over at Seomoves.org has several excellent posts about link building strategies.
Facebook is one of the best examples of the power of link building. The structure of Facebook is designed for link building not “connecting people” although it does this too. Facebook and their optimized keyword header code is at the beginning of each and every Facebook post. The ‘Clout’ of Facebook should be disseminated among the millions of people that use it rather than funneling back to Facebook but that is not the way the linking structure was set up. To put it simply Zuckerberg paid attention to linking structures and built a site using Linux to get the best linking possible and make money. Isn’t this enough of a reason to think about link building in your own blog?
Blog linking strategy is substantially different than standard linking strategies for websites. This is partially because Google, Bing and Yahoo have probably created separate algorithms to deal with blogs the same way they have for mobile. Blogs are far more social than websites. Blogging can lead to commerce but blogs still exist primary as informational sites. This is what makes blogs so special and this is why we all love them!
Start Your Blog on the Right SEO Foot
Linking for websites or blogs starts from inception. To get the most out of a blog set up a website with your own website with a reputable web hosting company. Most hosting companies have an easy to use free WordPress plugin that can be added directly into the website structure. The reason for doing this is that when someone follows you on Facebook, signs up for your RSS feed or tweets about your post the search engines will read those links as your links rather than those belonging to WordPress.com. Like Zuckerberg, the free blogging platforms do not give the blogger credit for their own work. The credit, IE the links, feed back to WordPress.com and improve their Alexa rankings rather than yours. Even WordPress isn’t immune to the fame bug and capitalizing on the links of others.
Blog Linking is About Likes
Commerce Websites can gain links for many reasons and their ranking algorithms seem more stringent and reliant upon things like how long the site has been around and the site’s structure. Linking strategies are also monitored to ensure that too many links aren’t being added overnight. When a regular commercial website acquires too many links too quickly the search engines flag it for possible manipulation by SEO Gurus. If manipulation is found the website is buried.
Blogs are different because a blog can hit a nerve in the public and go viral almost overnight. This is natural. Blogs go viral due to shares, tweets and people reading what the blogger is writing and then sharing it with their friends. This is organic linking and the search engines look at this type of linking as GOOD.
Bloggers can improve their linking structures by paying very close attention to the placement of social media buttons. Use heat maps to make sure that the size and placement of social media buttons is optimal. Similarly, include an RSS feed in your blog today and optimize the placement of this button. Make it as easy as possible for someone to sign up for your RSS feed or email newsletter. One-click conversion is always preferable. Two-clicks is a max.
Link to Reputable Leaders in Your Field
Links and shares from uncle Joe and aunt Suzanne are helpful but they don’t carry a huge amount of Clout. Search Engines have identified other websites and blog leaders in your particular area of interest. As a blogger you probably know who these blogs are. Reach out to them. Establish a relationship, follow leaders in your field, ask to write for them, get on their radar! Writing well and being a decent individual will usually help your cause. After a while you will begin to get a reputation as a notable blogger and these sites will link to you and ask to use your material when times are lean. This is fabulous and nothing will increase the notoriety of your blog better than reputable links. One way to promote your blog is to write about holes you notice in the writing about your particular field. Taking a stand and having a viewpoint doesn’t hurt either!
Link Your Blog to Alternative Media
There are several video and photography sites on the web that are excellent for getting readership. Lets assume that you write a blog about college life and it gets picked up by a site that specializes in college supplies. This actually happened over at RHL.org. This blogger, Chelsea, ( You Go Girl!!!) could easily increase her readership by placing videos on Youtube summarizing her subjects and then linking them back to her written blog.
Photos can be used in the same way from sites like Flickr. Tag the photos “creative commons.” This allows someone to use the photos without paying for them or asking permission. Make sure to ask for attribution and a link back to your blog. Then imbed your name and URL onto the photo using the text tool in Photoshop to ensure that your photos work for you. In addition install the plugin that allows your site or blog to be read via a mobile device. Readers stuck in the doctor’s office waiting room are a blogger’s best friend!
Link To Previous Posts and Encourage Readers to Read More
Using WordPress plugins makes it easy for readers to navigate back to your previous post and to relevant previous posts you have written via keywords. You want a person on your blog as long as possible. Give readers lots of options and reasons to stay around looking at different posts. Make conversion points repetitive and always available in the same place on each post. Add a comment feature and be ready to respond to comments left by readers.
There are numerous linkbuilding plugins that have been designed for WordPress. The plugins will automate a good portion of the link building process both onsite and offsite. At the bare minimum a broken link checker is important. The essential thing to remember about automated linkbuilding plugins is that they will do some of the work for you but it is essential to monitor and review all automated plugins. Some of these have been known to add strange things into header codes and other weirdness. Stay on top of everything you automate. Automated plugins will not establish relationships with leaders in your field. These are the important links and the ones that will really make a difference in your blogging traffic and your organic ranking.