I know the first thing that crosses your mind as you were reading the title of this blog post is what the heck is this dude talking about? I can also agree that today’s content marketer is all concerned about how to get back links to his/her site. And while link building is crucial for your content to get noticed, there are some important things you need to do before you decide to start hunting for blogs to slap a link back to your site on.
First off, I’d like to tell you that this post is not some exhaustive article offering advice on how to idly turn your blog into an auto-traffic generating one, NO! It’ll just shed some light on where most webmasters, bloggers and content marketers get it wrong.
Let’s get to business!
#1. Build A Blog
While this might sound all retarded and obvious, the shameful truth is that most content oriented sites today do not qualify to be called blogs. If your blog is one that publishes 10 posts a day, and non of the articles you’re publishing gets reader feedback, nor passes any useful information that can help your readers to make profitable decisions, then your site is not a blog. (There’s nothing bad in constant publishing, in fact it can help your brand get noticed.)
There might be some other names for it.
Okay, see why you should first of all focus your attention on building a blog before you start building back links:
- Only a blog can retain readers: the reason you’re building links to your site is because you want people to see what you have to offer them, make them stay a bit longer on your site and then decide to make a purchase or hire your services. But if people come to your site and aren’t able to find anything useful to keep them tied to it, then you’ve just built links for nothing.
- Quality contents survive the fierce competition for search traffic: getting traffic through search is becoming tougher and more competitive by the day. The bottom line is for your site to retain a favorable spot on the search engines, you need to offer value through content. According to Matt Cutts, instead of focusing all your efforts and money on building back links for your site, first of all make sure there’s something your readers will enjoy when they are on your site. Just like a merchant will want to have a very good product to sell before telling buyers to come a see their store.
#2. Create a Reader-friendly Design for your Site
The next thing you should be particular about before even thinking about building links to your site is your design. Your audience won’t care about the site that brought them over to your site if they think your design sucks. Your design will determine whether, at the first glance, anyone would be interested in reading that killer blog post you just wrote, or check out the items you’re selling.
Take a study of it, the greatest websites on the internet have great designs. You need a design that will encourage your visitors to keep scrolling. The one that will make reading your content easy for them as you would like it to be.
#3. Create a Style for Your Site
Visitors to your site must be able to distinguish your site from that of others before they can trust whatever comes from you. The type of style you create for your site will determine what reaction your readers will have if they come across your content or brand elsewhere on the internet.
Successful companies have styles that are very distinctive to them. You cannot mistake that of Apple for Google.
If you’ve successfully distinguished yourself from the crowd, then going to build links to your site will yield effective results.
Readers and search engines will be able to accord your site the respect it deserves.
#4. Determine Who your Audience is and What they want from You
Before going ahead to build links and promote your website on other sites, you need to first of all know who you want to do business with on the internet. Is your blog targeting the teens, or are your products designed for men in their 40s? Or are you a company that offers services to other companies and businesses? You need to find out the base by which your audience can be determined.
Once you’ve been able to determine or pin-point who your audience is, then you can go ahead to find out what they want from you.
It’s very easy to know what an audience wants from you. But if you’re in the dark about what their specific needs are, you can just do the following:
- Run a survey/questionnaire on your website
- Check out what your competitors are offering
- The best part, ask people individually
Knowing the audience your website targets will give you a good direction of where you might want to get back links to your site from. If your site is focused on offering advice to Martial Arts students, you don’t want to go and get a back link from a site that talks about how fresh grads can get jobs, or something totally unrelated.
#5. Be Search Compliant
As simple and easy as it sounds to be search compliant, not everyone is. There lies more potential danger in building back links to a site that is not search compliant than not building a single link for your site at all. A lot of webmasters don’t understand the complexity that is involved in today’s SEO.
Back in the days, all you need is to write a handful of articles and get a bunch of other sites to link back to you, and just like that you’re on the top page. Today, it takes a lot more than that. Search engines are beginning to behave more like humans (intelligent ones), which means the type of quick articles that usually rank well after getting a massive blast of back links from other sites won’t be noticed.
If you want to know if your site is search compliant, use the following factors to gauge how your site performs:
- Bounce Rate: How long does each visitor spend on your site before they bounce off to another site? It happens that if visitors don’t like your site, then search engines won’t do either.
- Quality Rating: How much of a positive rating does your content get? Both abstract and physical products. If you write articles on your site and people don’t want to read them, then your quality rating would be low. The same goes for products and services.
- Trust: How well are you trusted when it comes to your specific niche? If an author is well trusted, any article he posts, even on a less ranking site will get noticed by Google and thus will rank better. In the same vein, if an author is viewed poorly by Google, any article he writes, even if on a top ranking site will not get much of an attention (You can see an article that talks about it here).
- Search Engine Friendly: Finally on this note, you would also want to make sure your site is search engine friendly. How easy is it for Google and other search engines to read your site? This can be determined by how fast your site content is indexed on Google.
#6. Prepare Your Blog/Site for the Bubble
After you’ve justified the need for your site to start getting backlinks from other sites, you should sit back and work on how your site can contain the rush of traffic that will follow the link building campaign. You don’t want to see things turn tragic when visitors start coming from other sites and they noticed that your site is not loading perfectly.
You should also create a container/reservoir to retain your traffic for future updates.
Just consider the following and you’re fit to go:
- Have a good web host: one of the best ways to make sure your link building campaign does not result in bad investment is to make sure your host is ready for a surge in traffic. Make sure you’re using one of the best hosting companies out there to ensure you’re in safe hands.
- Design a Sign-Up Form: the next thing is to design a sign-up form and put it up on your blog to make sure people coming to your site can come back when you have something interesting to share with them. Aweber and Mailchimp are the popular ones.
- Be Social: you should also put up your Facebook or/and twitter page on your blog so that visitors coming to your site can follow your site on social media. This will complement your email list and make sure your readers are not left behind on latest happenings on your site.
Like I said earlier, this is not to be mistaken for a tutorial piece on how to rock your site with so much traffic without building links. It’s just a mere piece of advice on things you want to consider before you launch a link building campaign for your new site. By implementing the tips shared in this blog post, you’ll ensure you’re making the best use of your link building campaign.
What other things do you think you should consider before link building? Let us know in the comment section.