In the world of SEO, links are the currency of choice. The more quality, inbound links you have pointing toward your site, the “richer” your site is. Those links affect your site’s trust factor with the search engines, which impacts how well your site ranks. A link building campaign is designed to create unique links that pass their link juice (link credit) along to your site. The better the quality of the link, the more link juice they share. The overarching goal of any SEO link building campaign is to grow numerous links from many different, yet relevant, sources over time.
The key to a strong and viable link building campaign is to take a slow and diversified approach. Search engines like to see a natural development of quality links, as this is a good indication that you are taking a white hat approach to your link building and aren’t trying to trick the system. While quantity is good, quality is better; it takes time to develop a strong link portfolio. If a site were to go from 1,000 to 10,000 links overnight, this raises a red flag. The search engines don’t take kindly to sites trying to unduly influence their rank and will often penalize those who do.
Creating a 12-Month Link Building Plan
One way to help make sure you aren’t overloading your link building campaign is to create a 12-month schedule and organize up to 20 different link building tasks for each month. (Please note, every website is different, so you may require less or more and/or different tasks depending on your website, competition, keyword competiveness, etc.)
Once you schedule your 12-month SEO link building strategy, your first month of link building would be a good time to create local search profiles in Google, Yahoo and Bing. Creating these profiles could be considered a separate task. You can also write and distribute a press release, submit your site to five free and paid directories, create a Facebook Fan page and Twitter account, and leave blog comments on 15 industry blogs (blog commenting counts as one task). That is 17 different link building activities for the first month. While this schedule is by no means set in concrete, it can help keep you focused.
Slow and Steady Wins the Link Building Race
Doing too much link building too fast can actually work against you. While you may have the time to do a much more advanced link building campaign, pushing too aggressively could put your site on the wrong side of the search engines. Growing your links too fast looks suspicious to the search engines and your site could be penalized for it. However, failing to actively build links on a month-to-month basis won’t do much for building your online brand presence either. A few links here and there won’t help you compete against other companies who are taking a stronger stand.
You want to go for links in online areas that can help generate visitors to your website. Popular blogs could drive thousands of visitors a month, but that doesn’t mean you should discredit the smaller blogs. They may only send a few hundred visitors to your site, but it could be a much more targeted visitor. You want to generate links from sites that are going to help establish your website as an authority in the industry, both in the eyes of the search engines and your target audience. A well-rounded and diversified link portfolio is going to help you do that.