Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

We all know links are a key element of SEO. But it's also difficult and monotonous work. The tradition of analyzing competitors' links, creating a list of link opportunities, contacting site owners about getting a link -- that's time consuming and often unsuccessful. In our new "Discussion of the Week," what's a webmaster or business owner to do about getting links? Is Do-It-Yourself link building the best way to spend time and resources, or are there other ways to build inbound links? (One obvious answer is to hire a link building company/consultant, but that's not D-I-Y, now is it?) :-)
Comments12 Comments  

Comments

Avatar Moderator
from incrediblehelp 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Well their many, mnay different methods to aquire new links.  Still one of the most simple ones that seems to work well is to simply looking at the sites that already rank well for the keywords you are after and get links from them.



Avatar
from ogletree 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It is very hard to do it yourself.  Link building takes a lot of experience.  It is hard to do it when you know what you are doing.



Avatar Moderator
from nickfb76 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I think the best idea is to DIY content generation.  Ideally the owner of the site knows the most about their products, services and niche.  Create amazing content and reach out to people...

If you need to rely on competitions, infographics, etc.  It might be best to let the 'pros' handle it.



Avatar Moderator
from hugoguzman 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Unless you're willing to spend the time it takes to really understand the ins and outs of link building (which likely takes a few months up front and ongoing reading and learning, as well as a cash investment to pay for memberships to learning sites like seobook.com and platforms like raventools.com) you're better off finding someone that's already done the legwork and already has the platforms.

But as with most things, buyer beware...

Not all link builders are created equal.



Avatar
from clavoie 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I used to do PR and media relations in the 'old world' of traditional marketing.  Link building is similar to that work.  You find the influential people, establish relationships, share & suggest story (e.g. link) ideas, provide value in order to get mentioned in a story (e.g. linked to).  It's labor-intensive work and hard to do if you have another role in your company.  It's fine to DIY, but don't expect to get far if you have other responsibilities on your plate. And it's easy enough to outsource, so why not?



Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 2

What I'm doing with one client is similar to what Nick and Cindy mention above. We tried traditional link building efforts for a month or two, but it wasn't good for the client's budget nor for my time/sanity. So our version of DIY linkbuilding now focuses on making a kick-butt blog, being active on social media sites, and taking advantage of PR/media opportunities as they come along. It seems to be working, at least so far. So my answer to the question would be "no, traditional link building tactics are not necessarily the best way to spend time and resources."



Avatar Moderator
from ajkohn2001 1123 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately. I keep returning to the question: why are you 'building' links?

Do you want links because it helps SEO? Do you want links because you want more traffic? I'm just not sure those are the best reasons. Mind you, that's what links provide.

But wasn't the original idea of a link more organic? You produced great content and someone recognized it through a link. You might get more links if you actually engaged with your community. You reached out and emailed folks in your 'neighborhood', you commented on their blogs. You linked to them. You generally became an upstanding citizen in your own web neighborhood. You earned it.

That does take a lot of time and energy.

But is that what you're doing when you 'build' links? I'm not sure it's as authentic or will produce the same results. Certainly there are some people who approach link building like community outreach, and in those instances it probably does work.

Outside of that it sort of feels like the difference between the parent who shows up for PTA meetings and volunteers their time versus the parent who writes a check every year and feels they've done their part.

Neither one is right or wrong, but I think the one dedicating more time is more connected and gets more value from their neighborhood in the long run.





Avatar
from matthewdiehl 1122 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Matt's discussion poses the question from two positions, the first being the webmaster and the second being the business owner. Both positions have totally different perspectives on link building.

As a webmaster you are most likely wearing many different job hats - designer, developer, content writer, paid search manager, SEOer. Link builder definitely falls under this umbrella. The webmaster should be the one in charge of the link building or managing the link builder (depending on the size of the site). A webmaster should know about link building, everything from why it is valuable to how to get links, this is just part of the job. The webmaster is the person who should be hitting the pavement to get the links because they understand the site and what the links will do for it.

Conversely, the business owner, shouldn't be proactively link building. Business owners should be educated on the value of links and how they can uniquely contribute to the link building process through networking, engagement, relationships and the daily due course of their business operations. This goes the same for any of the employees of the business. They should be trained to recognize a link opportunity so they can respond to situations with "do you mind adding a link to that for me?" or thinking to themselves "I should definitely add my companies link to my profile on such-and-such site".



Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1122 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Actually, Matt, my question is posted from the position of anyone who is not specifically a link building consultant/agency. That could be a webmaster, a business owner, a social media consultant, or just about anything else. Sometimes a business owner doesn't have a webmaster, but obviously needs to do something to get visibility. Sometimes a webmaster doesn't have the right skills to be a great link builder/acquirer. What to do in those situations -- that's basically the question. Is time and money better spent on things other than the traditional "research competitor's links, look for link opportunities, send emails or make phone calls asking for links, etc."?



Avatar
from jennyx 1118 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Some interesting viewpoints. I have to say that I tend to agree with ajkohn2001 - Building value links far outweighs any random links you may get on unrelated sites. I'd say 1 or 2 well placed links on similar content sites will give you more traffic than 10 links on unrelated sites. The question I guess is balancing the time it takes to get those better quality links.



Avatar
from tilak 1118 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with lavoie but when you outsource we have to take very much precautions. Link builder should have good understanding the quality v/s quantity.



Avatar
from cothkseo 1117 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Despite of the point of view, I do second matthewdiehl that a well educated business owner may do better than any SEO consultants who almost always have so many different types of roles and clients at hand. Reaching out to their own community is not exactly rocket Science for a nail salon owner after all, but it could be for the SEO consultants who likely know nothing about medicure...




Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: