While creating a solid link building strategy can at times be overwhelming, with a good plan it should not be as difficult as it sounds. To begin, you always want to start with strong market research and competitive analysis. In other words, your best strategy will be to find out what the market wants and then design your strategy accordingly, rather than the other way around. A competitive analysis of the market lets you benchmark the best, strongest, and most worthwhile practices in your industry.
More established websites shouldn’t be seen as a threat. In fact, these can teach you a lesson or two. Indeed, studying competitor websites will give you an idea as to which link building strategies work, and which do not. Steps you can take include…
1. Contact websites that can link to you after finding out which sites links to your competitors. Contact these sites’ webmasters and ask them to link to yours.
2. Determine what sites can yield the best benefits – in general, the more “authority” a site has, the more valuable their link is. But it is also important not to overlook websites in the same niche as yours because they can deliver highly targeted traffic.
There are many tools that can help you determine which websites are best. Some of these are free while some asks for a certain fee. Some recommended tools include Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer. A link graph that displays the interlinking among websites will let you see which sites contributes most to a competing site – these are the same links you want to get.
Take note that no single tool can let you get the complete picture (especially if the industry you’re analyzing is complex). The two tools mentioned above can get 1,000 link data which is usually sufficient for most uses. After you have identified which links has the most potential, the next step would be to contact the site webmasters. We have a few tips on how you can do this:
- Keep the Message Short – most webmasters will understand what you’re trying to say. So when you send an email asking for a link, keep it short and to the point. They will respond if they are interested.
- Customize the Email – make it a point to mention something unique about the webmaster’s website. Otherwise, they might consider your email as spam.
- Emphasize a Benefit – people will take action if there’s something in it for them. What can you offer that will make linking to your site attractive to other webmasters?
Of course once you have done the following, it is the decision of the webmasters whether to link to your website or not.
All in all, don’t be intimidated by your competitors! Use their experience and the age of their site to teach you about how you go about your link building strategy, and in no time you’ll find yourself competing with them!