Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting the Link Train Rolling – Finding Links, Building Links, Growing Links and Monitoring Links over Time.

The key to any website doing well with search engines is Links, Links, Links! However you lay out your Organic SEO strategy for a project, it always comes back to links. Different types, which ones are best, who has which ones, how to find them, how to get them and how to target the anchor copy within them to your best advantage. Keeping to a natural pattern, whatever that is? I’m really not sure about this one, people are always going on about it, don’t gather links too quickly or you may get penalized and so on….

Listen, there is no perfect formula to follow, building links is hard work, you are never going to achieve the exponential growth that is going to put your website on the Google’s radar and get you penalized for unnatural rapid link growth. This status is reserved for the Pros, Black-Hats and Spammers. Just go for it, full speed ahead! You’re going to find it hard work and demoralizing but when you get a breakthrough and get a good quality link it spurs you on to keep going. Outsource it to India or the Philippines I hear them call; you can if you want, but you need to be in full control of your website’s destiny.

So, back to the wedding world online and more importantly how did I get Rik Pennington into Google’s Top Ten? I like to approach SEO bottom up for this type of business – Local, Regional, National and then International if needed.

The first thing for Rik was to get him listed in his Locale; he initially wanted to operate in the London borough of Greenwich. This is pretty easy to achieve in most industry sectors, no real research is needed. All you need is a handful or two of locally targeted reciprocal links, a few listings in locally focused business and government directories, post in local forums with the required anchored link text and in 4-6 weeks and hey presto you’re No.1 in Google for ‘Keyword Phrase + Local Location’ (e.g. Wedding Photographer Greenwich). Easy as that! Of course there are on page factors to address but we will look at those next week.

Once basic locality listings have been achieved, the focus switches to regional domination of Google’s Top Ten Listings – in this case Wedding Photographer London (Rik Pennington holds No.2 on Even though the focus has now changed, it is always in my mind’s eye when starting a project (Local, Regional and National). It’s important not to forget about your local success, be mindful and sympathetic towards your local achievements and protect them, throwing them the odd link and Blog mention to maintain your dominance at that level. When your focus changes up a level, tweaks to titles and on page copy can influence listings already gained. So you need to employ forward thinking and always remember to look over your shoulder. Multi-tasking is must!

Rik was No.1 for Wedding photographer London but has dropped a place to No.2; a good example of losing positions gained when the focus changes up a level to national/generic. It’s not easy juggling SEO eggs for the same webpage. I should have it back soon when I get round to addressing it. Ok, regional level SEO is a fair bit harder to achieve and you need stronger knowledge of SEO and well developed link building skills. We need to up our link strategy and start bring out some of the big guns to play. There are many types of links out and they all can affect your Google PageRank and online authority.

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