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CHAPTER 3

CREATING A LINK BUILDING STRATEGY IN 8 STEPS

Now that you know the basics (or as we like to say, the BASE-ics) of link building, you’re ready to create a link building strategy for your website. To make it easy, we’ve broken down how to create a link building strategy into 8 steps. We’ll get to those steps in a minute, but first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.


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WHAT IS A LINK BUILDING STRATEGY?

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A link building strategy is a plan for how you will organize and implement your link building in order to get the best possible results. This includes how many links you will build, what link building tactics you will use to build them, what pages on your site you will be targeting, which sites you will build links from, what anchor text each link will have, and over what timeframe and at what frequency you will build these links. Having a plan for all of these details will keep you organized and ensure results rather than building links randomly and hoping for the best. 

Tracking the details of your link building strategy is key to knowing which efforts are paying off and which efforts you need to adjust. You may see that one target page isn’t getting the same results as another target page, but without a strategy, you won’t know what to do differently to get results. Having a thought-out strategy from the beginning is the only way to get consistent and reliable results. 

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HOW DO YOU CREATE A BACKLINK STRATEGY?

To create a backlink strategy, there are quite a few details to consider. This can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first experience with link building. But there’s no reason to be intimidated. We’ve made it even easier to create a link building strategy by breaking it down into 8 easy-to-follow steps.

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1. CONSIDER YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

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The ultimate goal of link building is to get more organic search traffic to your website. But you don’t just want any traffic. You want quality traffic that is looking for what you offer. So, the first step of any marketing-related strategy, like link building, is to consider your target audience and how they behave. In this case, you need to think about what search terms they would be typing into Google to find what you offer.

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2. CHOOSE YOUR KEYWORDS

Once you have determined the types of words and phrases your target audience would use to find your website, you need to choose which keywords to target with your link anchor texts. Keeping your target audience in mind, choose keywords that have a high volume of searches per month and low SEO difficulty ratings. The higher the search volume means the more traffic you could potentially receive from ranking for that keyword. The lower the SEO difficulty the fewer backlinks it takes to rank for that keyword. So, the ideal keywords to target would be low difficulty and high volume, making them relatively easy to rank for and well worth the effort.

3. CHOOSE YOUR PAGES

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Next, you need to choose which pages you want to rank for each of those keywords. One page can rank for a group of keywords, as long as they are closely related and the page is relevant to all of them. What you don’t want is to target more than one page with the same keyword. The goal is to make it clear to Google which page should rank for each term. Having two pages that are optimized for the same keyword can make it confusing for Google’s algorithm to rank those pages. So, choose one page for each keyword or small keyword group. Then, the links you build to each target page will have anchor text optimized for a target keyword.

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4. FIND RELEVANT SITES TO LINK FROM

To build links from external sites, you have to find those external sites. But don’t just find any site that you could possibly build a link from. These need to be sites with authority and without spam, and they need to be relevant to your site. The purpose of the link building strategy is to show Google that your site should rank for a certain topic, which is what you offer. So, you need to build links from sites that are relevant to that topic to show Google that you are also relevant to the topic.

5. OUTREACH TO POTENTIAL GUEST POST SITES

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The next step is to reach out to the relevant sites you identified to inquire about becoming a guest author. They may have a guest author application process or have you send a writing sample. Either way, this step can take some time, so be patient. Building a network of guest post sites is crucial to a successful link building strategy. And if you don’t want to go through this tedious part of the process yourself, you can hire a link building agency that already has a network of authoritative guest post sites (like BASE).

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6. CREATE CONTENT

As a guest author for these sites, you are expected to write a relevant and valuable article. Choose a topic that relates to both your site and the site it will be posted on. It is important to pick a topic that is relevant to the target keyword and page you will be linking to so that the link you include in the article will feel completely natural. This is how you know your link building strategy adheres to Google’s guidelines. Google looks for natural backlinks, not backlinks created by paying the site owner to place a random link to your site. Well-written guest post articles with natural links to your site will provide the link building power it takes to rank higher on Google.

7. TRACK RESULTS

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Tracking results is important so that you know how well your efforts are paying off. The metrics you should track for a link building strategy are keyword rankings and organic search traffic. As your links go live and Google sees them (which can take a while, so again, be patient), you should begin to see the rankings of your target pages for your target keywords improve. Improved rankings means a higher position on the SERP (search engine results page) which means you will receive more organic traffic to that page.

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8. REFINE AND REVIST STRATEGY

It is important to note which pages and keywords improve and which are proving more difficult to get results so that you can refine your strategy as you go. You may learn that a page doesn’t need as many links as you planned each month to rank highly, while another page needs more links than you had planned. All good strategies are refined as they continue. You should also revisit parts of your strategy as you go along. You may think that once your target keyword is ranking you don’t need to build links to it anymore. However, it is important to continue to build links to pages that are currently ranking to maintain your position. The key to a successful strategy is to constantly improve upon it as you gain new insights from the results.