co-authored by Kristin Wall
Now, we want to address the elements that are needed to build a successful “social” link campaign.
- Research & identify social sites that fit the criteria for valuable links (see also Part 1):
- Sites that are indexed in search engines
- On topic and where a link would drive targeted traffic
- Other members of the community are actively participating
- Site is niche & community specific
- Allows links… Even if they’re “nofollowed“. Valuable links are valuable links. If they send traffic, they’re worthwhile. Besides, we think nofollow sucks, and probably doesn’t work as intended anyway. On a related note – if you comment on this post (or any post on our blog), and we approve it – your link will be ‘followed’
- Authentic participation is key: different strategies are appropriate for different types of sites
- Build a robust profile: Take advantage of the opportunity to build a robust profile including links, headlines, bio, interests, links to your other social networking profiles, etc.
- Social bookmarking & sharing (ex. del.icio.us & StumbleUpon): The goal is to create a back link with keywords, and share the link with others who are interested in the topic. Being authentic here means that you also spend time bookmarking & sharing niche resources that aren’t your own. Help others find valuable resources, and they’ll
- Social news sites (ex. Digg & Reddit): Submit content with anchor links. A catchy title & story description will set you apart from the rest, but content of interest to the community ultimately wins. Spend at least as much time developing the content as you do putting together that catchy title & description. Being authentic here also means that you submit and vote for stories that aren’t your own.
- Interactive blogs: Participate & contribute on well-regarded blogs. The ultimate goal might be to get a permanent link on a really great blogroll, but the benefit of reading & participating (commenting, contributing posts, etc.) is that you’re connecting with your peers. Authentic participation will drive awareness for your site/temp as well.
- Q&A (ex. LinkedIn & Yahoo! Answers): Establish credibility and establish yourself as an expert in your niche by providing useful information to the community at large. Q&A can also be a great sounding board for questions of your own.
These days, engagement & participation aren’t relegated to a few pasty looking dudes in an obscure usenet group or a subscription-only listserv. Incorporating these elements into a linking building strategy will not only improve a siteâ€™s ranking in the search engines, but is highly effective for long-term web site optimization. As a search marketer, I have to say that these ideas make link development a much more exciting, interesting and fun exercise.
In Part 3 of “Diversify Your Links” – we’ll take a look at analysis & measurement as a way to improve your link building efforts.