Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Organizing Your Link Building Campaign

If there is one thing that site owners need to understand about link building it is that it requires consistency. You can’t just build a couple dozen links one month and expect that to carry your SEO program for the rest of the year. But in order to be consistent you need to be organized, which requires a little bit of planning and a lot of reporting.

Here are 5 ways to help DIY SEO site owners and marketing managers organize their link building campaigns:

1. Create a 6-12 month link building strategy.

A link building strategy isn’t set in stone, but it can help you keep your link building efforts focused and consistent. You want to keep your link building as natural and diverse as possible and a link building strategy ensures that everyone knows what it going on, what is expected and what you plan on doing that month. It’s a good way to ensure you’re getting a good mix of links each month and a solid way to remind yourself of valuable link building opportunities that might be coming down the road like a webinar (which can be turned into shorter videos), a big promotional push (which will require a blogger outreach program), and more.

2. Create a master blog commenting list and assign who is responsible for each blog.

It’s important to vary up your blog commenting as much as possible so you are getting links from a wide variety of sources. Remember, it’s possible that one day one of those blogs is going to go offline, which means any links you had from it will disappear too.

For instance, my company has several blog commenting lists that we work through every day. One is about 15-20 blogs longs and lists the biggest and most popular SEO industry blogs. We check these everyday for new content (because there is a good chance there will be) and try to leave one comment every day where they fit. We have two more lists of smaller SEO blogs that belong to other SEO firms or SEO consultants (maybe 150-200) that we slowly work our way through, 10-20 blogs at a time. If one of the blogs has a new piece of content and it’s relevant we might leave a comment. If there is no new content or it’s not relevant we skip it for the time being and move onto the next blog.

Having these blog commenting lists keep everyone on track and prevents anyone from accidentally doubling up on the same blog.

3. Keep track of content marketing opportunities as you find them.

You may not have the bandwidth to submit a guest blog post or white paper right now, but keep track of any content marketing opportunity as you find it so when the time is right you won’t have to look too hard. Keep track of what site is looking for content, what their guidelines are and who you should send your submission to.

4. Make a list of any niches sites you looked into and passed over.

If a link is bad now chances are it will still be bad 6 months from now. But will you remember every website you visited and passed over? Probably not. By keeping track of any sites you decided weren’t worth getting a link from you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle down the road. It’s important to take the time to evaluate each site before you decide to go after a link or not, so don’t let that valuable research time go to waste down the road because you can’t remember if you scoped out a certain site or not. Also keep a record of why you skipped it—maybe it was an international site; maybe the site only accepted paid links, or maybe it was just a scummy site.

5. Record every pending and published link you get.

Not every link you go after is going to go live right away, so it’s important to keep track of what links are pending versus which links are published. You don’t want to submit a request for a link to the same site multiple times because it can make you look like a spammer. Recording all your pending and published links will also help you save time because other employees that help with your link building campaign will know to skip over that site should they find it during their own research. Why waste valuable time creating a profile on a particular industry site only to find your company already has one.

These link building organization tactics might not work for everyone, so find what works best for you and your team. The key is to have a plan and keep track of your efforts so you’ll always know what kind of link portfolio so site is building.

About the Author

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Boston search marketing firm Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com/). With 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by 150,000 opt-in subscribers.

Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or nick@brickmarketing.com

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