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Building a link campaign

Hi guys,

I have been researching SEO and have read that backlinks are one of the most important steps in acheiving good PR on Google. My question is where would one get started on doing this? I cannot seem to find websites that would fit into backlinking to our site. For instance one of our maine keywords would be
- hospital Bill Auditing - I am trying to find a site that would let us place a link from their site that has relivancy to our keyword(s) without it being a competitor. We also dont want to have links from websites like linkfarms or that have no relivancy to our website what so ever. I have also heard and read that people buy links but I do not know if this would be a good route to go it almost seems like doing it yourself and finding the right websites that has a good PR on Google might be the best route to go.

Thanks,

Joe
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Joe
Asked:
Joe
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2 Solutions
 
weikelbobCommented:
Joe, you've come to the right case. You seem fairly knowledgable already, here you go:

Backlinks along with a well optimized site are not only important they are very necessary in an SEO campaign. But let's start with the first step, keywords. Entering "hospital bill auditing" into digitalpoint's keyword research tool,

http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/

indicates that "hospital bill auditing" is not searched. You might want to play with the tool to find keywords that are searched. The tool tells you how many times per day a term is searched. Balance is important - finding nitche keywords that are searched enough but that are not too competitive. Let me know if you want more help choosing keywords. There are detailed ways if you want to do a thorough job.

But back to your question, well sort of - keywords are the heart and blook of SEO and if you are going to go to the trouble of doing a link building campaign, then spend some time choosing good keywords. Let us know if you want to know more. Once you have them, you need to know about anchor text:

Links from other sites to yours are much more worth your while if you use good anchor text. Your keywords must be in the code that people put on their site, the html code. Here's an example:

<a href="www.yoursite.com">keywords here</a>  (good anchor text)
<a href="www.yoursite.com">www.yoursite.com</a> (not as good anchor text)

In the email or phone call you send the person/company when soliciting a link, include the html with the proper anchor text. If the html above confuses you, let us know. But who do you solicit links from? Let's see:

You can purchase links. This is expensive but a very good way to start if you have a budget. It is only a starting point. However, starting with very carefully selected purchased links can actually help you skip the Google Sandbox. The sandbox means that Google usually waits 6 to 12 months to rank a site with a new domain. This can be frustrating and can sometimes be bipassed by carefully purchased links. You don't want a bunch of links from one sight, though, keep them few or one per site. To quote a professional which runs seo-blog.com,

>>>"
Patrick Gavin of TextLinkAds is a good text link broker. However when using any broker it pays to build a relationship with them and it also helps if you know what you are doing.

When purchasing text links through a broker:

1. Avoid run-of-site links.

2. Avoid package deals.

3. Keep within your topic area.

4. Buy links from high quality sites only. Review the page and the site where the link will be placed. Look at the pages that link to it, how many links on the page, use the Internet Archive to see previous version of the page etc., etc.

5. Proceed with caution. Here is a quote from Matt Cutts “A natural question is: what is Google’s current approach to link buying? Of course our link-weighting algorithms are the first line of defense, but it’s difficult to catch every problem case in adversarial information retrieval, so we also look for problems and leaks in different semi-automatic ways. Reputable sites that sell links won’t have their search engine rankings or PageRank penalized–a search for [daily cal] would still return dailycal.org. However, link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext)”.

"<<<

The above excert is from www.seo-blog.com an excellent resource.

However, your main campaign will be cheaper and will be soliciting from regular sites as follows:

Type in a keyword into Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Then go down the list of the SERPs and carefully choose sites you want to solicit links from. Many will be competitors and that's OK. The higher up the site is in the SERPs the better, but you can go down a long ways to solicit links, especially if you run out of keywords and likely sites to solicit from.

Then there's directories. If your campaign is very agressive then soliciting from directories is good, but this should be in addition to a large link campaign. Here's a really good list of SEO-friendly directories http://info.vilesilencer.com/main.php?rock=seo-friendly.php

Follow up with a phone call if you get no response when soliciting to regular sites. Also DMOZ.com is important.. When submitting to directories or sites with quality link sections, your keywords should be in your title, which is the same thing as good anchor text.

Don't worry about pagerank, think about ranking high for your nitch keywords, and your focus can consist of Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Solicit links only from quality sites, it seems that you already know that, and links solicited with fewer links on the same page are better.

If you purchase links, think in terms of ROI (return on investment)

That's not everything but it's a good start. I recommend first opening a new question about keyword research

Good Luck,

Bob
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ShaneJonesCommented:
i sometimes use related:www.yourdomain.com in google

To help me find what google deems the related website, if you gain a link on one of the related websites Google will already know the importance of the site the link is on in relation to your site.

Shane
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weikelbobCommented:
Nice trick Shane :)
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Thank you weikelbob and ShaneJones for this very helpful information.

"Many will be competitors and that's OK"

So you are saying to weed through the links and find a non competitor to request a link exchange? From what I gathered a  page that accepts a link request and does not have a good PR on Google wont matter? Thank you guys again.

Joe
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JoeAuthor Commented:
That is a nice directory listing weikelbob :) would it be bad to add our link to all of those directories or should we only add it to a handful of them?

Thanks,
Joe
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ShaneJonesCommented:
Correct many of them will be competitors, so in these cases try for recirocal links...

For the ones that are not, send an e-mail, give them a call.... make some contact.

Not to sure about the PR of pages, i tend to go with sites with more PR than me but also a handful of lesser PR pages....

Shane



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JoeAuthor Commented:
"Correct many of them will be competitors, so in these cases try for reciprocal links..." What do you exactly mean by doing this? Doing reciprocal links with competitors? Also when you have reciprocal links what is the best way to display them on your page? I mean wouldnt it seem to have a unprofessional appearence to your site that has a bunch of links to all of the other sites? How does one go about doing this? Thank for the info.

Joe
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ShaneJonesCommented:
Reciprocal links i would  place in a "friends of" page...

List them in there.

Shane
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JoeAuthor Commented:
What about the competitors question? Sorry for all of the questions appreciate all of the help.
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ShaneJonesCommented:
No problem that is what we are here for :)

Competitors you already know are related in your area, so it would be good to link with them, they may not allow it but no harm in trying. This forms in with the relavence factors in Google.

Shane
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Interesting idea, how would one go about approaching a competitor for a reciprocal link?
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ShaneJonesCommented:
e-mail they can only refuse, would rather that than face a competitor phone call..

Shane
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Does this actually help or hurt your business by linking to competitor website? I mean what If say a user comes to our website and looks around and decides to browse through the friends links and finds a competitors website?

Thanks,

Joe
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ShaneJonesCommented:
Depends really on how you fair on pricing against your competitors, but at the end of the day this is totally up to yourself if you want to reciprocate links

Shane
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JoeAuthor Commented:
I have just read a couple articles about this, seems like alot of people are saying it is not worth it to sacrifice sales for a good PR, if you have mutiple domains and you had links on them back to your original domain which have similar content would this help PR?

Thanks

Joe
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ShaneJonesCommented:
Depends on that one... I have heard comments around the net about links on the same ip address range.... but have not looked into it too much.

Shane
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JoeAuthor Commented:
So does it matter if the page that is linking to you has a good PR or not? Or is google just making sure the content is relivant on both sites? If this is the case how come people dont just buy a seperate domain and maybe use that one as a news page to host relivant content to your primary domain to get a good PR.

Joe
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weikelbobCommented:
Joe,

Shane is a good expert, but I need to disagree on one thing. One-way links are the way to go and reciprocal links need to be avoided. One reason is that if you accidentally link to a bad neighborhood or a link farm it can get you banned. Also, from what I understand a one-way link is stronger.

Don't worry so much about page rank. It's a good general description of a site's strength, but how a site ranks for your keywords is more important. The idea is to have a site that is so good that even competitors will link to you. Usually this is done by free information, articles, forums, and anything else that makes your site unique and worth linking to. Free information may get your competitor to link, for example, to one of your articles without you even knowing about it and Google likes this. Some SEO companies do not even do SEO for Google unless the site is packed with free information. Anything you can do to make your site worth linking to will have an impact in ranking with Google.

Let us know your industry so that we can comment on how to approach competitors to solicit a link. But if your site is good enough, some competitors will link to it. Also, many competitors have a link section that is full of their competitions' links. You can solicit a link from these people with link sections. Remember to put keywords in the title. People with link sections believe that offering resources for the visitor is more important than worrying about competition.

Even sites with a zero page rank can help your rankings. In general, the higher the pagerank the better a solicited link will be, but personally I don't focus that heavily on pagerank. It varies so much from industry to industry and it is a very vague description of a site's worth.

Let us know what else you need, and carefully choose keywords to start with.

Oh, for keyword research, read my long comment here:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21770341.html

Bob

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JoeAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all of this helpful information, I am really starting to learn alot here. Ok our business is health related and what our service does is Audits Medical and Physician bills so that might be a hard one to offer something free for I would have to think of some good ideas. I am open for anymore comments.

Joe
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JoeAuthor Commented:
weikelbob,

I forgot to ask you what one-way links were, does this mean that the site links to you without a link back?

Thanks

Joe
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weikelbobCommented:
>>I forgot to ask you what one-way links were, does this mean that the site links to you without a link back?

exactly. You send them an email, follow up with a phone call and be sure to give them the html with the right anchor text

Any free stuff you could come up with would be helpful with Google, which is more difficult to penetrate. It makes your link building campaign easier. You might check out your competitors that are ranking high with Google. Type in competitive keywords and examine the sites that are high in the SERPs. You can see what keywords are competitive by using digitalpoint (the link is in one of the above posts). You might even type in general keywords like "hospital" or "audit" to get some ideas about free information. A quick look at "hospital" in Google shows that many of the high spots are simply free information. The more good free information you have, the higher you will rank.

Yahoo and MSN are much easier to penetrate.
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JoeAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys so very much.
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weikelbobCommented:
You're welcome, good luck.
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