Why Link Building is a Lot Like Golf


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To be successful on the Pro Tour requires dedication, skill and the ability to calibrate your shots to the specific hole or golf course.

To be a successful link builder requires similar determination, skill and calibration. But with link building, what exactly are you adjusting for? That depends on the type of website for which you are building links. This is where the nuance of link building becomes apparent. If you have only built links for your own website, then you may have missed the opportunity to calibrate your link building from the beginning or to link build to your site’s best advantage.

Meaning, if you made mistakes with your link building when your site was new, you cannot turn back the clock; you can’t undo your link building deeds. All you can do, going forward, is to “recalibrate” your linking efforts with new knowledge.

If you are a link builder for a number of websites, then you need to know how to link build in different measure or ratios. Large sites exist with thousands of incoming links and newer smaller sites launch with less than 10 incoming links. When it comes to search engines, particularly Google, effective link building is all about percentages.

Larger older sites drive more traffic so logic dictates that incoming links will grow exponentially. If you’re building links to augment your rankings, then you can invest in more aggressive link acquisition (both paid and requested) because new links will still represent a small percentage of your total inbound link profile.

Link building velocity, link acquisition types, quality of link partners and neighborhoods, all send value signals.

Link Building Isn’t (Necessarily) About Budget

A website with 10,000 incoming links will not trip a quality filter if it acquires 100 new links per month. A website with 100 incoming links will likely be flagged if it were to see as many links in the same time period. Those percentages are just not logical when establishing a natural linking profile.

When I hear of SEO companies charging $5000/mo. for link building, I wonder if the size of the site warrants that kind of effort. At those rates, your link builder should be spending 30-40 hours a month creating and implementing a content and social media strategy that will garner anywhere from 100-1000 links per month.

A smaller site, however, cannot sustain this type of activity, which is good news for the small business owner (SMB). You don’t need to pay for services you won’t need just yet. That being said, a small website needs to dedicate resources consistently over time to reach the point where it can begin to compete for more competitive and higher converting keyword phrases.

You, SMB, should be spending at least 1-2 hours per week in link acquisition for a minimum of six months. When you start seeing results in more keyword search referrals and/or rankings, then you can ramp up your efforts.

The biggest mistake I see with small websites isn’t small budgets; it’s that they don’t have the internal strength to invest in an ongoing link building campaign and sustain it over the long term.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


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