There has been plenty of buzz lately in the seo community about how social factors are going to take over from links when it comes ranking a website. How true this is we are yet to see but what many people forget is that link building has always been a social activity anyway, that’s because in order to get a good link you have to deal with real people. If you can get a link without a real person approving it in some way then it’s probably worthless since everyone will be exploiting it.
Usually the link building process starts out with some sort of contact with another webmaster and it’s usually in the form of an email. The thing is if a webmaster has a quality site then they probably get hundreds of standard “out of the box” link requests every month all starting with “Dear website owner”. If you can’t say something unique in your contact email then how likely is it that your website has anything worth linking to?
Follow the rules and get results
Many webmasters who do accept guest posts have specific requirements for the content that they will accept, i.e. it may have to be a certain length, on a specific topic or come with photos etc. The point is that whatever they are asking for you need to give them that and more, it’s their site after all and why should they accept less? When you show you’ve spent some time to deliver what’s really required then you can stand above a crowd of hundreds of other requests. My main point is that you want to make it as easy as possible for the target webmaster to put up your link, when there is a quality link at stake its always worth putting in the effort. Every week in the webmaster world there seems to be a new “system” for building automated links and I think this has made the idea of spending a few hours to get one link strange to webmasters.
Many link builders have embraced the concept of sending out thousands of emails to random sites in the hope that just a few people will reply. This has never made sense to me as just a few well targeted contacts to webmasters who are looking for content right now can be much more time and cost effective. For example a great place to find webmasters who want quality content today is myblogguest, here you have webmasters who get the concept already and if you can give them exactly what they want you can have a link up fast. I’ve spent so much time emailing random people and often you spend more time explaining why a link swap/guest post is beneficial to both parties than creating the actual content. Quality over quantity is important when it come to requests as well as the actual link received.
Find people who are active now!
Getting in contact with a real person also lets you know that the blog/site is active and open to the idea of giving you a link. There are so many dead (or dying) sites on the web where any contact made effectively going no-where, you need to filter these places out by looking for the social signals that the webmaster is interested now, i.e. a forum post or facebook status. I have to admit I have quite a few sites I am no longer interested in working on too but this wouldn’t be obvious if you just landed on the homepage.
So as mentioned the right social skills are important with it comes to links as there is always a person in control at the end of any potential request. But if you can give that person exactly what they are looking for then you make the whole process easier for everyone. I hope this article has helped if you’re trying to promote your site online.