It’s sad but true: probably 98% of website owners don’t do enough to promote their websites. How can they achieve the goals of their website without doing any SEO or social media promotion? In the spirit of working smarter, here’s a quick refresher course on building links for your site in a sustainable manner.
Which is Better: a High PR Link, or a Contextually Relevant Link?
Without knowing the exact links, I would prefer the contextually relevant link to the high PR link.
A high PR website is great for the owner of that website: their site will be crawled more often compared to lower PR sites, and they’ll be found more trustworthy to be matched up with keyword searches relative to other sites. So a high PR could get them favorable keyword rankings, but if they’re not ranking for a thematic keyword related to your site, it won’t help you as much. The best link you can get is from a site ranking #1 for the keyword you want to rank for. It would be great to have the #1 site for a desired keyword linking me even if they are a PR 0 site. The theme relevancy of the website that is linking to you will have a large impact on your search engine rankings.
Position of Your Link on the Linking Website
It’s best if your link is one of the first links that appears on the page. The number of links on a page also matters: the less links contained within a page the more power the link will have.
The best link position is near the top of the page “above the fold”. It’s sometimes possible to get a link in the header of a page if you pay for it (and the webmaster allows it to pass linkjuice by not nofollowing the link), and these links high up on the page are by rule better than the traditional footer links that Webmasters sell.
If you’re able to get a contextual link that’s surrounded by content, for example in an article, then you’ll also get a bonus for being a contextual link.
A link placed in a sidebar widget ranks above a footer link, but just barely: blogroll type links that appear on the sidebar of every page of a website tend to pass very little link juice, even if it’s surrounded by contextually-relevant text.
Where Should You Send Your Backlinks to?
Most webmasters send a bunch of links to their homepage and then send some backlinks to their deep inner posts (usually through social media automation or low-quality “guest blogging”). I would send a large percentage of my links to the category pages: since these are your content funnels, you want to direct links at them to let the search engines know that “hey, there’s lots of good stuff here.” Choose your category keywords to be general enough to include a variety of topics while allowing it to stay thematic (for example, a movie site could divvy up it’s categories based on movie genre: drama, romance, horror, action, comedy).
SEO – Be in it for the Long Haul
A poor SEO strategy is to do a bunch of link building over a week’s period and then do nothing for the next year. Links takes time to mature, and the longer the links you build are in place, the more SEO value they’ll hold. If you build a link today, it’ll take at least a month before you start seeing value from that link. Some deceptively simple linking techniques can work well if you remain committed to scaling them to their full potential. The big mistake is jumping from one link building technique to another because you’ve found something “better”. Certainly, drop a link building technique if it’s no longer working, but you can only get valid data on linking techniques and how they’re working for you if you stick to them over a long period of time.