In all traditional marketing books the importance of 4Ps is emphasised in developing a marketing plan for a particular business. Service industry went further and included 3 more Ps in its approach towards marketing. This was the time when technology was not considered to be of much use in marketing as a tool. Gradually, with increasing technological advancement, globalization and innovation people started to realise the way it impacted the traditional business philosophy and accordingly started adjusting themselves to the new economy. Internet, which has become an integral component of todays business chnaged the market orientation by empowering the new customer with better bargaining power.
It created a new channel for doing business, sharing information and knowledge and shifted the importance from product/service to customer driven economy. The buzz word in 2000 was aligning the business to Content, Context and Infrastructure (CCI). Marketing made a radical shift from Ps To Cs.
This was the time when people were concentrating upon their core competency, improving the processes and various terms such as TQM, BPO, BPR, etc. came into the limelight.The Internet was accepted to be an integral part of any competitive business. Competition increased, the consumer became well informed and the World Wide Web started throwing more mature business models. Millions of sites started coming up every day and the continued the search for better solutions and innovation. Increasing differentiation and segmentation of the market took place and gradually people started realizing the importance of value customer, value proposition and value network (the 3 Vs) in overall business model.
While overall marketing kept on innovating to remain competitive, a new term gained acceptance all over the world – Internet Marketing. Internet marketing is a combination of traditional (offline) marketing and technology. It has now become a highly specialized area and is used extensively in this new business environment. All businesses have become online and there is cut throat competition among competing firms to satisfy their “demanding customers” need.
With this brief information about marketing and evolution of Internet as a tool to perform business, let me tell you few words about internet marketing. Internet marketing is a platform to integrate the virtual world more effectively and efficiently. There are many components of it but around 40% of it is related to search engine marketing. People use major search engines to know about a particular product or service and it is precisely this point where the “dynamic” aspect of marketing comes into picture. Remaining at the top of searches, being well connected to the virtual community and having good ROI are few important issues that search engine marketing tries to solve.
Search engine marketing consists of many activities, such as search engine optimization, Pay Per Click campaign, affiliate marketing, content syndication, etc. These all components are interrelated and give good results when used in combination depending upon the nature of business.
In this white paper I will share with you one important component of Search engine marketing and optimization – link building. Link building is one important way to increase the popularity of any website and gain authenticity. We at Mosaic Services, have a holistic approach towards link building campaigns. It is not viewed in isolation but as part of the overall business objective.
Link Building – Our Approach
Links from similar themed websites drive relevant traffic interested in your website and the products/services it offers. From search engine marketing point of view getting a targeted traffic is of crucial importance as it is more apt to convert into a sale. Therefore, the prime objective of link building is to gain targeted traffic and get deeper authenticity in terms of domain knowledge.
Links provide an opportunity to connect to the major search engines for inclusion into their database. It is an established fact now that search engines use links in their relevancy algorithms. Therefore by securing links on relevant websites there is greater potential to increase the organic search engine rankings. Off-page criteria have grown into the primary ranking factor in the major search engines.
There are few basic principles that we adhere to in our entire link building campaigns. Let me explain these principles in greater detail.
- The first criteria when building links is to look for relevancy of the web page where the link will be placed. Relevant links are links on websites that have a chance at reaching the target market. If a company has a real estate website then advertising on other real estate websites or real estate sections would be a good choice. However, due to stiff competition it really needs lot of effort to secure links from competing website. Securing links from other related websites such as mortgage sites, moving company sites, local area guide/agent, etc. would also be relevant to general theme. It does not seem that Google, Yahoo, or MSN are currently giving more weight to themed links but it will happen in the future. Google has worked hard to move away from page rank by creating algorithms such as Hilltop and LocalRank, which rank sites based upon how they fit within their local communities.
- It is very important to link to a consistent site location. Search engines treat the website differently if web pages link to http://www.sitename.com/ or http://sitename.com/. When setting up links we make sure to stay consistent with the url structure. We follow the same structure within the website. Mixing up url’s is a common mistake that has caused Google to select one or the other url as the real site, meaning that the links on the discounted url may not be counted.
- Most webmasters target their most competitive words using the home page. With the proper internal link structure the websites sub pages also benefit from the incoming links to the homepage. We follow a deep linking pattern to make the link profile look more natural. Therefore, if sub pages are targeting competitive keywords we provide deep link directly into those important sub pages.
- We do not build too many site wide links, especially on unrelated web pages. It is more natural for a website to have a high percentage of single page links versus a much smaller percentage of site wide incoming links. Too many site wide incoming links use to trigger a red flag with the search engine. Our focus remains on quality links and we never compromise quality for quantity.
- We build links from a wide variety of networks. In the past search engines have applied penalties to entire IP ranges and current algorithm such as Hilltop look for the relationships between sites. If the links have common registration details or common IP addresses many of them do not improve on relevancy score. We try to get links from wide variety of site owners with unique C class blocks of the IP address.
- Since we focus on developing links naturally, there tends to be a high ratio of low power links to high power links. We submit to various theme related directories to develop a broad base of low power natural looking links.
- It has been observed that the more outbound links a web page has the lesser value it has. We avoid links on pages that don’t cap the number of advertising links. We build links on sites that limit the number of advertising links to a maximum of 20. Generally, fewer total outbound links equates to greater value per link.
- We take a guarantee of one year when creating a link. If a link is lost during that period we replace it with other. It takes time for search engines to find new links and recalculate the new linkgae and relevancy data. Sometimes the effect of link creation can be seen within the first week, but this is generally a temporary effect and does not represent inclusion into the full search engine index. There is a lag time between the discovery of the link and actual inclusion of it as a factor in calculating the websites rank. We recommend minimum 3 months duration to check the popularity through link building.
These are basic rules that we follow while doing the link building campaign for any client.
Content Driven Link Building Framework
It is not so easy to get a one way link from other site. The recent trend in link building has been to create a triangular link to overcome this limitation. In our link building methodology we employ triangular link building to provide more one way links. However, to get relevant natural one way link we provide a deeper service to the link building campaign.
Packing the website full of useful content is one of the best ways to get inbound links. When a website has a lot of content other webmasters will naturally link to it because the site will be valuable to them and their visitors. Some examples of good content to add to a website would be; free articles, tools, tips, and resources related to the website theme. A website could also have a blog that it updates regularly with fresh content. While taking the project we carefully study the content of the website and analyze the keyword landscape of the website and its competitors.
While analyzing the domain of website we use to come across many other great websites that have something unique as compared to others. We use to send a testimonial to the website owner. Usually the owner publishes our structured testimonials and we get a link back to us. This strategy has helped us secure many important links and depending upon the domain of the website the numbers of such links have been really great.
There are hundreds of online directories that accept website submissions. This is a very good technique for getting one way inbound links. Many of the top directories require the website owner to pay for inclusion or provide a link back to their directory. However, there are also numerous directories that will accept the website without payment or a link back. We have a huge database of such free submissions directory across several domains that we use to get one way quality links.
Writing articles is one of the best techniques for getting one-way inbound links to your website. Many webmasters use to look for more content for their websites and Ezines. Our content writing team and link building team work together to bring such webmasters and our clients get closer. We take content from our clients and submit them to websites, Ezines and article directories. This approach has been very useful in getting theme based one way links.
As an incentive based approach we encourage our clients to provide content for creating an e-book. We offer this e-book to many resources for free in exchange for a link to client’s website. Putting the links in the e-book increases the website traffic and affiliate profits. Blogs and free article directories are two another means through which we try to maximize the one way links.