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How to Create the Right Link Building Strategy

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This case study was created using an LRT Superhero account.

Some of the use cases explained in this case study are not available in lower plans.

The LRT Superhero Plan (and higher) includes all our 25 link data sources and allows you to perform link risk management, competitive research, professional SEO and backlink analysis for your own or your competitor's sites. You get to see your website's full backlink profile picture and this can make all the difference for your SEO success.

On-Page Site Structure is Key to Maximizing Link Juice

How to Create the Right Link Building Strategy

On-page SEO isn't sexy, but it's so important. Without a strategic on-page strategy, you're squandering your site's hard-earned links.

This detailed guide will show you how to make the most of the links to your site. Certified LRT Xpert Bartosz Góralewicz even breaks down the strategies for blogs, corporate sites, and eCommerce sites.

Strategy isn't easy. What works for one industry may not work for another. Plus, there are many common pitfalls that trap SEOs all the time. We will investigate the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

After you finish this helpful guide, you will be able to develop the right linking strategy for your site.

We look forward to your feedback and always appreciate you sharing the work of our Certified LRT Professionals and Xperts.

Enjoy & Learn
Christoph C. Cemper

Table of contents

Introduction

There are thousands of articles about link building already. I think that almost every SEO with a blog has written a few. When you want to know about something more than just deep links or main page links, things get complicated.

If it is so difficult to get or build links now, it’s crucial to make the most out of the good links we get.

I think it is safe to say that 90% of all websites I‘ve ever seen didn’t have the right strategy figured out. By just fixing the structure of the page and creating a link building strategy, you can sometimes increase your visibility and conversions at a really low cost.

On-page structure

Creating a clear website structure is an absolute must for good SEO. It is one of the cheapest ways to get more conversions and traffic. Also, without implementing a clear structure, you are risking Panda-related problems.

I will not explain the whole methodology behind creating a proper content structure, as that is enough content to fill an entire e-book. Right now I’m just focusing only on the general idea.

3 most important things to check:

  1. The landing pages for each topic or keyword group you are targeting
  2. The content is grouped into clear, topic-related buckets
  3. Whether each landing page has content supporting it (e.g. blog posts for each landing page)

Example:

example site navigation

Blog

A blog is the easiest platform to build links to. Basically, all you‘ve got to do is create really good content and get links to interesting posts. Then, all that‘s left to do is monetize the traffic coming to the posts. In this case, usually posts are our landing pages.

blog structure

Tip:

Usually, a blog is monetized with a call to action of some kind, traffic redirection (e.g. to an online store) or advertising within the post (e.g. AdSense).

Small or medium company

Depending on the company, strategies can be different, but the most popular way is to create a blog within the same domain (e.g. http://www.linkresearchtools.com/case-studies/). If your content is interesting enough, you will get links to the content created within that blog.

medium size company structure

Tip:

Remember that with companies offering many different products, you need to create topic “buckets” within the blog. Those “buckets” will support your main landing pages related to those topics.

Large corporation

With large corporations, the whole game changes. In some niches, links are created on an enormous scale due to the authority of the company. In some really technical niches, I was surprised to find a website of a huge corporation with few backlinks.

Let me show you some random corporations compared:

corporations compare

Looking at the chart above, we can clearly see that each corporation is implementing a different strategy for their link building efforts. Of course, only some of them will invest a lot in a digital presence, as many corporations decide to focus on different channels.

Of course, once we look at corporations competing in the same niche, all of the numbers are much closer.

Main laptop brands:

corporations compare laptop producers

In my opinion, 99% of link building for corporations depends on the niche they are in. This disproportion is not as visible with small or medium companies, or even eCommerce stores in different niches.

Structure:

It is hard to describe the main strategy used in corporations, but usually the structure is usually based on publications (articles, blog posts, press releases, product releases) that get tons of natural links. Usually, they are also based on sponsored articles from authority websites (usually those are not marked as sponsored, of course).

eCommerce stores

This is where things get interesting. You all probably know that getting links to your online store is a nightmare. I’ve seen many epic fails connected with eCommerce stores‘ linking strategies. The best example for this article is to show how much you can gain by doing it right.

This time I will list the most popular mistakes:

1. Getting most of the links to the main page.

Yes - this still happens, quite a lot, actually. If your store sells electronics, you cannot optimize your main page for an LED TV or iPad Air, can you?

wrong on page structure

2. Linking to the wrong landing pages

This is how I usually spot fake personas on forums. They join a topic titled, say, “Should I pick the Asus G53 or Toshiba X305?” and post info like “There are really cool Toshiba X05 laptops on awesomestore.com.”

This is not only bad for conversions, but in my experience, such a link is worth only 10% of its potential if not targeted towards the right page.

wrong on-page structure

3. Linking a lot from an eCommerce store to its blog

This is partially an on-page issue and partially an off-page issue. In many cases, blogs or articles are even hosted on a separate domain altogether. I‘ve had a few cases when a customer has emailed me asking, “Why would my my blog be ranking higher than my store?”

wrong on-page structure

Takeaway:

The blog should be linking TO the store, not the other way around. If you host your blog on a separate domain, I recommend using no-follow. When you are hosting your blog internally, this issue should be solved with the appropriate internal navigation.

The Right Structure:

There are many ways to do this, but let me list the ones that I know are the most popular:

1. Getting links to the blog, and “pushing” the Page Rank to the landing pages

This is one of the easiest methods. It is imperfect, as you need to create a spotless structure or you are risking ranking higher with your blog posts than with your products.

In my opinion, this is one of the easiest and best long term ways to do SEO for eCommerce.

I like it not only due to SEO reasons: it also keeps the website’s owners in shape and makes them create a lot of awesome content. This way, they become experts in their field and their store slowly gains authority.

While this is probably Matt Cutt’s (or any Googler’s) dream, it is not for everyone. It is good only when you are sure that either your SEO agency for the store or your customers can keep creating awesome and unique content. If the blog becomes a “made for SEO” blog, this is a sure highway to Panda Hell. Also, getting links this way will be close to impossible.

building links to blog

2. Building links to products

The most popular way is to get links from forums. Then all we have to do is support categories with the right internal linking. This way, we create a silo structure.

This is one of the most effective methods, but only for best “players.” Getting natural links to products is close to impossible. This is why I call this “BUILDING links” and the paragraph above “GETTING links.”

Tip:

While using this method, remember to use the Link Juice Recovery Tool. Otherwise, with each product you delete, you will be losing valuable links.

building links to products

3. Building links to categories

From a link builder’s point of view, it’s almost the same as building links to products. From an on-page point of view, it’s completely different.

building links to categories

Pros: You will rank better for e.g. “Samsung LED TV”

Cons: You will not rank for e.g. “UN50F5000AFXZA”

Real life example:

I’ve searched Google.com for 2 different keywords. One was a general keyword related to Samsung LED TV, and one was more connected with a specific model.

Google.com - “Samsung LED TV”

About 89,000,000 results

samsung google search

Google.com - UN50F5000AFXZA

About 35,300 results

samsung google search

As you see on the screenshot above, this keyword is much easier than the previous one. Some of the results are not even related to our search (e.g. NewEgg.com result).

Which strategy is better then?

Now, if you are reading closely, you are probably wondering:

Why would I want the 35k results in Google keyword, when I can get the 89 million one?

Well, you can’t really get the 89M one. Not easily. Also, let me give you a few interesting facts:

  1. You want people to come to your website after using “transactional keywords,” not “informational keywords.” Samsung LED TV may be both.
  2. If you are selling TVs, the TV model is the best keyword you can get. It is your gold nugget. Even though the traffic is low, conversions from such searches can be a few hundred % higher than from general keywords.
  3. For the keyword I showed as an example, ranking will be extremely easy, as the top 10 results are not even filled with the right products.
  4. And last, but not least - after ranking for many keywords related to 1 topic, you will eventually rank for your category name anyways.

Summary

As you see, you can gain a lot by just pointing your backlinks to the right place. This will affect your sales and traffic directly.

Remember to adjust your link strategy to:

  1. The type of your domain (blog, store, company, etc.)
  2. Your website’s authority and your client’s budget (targeting difficult keywords straight away or low-hanging fruit, while slowly going up in SERPs)
  3. The website’s internal structure
  4. The link building or link getting approach
  5. Targeting high traffic keywords or finding good niches

Summary

The right structure and strategy for your content and business should be the foundation of your off-page efforts. Not only does it make it much more effective when you get links, it also makes creating a link building strategy easier.

What is also really undervalued is creating a clear structure, which makes it much easier for you to focus on your main goals, avoid penalties (Pandas are extremely scared of a clear and easy to understand structure).

The goal of this tutorial is to help you create fewer links while getting better results. I think that optimizing this process can result in not only getting better traffic and positions. I believe that it is the first step to getting closer to your business goals and increasing your conversions.

 

This case study was written by Bartosz Góralewicz, CEO at Elephate, and proud user of Link Research Tools and Link Detox.

Certified LRT ProfessionalCertified LRT Xpert

A word from Christoph C. Cemper
It's easy to get so deep into SEO that you lose sight of how it all connects. Thanks to Bartosz, we all have a clearer bird's-eye-view of what a right link building strategy looks like.

Let's try something new. Let's all follow his closing 5 tasks and report on how they have improved your sites. And if you follow a different strategy, let us know how you do it in the comments below.

Elephate is a Certified LRT Agency. This certification allows Elephate to receive consulting leads from us.

Our goal is to provide our user community and clients with quality service and knowledge. Our Certified LRT Professionals, Xperts, and Agencies are key to achieving this goal.

Thanks to Bartosz Góralewicz and the team of Elephate for sharing their knowledge. I personally recommend working with them when you get the opportunity.
Certified LRT Agency - Elephate

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Bartosz Goralewicz
Bartosz Góralewicz specializes in link audits. He does consulting mostly for corporate customers and large sites. You can find some of his case studies or interesting posts at https://goralewicz.com

15 Comments

  1. @bart_goralewicz on September 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    How to create a website’s structure that will support your link building? @lnkresearchtool http://t.co/KJvGYcjhl5

  2. Kevin Carney on September 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Bartosz,

    I scan industry press daily and it’s rare to find an article as spot on as this one.
    I hope you don’t mind but I’ve written a summary of it on my website and encouraged people to follow the link to read the entire article.

    http://zippe.biz/inbound-marketing/why-your-link-building-strategy-and-efforts-must-include-internal-links/

    My article will publish tomorrow at 4 pm California time.

    • Bartosz Góralewicz on September 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Hi Kevin,

      Sure I am happy to hear that 😉

      Remember to include credits for me and the url to the case. If you need any help, contact me via Facebook or email and I will gladly help u out.

      • Kevin on October 11, 2014 at 11:57 pm

        Sorry not to respond earlier.

        I always provide credits to the author and a link to the source URL.

        It’s a Golden Rule thing.

        I would want someone to do this for me, so I do it for others.

  3. Derek Visser on September 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Just a quick note on the large corporations compared image: Think there was a mistake in URL: instead of Philips.com (1 L), Phillips.com (2 L) was entered. The first is an electronics manufacturer, the latter an art auction 😉

    Might explain the low scores

  4. @bart_goralewicz on October 13, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Before investing heavily in link building, make sure you got right website structure to support it! http://t.co/4nLBk8dTrZ

  5. @lnkresearchtool on October 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    RT @bart_goralewicz: Before investing heavily in link building, make sure you got right website structure to support it!

  6. @conoseotweet on October 17, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    RT @bart_goralewicz: Before investing heavily in link building, make sure you got right website structure to support it! http://t.co/4nLBk8…

  7. @Ari_21Fx on October 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    How to create right link building strategy
    http://t.co/S85viULXAK

  8. Wyndo Mitra Buwana on January 15, 2015 at 7:53 am

    What a insightful post, thanks..

    I realized that from now on i should targeting long tail keyword or products instead of general high traffic keywords that don’t generate any conversion..

  9. Olivier on January 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    What’s your present effective strategy for keywords ranking? Can you please share us?

    • Daniela Zuckerhut on January 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      This is a huge topic where we could write separate articles about it. We will keep it in mind. Thank you!

  10. nuryadi on January 31, 2015 at 1:00 am

    the article is very nice but still global, there is some one can give us detail information for link building strategy.

    Many thanks,
    nuryadi

  11. Leo on May 16, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I think I can apply some examples here for my own work. Some of the topic rather are still confusing to me. Thank you for this article.

    • Daniela on May 18, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Hi Leo! Please let me know if you need any clarification and I will be happy to help you. Thanks.

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