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. LRT Certified 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 LRT Certified Professionals and Xperts.
Enjoy & Learn
Christoph C. Cemper
Table of contents
- On-page structure
- Link building strategy for different platforms
- Small or medium company
- Large corporation
- eCommerce stores
- Right Structure
- Where should I link from?
- Example of link building strategy
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.
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:
- The landing pages for each topic or keyword group you are targeting
- The content is grouped into clear, topic-related buckets
- Whether each landing page has content supporting it (e.g. blog posts for each landing page)
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.
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. https://www.linkresearchtools.com/case-studies/). If your content is interesting enough, you will get links to the content created within that blog.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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).
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?
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
While using this method, remember to use the Link Juice Recovery Tool. Otherwise, with each product you delete, you will be losing valuable links.
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.
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
Google.com - UN50F5000AFXZA
About 35,300 results
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:
- You want people to come to your website after using “transactional keywords,” not “informational keywords.” Samsung LED TV may be both.
- 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.
- 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.
- And last, but not least - after ranking for many keywords related to 1 topic, you will eventually rank for your category name anyways.
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:
- The type of your domain (blog, store, company, etc.)
- Your website’s authority and your client’s budget (targeting difficult keywords straight away or low-hanging fruit, while slowly going up in SERPs)
- The website’s internal structure
- The link building or link getting approach
- Targeting high traffic keywords or finding good niches
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.
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.
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Thanks to Bartosz Góralewicz and the team of Elephate for sharing their knowledge. I personally recommend working with them when you get the opportunity.