OK. So you want to rank for a keyword. You’ve got a well-optimised page for a specific keyword, you’re creating loads of content around that keyword and linking back to your focused page, but your still not ranking highly. You know the next thing you’re going to have to do is build links. But how do you build the right links? Strap onboard…
The approach I use is one that’s a fairly commonplace, it’s a bit of a back-of-an-envelope method, but it’s used by SEO consultants to get a good feel for what needs to be achieved. Most of the time it’s good enough. It’s not bulletproof but it does provide a bit of a methodology to ensure you’re getting the right number of links going.
Understand The Top Three Competing Pages’ Link Profile
First thing you’re going to do is go to Google and carry out a search for the top three pages that are ranking for the thing you’re interested in.
Take the page URLs and put them in an SEO tool with backlink checker functionality. I use SERanking, which is the tool we use most often at GrowTraffic. Just bear in mind that all the tools use slightly different terminology and outputs for how they measure the authority of a domain, but as long as you are using the same tool for your research you can be fairly confident your on the right tracks. You’re also going to do this for your own page that you want to rank.
It’s questionable whether you want to do this on the page authority or domain authority. In an ideal world, you’d do it at a page level, but in reality, this is generally done at the domain level and that’s because most links have to be created on a new page, so a new page has no page authority anyway!
Then put them into a table like this one – separating out the number of links a page has based on the page or domain authority of those links. You can have as many of as few of these groupings as you want. If you wanted to be really detailed about it, you’d have these laid out between 1 and 100. But I think it’s easier to group them as follows:
What you are going to get with this table is a target for the number of links you need to build in each grouping of page or domain authority.
You can then go on to use this method on all the other factors involved in what makes links unequal. For example, you could review the anchors, categorising them as follows: brand links, exact match anchors, partial match anchors, calls to action, URLs. From there you might want to think about things from an a tag element perspective, for example, you might want to categorise the links by Dofollow, Nofollow, USG, Sponsored etc.
It’s not perfect – clearly, if someone at position 1 has 200 links in a category and the others only have a few, you’ll probably find yourself building quite a lot more than the average this table is going to spit out. But then again you might not have to.
It’s definitely clearer if you’re looking at this from a page perspective although more often than not that’s impractical because the pages have so few links. Of course, that in itself could make things so easy you don’t even have to put them into a spreadsheet!
If you want some help with your link building activities please get in touch because we can help. But only if you’re prepared to work with a company that does it the long way around. Even if you don’t want to work with us but you’d like some advice just get in touch we love to chat about SEO.