I have received lots of questions about what sort of link building strategies should be used for niche websites, so this post is meant to answer some of those questions! Just to be clear, this probably won't answer all your questions, this is going to be one of several posts I do on link building. This is meant to be more of a general overview and I will only touch on a few of the details that will help you get started.
Obviously the link building strategy that you implement should be dictated by how difficult the competition is for your keyword. I personally only target keywords that have low competition. Those that target more difficult ones will need to do much more comprehensive link building and other SEO strategies to rank well for their keyword. I personally have just never had the patience to wait a year or so before I start ranking well for a keyword. So, these are strategies that work well for me and my business plan of building small niche websites with low competition. Your strategy may be different.
I also wanted to stress the point that in my business, the keyword choice I make is MUCH MORE important than my link building strategies. I usually rank well in Google because I pick keywords that do not require very many links; not because I am good at link building. So, if you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to rank well for difficult keywords, you won't find it here, because I really don't do that. Again, if you find that you are having a difficult time ranking for a keyword, its most likely due to the fact that you chose a keyword with too much competition; not that you didn't build the right links. That's how I look at it.
I also want to point out that I have tried lots of VARIOUS methods of link building and I am constantly changing how I do things. So my advice is to just take some of the general principles discussed here and implement as you see fit; although I will offer how I directly implement these in my business.
How Fast Should I Build Links?
When I build a new site, I will ideally submit it to a few social bookmarking like Digg.com and others to get it indexed and get a few links pointing to it within the first couple of days after creation. Submitting to 5 or so sites is sufficient for this. I know others that get more aggressive with social bookmarking and I have as well in the past. So, feel free to submit your site to 20 or 30 social book marking sites if you must, but just don't overdue it (don't submit to hundreds or thousands). Like I said, I might do 5 or so, and that's it.
After a week or so, I will then ideally submit a new article (never before used on my site or elsewhere) to Ezinearticles.com. Once accepted, I will then start doing more article marketing, use blog networks, or use other services as discussed below. Sometimes I will wait 2 or 3 weeks before I do any real linkbuilding. My advice would be to wait at least a week before you get very aggressive. Don't build too many links, too fast.
I might submit articles to a few article directories or order a link package from Matt Laclear (discussed below) and then wait a month or so before I do anything else. Then if needed I will get more links built and then wait a month and so on.
What Type of Links Should I Build?
I generally do some sort of article marketing or use blog networks. I have used and like some of the following services for article marketing (please note there are NO affiliate links on this page):
For blog networks, I have used these services:
My Article Network (currently use the service and like it)
Article Marketing Automation (used the service in the past and really liked it)
SEOlinkVine (did not like, very low distribution rate of articles).
I have also used the services of Matt LaClear on the Warrior Forum. His service distributes articles to his private blog network. I have seen some great results from it; although I am trying some other methods to keep costs lower due to the large volume of sites that I have. You can find one of the link packages that I have used several times right here: Matt LaClear's Linkbuilding Service
I have used other services as well including hiring lots of different outsourcers. I have hired link builders from Freelancer.com or Elance.com and given them specific instructions on article distribution or other tasks. I have also found lots of great packages on the Warrior Forum for hire section right here: Warriors for Hire
How Many Links Should I Build?
My niche sites will never receive more than 200 or so, and that is on the high side for most of my sites. For example, my top earning site currently has 57 indexed links in Yahoo Site Explorer. This is fairly typical for my niche sites. I don't build a lot of links to my sites, because I don't need to. I pick low competition keywords instead.
If you have built more than a couple of hundred links to your site and its been 90 days or so, and you aren't seeing any movement in the search engines, then most likely you picked a too difficult keyword (according to my small niche site strategy).
I build my links slow. As discussed above, I might build some links and then wait a month or so before I do anything else to the site. Obviously you can do it differently, but I have found that there is no need to rush how I fast I build my links. However, if you are targeting a more difficult niche, you might need more links from more authoritative sources.
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Links to Homepage or Deep Links?
Most of my links go to the home page of my websites. However, I will build some links to inner pages or “deep links”. I would say its something like 80% of my links go to my homepage and 20% go to inner pages. It may be as high as 90/10, I'm not really sure. This just gives you an idea.
Using your keyword in the anchor text of the link shows Google that this keyword is more relevant to the site. So, by making your keyword the anchor text will help you move up the Google ranks. However, if you use it 100% of the time, this does not look natural. I would say that I use my keyword as anchor text around 60 to 75% of the time. The rest are just other related keywords or other terms like “click here” or “read more”.
A Basic Example of the Whole Process
Okay, so here is a quick timeline of what I might do to a new website. Remember I am constantly doing things differently so this is just a general idea of what might occur.
Day 1 – Complete site
Day 3 – Submit site to 5 to 10 Social Bookmarking sites
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Day 7 – Submit an original article to EzineArticles.com
Day 10 – Submit same or other articles to 10 to 20 other article directories (using software or outsourcers)
Day 20 – Order link package from Matt LaClear
Day 50 – If not ranking well yet, order another link package from Matt LaClear or start submitting 4 or 5 articles to services like MyArticleNetwork.com
Day 90 to 120 – Most of my sites will be ranking by this time IF they are going to rank. If my site is still like on page 10, I will probably give up on the site. However, if its in the first couple of pages I will decide if its worth the money to build more links. If the site is making money or if I feel it has great potential to make more, I will build more links and/or add more content to build up the site. By this point of 90 to 120 days you should basically know if your site is a winner or a loser. I just don't worry about the losers for the most part and focus on the big winners.
Anyway, this will just give a quick general overview of how I build links to my small niche websites. After the 90 to 120 days I don't do much link building to my sites. By this time they might be ranking on the first page of Google and I will only build more links if they drop in rank or if I really feel like a site moving from the bottom of page one to the top of page one will make a big monetary difference.
Again, this is a general overview that I hope will answer lots of the questions you might have – but I plan on posting several more times on link building strategies in greater detail. I'm sure you still have questions, so feel free to ask away below!