When I sat back and thought about what I do every day as a link builder I realized there is actually quite a lot of repetition.
I used to read a lot of SEO blogs stating that "link building was the boring part" etc. but was never under that belief. I'm still not under that belief. Whilst there is a lot of repetition, each day is different. Each person I communicate with is different, there's always some new statistic to explore in Analytics and at least one of your competitor's has either done something new or moved up in the SERPs.
Here's what I do every day of the week to give you some idea of the fun us link builders get up too:
The whole social expansion over the previous couple of years has made this both more important and easier to handle.
Whether it's emailing someone out of the blue, emailing someone who I haven't contacted for a few months, picking up the phone to someone or even Tweeting them, building and maintaining relationships is a huge part of link building. Sometimes overlooked.
I tend not to email people just for the sake of a link. That's really not me, but I'm aware that many will do this. I like to maintain relationships as best I can – whether it is by following them on Twitter, adding them to my email address book or LinkedIn. Adding them to my social circles makes it easier to maintain the relationship – they may Tweet something that I can reply too, get a new job that I can congratulate them or be uploading some lovely holiday snaps.
That article I got published yesterday – how much traffic has it referred? How many sales has it provided? We moved into position 1 for our key term yesterday – how much did the traffic jump? What are the sales looking like?
Not that we've all learned to install Analytics, making the best use of it is the next important step. Finding out what keywords are bringing in the most traffic, and more importantly, the most sales is of huge importance to me and all of my clients as a consultant. Analytics lets us find out what has and what hasn't worked in terms of our strategies.
On top of that, Analytics helps us find successfully converting keywords that we may not have been focusing on, or ones that are ranking well that we had not been tracking. If your client or your business is running a Paid Search campaign too, this provides more useful data that can help with your SEO and link building campaign.
As well as monitoring my traffic, monitoring rankings of your keywords in the SERPs is important too. A few years ago people began link building for ranking in the SERPs, and this still holds true of today. Yes, there is a shift in focus with social becoming more important, but Google and a couple of other search engines still provide as much traffic as they ever did.
I use a ranking checker, there's several out there to choose from. This allows me to check historic data too after I've added the keyword to be tracked. But I also track these in a spreadsheet on a daily basis. I find it easier this way to compare when I built the links to when they made a move in the search engines. I also report the rankings to my clients in spreadsheet format.
Monitoring The Competition
As well as tracking what works for us, keeping an eye on what works for the competition is useful knowledge. Knowing what works for one can work for us too. It's not just the types of links, or where they're building the links that we keep an eye on too. Are there any new keywords they are focussing on that we aren't? Is there a particular produce they are pushing this month? Is there a topic of the month?
That's not to say you should become a lazy link builder and just copy what everyone else is doing and hope you get to the top. Not at all. But similar to how many businesses thrive; link building is the same as in imitating another's work to innovate something more successful. I'm not going to rank above my competitors just by copying their links – I need to do more than that.
Keeping up with the industry news is important. There's a few trusty sites I keep bookmarked and in my RSS reader. This is a good way of finding out what is working for others in this industry, what's trending, and most importantly what is new. Trial and error may be the number 1 thing for any link builder, but reading the latest industry news from trusted sources comes near to the top of the importance list in my opinion.
And of course, no day goes by without sending and receiving important emails. Nothing more needs to be said about these really!
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