10 Goals For Link Building Campaigns: Moving Beyond “Get More Links”

“Get more links” is not an effective goal, even if it’s the directive you’ve received from clients or management.

This article proposes ten different link building goals along with prospecting suggestions. Further, you’ll find suggestions for using the Link Qualification Work Sheet we created for the Guide To Qualifying Link Prospects For Relevance, Value & Potentiality to reach your goals as quickly as possible.

The goals:

  1. Broaden/deepen relevant keyword portfolio
  2. Increase targeted referral traffic
  3. Steady high-flux rankings
  4. Increase market awareness
  5. Move from 2nd to 1st page for proven keywords
  6. Own your brand name & top keyword searches
  7. Naturalize your link profile
  8. Get new pages/sites indexed
  9. Show results quickly: build link count by X
  10. Improve geo-specific rankings

Before digging into the link building goals, here are a couple of quick refreshers. Recommended link building tools and related resources follow the article.

A Refresher on “RVP” metrics for link building. The core measurements we use for analyzing link prospects are Relevance, Value and Potentiality (RVP). Relevance (R) is the measurement of a page’s relevance to your keywords, Value (V) is an approximation of the amount of link juice a page is capable of directing to yours and Potential (P) is the likelihood that a particular link prospect will actually “convert” into a link to your site.

Sorting is done in a descending order. Sorting by PRV, for example, sorts by Potentiality, then by Relevance, then by Value, all descending.

Manipulating RVP data in the link qualification work sheet. A quick review of how to sort your link prospects, for users of the Link Qualification Worksheet:

  1. Highlight the rows that you wish to sort
  2. From the File menu, click “Data”
  3. Then choose the “Sort” option
  4. Toggle, in order, which measurement is primary, secondary and tertiary
  5. Click “descending order” for each

In the current version of our work sheet, Relevance corresponds to Column C, Value corresponds to Column D and Potentiality corresponds to Column E. We suggest a number of sorts for each of the goals below. Remember that in every case these sorts are in descending order.

1) Broaden/deepen relevant keyword portfolio

You’ve achieved rankings for a core set of relevant keywords—congratulations! Now it’s time to broaden and deepen your organic keyword portfolio.

Objectives:

  • Diversify your targeted search audience
  • Increase long tail organic search engine rankings
  • Increase revenue/conversions from highly-targeted search engine rankings

Tactics:

  • Build deep links to existing pages using longer tail anchor text
  • Create new content pages targeting long tail keywords

Link Prospect Sources:

  • Backlinks to pages that rank well for your new target phrases
  • Relevant, ranking content pages
  • Conversation threads on relevant social media

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by RPV and VRP. Sorting your link prospects by RPV lifts prospects that will demonstrate relevance to search engines and have a higher likelihood of converting to links—for longer tail keywords value is not always as important. Sorting by VRP shows you the prospects that will deliver the most “link juice” and relevance for your new targeted phrases. They may take longer to acquire but will cement your new rankings.

2) Increase targeted referral traffic

Sometimes link building is about generating targeted traffic from the linking site rather than search engine rankings.

Objectives:

  • Grow sales, leads and brand awareness
  • Join influentials in conversation within social media comment threads

Tactics:

  • Conduct ongoing content distribution to key media (guest blog posts, etc)
  • Engage in ongoing conversation contributions in key media comment threads
  • Develop expertise-based relationship with relevant, influential media

Link Prospect Sources:

  • Media/resource sites that rank for your keywords
  • Relevant conversation threads on influential social media

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by RVP, VRP and PRV. Sorting by RVP will reveal the articles and blog posts where the most relevant conversations are happening. Sorting by VRP shows you the pages and sites that search engines have decided are the most important within your keyword space. Sorting by PRV shows you the relevant comment threads for joining or starting conversations.

3) Steady high-flux rankings

Due to the eternal quest for relevance conducted by search engines, we will always see fluctuations in search rankings. Pursuing the right links can help to reduce the yo-yo effect.

Objectives:

  • Steady fluctuating rankings

Tactics:

  • One-off link bait and distribution
  • One-off content created for distribution
  • Niche directory and resource/links page requests

Link Prospect Sources:

  • Backlinks to pages that rank well for your target phrases
  • Relevant, ranking content pages
  • Relevant links/resource pages
  • Article/content submission opportunities

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by VRP and RPV. Sorting by VRP shows you the pages that will confer more link juice to your page, helping search engines interpret your trustworthiness. Sorting by RPV helps you to find highest relevance pages most likely to provide links—high relevance to your target keywords again helps search engines trust that your pages are indeed about what you say they are.

4) Increase market awareness

Sometimes link building is about PR more than search rankings. Sometimes you just need to get the word out and show people where they can learn more about you.

Objectives:

  • Product/service launch
  • Distribute company news

Tactics:

  • One-off link bait + distribution
  • Content distribution to influential media—guest posts/guest submissions
  • Conversation participation in influential media

Link prospect sources:

  • Conversation threads within relevant social media
  • Influential media/resource sites

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by PVR and RVP. Sorting by PVR shows you the prospects with the highest linking potential, followed by the most link juice value (which can in some cases be assumed to confer overall market influence value). Sorting by RVP will show you the sites and pages most likely to have an audience that’s interested in your message or news.

5) Move from 2nd to 1st page for proven keywords

Your second page rankings can provide quick boosts in relevant, valuable traffic. If you rank on the second page for a term that provides even a trickle of traffic, sales or conversions, jump on this opportunity with both feet.

Objectives

  • Get more traffic from high value keyword hovering on page 2

Tactics:

  • Niche directory + resource/links page requests
  • One-off content created for distribution
  • Comment contributions on keyword relevant media pages

Link prospect sources:

  • Backlinks to pages that rank well for your target phrases
  • Relevant, ranking content pages
  • Relevant links/resource pages
  • Article/content submission opportunities

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by VRP and RVP. Sorting by VRP shows you the pages that will confer the most link juice, which is useful in getting pages up and over that second page hump. Sorting by RVP helps you to find highest relevance pages most likely to provide links—high relevance to your target keywords helps search engines trust that your pages are indeed about what you say they are.

6) Own your brand name & top keyword searches

Sometimes you have to duke it out for competitive and highly-valuable organic rankings. Though it can be costly to get there—and stay there—high rankings for some terms can be necessities in some industries.

Objectives:

  • Rank for competitive phrases that result in high returns

Tactics:

  • Ongoing link bait + distribution that targets home page
  • Ongoing content distribution to key media – guest posts/guest submissions
  • Ongoing conversation participation in key media
  • Niche directory + resource/links page requests

Link prospect sources:

  • Backlinks to pages that rank well for your target phrases
  • Relevant, ranking content pages
  • Relevant links/resource pages
  • Conversation threads on relevant social media

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by VRP and RVP. Sorting by VRP shows you the prospects that will increase your target page’s perceived value to the search engines—the more you can get the better for highly competitive spaces. Building links from prospects that appear in the top for RVP sorts will help demonstrate your page’s relevance to those phrases.

7) Naturalize your link profile

Some people buy links. Some people bulk up on links from certain types of content management platforms known for their dofollows. There are many paths to unnatural link profiles…

Objectives:

  • Ward off potential link buy penalties
  • Diversify profile to attain longer term rankings

Tactics:

  • Moderate your link velocity from month to month
  • Adjust your home page vs. deep link ratio
  • Vary your anchor text

Link prospect sources:

  • Varies based on your current profile

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by RVP, VRP and PRV.

8) Get new pages/sites indexed

Links can help to get new pages—and new sites—indexed.

Objectives:

  • Get new pages indexed

Tactics:

  • Conversation participation in targeted dofollow media
  • One-off content created for directory distribution

Link prospect sources:

  • Search for relevant conversation threads on relevant social media
  • Search for relevant article/content submission opportunities

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by PRV. Sorting by PRV in your worksheet reveals the prospects with a high potentiality for converting into links – just what you need to urge those spiders over to your site.

9) Show results quickly: Build link count by X

Sometimes, certain conditions necessitate the rapid accumulation of inbound links.

Objectives:

  • Stall clients/managers who expect unreasonably quick demonstration of “link building” while your other efforts come to fruition

Tactics:

  • Conversation participation in targeted media
  • Directory/niche directory submissions
  • One-off content created for directory distribution

Link prospect sources:

  • Conversation threads on relevant social media
  • Article/content submission opportunities

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by PRV. Sorting by PRV in your worksheet shows you the prospects that have demonstrated a high potentiality for converting into links – in certain circumstances these are the only prospects that matter.

10) Improve geo-specific rankings

Even though you may rank for your target keywords in New York, you may not rank at all in Los Angeles. One way to improve your geo-specific rankings is to build links from sites associated with the region you’re targeting.

Objectives:

  • Improve regional rankings for valuable keywords
  • Ranking well in one region indicates opportunity to rank well in others

Tactics:

  • Regional link bait
  • Regional blog/news site comment participation

Link prospect sources:

  • Find local blogs, then search [site: + keywords] to find most relevant pages
  • Find local news sites that allow comments then search [site: + keywords]
  • Create relevant, strategic content that appeals to local sites
  • Local directories/review sites

Find qualified prospects by sorting the Link Qualification Worksheet by RVP, VRP and PRV. Go for the faster opportunities revealed by a PRV sort. Acquire these links and wait to see if they have enough impact. If not, go for the RVP links next and then the VRP prospects.

Recommended link research tools

Related link building resources

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | How To: Links | Link Building: General

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About The Author: is co-founder of Ontolo, a link building agency and co-author of Link-Building-Guide.com, which leads motivated readers through the methods and processes of large-scale, crawler-based link research, link acquisition and linker-targeted content strategy.

Connect with the author via: Email



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  • http://www.VerticalMeasures.com Arnie K

    Hi Garret,
    I know it seem trite, but very nice article. One of the better, more insightful link building posts I have seen in a while.
    Arnie

  • ralphm

    Great article! Definitely a more thoughtful approach than what I’ve seen from other link builders. I also checked out your link building guide and it’s a great resource. I plan to spend more time reading through it. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://ontlo.com/blog Garrett French

    @Arnie – thanks! I’m glad you found it useful. Though it’s not particularly deep advice, I do think the article helps stimulate strategic thinking :)

    @ralphm – I’m so glad that you decided to dig into more of our work. Please let me know if you have further questions on anything. Garrett.French@ontolo.com

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