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

Garrett French on
  • Categories: Channel: SEO, How To: Links, Link Building: General
  • “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:

    Tactics:

    Link Prospect Sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link Prospect Sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link Prospect Sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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:

    Tactics:

    Link prospect sources:

    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


    About The Author

    Garrett French
    Garrett French is the founder and chief link strategist of Citation Labs, a link building agency and campaign incubator. He’s also the founder of ZipSprout - Citation Labs’s sister agency focused on local marketing. He’s developed multiple link building tools, including the Link Prospector and the Broken Link Finder. He also co-wrote The Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Link Moses himself, Eric Ward. Garrett and his team lead monthly webinars on enterprise content strategy and promotion from the Citation Labs Blog.