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Strategy Sessions: Developing Your Link Building Strategy

In this installment of Strategy Sessions, Lauren and I discuss why referrals matter to your website’s search engine optimization plan, and what you can do to build links and referrals. Enjoy!


Lauren: Hi. Welcome back to another installment of Strategy Sessions. I’m Lauren McGaha.

Adam: I’m Adam Rightor.

Lauren: We’re excited today to be talking about a few of more advanced techniques in SEO. We’ve posted a lot of information about more basic SEO techniques, but today we really want to dive into a more involved, advanced strategy of SEO.

Adam: Today we’re going to be talking about link building, aka referrals. What is a referral, Lauren McGaha?

Lauren: When we talk about link building, we’re talking about referrals to your site. These are links from other websites that are referring back to, linking back to information that’s on your site. It’s important because referrals tend to convert at a higher rate than people who would just find your website organically.

Adam: The other thing to keep in mind with referrals is it’s not all about the traffic that’s coming to your site through the link, but it’s also about who is linking to you. For example, Wikipedia linking to you is a huge deal verses Joe Schmo’s blog out there.

Lauren: What Google is looking at there is the site authority of each of these sites that’s linking back to you. It’s not just about the number of websites that you can get to link back to your site, but the quality of those particular sites.

Adam: That’s going to help tremendously with SEO over all. For example, if you get some media coverage, there will be a link to your site. It’s great you’re getting media coverage, it’s great you’re getting the link and all the people coming through are converting at a higher rate. We don’t want to downplay that. That’s awesome. On top of that, if it’s coming from a site that Google thinks very highly of from a site authority SEO factor standpoint, that link coming through is going to improve the site authority factors on your site and as a result make all the other key words that you’re trying to rank for, rank higher. It’s really a double bonus.

Lauren: It’s a critically important part of your SEO strategy once you get some of the more basic fundamentals underway. The question becomes, “How do you do that? How do we increase links back to our own website?”

Adam: One of the guides that we really enjoy is Brian Dean’s definitive guide to link building. He’s got a great resource put together with a lot of ideas to look through, some of which are a little gray and maybe black hat, so for all of our legitimate business out there, I would ignore those. He’s got a lot of great ideas out there, and I do want to spotlight one called Help A Reporter Out.

Lauren: Tremendously useful tactic here.

Adam: It’s HARO for short, take a look at that site, and it provides a resource for reporters to register, as well as content experts in a particular area to register themselves, and connects those two people together. You’re a reporter, you’re writing an article on any subject, there would be a list of people you could contact. You put yourself out there in that way, some of you are getting contacted by reporters, you’re getting your expert knowledge out there, you’re getting the media coverage, which is great. On top of that, if you insist, you’re getting a link back from that regional or hopefully national media coverage.

Lauren: And that’s key. Going back to our earlier point about the site authority of the sites that are actually linking back to your website, it’s important to consider that in Google’s eyes, your local media sites are huge value bringers. They have people sharing links from their websites all the time, tons of traffic, and people disseminating their content. When a local news outlet is going to link back to your site, that’s way more valuable than Joe Schmo’s blog. Right?

Adam: Exactly. If Wikipedia is a site authority monster, then even your regional CBS affiliate, which gets more traffic than you would think, gets all their articles linked to and shared, is a pretty big site authority factor monster themselves. Getting that link back really helps and gets that sort of double bonus that we were talking about earlier.

Lauren: Just kind of a deep dive into one of the tactics, but again, we’ll link to this guide that we’re referencing here. Take a look and start thinking about how you might be able to build up your linking strategy moving forward into these more advanced SEO techniques. Thanks for watching.

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