Niche Site Duel Part 6 – My High Level Backlinking Strategy

There are several components to a successful campaign. Keyword research alone, though important, will not get you to rank high in the search engines. To climb to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) you need to feed your blog a healthy diet of quality backlinks from a variety of sources. We will look at some here. Let’s go!

Backlinking Goals

Before I create my strategy it is important to set some goals. There are so many ways to approach backlinking that I have to think about what I am looking for with regard to an acceptable end result.

  • Achieve a first page top five ranking for the keyword phrase I am targeting
  • Do this within a reasonable time frame (<60 days)
  • Accomplish this with minimal effort

Building backlinks takes time. A lot of time. As a result, one of my goals is to minimize the effort required to accomplish my ultimate objective. The reason why this is important to me is because I would like to create a repeatable process that I can apply to multiple niche sites. If the process takes too much time it is doubtful I will want (or have the capacity) to apply it over and over again.

Backlinking Strategies

Here is a quick overview of several popular bookmarking strategies.

Market Samurai Approach

Market Samurai suggests one way to achieve a number one rank for a keyword phrase you are interested in is to analyze your competitors’ backlinks and then copy them (if you can). Market Samurai provides a great facility for this through the SEO Competition module where you can not only see where the backlinks of a competitor come from, but what the page rank and anchor text is which allows you to focus on grabbing backlinks from the best sites.

Link Wheel

Another extremely common approach is to create a link wheel using an assortment of free web 2.0 properties, article marketing sites and free online blogs. Since getting someone to link back to your site naturally can take time, the idea of a link wheel is to create backlinks for yourself by leveraging the numerous (high page rank) services that exist to link back to your main site.

The free properties you create form the wheel that point back to your main site (which acts like a hub).

If you would like to see an example of a link wheel in action check out Pat Flynn’s epic post The Backlinking Strategy That Works.

Directory Submissions

Another approach is to submit your site to the thousands of directory sites that exist on the Internet. You might have heard of the two most popular like DMOZ and Yahoo but it can take years for your site to get through the DMOZ approval process and the Yahoo directory will set you back $299 per year. Ouch!

The good news is that there are plenty of free directory services out there to submit your site to.

Social Bookmarking

Regardless of which technique you use, you can always apply a little social bookmarking love to the mix. If you are not familiar with social bookmarking it refers to sites that allow you to store your bookmarks online and share them with other users.  Delicious was the first site I remember that provided this kind of service (or at least the first one I ever heard about five or six years ago). Since then, literally thousands have sprung up.

Since they are web-based services they are crawlable by the search engines, and that’s precisely how they can help you get backlinks to your site. The more people that socially bookmark your site the more backlinks (votes) you have.

Like the other services, the idea here is to create an account and bookmark your own site. You will also want to bookmark other sites as well so your account doesn’t just have the one bookmark.

My Strategy

OK, so those are some of the options available. Which one am I choosing?

Answer: All of them… None of them… :)

Seriously! It all depends on what I can automate. There will be certain things that I will have to perform manually like writing content and spinning it. But a strategy that gets me a top five first page ranking on Google is virtually useless to me if I don’t have the time to repeat it. So my focus is going to be on finding tools to help me get the job done as efficiently as possible. I’m talking bang for the buck!

I have already started my tool evaluation process which is why it has taken me some time to get this post out. There is certainly a lot of crap out there that prays on the hopes and dreams of affiliate marketers and web site owners. I want to give them all a fair chance before I weigh in on them. If I can’t find a suitable tool or service to implement a technique I will probably abandon that component altogether (hence the “none of them” answer to my previous question).

Sites of Interest

For what it’s worth these are the sites (broken down by category) that  I would like to target based on research I have performed. I am listing them here as a reference for myself. As you can see, there are a lot of sites there which illustrates my need to automate.

Article Marketing Sites

Free Blogs

Web 2.0 Sites

Social Networking Sites

Social Bookmarking Sites

Directory Submissions

  • None in particular. Need to find a reasonable submission service. TBD.