Here at Vertical Measures we get a number of clients who wish for us to pursue Manual Link Building campaign for their website to improve the quality of backlinks to their pages. This involves going out to relevant websites, contacting the webmasters directly and promoting the client’s website to see if they would be interested in linking to the page anywhere on their site. The one thing that is always the same about the work that we do in this area for our clients is that it is always different.
‘It depends’ is a bit of a catch phrase in our office as it seems to be the answer to every question. What do you think is better, a high PR page but less relevant, or lower PR but right on topic? It depends. Is it better to get many links of lower quality, or one high quality link? It depends.
For manual link building efforts, it depends on the industry, it depends on the activities of their competitors, and above all it depends on the content of their website.
‘Content is king’ has never been more prevalent than when trying to convince a webmaster to link to a certain page. After all, you need to be providing some kind of value to their website and their website’s visitors.
We have had situations where success has come easily, with quality links on relevant pages with strong PR where all it took was a simple ‘may I recommend this site, I think you would really find it useful’. For some pages where the website we are link building for provides quality information, we have acquired links on .gov sites that no competing site could buy.
Yet we also have clients who wish to build links in this manner for pages that provide very little value or incentive for a website to link to them. Think about pages that just link to other resources and contain no unique information on the page itself. Asking website owners if they would like to link to these pages often results in a very simple response ‘Why would I?’.
For any website that wants to build quality links from relevant pages, manually contacting related websites is a great method, but your own site has to be adding value to the conversation. Use tools like the Competitive Link Finder or Link Research Tools to see the pages that are linking to your competitors. Ask yourself why they are linking to them and what your page could add as an additional resource.
If your page adds nothing extra, think about a redesign with additional content. If you can’t think of a reason for a site to link to your page, how can you expect an independent webmaster to send traffic your way?