SEO and Link Building

by John Eberhard

I recently was communicating to a client and realized he had a confusion between the terms "SEO" (search engine optimization) and "Link Building."

This prompted me to write an article recently with various definitions related to Internet marketing, which I thought was going to be dry and boring but I got several positive comments on the article.

I've decided there is a bit more to say about the relationship between these two internet marketing actions. Here are the definitions again:

SEO: Stands for search engine optimization. This is the process of selecting the best keywords, according to high traffic and low competition, and then placing these keywords in the appropriate places on the website. SEO is a one-time action, not something one tinkers with month by month. It should be redone every 2-3 years, as keyword traffic and competition can change significantly.

LinkBuilding: I have observed some people have glommed this activity into SEO and use the term SEO to refer to both SEO and link building. For the purposes of clarity I think it is best to keep them as separate terms. Link building is the action of creating links on other websites linking back to yours. Google states that the number of links to your site from other sites is its primary criteria for deciding the ranking of a site. So link building is a vital activity if you want your site to rank well on search engines and thus get increased traffic.

Some people get the idea that SEO is like some magic wand and all they have to do is get SEO done to their site and watch the traffic flood in. This is not correct. SEO is an action one does to a website that basically makes it possible for the site to rank well for the keywords that you select during the keyword research process.

But in order for the site to really rank well, you have to then do a program of link building. The ideal program is to do SEO, which is a one-time process, then do link building for at least 6-12 months. The best actions I have found for building links are:

  1. Article Marketing: You write a 400-500 word article, then submit it to article directories. You include a "bio box" at the end of the article that includes brief info on you, your company and your website address. Each directory then counts as a link back to your site. Great for building quantity of links. Using this method I can build up links to thousands in just a few months.
  2. Optimized Press Releases: Write press releases that contain some of your target keywords, and then submit them to online PR sites. Great for building quality links.
  3. Blogs: Take both your articles and press releases and put them up on a blog, and take the keywords in the articles and releases and make them into a link pointing back to appropriate pages on your site.

Just as it is not as effective to just do SEO without doing link building, it is not as effective to do just link building without SEO. Why? Because one of the steps of SEO is to do research on keywords and select the best ones. Then you take those selected keywords and utilize them in your articles and press releases.

When doing a full program of SEO and link building, then each month I check the ranking of the website for all of the keywords I’m targeting. I use software called Market Samurai to do this, as it would take forever manually. Then I count up how many #1 keywords I have, how many in the top 10, top 20, top 100, and top 500. As you continue the link building program, you will see the number of your keywords in each of these categories go up month to month.

Posted via email from Real Web Marketing's Posterous

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6 Responses to SEO and Link Building

  1. Jon Kidder says:

    Great post John – Search engine optimization services should provide their clients with inbound links. That’s just how SEO works in 2010. Five years ago this wasn’t the case, but now, link building is extremely important if an SEO campaign is going to show great results. http://bit.ly/bhv0CF

  2. Guru Source says:

    Hi John ! I too feel that SEO & Link Building (Article Marketing; Press Releases; Blogs; et. al.) are distinctly separate activities & should not be ‘glommed’ (as you put it). Commercial considerations, however, are turning link-building into unethical spamming. Any practical suggestions..??

  3. John Eberhard says:

    Could you be more specific when you say commercial considerations are turning link building into unethical spamming? I have not seen any of this.

  4. Hi John,
    Excellent article! One point I’d mention is getting yourself a gravatar so that when you reply to comments on your blogs, it’s obvious that you are replying. The “icon” for both you and Guru Source are the same and I had to read the little posted by to figure out that it was you replying.
    Alan

  5. I think link building is now part of the SEO name. Its actually like you say John separate activities. But if clients start calling it SEO who are we to correct them.
    I think clients feel its all part of increasing conversion, since that is the bottom line. Soon they will call you to ask for Conversion Rate Optimizing (CRO).
    When that happens contact me and I will give you acccess for free to Reedge.com

  6. Yes it is very basic thing that Link building has been a very important factor in Search Engine Optimization, even there are so many new things are introduced but it appears link building will not change. And here after reading your post I found that it is really pioneer brick of SEO. And obviously all the strategies you have mentioned here are beneficial in Website Promotion. Thanks for your all true efforts.

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