The Importance of a Natural Link Profile

Link Building StrategyAnyone who understands how valuable link building is also understands how important it is to have a natural (organic) link profile.  It’s no secret that this takes time.  The amount of time needed to get the results wanted can seem never-ending.  It helps to stay focused and keep eyes on the bigger picture and primary goals.

A good, organic link profile needs to be diverse.  It’s important for the search engines to see links from various types of sites.  While these sites need to be relative to your industry, the diversity helps the inbound links to appear naturally populated.  Some of the link types you should include in your mix are:

  • Membership and Partnership Links
    Leveraging current relationships with partners, vendors, suppliers and even customers is an easy way to build relative links. Companies usually want to display links to their customers, etc. because it helps show their standing in the industryand in the meantime it gives you a good link.  Local chambers of commerce will give a link if you are member.  So will other community memberships and these also give you a local citation at the same time. 
  • Links form Local Review Sites
    These not only give the local citation but add the social signals as well. You may even offer an incentive to get customers to give a review. Now don’t misunderstand. If you offer an incentive for a review, it’s just that. A review. Meaning it could be bad or good. You definitely don’t want to be known for bribing customers to give positive reviews only.  The incentive needs to be for the participation and the time it takes to complete the review.  Nothing more. 
  • Blogger Outreach and Other Social Links
    Social links are important and blogs are hot spots to get them from.  While some relationship building time is needed here; searching for blogs that are industry related and not stingy on the outbound links is key.  Gaining links from Twitter and Facebook and traffic driving social bookmarking sites, such as StumbleUpon, can help as well. 
  • Industry Related and Resource Links
    The best way to find these types of links is through your competitors. Take a snapshot of their link profiles and see which sites you also need to requests links from.  You may even find some more membership sites you should join. 
  • Cause Marketing Links
    When you join a local charity’s cause, for example, you not only show your socially responsible side and help out a great cause, but you usually also score some good links and extra PR out of it.  The charity will push the drive as well and give lots of credit, including link credit, to its vendors, sponsors, etc.

There are several resources out there for good, quality links that will help with your organic link building and other SEO goals.  Remember it’s also important to give other site owners a reason to link to you.  Keep your site updated, compelling and informative.  Offer things like widgets and infographics that can easily be shared.  What can you tie into a current event or latest hot topic?  Something seasonal?  Just stay on top of things, be patient and you will be rewarded with the results you are looking for.

  • Great article. It explains everything nicely. Now I have some sense of direction.

  • I'm sure that you could have written an entire book here, Natalie. Great post. I think press release optimization and directory submissions are still quality methods of developing links, as well. The tricky thing about link building is finding those opportunities where you have greater influence to actually "get" a quality link (rather than hours requesting with limited results), and making sure that – as you rightfully point out – you diversify your link profile.

  • Star Green

    Great post, Natalie! Very informative with useful information!