When outlining a link building campaign for my consulting clients many ask me the same question, “Which tactic is more important?” I think a lot of site owners get very nervous when they see a fully developed, yearlong link building campaign laid out in front of them. For someone who has never really engaged in link building before, it can look like a lot of work. I understand where their question is coming from. If they have to condense some of their link building one month due to time constraints, which tactics can they afford to skip and which ones MUST they do?
Let me start of by saying that no one link building tactic is more important than another. They are all necessary for developing a well-rounded, diverse link portfolio. Every site owner should approach link building with the intent of building highly relevant links from as many sources as possible. A diverse link portfolio is more appealing to the search engines and can better withstand changes to the world of SEO.
Think of your SEO like a car. The links are the many components that form the engine. Just one missing component means the engine won’t function properly. If they engine doesn’t work, neither will the car. Natural links (links that happen overtime without you actively creating them) are the turbo boost to your SEO car.
However, if you find yourself strapped for time one month and have to start postponing various components of your link building campaign, I would recommend that the one you CAN’T afford to let up on is your content marketing. Content is where the real SEO/link building value is and it requires consistency in order to work.
Producing great content is what is going to get you those natural links. People share your content on social networks, bookmark it, e-mail it to friends and coworkers, use it as a reference in their own blog and so forth. One great piece of content could potentially get links from a variety of sources all across the Internet, which is what you should be working towards.
It doesn’t matter how many blog comments you write in a month or how many directories you get a link from (although each of those are important) if you aren’t investing in a content marketing campaign.
Not only is content marketing important for link building, it is also a critical component of your brand building. Each piece of content increases your online presence and builds one more touch point you can connect with your target audience through. Great content can help you educate and inform your consumer, making you their go-to source for industry information.
I think it is very important that site owners develop an editorial calendar for themselves and stick to it as best as possible. That might mean you make sure you write 3 new blog posts a week, or that you find and develop a relationship with new sites to write guest posts for.