SEO Link Building Tips 101 – The Power of Contextual Link Building

By now, anyone who has dabbled in internet marketing or SEO for their website knows the best way to rank in the search engines is to link build for the keywords they wish to target. While the search engines use many different factors to determine site rankings, most experts agree that link building is one of the biggest. However, not all link building techniques are created equal.

As any true link building expert can tell you, there is a big difference between amateur and quality link building. True experts know that any link building campaign should be a balance of several different techniques which can include targeting less authoritative links through article marketing and forum participation as well as going after the big links, which typically include contextual and one way link building from high authority sites.

The goal of the search engines is relevant results – the number one result for a search should be a website that has the best chance of fulfilling the need of the searcher. If the search engines had their way, nobody would be actively seeking links – it would happen naturally based on relevance, usefulness and popularity of a site. Luckily, that’s not the case.

Thanks to search engine optimization, we now know that we can engage in certain link building services and activities and actively help our sites to rank for our popular keyword phrases. Since the search engines call for ethical link building, the most powerful form of building links tends to be one way contextual links on relevant, high authority sites for keyword phrases you’re targeting. Not only are they powerful links, but they look more natural to the search engines.

Contextual link building is one of the toughest, most time intensive link building techniques you can engage in – but the results are worth it.  Not only do the links help your rankings, but you should also receive traffic from people clicking on those links. Getting contextual links is about finding sites that use your target keywords in their content, and persuading them to link to your site using those keywords as anchor text. To the search engines, this looks like an authority site is actually recommending you as a resource for that keyword topic – the more of these you can get, the faster you’ll climb in the search engine results pages, or SERPs.

Here are a few SEO link building tips on how to find highly relevant and trusted sites to request contextual or one way links from:

  1. Search your target keyword on Google and look at the top 100 sites. You want to get as many links from these sites as possible. To find the page on a site that is most relevant to your keyword, search Google with “site:domain.com keyword”.
  2. Use a tool like Hub Finder (from Aaron Wall’s SEOBook) or similar software to run an analysis of these top 100 sites and find additional sites that link back to two or more of your top 100 – then get links from as many of these sites as well, preferably right within content.
  3. If you can’t get links from some of the top 100 (and it’s tough, since many will be your competitors) examine their backlinks and try and get links from those sites. You can utilize Yahoo’s “link:domain.com” search for this. Use the Google search mentioned above to find the page on the site that is most relevant to your keyword.

These three tips are some of the most powerful tactics you can employ when  increasing links to your site. By mixing these highly relevant and authoritative links with lower level links from article marketing, blog writing and forum/blog participation, you can create a long term link building campaign that is sure to boost your rankings. 

Keep in mind that building links is a long term process – rankings don’t happen overnight (in most cases). But by engaging in ethical and quality link building, you will eventually see your site ranking for the keywords you’ve targeted. In the end, until the search engines drastically change their ranking methods, the site with the most links (and most POWERFUL links) will win the rankings race.