Perhaps the primary way readers will reach your site and therefore your books is via search engines. Therefore it is of paramount importance to ensure you have a search engine optimisation strategy in place. Read our post – Top Ten SEO tips for publishers.
Once you have created your SEO strategy, and have ensured your website is optimised on-site, you can begin to implement your off-site SEO link building strategy. Google places greater importance on sites that have more quality links (backlinks) coming in to the site. Quality link building can therefore help your website and book pages rank higher in the search listings than they are currently.
LJ Interactive have been working with a range of publishers to improve search engine results through a variety of methods including link building.
Here are some of our tips for getting backlinks to your site. Remember the links need to be relevant and of reasonable quality.
General tips for link generation:
- Ensure links are anchored with the keywords you are targeting and which searchers will be looking for. For example, just having the link and your name will be of less benefit then having a keyword rich relevant text link. Your site should come up first in the Search Engine Research Pages (SERP) for your website name whereas a link using your competitive keywords would be much more beneficial.
- Ensure the links you create are varied and not just promoting one page. i.e. Link to the page most relevant to where you are posting. Do not just blindly link to the homepage.
- Make your content relevant for your audience and easy to understand, and people will be more likely to click through onto your site to hear more about what you have to say.
- A small number of high quality relevant links win every time over hundreds of low quality spammy links which have the potential to penalise your site.
- Make sure you know the difference between no-follow and follow links.
Build links for publishers SEO strategy through:
1. SOCIAL MEDIA
As a publisher, social media and social marketing are areas where you should have a strategy in place. This strategy can benefit and greatly help attempts to get links to your site.
- Social Bookmarking.
Submit your sites pages (usually the new pages) to social bookmarking sites such as delicious, stumble upon, mixx, propeller, digg and reddit to get links. This is especially relevant for publishers, as this will also help build up a community and buzz around new products and your brand, as well as giving your business a modern outlook.
- Social Networking Setting up company or product profiles on social networking sites not only helps increase links to your sites but also enables you to know your customer, building up relationships with them. Use LinkedIn / facebook / myspace / Squidoo and search for more niche sites.
- Read our blog post – top ten social networking tips for publishers.
- Learn more our social media for publishers services.
- Questions & Answers Sites Answer questions relating to your author/book topics/brand on question and answers based website e.g. Yahoo Answers, Cha Cha, Answer bag, Google Groups.
2. ARTICLE AND PRESS RELEASE MARKETING
Submit press releases into online press release services in order to gain links. With the arrival of new books or authors, it is likely you will have a press release produced anyway. Ensure the title and body are optimised with your keywords and submit to press release sites. Use keyword rich anchor links. Be wary of using services which offer to submit your press release to 200-odd sites. These are usually unreliable and perceived as spammy and often do not result in the backlinks required. You should monitor and evaluate the success of press release sites in order to minimise wasted time and effort in submission to sites which do not offer backlinks. Be wary of sites which do not offer backlinks, and be careful to check if these are no-follow links. Again, as well as offering an increase in backlinks, press releases will drive traffic to your site, which could turn into conversions.
Article submission links are gained by writing useful and helpful content on topics you are familiar with. Links are usually gained via the author biography. Not only does this gain you backlinks but it helps increase your status as an expert on the subject – depending on the sector you publish books in, this could be useful when trying to build relationships with forum/blog owners. Articles and releases can also be submitted to industry news sites which may link to you.
3. FORUMS & BLOGS
By leaving comments on forums, links can be gained through a link in your signature/footer. Be sure to adhere to forum etiquette, ensuring your comments are useful / helpful / relevant. Check the forums have “do follow” links and are relevant to your subject.
Similarly for blogs, select those which are related to your products and sector and begin to build links with the blog’s owner. Add helpful and insightful comments to blogs which are relevant and not perceived as spammy. This may mean you need to work at and build a relationship before getting follow links. By posting on forums and blogs it also allows you to reinforce your brand message and get more people hearing about your site.
4. INFORMATION SHARING SITES
Links can be gained in exchange for you supplying information or knowledge to sites such as Slideshare. By sharing images on flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket etc you are likely to get links as well as increasing traffic to your site.
Videos are another interesting way to gain links. Videos for example, author interviews, added to sites such as youtube, dailymotion and metacafe. Tips for optimising videos – ensure the categorisation of the video, the tags, description and title are relevant and optimised for search. Have one specific story/message per video to ensure a consistent uncluttered message. Ensure your video is embeddable (this is a requirement for it being displayed in google news which is a good source of traffic).
5. CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Ask customers to leave product feedback and comments on review site e.g. RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, Stylefeeder etc. This could be incorporated with a competition or reward to maximise responses.
6. DIRECTORIES & SUBMISSION SITES
Listings in directories / submission sites e.g. dmoz, yahoo directory, zoominfo, one mission, Pegasus, craigslist, kugli, vivastreet etc. Some are these do not necessarily provide the highest quality of links but when used in conjunction with other methods of getting backlinks can be a useful source.
7. ASKING FOR LINKS
Possibly the slowest and most labour intensive way of getting links. Build up relationships with sites based around similar topics, and then ask them to link to you. In most cases, however they are likely to want a link reciprocal link back. If the site is likely to be useful for your website users and is a good fit, then this “”thermal linking”" is an option which could be of benefit if not over-used.
Avoid buying links as this has the potential to land your site in real trouble with the search engines especially if they come in a job lot rather than being built up gradually.
It is useful to keep a record of exactly where/when/who you have attempted to get links from. This allows you to look back and see where there were successes and which strategies were successful. Publishers with a range of niche titles are likely to find link building more time consuming as they will have to build up relationships with webmasters and communities in each niche area, whereas a publishers in a specific field can build up and maintain relationships in just one field only in which they are likely to be perceived as experts in. Time and patience pay off if you have created the appropriate SEO strategy – remember an increase in ranking does not happen instantly, results often are not seen for 3-6months.
Ensure your off-page strategy and implementation complements your overall SEO strategy and online marketing plans. One of the indirect benefits of link building is the increase in traffic which visits your site, and which you have the potential in converting to sales/leads/sign ups.