When you want to rank your niche site in the search engines the formula is pretty simple.
Though there are many factors the most critical factors are still Content + Backlinks. By the way a good read is my write-up on creating good content here. So if you’re not sure how to write great stuff, read it.
Though your content must be optimized (use my on-page optimization guidelines to help with this) backlinks are still the most dominant factor that will determine if you’ll rank on page 1 or not.
So when you want to get your niche ranking high you need to work on building backlinks to every page of your website and most importantly, the homepage.
What kind of backlinks still work?
Well, most of them.
Blogging networks are virtual dead or too risky after many were de-indexed in 2012.
But, the following types of backlinks still work for helping to rank well. If you’re unfamiliar with what these are/were you’re not missing out on much.
Here is a good list of where you can build backlinks at.
- Article Directories
- Doc Sharing Sites
- Web 2.0 Blogs (blogger, wordpress, tumblr)
- High PR (page rank) Directories
- RSS Feeds
- Forum Profile Links
- Social Bookmarks
- Blog Commenting
- Press Releases
- Guest Posting
- Video Sites
- Social Signals (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
- Buying links from a website
- Answer Sites (good for traffic)
If you want to go “old school” you can even ask for a link exchange by emailing other webmasters and asking.
Look, there are way more methods than what I mention above, but, these are more of your “straight and narrow” style of links that will not get you into trouble with the search engines.
The key to good link building is to keep them as natural looking as possible and when you’re building links to not super-optimize your anchor text (refresher on anchor text).
where people get into trouble is when they start putting the same anchor text or a high amount of the same anchor text for all of their backlinks. Nothing about that would obviously look natural to the search engines.
How Much Anchor Text Should You Use?
I am in the camp of people who like to use a limited amount of anchor text on my backlinks and typically opt to use naked links more often.
But, if you’re looking for a % of how often should you use the exact anchor text that you want to rank for, I’d say keep it around 20-30% at the most.
I would also use an enormous amount of variation in your anchor text. These would be things like similar keyword phrases but not the exact same.
Other great anchor text to add are things like Click Here, Learn More, Find Out Here, Learn More About This, Click Here For More Information etc. Basically the more variation, the better.
Spread The Links Around
It’s also good to get links from various sources rather than a bunch of links from the same domain.
So from the list about it would be best to get 5-10 from each source rather than 100 from the same source.
I suggest getting backlinks from as many of these sources as possible to every page/post on your website that you want to rank high in the search engines.
Other Things To Consider When Ranking
There are a host of other smaller factors that add up as well. I personally do not worry about these much, but, Moz has a good write-up about them here.
You’ll notice they cite all sorts of various things to look for and tweak etc. However, one thing that I can say has not changed since I started doing this in 2007 is the need for links.
Backlinks and content still rule and I don’t see that going away anytime soon.
Until the search engines tell us otherwise these things are critical to have.