An effective link building campaign requires one major ingredient: variation.
If you are getting backlinks for the purpose of higher rankings in the major search engines, then you need a variety of links from a variety of source types.
The goal is to get organic, natural backlinks. The kind that both visitors and search engines love most. The kind that happen naturally on their own, but that you must also push along a bit for proper content marketing...
A common mistake that bloggers and webmasters make when promoting their content is to stick to one type of link-building only. Some do mainly article marketing, others prefer social bookmarking, some blog commenting, etc.
But ideally you'll want a variety of links, coming from a variety of source types - with variation in the anchor text of the links as well.
It's unnatural, and therefore appears spammy, to get 100 new backlinks all from social bookmarking sites only, and all with the exact same anchor text. This is likely to send up a red flag, and do more harm than good to your seo strategy.
This is not effective link building. It's similar to running for a political office, and visiting all of the voting booths yourself... to cast votes for yourself.
An effective link building campaign is one that appears more like a natural buzz. Google counts links to your site as 'votes' for your content, and they are most interested in what other sites/people have to say about it than what you say.
In order to create that natural appearance for your inbound links, you use variation. You'll want to get links from blog posts, blog comments, social bookmarking sites, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, web pages, press releases (if appropriate), article directories, niche directories, discussion forums, etc.
You'll want a variety of anchor text in those links as well. This is best achieved by using longtail keyword phrases, or by using more than one keyword phrase that is relevant to the content on that page.
The advantage to using variation in your anchor text is that not only do your links appear more natural, which means they'll carry more weight with the major search engines, but you can achieve top rankings for more than one search phrase.
For example, I have one web page that ranks in the Top 3 for three different keyword phrases. I make sales from that page every single week (and some weeks, every day). This is due to using the three different phrases as the anchor text, and switching it up each time I get a new link to that page.
You can create an effective link building campaign by kick-starting the buzz, and with great content you'll end up with many more natural backlinks in addition to those you create yourself.
This is not something you want to do for every single web page or blog post, but it's well worth it for those pillar articles - or those pages/post you most want to rank well in the major search engines.
An effective link building strategy might include:
- Create internal links from related pages on your blog/site
- Tweet the link and ask for feedback
- Publish the link on your Facebook profile or page
- If a blog post, create pingbacks to related blog posts
- Comment on related blog posts, using your specific link in the URL field
- Published a related YouTube video, include the hyperlink in the description field
- Add the link to your niche discussion forum profiles
- Include the link in your forum signature on niche forums
- Submit relevant articles to article directories with the link in the byline
- Submit a press release (if appropriate for your content piece)
- Write guest blog posts on niche blogs, with the link in your signature
- Engage in Cross Blog Conversations with other bloggers on the topic
- Include the link with 5-10 other related links on a social bookmarking list
- If the link is to the main page, add it to niche directories
- If the link is to the main page of a blog, also add it to blog/RSS directories
If you have a really good piece of content, these strategies will kick-start a natural buzz and new unsolicited links from a variety of sources. People may find and like your content and then stumble, tweet, bookmark, or blog about your link. And that's exactly what you want.
Sure, this is work - particularly in the beginning. But once you identify your best sources you'll find that it becomes faster and easier with time. You'll have a list of blogs in your RSS Reader, a list of niche forums you're engaged with, etc. And you can also outsource the tasks once you get a working strategy in place.
The variation in anchor text and sources is incredibly important for effective link building. Never dismiss a linking opportunity due to PageRank, Nofollow attribute, lack of option to include anchor text, etc. You need these to offset your highly optimized links... to avoid the dreaded "over-optimization" (ie: search engine manipulation, spam).