Backlinks For Beginners – Part 3

Acquiring Link Diversity

Overview

This is the third part of the three part series on how to rank your website in the SERP’s under more competitive keyword terms. If you have not done so, it is recommended you read over Part 2.

In the last two posts we discussed ways to obtain backlinks through Social Bookmarking and Article Marketing. One of the most important aspects of SEO is obtaining backlinks from a wide variety of relevant websites on separate Class C IP addresses. I won’t go into what a Class C IP address is, but let’s just say it’s better to obtain backlinks from different sites, using different methods as opposed to the same sites with the same methods. For this reason we want to spread our link building campaigns over as many types of sites as possible (social bookmarking sites, article directories, blogs, forums, etc).

In this post we will discuss how to build authority under our long-tail keyword phrases, and use those phrases to increase our authority under our main, short keyword phrase.

1. Keyword Targeting

If you don’t use it already, you should acquaint yourself with the Google Keyword Tool, which can be found here – https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This tool is an absolute must for your SEO research, as Google is telling you just how popular certain keyword phrases are within their search engine.

I’d like you to load up the Keyword Tool and type in the phrase – Car Tires.

You will see a section above the search box that says Results Tailored For: Country [Edit]

It is important that you click the [Edit] button and select ‘All Countries and Territories’, which can be found at the very top of the menu. Unless you’re targeting a specific geographic area, you should always select this option.

Make sure the ‘Use Synonyms’ box is selected, and then push ‘Get Keyword Ideas’.

You will see how many searches per month the phrase Car Tires gets, but you will also see how many search results various combination phrases get as well. Examples include ‘car rims tires’ and ‘wholesale car tires’.

The Common Misconception With Broad Keyword Targeting

The important thing to understand is that the number of searches indicated doesn’t reflect how many times ‘Car Tires’ by itself gets searched per month. It indicates how many times searches containing those words get searched. This includes all the combination phrases. It’s very important you understand this.

If someone searched for ‘Cheap Car Tires’ then it would still register as a search under ‘Car Tires’ as well as ‘Cheap Car Tires’, even though the person wasn’t searching for ‘Car Tires’ by itself.

This means that if you had a website that was ranked well only under the phrase ‘Car Tires’, then you wouldn’t be getting anywhere near the amount of hits as you might think.

Take for example a keyword such as ‘Water’. The Google Keyword Tool will tell you that the keyword ‘Water’ gets over 60 million searches a month! Who on earth would search for the word ‘water’ by itself? Not many people at all.

People would search for phrases containing the word ‘Water’ however. Just think of phrases such as – ‘water front’, ‘water slides’, ‘clean water’, ‘water damage’.

These too are broad keywords, think of more long-tail keywords within these keyword phrases such as ‘water front real estate’, ‘california water slides’, ‘clean water filter’ ‘water damage insurance’.

Suddenly it becomes perfectly understandable that the word ‘Water’ may be searched for over 60 million times a month.

I get lots of people asking me why they’re not ranking under their broad keyword, and this is the reason. The broad keyword by itself may have a very low search volume, despite what any keyword tool is telling you. It’s the long-tail keyword phrases that contain the broad keyword that contain the real searches.

Therefore if you want to rank under a broad keyword, you must first rank under the combination phrases. Once Google starts to give you trust under the combination phrases, they will see some consistent words in your anchor text, and will thus pass you authority for those consistent words.

This is similar to long-tail keyword targeting, however we’re only using these long-tail keywords to boost our site’s authority for our main keyword phrase, which in this case is ‘Car Tires’.

For our example, let’s look at some combination phrases for the phrase ‘Car Tires’.

At the time of writing this, the phrase ‘buy car tires’ has 2000 searches a month. So you may well think “Well I’ll just rank myself under the keyword phrase of ‘buy car tires’ then”. Stop right there.

If we try and directly target the phrase ‘buy car tires’ then we’re making the same mistake as we did when targeting the phrase ‘Car Tires’. 2000 searches a month isn’t very competitive, but we can still dig even deeper. What you want to do is type in the phrase ‘buy car tires’ into the Keyword Tool search box and hit enter.

We will now see search phrases come up with very, very little competition.

Some search phrases that come up include – ‘buy used car tires’, ‘buy new car tires’, ‘buy cheap car tires’, ‘places to buy car tires’.

You will notice all these phrases have a very low amount of competition, and therefore we can hope to achieve a #1 ranking in Google under these phrases with relative ease.

What we want to do is create a page on our Car Tires website optimized under the term ‘Buy Car Tires’. We then want to vary the anchor text in our backlinks pointing to this page to contain the phrases ‘buy used car tires’, ‘buy new car tires’, ‘buy cheap car tires’, ‘places to buy car tires’ etc. Notice we’re including the phrase ‘buy car tires’ but we’re also including long-tail keyword phrases  in order to gain more authority under various combination phrases for that keyword term.

Once we’ve built enough backlinks pointing to the page, we will eventually gain authority under the term ‘Buy Car Tires’. Once this is done, we can then look at repeating the same process for another phrase such as ‘Cheap Car Tires’. We want to create a separate page on our site that’s optimized under this new phrase, repeating the process of finding long-tail keywords for that phrase. We keep digging until the phrases we’re targeting are no longer competitive.

We also want to link all of our pages back to the main page of our site, with our primary keyword as the anchor text (in this case ‘Car Tires’). This is what will give our site authority under the keyword phrase we’re targeting.

After we’ve done this with enough phrases, our site will eventually gain authority under the term ‘Car Tires’ by itself. Not only that, we will also have a huge amount of authority under the combination phrases as well. Google will reward us with a lot of authority for our desired term.

This is essentially how you target broad keywords. It will take you a lot of time to do this for competitive keywords, and that’s when outsourcing and ghostwriters come in handy. But it can be done, and by following the process I’ve explained you can rank yourself under just about any broad keyword phrase imaginable.

So to summarize, the chart below indicates how to target your keywords -

Homepage Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
Broad Keyword Combination Keyword Combination Keyword Combination Keyword
(eg: car tires) (eg: buy car tires)   (eg: cheap car tires) (eg: discount car tires)

Page 1, Page 2 & Page 3 all point to the Homepage with the anchor text ‘Car Tires’. Your articles and social bookmarking submissions all have links pointing to Page 1, Page 2 & Page 3 with varying, long-tail  anchor text.

2. Blog Commenting

In my previous tutorials you’ve learned how to obtain backlinks from article submission and social bookmarking sites. Now I’m going to teach you about blog commenting. Most of you will already be aware of how to use blog commenting to obtain backlinks, but I’m going to be teaching you a little secret that I use to ensure I only make comments on relevant blogs.

CommentLuv and KeywordLuv

When commenting on most blogs, you must unfortunately put your real name as the anchor text in order to have your comment approved. Names such as ‘Free MP3′s’ will often be considered spammy, and unfortunately result in you missing out on having relevant anchor text. Furthermore, most blogs also contain the ‘nofollow’ attribute, which as you’re aware is a way of telling Google not to pass any Page Rank through to your site.

I’m going to teach you a way to make comments on blogs that are relevant to the keyword phrase you’re targeting, that will let you use any anchor text you wish, and that don’t contain the ‘nofollow’ attribute.

What you want to do is look for blogs that have either the CommentLuv or KeywordLuv plugin. These plugins are fantastic and blogs that contain them will allow you to use relevant anchor text for your backlinks.

For KeywordLuv blogs, you will want to put Name@Keyword in the ‘Name’ field – Example: Steven@Car Tires. You will then want to submit your website address within the website field.

For CommentLuv blogs, you will want to use your proper name in the Name field. CommentLuv will automatically pass a link back to your website with the title of your last blog post.

Always make sure that your posts are relevant to the discussion. Don’t submit posts such as “Nice Post” as they will quickly get your IP address blacklisted.

Now some CommentLuv and KeywordLuv plugins may have the ‘Nofollow’ command. You will want to check the Page Source to see if other comments have the ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ attribute next to their links.

Remember from my previous tutorials that you shouldn’t just dismiss all blogs that contain Nofollow. Nofollow is still worth something in Yahoo and MSN. The main thing you’re after is the relevant anchor text.

Finding CommentLuv and KeywordLuv Blogs

So you may be wondering how to find blogs that contain the CommentLuv and KeywordLuv plugins? Thankfully the process is incredibly easy and straight forward.

You see, every site that uses either of these plugins has a little note at the end of it, advertising the plugin. All you have to do is do a Google search for this note, and all blogs that use these plugins will be displayed.

So to find blogs using KeywordLuv, simply copy and paste the following phrase into Google, exactly as it appears(make sure to include the quotation marks “”) -

“This site uses KeywordLuv. Enter YourName@YourKeywords in the Name field to take advantage.”

Now in order to find blogs using CommentLuv, simply copy and paste the following into Google -

“Enable CommentLuv which will try and get your last blog post, please be patient while it finds it for you”

So now you have over 200,000 blogs to comment on. That’s a bit too many, isn’t it? What I’m going to teach you now is how to only bring up KeywordLuv and CommentLuv blogs that are relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.

All you need to do is simply type the keyword you’re targeting in the Google search box, along with the KeywordLuv or CommentLuv footprint.

This will only bring up blogs that contain the keyword you’re targeting.

Let’s say we wanted to look for CommentLuv blogs that contained the words “Internet Marketing” somewhere on the page.

To do this you would type the following into Google search: “Internet Marketing” “Enable CommentLuv which will try and get your last blog post, please be patient while it finds it for you”

Notice we typed our keyword phrase “Internet Marketing” in quotations along with the CommentLuv footprint.

Now sometimes, particularly in less competitive niches, you’ll notice that no results get returned with your keyword phrase. If that’s the case, then you may only want to target specific keywords.

For example, if we tried to search for “Car Tires” “Enable CommentLuv which will try and get your last blog post, please be patient while it finds it for you” then we don’t get any results (at the time of writing this).

If however we search for just “Tires” “Enable CommentLuv which will try and get your last blog post, please be patient while it finds it for you” then we do get some results of blogs that contain the word “tires” along with the CommentLuv plugin.

Whilst commenting on these partial matching blogs isn’t as good as commenting on blogs that match our full keyword phrase, we do still get some authority, provided we use the word “Tire” in our anchor text when making the comment.

Link Diversity

By making comments on lots of different but relevant blogs, we’re increasing our link diversity (the numbers of sites that point to ours). The more types of backlinks we have the better. So if we can get backlinks from Article Submission, Social Bookmarking sites and from lots of relevant, different blogs, then we’re doing ourselves a great favour in terms of link diversity, and we will gain more trust in Google.

When posting blog comments, remember to still follow the principles of Keyword Targeting, as was covered in the previous section. Don’t just use your broad keyword as your anchor, instead use long-tail keywords that contain your broad keyword, and link them to a separate page on your site that is optimized specificaly for that long-tail keyword phrase.

For example, when making a comment, your website anchor text should consist of cheap car tires as opposed to just car tires.

3. Forum Posting

The more sources we can gather backlinks from, the better, and forums are one of the best sources to obtain backlinks from. Unlike blogs, most forums do not have the “nofollow” attribute. In this section we will examine ways to make posts on forums that are relevant to our site.

To start with we will need to find forums that contain our keyword phrase as a central theme. We can do this by conducting a Google search for forums related to our keyword phrase.

So how do we restrict our Google searches to only contain forums? One way is through the use of the inurl command. The inurl command restricts search engine results to URL’s that contain the keyword we enter next to it. If for example we were to type the command inurl:phpbb into Google then we would only be bringing up URL’s that contained phpbb.

As of typing this, the above command brings up over 12,000,000 results in Google. Since phpbb is a type of bulletin board (forum), this means means we have over 12 million forums to post to. This is a little too many results, so what we will do is type our keyword after the inurl command. This way we restrict our results to those that contain our keyword.

An example may be typing inurl:phpbb tires – this brings up over 10,000 phpbb forums which contain the word “tires” in them. This is relevant to the keyword phrase we’re targeting (car tires), and therefore a lot of these forums would be worth posting our link to.

But how do we sift through 10,000 forums and decide which ones are worth our while and which ones aren’t? One way is to view the forums Page Rank in the search results. We can do this with the free downloadable SEOQuake plugin, which is compatible with both Firefox and Internet Explorer. This plugin will display a page’s Page Rank in the search engine results without us having to even go to the page. This can save a lot of time.

Once we find a forum we’d like to post on, we need to register an account on that forum. Now what we want to do is create a signature which contains our keyword phrase as a backlink pointing to our site.

Most phpbb forums allow the use of signatures, so after you register your account you will want to edit your profile by clicking on the “Profile” button towards the top of the forum menu. In the profile menu click on “Edit Signature” on the left hand menu (on some versions this may be disguised as “Edit Profile” or something similar).

In the signature box, type the following -

[url=http://yoursite.com/]Your Keyword Phrase[/url]

Replace yoursite.com with your sites domain, and replace Your Keyword Phrase with the keyword phrase your targeting. Now every time you make a post on the forum, your keyword phrase will come up as an anchored backlink pointing towards your site. Whoever thought backlink building could be so easy? Simply rinse and repeat this process with the next forum on the list after making a couple of posts.

Now a lot of people come unstuck by making their forum posts spammy. Example of spammy posts include “Hi, nice forum” or “Hi, just introducing myself”. Since a lot of spam bots plague forums with posts like these (phpbb in particular) you will want to make your posts sound as human-like as possible (especially if you have an anchored link in your signature file, as this will raise even further suspicion).

I recommend replying to already existing threads by making an informative post that contributes to the discussion at hand. This will make it less likely that you’ll come under notice, andyou’re not as likely to get banned.

4. Competition Research

In this section we will examine how to replicate the backlinks of your competition. Examining the backlinks of your competition is a great way to find out just what is causing them to rank so highly. If you find an extra juicy backlink or two that they have, then you should try and obtain a link from the same page if you can.

You will remember from my first tutorial that the Yahoo! Site Explorer is a great way to research which links are pointing to a particular site.

So navigate over to Yahoo.com and type the following in the search field – linkdomain:http://site.com

(Simply replace the ‘site.com’ part with your competition’s website)

You will see a number of links come up. All these links are websites that contain backlinks  pointing to your competitor’s site. What you want to do is go to each of the websites listed here and also place your link on the site as well. This may be easy or hard depending upon the type of site it is.

If the link is from a blog post, then all you need to do is simply make a comment on the blog. If the link is from a social bookmarking site, then try and submit a review of the site if possible, with your link included in the message. Make sure it isn’t spammy.

If the link is from a link directory, then sign up to the directory and submit your link on the same page. If the link is from a “Link Page” on a website, then write an e-mail to the webmaster requesting your link be added to the page as well.

Some links will be more tricky to replicate, particularly if they come from sites that have given a direct review about your competitor’s website. If this is the case, and you believe your website is of good quality, then try contacting the webmaster of the site in question, explaining that you would like your site reviewed as well. The worst that can happen is that they will say no/ignore you, but you may be quite surprised how many will do a review of your site.

I’ve received a large number of .edu links in the past, some as high as PR8, simply by contacting the webmaster and requesting they have a look at my site to see whether or not it’s valuable enough to be added to their links page. The responses you get may be quite surprising. You can’t be shy in Internet Marketing, so get in there and give it a go.

SEOQuake

If your competition has thousands of backlinks then it can be quite difficult trying to replicate each one. Therefore you will need to prioritise which ones are worth your time, and which ones are not.

You will remember earlier I recommended that you download the free tool SEOQuake. Let me recommend once again that you do that. This tool is invaluable.

Once installed, SEOQuake will display the page rank of every website within the SERP rankings. You may want to avoid trying to get backlinks from sites with a Page Rank of 0. You will find this tool will eliminate a large amount of time, saving you having to click each site and check its Page Rank.

It’s also useful because it will put a line through any links that contain the ‘No Follow’ attribute. This can save you having to check the Page Source of every website you go to to find out whether the links use ‘No Follow’ or not.

Beating Your Competition At Their Own Game

For every site that has a backlink pointing to your competition, try and replicate two backlinks from the same site, but on different pages.

For example, say www.example.com/page1.html has a backlink pointing to your competitor’s site. Not only do you want to try and get a backlink from www.example.com/page1.html but you also want to try and get another backlink from the same site but on a different page, such as from www.example.com/page2.html.

You’re effectively beating your competition at their own game, by replicating all their backlinks and doubling them.

Combine this with your normal link building methods, and you should outrank your competition’s website within a few months, depending upon how competitive the keyword phrase is.

Conclusion

If you apply all the techniques and concepts I’ve taught in this tutorial series then there’s no doubt that you will be ranking your sites under competitive keyword terms. Remember that the key to your link building campaigns is to remain consistent.

If you go and build 100 backlinks right now then you most likely won’t notice many results. However if you continue to build these 100 backlinks, each and every day, for the next several months, then you should start to notice your SERP ranking increase. If you do not, then you are doing something wrong and will need to pay careful attention to what that may be.

This concludes the tutorial series on Backlinks For Beginners. Thanks for reading.