Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building
Search engine optimization is no easy task. It’s not like other promotional or marketing strategies in which the results can be seen quickly. Instead, SEO is a marketing strategy that is only successful if worked at for the long haul.
SEO can be broken up into two phases. The first phase is on-site optimization. This is when you analyze a website page by page, conduct keyword research to figure out how people are searching for what you have to offer, and implement these keywords into the page content that includes the meta tags, content, and URLs. On-site optimization can be a timely process in and of itself. While it will definitely help and give a website a little extra oomph, it’s only one part of the SEO process.
No matter how well you optimize your website, SEO success will be hindered without link building. Once the on-site optimization phase has been completed, it only needs to be revisited when the content changes, or every few years, whichever comes first. Link building, on the other hand, is an ongoing process and is never “done” and is essentially what builds and maintains the SEO success of a website over time.
The Internet is a competitive place. No matter what industry you are in, it’s likely that there are at least a few (or maybe a few hundred!) competitors that are targeting the same audience and going after the same or similar keywords as you are. If you only optimize your site, but don’t conduct any link building, you will never be able to compete.
Links are what establish trust with the search engines. The number of quality, inbound links pointing to your website is part of the search ranking algorithm. If you have quality websites linking to you, you must be a quality website too. Of course, quality links aren’t easy to come by. For SEO purposes it’s important to participate in link building activities like blogging and blog commenting, press release distribution, article marketing, directory submission, and social networking. The most valuable links are the ones that occur naturally over time as more awareness is generated via quality content.
While it can be difficult to find SEO success, it’s just as challenging to maintain it. The most common reason why websites experience a gradual downward trend in traffic and search ranking over time is that they scale back on link building efforts.