Link Building Fundamentals are Marketing Fundamentals

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Despite search engine optimization being a legitimate online marketing practice for many years now, there are still plenty of marketing folks who don’t quite understand it. Some even fear it due to fear of the unknown. All they hear about are link warnings and penalties from the search engines and it’s enough for them to stay far away from it. However, this is a big mistake. Inbound links are a top search engine ranking factor and as long as you follow link building best practices, there’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact, link building should come fairly easy to marketers since link building fundamentals are essentially the same as marketing fundamentals overall. The fundamentals of link building are the same as any other marketing campaign and are based on:

Target audience research

Any good marketing campaign or strategy is based on research, specifically on target audience research. It’s necessary to determine, first, who target audience members are, and second, what the best ways to attract their attention are. A link building campaign is no different. Link builders need to spend adequate time searching for websites that are relevant to the industry/niche and looking for possible inbound link opportunities on those sites. An inbound link is really only worthwhile if it’s relevant and has the potential to generate traffic from target audience members.

Competitor research

Once you know who your target audience is and how they are spending their time online, the next item to research is the competition. What’s important to understand is that since the online space is so vast and accessible, online competition might be greater than offline competition. You probably have a list of your top direct competitors, but it’s important to conduct keyword searches to find additional competitors that may only live in the online space. Once you have your online competitor list narrowed down, spend time looking at what they’re doing online and how they’re marketing themselves. Using a tool like Open Site Explorer, pull a list of their inbound links and browse it for opportunities that might make sense for your site, too.


The relationships that marketers and public relations professionals make can go a long way towards building a company’s brand and establishing trust and loyalty. Establishing positive relationships with other website owners is a way to earn natural inbound links over time. Follow other website owners in your niche in social media and share their content and they’ll be likely to return the favor.

As you can see, the foundations of link building are the same as the foundations of any solid marketing campaign which is why any marketer should be able to easily execute a link building campaign. It’s just a matter of knowing what sites you want links from and establishing relationships with those who have the power to link to you.

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