Obviously your business is fantastic and link building companies should be able to promote your business without the need of using a link building asset. However, if you are looking to really achieve great rankings then knowing what a link building asset is and why is it so useful can help take your online marketing to a new level. As mentioned before, in Google’s algorithm, Link Trust is important when looking to achieve high rankings in the search engine. A link building asset is something in your business of value that can help you receive a link from a trust worthy website. Link Masters, for example, offers a free link report tool. This tool allows any company to sign up free of charge and submit their monthly link building report to us. Our software will analyse each link to see if the link building they are providing is of a high quality in term of Domain Authority, Indexing, Follow/No Follow and moz trust (Link Trust). This is a link building asset as websites that offer advice on link building are happy to talk about our business because what we have to say offers value to the customer. There are many different types of link building assets but here are a few other examples that could relate to your business: Content Being able to write interesting content about your business and industry is a fantastic way of creating a link building asset. High quality content that is thought provoking and interesting to the reader will mean that other websites would want to share this information with their readers and provide you with a link. You can find a lot of content ideas using Google news to find interesting topics regarding your industry. If you work with content writers, provide them with information that can help us with their investigation process. Take the time to find the write topic to write about. Products and discount vouchers This is particularly useful for ecommerce websites but you can be creative on all sorts of things. Using products and discount vouchers as a link building asset is a great way of getting potential customers to engage with your business in a far more creative way. An example of this would be to offer competitions. So, if your run a cricket equipment site you could run a competition on: What is the greatest cricket moment of the 20[SUP]th[/SUP] century? Email us your opinion and the most popular choice will win a cricket voucher worth £50. This may sound a bit outlandish if you are a small business but by offering competition that engages the customer is a great way of creating a link building asset. Data If you run a business that has collected interesting data then you have a great link building asset. You may not even need to use your own data as there is a wealth of public data sources out there for you to tap into. With regards to Link Masters we questioned 50 SEO companies and asked if they provide link reports that show the client where the link appears on another website. From that list we found that only 5 did and from those 5 none actually told you whether the link has actually been found by the Google search engine. That’s good data. Armed with the link assets tools you are able to create a strategy for acquiring links from trust worthy sites. These approaches, along with many others are the keys to making a small business flourish in the online community. Does the domain age of the website I am link building from affect how quickly I move up the rankings? If you are choosing websites to link from based on the domain age then really you are not looking at the bigger picture. We we feel that domain age is not strictly a factor but instead the Domain Authority of the website. However, if you are using the age of the website as a factor then linking to a website that is over 2 years in a good basic principle.. Outsourcing your Link Building via odesk or other outsourcing companies Outsourcing your link building is a very viable option, especially for small businesses that do not have time to learn link building. However, due to the risk involved for penalisation due to bad practice, handing over control of your link building to an outsourcer can be a very daunting. When hiring a link builder on odesk or another outsourcing company the most important things to remember are: · Provide a strict link building criteria · Have the management tools available to monitor the work and make sure that it is accurate How can I do that? Well a strict link building criteria is definitely the simple part. If you are trying to increase your ranking for competitive terms then you need to make sure that your link builder understands the three key areas: · Link Diversity · Link Relevancy · Link Trust Link Trust – If you do not specify the importance of your website being linked to authoritative industry specific websites then there is every chance you will receive links that are considered low level. Do not just presume that because they are link builders with experience they will not elect the easiest option if it is not specified. Link Relevancy – Ask your link builder what anchor text percentage they are going to be using for which keywords. You could already have a list, which is excellent, but if you do not then ask them to create one for you and put what anchor text percentage they are going to use for each keyword. Making sure you do not over do the amount of “money making” keywords in your anchor text is extremely important as Google will penalise you if they feel you are trying to manipulate their search engine rankings. As a general rule of thumb you need to include 35% of “money making” anchor texts with the remaining 65% being none related or long tail anchor text. None related anchor text would include terms such as your domain name, domain url, click here, more information etc. Before you can begin, you can view how your current link relevancy is by going to ahrefs.com and putting in your domain URL. This amazing free software tool will help you understand how your anchor text percentages currently stand. If you have a keyword with a much higher percentage than the others (say over 20%) then you really need to be careful as you could be close to being penalised. Link Diversity –Linking to a range of different websites shows Google that you are creating a varied and natural looking campaign and this is incredibly important. Do not just purchase 100 directory submissions or 100 articles submission as it will be seen as spamming. The biggest issue when it comes to diversity for some link building outsourcers is link farming. As already mentioned, this is when a link builder has a network of links on just one server. Make sure that the link builder understands that you want each link to be on a different Cblock. Management This is by far the most difficult. If you do not have a way of tracking all the links being built for you then you cannot find out if the work created follows your criteria. To help with your management you can use companies like moz.org which is a company based in Seattle. For $99 per month you can view all the links they find through their own search engine and see the Anchor Text, quality of link in term of link trust (known an moz trust) and also the authority of the website known as Domain Authority. The problem you have with companies is that it can take up to 3 months and maybe more to get the results back and by the time you have the results, Google has already recognised the links.