Below is a guest post from Myia Kelly of Toronto agency Powered by Search.
Before you set any link building strategy into action, you need to first define your goals. While “get more links” is ultimately what you will do, it really isn’t an actionable goal.
In order to truly get the most out of your link building initiatives, your goals should be defined with your (or your client’s) specific industry in mind. The way you perform outreach for finance will be different from how you would do so for travel, and so on. Moreover, the scale, execution, and outcome of your link building efforts will vary depending on your company’s niche.
Therefore it is important that your strategy be organized around a clear set of goals. In order to optimize the time you spend on outreach (and it does require a significant amount of time) you first need to focus your goals.
Firstly, as a general rule of thumb, your link-building goals should be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific (assign a numerical value to your link-building goals based on competitor research)
Measurable (assign Key Performance Indicators)
Actionable (again, do not just say “get more links”. Define what kind of links you want and the results you hope to gain)
Realistic (size and scale of goals should be in accordance with the size and scale of your company)
Timed (assign a timeline of execution for your goals)
So what exactly do S.M.A.R.T. goals look like in a link building initiative? By far the most comprehensive list of link-building goals that I have come across is this guide by Garrett French. While I include a breakdown of the list below, I encourage you to give it a read.
What this list lacks, however, is insight into how to prioritize these goals according to your specific business needs. In recent years creating targeted industry-based goals has become increasingly important in the digital realm. The same is true of link building. Looking at finance, retail, travel, food, teach, legal, entertainment, ecommerce , auto, and health care I will explain how each industry can benefit from certain link-building goals, and how to make them work. Continue reading