Link building is a difficult concept to explain to people. When we are looking for linking partners we take into consideration PageRank, domain authority, age, history, relevancy, the site’s neighbourhood and a thousand other metrics. So how can we explain this to people who aren’t familiar with linking? Let’s think of it like this:

Your success in the rankings is like beautiful music. This music is played by an orchestra, with each of the players being a link pointing to your website.

Link building is like an Orchestra

The orchestra needs something to play

First of all, before we have anybody to play music, we need to decide what they are going to play! In an orchestra this is a matter of picking the music. On your site, this is choosing where sites are going to link to.

If you choose music that is too easy, or not suitable for your players and orchestra, you will find it difficult to keep your players interested. In the same way, you need content that is relevant and worthy of your linkers. In some cases this might be something easy, like your category pages, but other times you will need to work harder to find something everyone wants to play, including creating your own music that suits your players specifically.

In website terms, this is called link baiting, or creating content that is likely to draw links. Not all songs are number one hits, and in the same way we can’t expect all content to be a hit and draw hundreds of links.  We may have to write a lot before we find our chart topper.

More is not always better – aka, finding the right players

An orchestra relies on all of the musicians being skilled at their trade.  This is exactly the same with building links. All sites have value for link building, so we want to get the ones that will contribute the most to our music.

Consider these two situations:

  1. You approach 100 people on the street and hand each a musical instrument. You now have an orchestra in the loosest sense of the word, but all your players can make is noise.
  2. Second, you find four highly talented musicians and form a quartet capable of playing whatever you give them.

In the above cases, which is going to give you the better sounding music? (Keep in mind we are trying to make music here, not just as much noise as possible). Sure the orchestra may be louder, but volume does not equal music.

In the same way we want to find the most valuable players that contribute the most to our sound, we also want the most valuable links that contribute the most to our site.

But the above raises a problem. If you are trying to put together your orchestra, how do you find these players? You have to have auditions and make sure that they are the people you want. The same has to happen with links. If we are approaching sites for links, it takes time to find the sites we want, and to convince them to join our orchestra.

1000 violins is not an orchestra

If you have an orchestra that is made up of only one type of instrument, you will always have a limited range of sounds, and therefore have a limited range of music you can play. We need violins, violas, cellos, percussion, and wind and brass instruments. In the same way, we need links from a variety of places.

But… metal drummers probably shouldn’t play in orchestras

While we have just finished telling you that we need to get variety of players/links, we can’t go too wide in our search. We want links from thematically relevant sites in the same way that an orchestra needs to find other people who play the same type of music.

For example, introducing a drummer from a metal band may not contribute to the orchestral music in the same way a trained tympani player would.

So where does First Rate fit in?

Think of us as the orchestra conductor. We help find players the music and then ensure they are all playing in time and are giving you the right sound! Talk to us if you are interested in doing some link building for your site.