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The "Link Building Campaigns" Lesson is part of the full, Modern Search Engine Optimization (SEO) course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

To improve a site's SEO, Mike demonstrates how to build authority within an industry and research competitor's sites to help with link building strategy.


Transcript from the "Link Building Campaigns" Lesson

>> Once we've found some keywords and we've potentially identified using those keywords. A collection of relevant sites, we're ready to build our to start what's called a link building campaign and this is a concerted effort to get people to start referring to your app. So the first tip I have for you there is build a handful of relevant URLs.

These should be like pages that you spend a lot of time on and that you curate carefully. And you're gonna want to never change these URLs because over time, like over a matter of years, you want to build a lot of references pointing to these things. You don't want to, you want to make sure that these are what we call canonical URLs, canonical URLs.

And that means you're gonna strip off the query params from these, strip any like session ID stuff from them, take off any like hash portion of the URL. And the reason is when search engines start trying to create like, counts as to who's referring to what those are regarded as completely separate URLs, right?

And so you want to focus your efforts on a small number of targets because your goal is not to just get a whole bunch of like you don't want a whole bunch of pennies you want $100 bill, right? You want a couple high-value things that are gonna consistently show up and you're gonna be deliberate about the way you place these things relevant to topics that you care about.

So, front end masters might have, I know they have one page per course, but it would not be a terrible idea to have tracks where you have. The JavaScript track where you start out with intro to web development, and then you move on to more advanced topics. And then finally, we have advanced functional JavaScript at the end.

Because now anything that relates to that, even as new courses land, they could update that track. And that's sort of a permanent entity that lives even when my ember one point x course, I don't even have an ember two point x course but like ten years from now.

When we're on Ember 17 like my contents not going to be relevant, but JavaScript still will be. So you wanna make sure that these are things that have a long lifetime and you wanna use the same collection of links. Just a handful of them. Over and over.
>> They call those topic pages.

I think that's the word people started calling them.
>> That sounds right topic pages. So, there is a term you may come across called link velocity and this is just the rate at which inbound links to your presence grow over time. Generally, this is weighted by PageRank or the equivalent, so link velocity is sort of the rate at which you're gaining credibility amongst your peers.

An easy way to get some of this link building started is to do guest blog posts. So if none of you have ever run sort of a content oriented site, you're always looking for your next post like it is. It is a lot of effort to write blog posts.

And if someone comes to you with like a really high quality piece of content, and they say, hi, I'm in your space, I'm not necessarily competitor. But maybe this is like a trade organization. Like, here you go. Here's some content. I wrote this. I was thinking that you might post this like you will, you will get a favorable response more often than not.

Another thing that I'm, I'd like to demonstrate to you is a way to like look at your competitors and to figure out which keywords they're targeting and what aspect of SEO they're oriented towards. SpyFu is my preferred tool for this. So unlike some of the SEO tools, a SpyFu actually gives you some valuable stuff without you having to pay for it.

So we're gonna take a look at that briefly.
>> So this strategy wouldn't quite work for a single page application maybe where you set up a link campaign.
>> Good question about single page apps versus SEO. So I'm going to choose to dive into that topic in general.

I like rather than try to answer that question specifically so modern web crawlers, they will actually run JavaScript. And so single page apps will very often get picked up. However, with the people who designed crawlers, it's sort of an efficiency game, right? So the faster they can chew through a set of URLs and completely crawl them, the more often they'll get to like refresh their content, and they'll be up to date.

So there's a constant drive to be more and more efficient. Rumor has it that many crawlers will give up executing JavaScript at a particular time. So if you're relying on client side rendering, what can happen is if the thresholds that two and a half seconds, and you're still downloading your client side JavaScript, and you have a loading spinner on the page, like the clock is gonna stop.

And whatever your HTML is at that moment, that may be what ends up getting indexed. What I would advise, instead is to look at server side rendering solutions. Which are available for most of the single page app frameworks. So when I build Ember apps, I use fast boot, which will serve up like SEO ready HTML with the actual HTTP response.

And then sort of the client side app kicks in when the the JavaScript app downloads a second later. But single page apps should work with SEO, sync server side rendering is a way that you can make sure you get it right. There are contexts where your JavaScript is not run on the client side, sorry when it's not run by a crawler, but these would be like sharing your link on Facebook or Twitter or iMessage.

These are sort of the non search engine in richmonds that require those meta tags to be present. So they don't, they won't even download that JavaScript resource. They'll just go with whatever the HTML is that comes back. So here, we have SpyFu. And let's let me blow this up a little bit.

So it starts with, enter your competitors website. So just to keep things relevant here. We'll look at front end masters, since we all know what that's about. So it's kind of chewing through its data on front end masters and what we're going to see is that it has 207 organic keywords here.

You could create an account to see more results and pay to see even more results, but we're starting to see that. Here are the highly ranked keywords that relate to front end masters. So here, a number nine rank like this is sort of extremely relevant to this business whose URL we typed in.

So front end is that a scene is like, right on target for what this content is all about, which seems right. And we can also see that, if we look at other sites, so I'm just gonna look at because they're gonna have some other data here. So you can see here they have a ton of keywords, a lot of clicks, and they can even attempt to guess like what the AdWords budget is.

Based on how often those ads show up and the estimated cost of those keywords so this like, this is an invaluable tool. If you come up with a list of competitors and run through Spyfu, you can figure out like where basically build on top of the research they've already done and try to hone in on.

The same little pockets that they're honing in on and probably add a couple more of your own. So I love using this tool. Frankly, I don't pay for it. But if I were building a business where SEO was like a huge driver for new business, this would definitely be.

Probably a good place to invest some money in actual membership.

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