Link Building With A Purpose

One of the most common questions I get from our readers is how to specifically do link building. The biggest thing to realize with link building is that you need to have a purpose in mind. You need to be targeting specific key phrases that you want to rank for.

For example, let’s say you own a website in the hunting industry and you are really looking to rank for the term “archery targets”. You need to go out and get links that point to your website where the clickable text (aka ‘anchor text’) is the term “archery targets”. ┬áIf that is your #1 term you want to rank for then you need to get most of your links with the anchor text “archery targets”.

In order to keep your link building looking natural to search engines you need to also get links that have a different mix of anchor texts but similar to your main term.

For example if you were going to get 50 links pointing to your website, an effective link building program to target “archery targets” would be something like this:

30 links with “archery targets” as anchor text pointing to your main page where you want to rank for this term

5 links with “3d archery targets” as the anchor text

5 links with “archery target” as anchor

5 links with “buy archery targets” as anchor.

1 link with “discount archery products” as anchor text

1 link with “archery website” as anchor text

1 link with “archery targets site” as anchor text

1 link with “online archery store” as anchor text

1 link with “hunting targets” as anchor text

As you can see from the example above I used about 60% of the links for the main phrase and then spread out the other 30% of the links to other similar phrases and used the main term inside some but not all of the similar phrases. The more natural the link appears to the search engines the more effective the links will be.

You really want a good mix of phrases but the majority of the links should point to your site using your main phrase.

This is how you will start to see an increase in rankings for key phrases you are targeting.

Adam White is a 20+ year entrepreneur having built and sold 18 internet businesses. He currently runs JustReachOut and SquidVision, a new type of landing page optimization software for SaaS companies, and does SaaS and SEO consulting at He lives in Tennessee with his wife and kids and in between SaaS businesses he writes and directs feature films.

9 comments On Link Building With A Purpose

  • Great info, as always.

    What do you think the breakdown in time spent doing link building vs. creating new content should be? I’ve been spending a fair amount of time link building, but I suspect at least half my time should be spent generating content.

    Any thoughts?

  • James, link building when done properly will always give you more bang for your buck when you are targeting specific key phrases then adding content will.

  • Link Building improves the Search Engine Ranking of your web page if done in specific ways.Besides an improved Search Engine Ranking, there are certain other benefits that your website derives from carrying out a Link Building Campaign.

  • One more question for you guys, since I really respect your opinion. From reading your SEO articles in the past I know that it’s best to obtain contextual links on relevant sites. Is it effective to have your link added contextually to a piece of content even if it was written a few months ago, or do contextual links only work for new content that hasn’t been indexed yet?

    Also, would a contextual link be preferable to a link in someone’s blogroll?

    Any thoughts are much appreciated!

  • Thanks for all this info, I just found this site and have been getting good tips. I had one question maybe somebody can help with. I recently commented on a blog post and for some reason the site is saving my URL, name, and email so whenever I go back to the site its already filled in. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue but for some reason this ends up counting as a link. Every single page this site adds (its a lot) is counting as a link to my site in Yahoo. It ended being around 400 links from this site to mine within two weeks. I’m really worried that this will throw off the search engines and devalue the other links I have. Any thoughts?

  • These are the most straight-forward, genuine, legitimate link building tips I have ever seen someone publish. Some people build entire websites about link building and never get such an important message like this across. Well done! Btw, I just came across your site (found it on page one for ‘internet marketing’) and I’ve read a few articles already and I really like your style. I’ve been doing SEO for a while but I’m very interested in learning about website flipping (i.e. where the buyers are), so you’ll hear from me again on your other posts!

  • Hi Adam,

    Please respond to Stephen’s concern above. I can only imagine that these many links don’t impact anything or you would have warned us and certainly not have them enabled on your site (nor WordPress by default). Please confirm.


    Oh, and thanks for the article. I have been ignoring link-building and only building up my content. In fact, 95% of my links are just natural organic links that others in the world have created for the site. I have been pleased with my rankings, but I think I have reached a plateau so it is time to push on a different side of this boulder.

    Thanks again!

  • Adam – For those of us new to SEO, can you point me to an article or give some direction on how to actually go about building links? Should we be visiting other blogs and creating links for ourselves there? Or do we try to get in contact with the site owners and ask them to create a link for us? I’m just not sure of the best practices here as far as actually getting the links created using the anchor text that you are targeting.


  • Hmmm hopefully I can learn more about this

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