You can use my backlinking chart as a sort of "visual checklist" for things you have or have not implemented or maybe use it to brainstorm and come up with your own ideas.
BASICS OF SEO:
Basics #1: You need backlinks and you can get them to a website in 3 ways.
1. Link bait: This is content on your site (in any number of formats) that is so informative, entertaining, and/or interesting enough that people naturally link to it from other sites including their own, thus building backlinks to your site. These types of links are considered the best backlinks since they are targeted, natural, dofollow, traffic generating, and often you can get them from high pagerank sites. Examples of link bait include: how-to content, games, tools, vidoes, pics, reviews, data/research, top 10 lists, etc. You won't find much information about link bait (sometimes called viral content) on this forum because it can be a high effort method but some of the best examples of this type of content can be found at Digg.com
2. Forced links: These are links that you create yourself on other sites. They are usually considered lower quality than link bait links and are often times considered as "backlink spam" from an SEO standpoint because they don't occur naturally. You can often times find high pagerank sites using this method and you can also proactively create lots of them. Examples include, paid blog posts, press releases, social networks, article submission, social bookmarks, link directories, document directories, software download directories, blog comments, link exchange, purchased links, forum profiles and private link networks/link wheels. You can also purchase or exchange backlinks on other sites. This is where most of the offers on this forum (at least in the past) have been associated with.
3. Syndication: When you freely provide/distribute the content on your site for other sites to use it is called syndication. This is typically accomplished by other sites using your site's RSS feed(s). RSS feeds can be used to publish your site's content to Facebook , Twitter, blogs, RSS aggregators, etc. You can also distribute affiliate links, software programs, press releases, and videos from your site to other sites. These types of links are usually the lowest quality in nature because lower quality sites tend to use other site's RSS feeds instead of their own content but once again you can generate a ton of backlinks using this tactic. This can also be considered "spammy" if you over do it.
Basics #2: The ability of your backlinks to increase your SEO rankings depends on 4 primary factors.
Though the ranking of their importance can be debated the utilization of the factors below are fairly consistent across all search engines. There are other factors as well but these are the most prominent.
1. The competition for your keyword(s) - It goes without saying that if the target niche/keywords is highly competitive you will have a harder time ranking your site on any search engine.
2. The number of backlinks to your site - The number of links to a site is considered the "popularity" vote. The idea being that relevant sites with high quality content should naturally receive a high number of backlinks.
3. The authority of your backlinks - This is similar to link popularity but it focuses more on "which" sites are giving the vote with a backlink. The idea here is that highly reputable sites will only link to other highly reputable sites. Taking this factor into consideration is also a way for search engines to counteract link spamming which usually entails proactively building lots of low authority links to artificially boost link popularity.
4. The relevancy of your backlinks - Sites linking to your site should be relevant to your site's theme/niche. This can be achieved either at the link(anchor text), page(content), or site(site theme) level.
Basics #3: A simplified SEO backlinks strategy workflow is as follows:
1. Research the themed keywords in the target niche you desire. (see my sig for a great niche/keyword discovery tool)
2. Create original, high quality content around your target keyword(s) and re-purpose that content continuously in various formats for onsite and offsite use. See my SEO chart for all available content formats.
3. Create backlinks to your site from various types of 3rd party sites using your target keywords(s) in the anchor text of the link about 30% of the time. Some backlinks will count to improve SERPs, others will contribute to bringing traffic.
4. Syndicate your site's content (and even content from your backlink sources) to even more 3rd party sites using various methods like RSS. You can even re-syndicate the consolidated syndicated content.
This entire SEO backlinks strategy revolves around constantly generating and repurposing content and building backlinks. You hear a lot of people saying that backlinks are the key to SEO and others say that content is the key but in my opinion if you want a site that will stand the test of time, you really need both to improve SERPs and increase traffic. Quality content takes resources to produce so there is no free lunch here but content generation is something that can be outsourced.
You can download both off-site and on-site SEO charts below.
Off-site SEO/Traffic Chart - This chart is now a free bonus with my Keyword tool WSO
On-site SEO Checklist - This chart is now a free bonus with my Keyword tool WSO
No, you can't have the original docs but I am more than willing to make additions or edits based on community feedback.
Some important items to note based on my own experience and observations:
1. You don't have to have a Wordpress website to make this strategy work but Wordpress is highly recommended given it is SEO optimized out of the box, the ability to easily add content, as well as the plethora of SEO friendly plugins available to automate or semi-automate things
2. I didn't include a category specifically for hub pages such as Squiddo on the chart as they are somewhat of a special case but I recommend just including them in your "proprietary link network".
3. I did include blog comments as a backlink source but be aware that most blogs use nofollow tags these days and also if you spam them your site URL can get blacklisted. Still, even if you don't get the SEO boost from some blogs, comments are a good traffic strategy from relevant and high traffic blogs.
4. Also, link directories have lost some of their punch as far as Google is concerned but they still give you results with other search engines.
5. There are some sneaky tricks to learn for article marketing. (especially ezinearticles.com) and forum backlinks. You can find information on this by searching this site.
If this information was helpful to you just click the "Thanks" button at the bottom right of this post.