LINK BUILDING & LINK HEALTH
28. Have you started off-page optimization and began building links?
Check out the ClickMinded Link Building Strategy Guide to get started.
Google sees links from external websites as referrals – these websites are essentially vouching for you. The more links you get from high authority, trusted websites, the higher your Domain Authority (your ability to rank for keywords) will be.
The higher the Domain Authority of the website the link is coming from, the more valuable the link is in the eyes of Google.
The links you obtain should also be relevant to your industry. The more links you obtain from websites that are related to your industry or topic of your website, the more likely you will rank for keywords within your industry. Similarly for low authority links, too many external links from irrelevant websites could be seen as spam and could affect your rankings negatively (more in point 29).
Luckily, in life sciences, the easiest place to obtain links are with other trusted high authority life science websites. Here are a few of the best places to get links:
DISTRIBUTORS AND SUPPLIERS.
Reach out to your distributors and suppliers for links on their website. This could be in exchange for a link on your site for them.
A LIFE SCIENCE EXAMPLE
Take a look at Transomic Technologies distributor page.
We consulted Transomic to reach out to each of these distributors and obtain a link. As a result, Transomic obtained 17 links from high authority, trusted, relevant websites.
Fig 11. One of many strategies for link building campaigns to increase referral traffic and domain authority.
Reach out to your most loyal customers or clients, or the customers that you have built a relationship with. We found that the most effective way to obtain a link is in exchange for a discount on your products or services.
If any of your clients are university research labs, this is where you could hit the link jackpot. Universities have some of the highest authority websites on the web (usually with a Domain Authority of 85+). One link from a university website will be more impactful to your rankings than 50+ links from low authority web directories.
A LIFE SCIENCE EXAMPLE
We consulted Boster Bio (antibody and ELISA experts) to reach out to their top selling customers for links in exchange for a discount on their products, and advised them to focus on university research labs. As a result, they obtained several high authority links from university sites. An example is below:
These two links are from a website with a domain authority 88 – link gold!
Fig 12. Another highly effective link building strategy from academic institutions.
LIFE SCIENCE WEB DIRECTORIES
This can be quick and easy, but it is a risky way of building links. Google frowns upon building links in this unnatural way as they see it as an attempt to manipulate their algorithms. Building links in too many web directories can result in a Google penalty. We recommend building links in 5 (maximum 10) trusted web directories related to life sciences. Just a few of these include http://biopharmguy.com/, http://www.biospace.com/, and http://www.dmoz.com/.
Create excellent content and resources for the life science industry that are valuable enough to link to. A great way to get inspiration for content and resources is to conduct a competitor link analysis. Using Open Site Explorer (free with a Moz subscription), filter through the link profile of a competitor that is successfully ranking online.
Open Site Explorer is a fantastic resource that gives you information about every inbound link that a website has. You can essentially spy on your competitors. The software tells you where the link is coming from, which page it’s linking to, the anchor text, and even the spam score and domain authority of the linking website.
Within the links displayed, we’re looking for common resources and content that external websites are linking to again and again.
A LIFE SCIENCE EXAMPLE
Here is a snippet from Genscript’s link profile:
Fig 13. A full list of every single inbound link that GenScript has going to its website.
After analysing Genscripts highest authority inbound links, we found that 24 inbound links were referencing Genscript’s WoLF PSORT Localization Prediction Tool.
Domain Authority 81+: 4 links
Domain Authority 51-80: 4 links
Domain Authority 41-50: 16 links
This simple bioinformatics tool is pulling in a large portion of Genscripts most valuable links, which is hugely boosting it’s own domain authority and rankings. Genscript is edging out a lot of it’s competitors on the search engines for protein and antibody services because of the creation of this one resource.
The reason this tool is receiving so many links is because researchers are using it for protein analysis in their research. As a result, many journal websites and university websites are referencing it.
At Supreme Optimization, we have found that creating and promoting bioinformatics tools has been a successful link building technique.
29. Have you checked your link profile health with a link audit?
As mentioned in point 28, if link building is not done correctly, Google could view your link profile as spammy and potentially impose a Google penalty on your site.
Even before you embark on a link building campaign, it is important to check the health of your link profile using Open Site Explorer to check for spammy and low authority links that could be impacting your site negatively.
Also check any overuse of anchor text in your inbound links which could be considered a red flag of unnatural link building by Google. As a general rule, if 10+% of your inbound links have exact match anchor text (not including branded anchor text), then you should consider diluting this.
Performing a link audit is especially important if you have paid for any previous SEO services. Outdated SEO methods included submitting your site to 100s, even 1000s of spammy web directories. Google caught on to this technique and now imposes Google penalties on any websites it finds participating in these unnatural link building campaigns.
A LIFE SCIENCE EXAMPLE
AllCells example here:
Fig 14. An unnatural link profile which is likely to get a manual penalty from Google.
Fig 15. Evidence of a successful Google penalty removal
AllCells had over 3379 unnatural links from spam directories. As a result, Google delisted AllCells and all of their major revenue driving keywords from Google search. As one can imagine, if your website is banned from Google, this poses serious issues for a company’s bottom line. Therefore, AllCells reached out to Supreme Optimization to clear up the penalty. After two months of hard work, link removal, and letters to Google, we finally resolved this penalty.
Lesson learned is do not hire an unreputable SEO firm that uses blackhat SEO methods, and false “guarantees.” In fact, Google specifically warns that “no one can guarantee a #1 ranking, not even Google.”
30. Have you added Authorship Markup to your site?
Authorship markup search snippet images are gone, but you may still want to add it to your site. Use the Authorship Markup Walkthrough.