This is a guest post by Ana Hoffman.
What does it really take to build a hustling and bustling blog with a thriving and active community around it?
Kristi knows – just look around.
PageRank 5, Alexa rank about 15K and constantly dropping (in case you are not familiar with how Alexa rank works, the lower the number, the better), a wealth of comments on every post.
It seems like Kristi knows everyone and everyone knows Kristi.
Want some of that?
Let’s talk about her not-so-secret secrets that power up her blog.
Besides her numerous guest posts all around the blogosphere, several prestigious awards like Finalists: Top 10 Social Media Blogs 2011, and being an all around nice gal, Kristi is always about GIVING to her readers.
Yes, her readers come back over and over because of the exceptional content Kristi provides, but also because she rewards those who take their time to read her posts and leave their thoughts in comments with Dofollow, CommentLuv, and KeywordLuv enabled links back to their blogs.
Let’s face it: most commentators on any blog appreciate a high-quality backlink or two – after all, link building is still the cornerstone of top Google rankings. And blog commenting is still one of the easiest ways to get backlinks.
However, what I see many bloggers do, newbie bloggers in particular, is not really knowing how to use the resources Kristi and so many other bloggers provide to maximize their link building efforts.
So how do you use Dofollow, KeywordLuv, and CommentLuv to their full potential?
Glad you asked.
In simple terms, dofollow links mean that the owner of the originating site is willing to pass some of their site authority to your site. It’s as if Kristi is saying to Google “This site I am linking to can be trusted.”
The more such quality dofollow links you have pointing back to your site, the more likely you are to rank higher on Google.
Mistake #1: Commentators seek out dofollow blogs only.
However, there’s one very important rule to remember: don’t try to build links from Dofollow sites exclusively.
Google likes a natural link building footprint, which includes links from various sources, like blogs (in-content and comments), article directories, Web 2.0 properties, social bookmarking sites, forums, just to name a few.
And yes, you need a mixture of both Dofollow and Nofollow links, because that’s what natural link building looks like.
How do you know whether a blog is Do or Nofollow?
There is a multitude of tools to determine that.
Personally, I use SEOBook Toolbar (free download), which has a function to highlight Nofollow links on any given page.
How do you get the most out of Dofollow links?
Or any links for that matter…
The best links are the ones that contain your keywords you are trying to rank for as anchor text.
And that’s where KeywordLuv and CommentLuv come in.
First of all, what does KeywordLuv do?
When you enter “your name @ your keywords” in the name field of the comment section, the plugin will leave your name out and link only “your keywords” part to the URL you enter in the “Website” field.
For instance, here’s me leaving a comment on one of Kristi’s posts:
After the comment is submitted, KeywordLuv will automatically turn “Ana @ Bounce rate” into “Ana from Bounce rate“, linking my keyword to the URL I chose.
There are many ways bloggers, both veterans and newbies, don’t use KeywordLuv to their advantage.
Mistake #2: They don’t use it at all.
I don’t get it.
I am sure some bloggers could care less about Google rankings and the free targeted traffic they can get from it, but the majority of us would love to see our rankings improve for a keyword or two.
Using KeywordLuv to target those keywords is an excellent link building tool and, since far not all bloggers are generous enough to give that kind of leverage to you, I highly recommend you don’t skip these opportunities.
Mistake #3: They overdo the keywords.
Let me give you an example:
Dumping every single keyword in your KeywordLuv link is a huge mistake; the kind that can minimize all your link building efforts.
What this kind of link building does is it dilutes your potential rankings for all those keywords, unless you want to rank for “how to go green, go green save money, green living“.
Side note: as I wrote that, I was curious to see if Steve from the image above is actually ranking for the entire phrase (not that anyone would every search for a mouthful like that). Results: he ranks #3. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t rank for any one of the keywords he MEANS to rank for.
Mistake #4: They don’t use “@” as the separator.
Most KeywordLuv enabled blogs will give you instructions on how to properly use the plugin to get your anchor text hyperlinked.
Here’s what see in Kristi’s comment section:
Doesn’t seem like it would take a rocket scientist to figure this one out, yet I see anything from “|” to ” ‘ ” to “from” used as the separator instead.
Result? Yet another way to waste a great opportunity to build targeted links.
Mistake #5: They don’t link to internal pages.
Your blog home page is just that: A PAGE, as far as Google is concerned.
Thus, logically it won’t rank for every keyword under the sun; that’s what your posts and pages are for.
Your home page should rank for the most generic keywords that identify the overall theme of your blog.
For instance, for my blog it’s keywords like “traffic generation”, “web traffic”, etc.
It’ll never rank for such keywords as “bounce rate”, but one of my posts about bounce rate will.
And to help it rank for that keyword, I am using KeywordLuv enabled blogs to build anchor-text rich links, linking to the post itself (see the image above).
This is a good example of deep linking, i.e. linking to your internal pages instead of your home page.
Mistake #6: They link to the same page more than once.
This is not common knowledge and even if are good at avoiding all the mistakes I listed above, chances are you are guilty of this one.
It is a general consensus among SEO’s that Google will count only one link to the same URL per page.
How does that play out in comments?
Let’s say you left a comment for Kristi linking to your home page. She responded to it and prompted you to come back and reply to her response.
If you link to your home page in your reply YET AGAIN, you just wasted an opportunity to build an additional link from that particular post, since Google will count only the first link.
However, if you come back and this time link to a different page on your blog, you’ve just created yet another valid quality link to your blog.
This tip goes for both KeywordLuv and CommentLuv links.
If you leave more than one comment on the same post, make sure you link to different pages each time.
Mistake #7: Letting Feedburner Steal Your Links
If you are using Feedburner as your RSS feed management provider and have never changed their default settings, your CommentLuv links are most likely being stolen by them.
How do you know if this is happening to you?
Just hover over a CommentLuv link you left somewhere and see if your site name is shown as the one you are linking to.
If you see a link like in the image below, read on – the instructions on how to fix this are below.
1. Log into your Feedburner account and find “Configure Stats” in the left-hand sidebar.
2. Make sure your “Item link clicks” is unchecked.
3. Save your new settings and you are done!
This Feedburner behavior was first brought to my attention by Brian Rogel of Synactable.com quite a while ago, and I thought that it was a problem of the past by now.
Then I checked a few fresh comments on my blog and, lo and behold, many of them still showed feedproxy links instead of direct CommentLuv links.
Mistake #8: Not Seeking Out CommentLuv Enabled Blogs
Let’s face it: networking with other bloggers is great, but networking AND building double links at the same time is extra sweet.
I’ll give you two great tools to find quality CommentLuv enabled blogs:
- My very own hand-picked CommentLuv enabled blog list. Only active quality blogs PR2-PR6. Constantly updated.
- DropMyLink.com – designed by Chris Fong of MisterFong.com, this brilliant tool will help you search the blogosphere by keywords and specific search queries, one of them being CommentLuv Premium enabled blogs.
Mistake #9: Not Using Targeted Anchor Text
Wait a minute, Ana.
Doesn’t CommenLuv pulls the data for the links from a blog RSS feed, thus whatever the title of the post is that’s what the link will display?
PRECISELY my point.
What if you were to change any given blog title you to just your keywords? Then CommentLuv will pull out that title, which in fact will give you much better targeted links.
And, by the way, you can always change your title back to the original; this won’t change the CommentLuv links already left in comments on other blogs.
You can read more about this strategy in this post.
Now, this gets to be even more fun when you use CommentLuv Premium because, along with other cool features, CL Premium lets you add your pick of 5 posts that will ALWAYS be displayed in addition to your last 10 posts. You can change your choices at any time.
I use my favorite 5 as a link building tool, whereas my last 10 I keep intact and link to them when I think I can generate some traffic from a relevant post on another blog.
Unfortunately, CommentLuv Premium is currently closed to new buyers, but I’ve got good news for those of you who are dying to get your hands on it.
Starting today, October 26, through November 7 (the next launch date for the plugin), I will be running a CommentLuv Premium giveaway on my blog. It’s simple to enter and you can even add your name to the waiting list to be notified the minute the plugin becomes available.
Mistake #10: …
Couldn’t think of one, but decided that if my post title says “9 Mistakes…”, you won’t want to read it – 10 seems to be a better number.
How about this: did I miss any cool link building tricks using KeywordLuv or CommentLuv?
Your tip can be my #10!
So what do you think? Have you made any of these link building mistakes in the past or are still making them?
Comment to show me that you’re alive!
And after you’ve built 2 links back to your blog in the comment section below, make sure to check out my giveaway… or just come by to say hello.