This post aims to uncover the various ways in which you can build your external linking profile or backlinks (links pointing to your site from external sources to your site) in a decent way where you have the right to earn a link and not go about begging for it.
Most web site owners find it a daunting task to build links. I have come across cases where businesses have outsourced their link building campaigns to unknown or shady practitioners purporting to be experts. They end up linking to spam sites and the site owner’s site gets crucified being kicked out of the Google Index.
Falling prey to link building schemes is easy so beware. As a serious business owner, you would be well off building your site’s external linking profile yourself or leave it to a reputed well known SEO firm to handle it for you.
The various ways of building links:
1) Kickass Content:
I cannot stress enough on quality content. Original unique content is the key to earning links. With top quality content on your blog or articles on your site, you attract the eye of other site owners in the same vertical as yours and they recognise the merit in your content by linking to it. This is the best way of earning links. Such links are meritorious and endure the test of time by being relevant to the industry in which your business operates.
Looking at it from a practical view point, Google is really asking you how much of an expert you are in your industry. The links pointing to your site from other topical sites are a very strong signal to Google and links with appropriate anchor text gives Google the confirmation that your site is really what you describe it as. These links are votes from external unbiased sources that affirm what your site or page is about.
If you cannot write, you can jot down the points for your proposed blog post or article and pass it on to a good copywriter to put into a nice readable form.
2) Article Submission:
This is a method that has been flogged over the years and many feel it has lost its charm. It is a great way of gaining inbound links from good article directories like ezinearticles.com, zimbio.com and buzzle.com to name a few. When you create an article and post it on your site or blog, make sure that you are creating variations of the original.
If you are targeting half a dozen article directories, you can post variations of the original article to these sites and gain great inbound links. Duplicating the content all over the place is not going to help your site’s cause.
The various domains on which your article gets published, the more your domain diversity is varied. Domain diversity is another factor that I have written about that plays an important role in search engine rankings. All these add up to the site getting more traction to help it rank better on the SERPs as well.
3) Using Social Media:
If you have a blog to which you post atleast 3 times a week, you can convert it into an RSS feed and export them to Web 2.0 properties that you own. To start with, you can post your content feeds on Squidoo, Tumblr, Twitter to name a few and the blog search leaderTechnorati.
These are sites residing on powerful domains and links from such domains to your site will be very beneficial. Another crucial factor is the number of visitors. These are popular social spots where traffic mills around all the time. Your interesting posts will receive lot of eyeballs.
Again, the important point is to keep your social media properties active and update them regularly. A good way is to post your RSS feed from yor blog on these sites.
Please avoid hyping about your products and services and promoting yourself to the max. It is a turn off. Remain as objective as possible. You are on a winning path.
4) Submitting to Directories:
This is a dead process for most search marketing experts. I would still give this some value. The good folks at SEOmoz have posted a good list of powerful directories. A lot of them require a payment for your site to be considered for inclusion. You have to read the terms and conditions of each directory before submitting your site.
Some of the directories like Yahoo charge US$299 per year for listing your site. There is no guarantee that your site will be accepted in which case you lose your money. All submitted sites are reviewed by humans. Your site should be of an acceptable standard. Google gives lot of merit to such a strict vetting process. If your site is of a good standard and you get accepted, the link back to your site from such powerful domains are invaluable and well worth it.
5) Reciprocal Link Building:
This is another method that has lost its sheen because of excessive abuse in the past. You can gain value from this if this is done right. If you approach a peer site in your industry with a request for a reciprocal link, make sure you have linked to her site first and point this out in your email.
Please do not have a separate page called Links on your site under which you list your link partners. Such pages are not given much weight at all. You would be well of giving links contextually to a leading website in your industry naturally placing it in your content in a post or article. This is much more valuable to the other site. The other site owner will also be inclined to position your link on a more attractive place on her site than banish it to an unknown part of her site.
From the afore mentioned techniques, you will find one common strain running through them all – it requires hard work and patience on your part. Using the flashiest link building software that gives you a thousand links in one month is only going to destroy your site’s reputation in the eyes of Google.
Also, do not be afraid to link to authoritative websites in your industry as this enhances your good neighbourhood profile of your site. Finally, link to sites that are topically relevant to your site. You cannot always control who links to you. But you have the power to link to the right sources that are both topical and relevant to your focus.