One very important component of having a successful website is the use of White Hat SEO practices. These tactics involve the use of properly researched keywords, having a website that is user-friendly, and effective link building. In fact, many experts see link building as the SEO trump card. This is because links are the main way to have a web relationship and it’s these relationships with other sites that indicate to search engines how "reputable" your website is. So what exactly does link building entail? First, here are a few things link building is not:
- Setting up a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account, and then forgetting about them
- Link exchanges with people you don’t know – they often result in "nofollow" links or become devalued.
- While pertinent, helpful comments on blogs and forums are recommended, the reverse is that spammy, irrelevant comments work against you.
- Automated link building – There are programs out there that promise to get you tons of links for almost nothing. Beware, those automated programs almost always mean that your content is viewed as spam
- link buying – this is heavily frowned upon in the Google Webmaster link building guidelines. So, use caution if this is your approach. If you pay for a link to be placed on another person’s site, it should also be for that person to review your site before endorsing it. This can be a grey area, however.
6 Ways to Build Effective Links
There are numerous ways to build effective links and the more of them you put into practice the better. Yes, this will take time but as you see your business grow, the time invested will be worth it. Of course, you don’t have to do all of the link building on your own. Hire Page Progressive to do it for you! We will be happy to implement the techniques below to make your website all you want it to be.
- Get Authority links from leaders in your field. These help get links directly from sources that are trusted and related resources. Begin with major search engines and find the sites that you know to be tursted authorities in your industry.
- One way links are often achieved through link baiting. This is a White Hat technique where your website content targets a friendly audience. This type of link is high on the value scale. Link bait requires you to publish a new content rich page on the web and then wait for visitors to click through to your site. The ultimate goal is for the visitors to pick up the content then link back to your site because of your valuable content.
- Directories are great for inbound links and do not require regular monitoring. Just submit your site to directories that give free listings, as well as to quality listings and over time others will link with your site. You will also want to tag related sites on Del.cio.us. If you add valuable content, ask friends to "tag" or share your content with other social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or Digg so that your content will be hopefully linked to from other sites.
- Meme trackers and social bookmarking is comprised of writing a lot about popular ideas and linking the articles. Use an attention getting titles and summaries so that people are drawn to your post. Ask others to comment on it so that it gains popularity and visibility along with numerous links to it.
- Article Bio links are achieved by writing an article, being sure to add the author bio resource (sometimes called a SIG box). Send the article to top article directories; as your article grows in popularity, your website will grow in traffic.
- Blogging and leaving comments is an effective way to natural inbound links. Consider having a blog or forum of your own that you can link back to. A word of caution: Be sure that your comments are useful and help to create a positive online reputation.
7 Advanced Link Building Tactics
Understanding what you should do is just as important as knowing what not to do. Effective link building is an ongoing process. In fact, it is time consuming and requires much dedication in order to have significant returns. And, while some link building practices are standard, here are some of the more advanced methods used by the experts:
- Search Yahoo, Google, MSN and other search engines for each of your keywords, then make it a point to get a link from each page listed. Sometimes this can be done with a personal e-mail, other times a hand written letter and, in some cases, a phone call.
- Find out what sites are linking to your competitors and ask them to link to you as well.
- Rent pages from authority sites within your industry then add content and links on the page to your own sites. Be sure to include anchor text in the format you select. But don’t be obnoxious about it.
- If your budget allows it, purchase advertising on sites that will give you good click through rates for at least 6 months. Be sure to avoid advertising in places where the seller does not have useful information, has low click-ough rates and few visitors.
- Offer unique tools and services on your site for free. Once you have determined and put into operation the tool/services, let industry leaders know about it, write about it and ask others to use and evaluate it on forums or social media sites.
- Press releases containing a carefully worded title, well placed keywords and a link to your site that is mentioned in the article subject can greatly improve your ranking. Keep in mind that a well written press release may even come to the attention of the industry’s biggest players. Two of the leaders for press releases are www.prleap.com and www.preweb.com.
- Natural link building, though somewhat unreliable, is what drives the Internet. It involves developing the best content and providing the best tools, prices, etc. in your industry.
2 Warnings about Paid Link Building
Scott Moir recently wrote an article about paid link building. In it, he has two things to avoid should you opt to use paid link building. These are:
- If a link building company does not have a direct and serviceable phone number for contact, find someone else.
- Visit a company’s website (assuming they have one), if it looks outdated, is vague, has only an e-mail contact form, has an abundance of grammatical errors or does not have a "History" or "About Us" page, it is very likely that the company is not all that you thought it to be.
Protect yourself by being familiar with the Google Webmaster link building guidelines. This will help you make the most of your time spent link building.
Link building is a vital part of having a successful website. Of course, you want your links to have value-for both you and your customers. Look for the second part of this series on link building to learn how to ensure the value of your link building. In the meantime, check us out on Facebook and Twitter, where you can keep up to date with the latest happenings at Page Progressive.