Link building is about having other websites link back to you.
There are many ways to create back links and some techniques can get very complicated.
Many people are under the impression that back links are the most important aspect of SEO… it’s arguable but don’t ignore the other techniques… SEO is not just about link building.
This section will go into the various techniques to build links, link baiting and the various things you have to keep in mind.
All websites have a PageRank which dictates how many votes (links) it can give to other websites.
The links each have a different value depending on the relevancy of the pages. The more relevant the website is to the one it’s linking to… the more valuable that link is.
PageRank is determined by how good the SEO of that website is, including number and power of the links it receives from other websites.
Link velocity is the term used to describe the rate a websites receives incoming links. Having a consistent number of links coming in is better than getting a lot in a short amount of time. Spamming the internet with links back to your site and then stopping doesn’t have much value.
Some websites will add a “nofollow” command to the links. This command prevents search engines from counting that link as a vote. It looks like this:
People link to articles they think other people will find interesting, providing unique fresh information is the best way to get others to link back to you.
Good content should always come first. It should be the backbone of your link building strategy.
You can get other websites to link back to your site all you want but if the content isn’t there… no amount of links will help.
Getting link backs naturally with interesting and provocative information is the best strategy.
Always be original and create new fresh content that hasn’t been seen before.
Place a focus on your headlines and make them interesting and provocative.
Add images to your article, 1 or 2 images are ideal.
Quality content must be your highest priority. Provide as much value as you can.
Do not make your content a sales pitch. The quality of your content should sell itself.
Make you content so good that people want to see more and pay for more.
Making your content easily scannable like a “top 10 list” always does well.
Write something that people would want to share.
Making It Easy To Share
Aside from having excellent content, you should make it easy for people to share the content.
There are many plug-ins now available for most CMS’s that allow people to share a page on the various social bookmarking sites.
Including an “email to a friend” feature at the bottom of your content is a good way to encourage sharing.
Make your URL’s simple and avoid dynamic URL’s as they won’t get indexed.
Easy Places And Ways To Get Backlinks
There are many places on the net where you can simply submit your URL for a backlink.
Although many of these freebies won’t be worth much, they’ll still help in the long run.
There are thousands of directories on the net where you can submit your URL for free. We suggest the following directories:
Forums are also good places to get link backs.
Join all the forums related to your topic and contribute content to their website.
Be sure to not copy and paste your content to each forum. Each post should be unique and genuine.
When posting on forums, don’t ever spam or make it look like you’re trying to get a link back.
Many forums allow you to have a signature which goes at the bottom of your post; place your URL in there.
Commenting on blogs is also a good way of getting you URL out there. Many blogs will ask for your URL when you comment.
Approaching Others For Linkbacks
This technique should only be used once since asking a webmaster multiple times can be very annoying.
Many large blogs and websites receive many emails a day asking for link backs and 99% of the time they’re ignored.
Before you ask others for link backs it’s recommended you build a relationship with the webmaster first by:
- Contributing content to their site.
- Placing links on your site back to them.
- Doing positive reviews of their site.
You want to make the act of them placing a link to you a natural process; you shouldn’t have to ask for it. Offering your product for free to the webmaster in exchange for links can be very effective.
Make sure your product and site is of such a high quality that others would want to link back to you.
The webmasters reputation is on the line by linking to you… so make sure your site is not something that would embarrass them.
Widgets, Addons, Apps And Plug-Ins
Regardless of what niche you’re in, there’s a widget, or tool that will be helpful to your customers and other webmasters in your field.
Widgets and tools are great since you can add your URL to it and so if someone else uses the tool, they’ll be advertising for you.
To find a programmer we suggest using Elance.com. Just make a description of the idea you want and you’ll get programmers bidding for the project.
Simple apps won’t cost you much (under $100).
When making an app, make sure it’s useful, easy to use and easy to implement.
Don’t make programs your main source of backlinks as the search engines frown upon it if it’s used too much… be sure to have other forms of backlinks as well.
Make sure the program runs smoothly as other webmasters will hate it if slows down loading speed.
If an app is really useful to you niche, expect others to promote it.
Link baiting is creating a piece of content that will make other people want to link to it and share it.
Lots of marketing experts are trying to figure out the secret to viral/link bait marketing. There are hundreds of factors at play so it’s very hard to figure out.
Link baiting much like a viral video is not a well understood science but there are commonalities between the successes. The most common commonalities are:
- The content provides a new outlook on things.
- It’s never been seen before.
- It’s a list.
- It has images and/or videos.
- It’s never just text.
- It’s different.
Follow social bookmarking sites like Digg and notice what makes it to the front page.
Lists like “top 10 lists” do really well, be sure to add images and add a little humor.
Talking about a controversial subject can be good link bait, although avoid offering an opinion… instead talk about both sides and let your visitors argue about it in the comments section.
Link bait content may not be successful right away; sometimes an article will take off a year after publishing.
Quality Over Quantity
One good link is worth a lot more than a lot of bad links.
Focus on quality and not quantity when making back links
Links with a keyword rich anchor text is much better than a “click here” link.
When possible, always use anchor text for a link.
Make sure your anchor text is relevant to your home page. The more relevant it is the better.
Also focus on getting backlinks from websites with a high PageRank.
What To Avoid
Not all backlinks are good backlinks.
There are some websites you should avoid being associated with as they can lower your rankings.
The search engines look for certain signs that could mean you’re spamming. Getting thousands of backlinks in short period of time can set of their radar so be careful.
The best way to stay out of trouble is to not spam, instead build links naturally.
Link exchanges and link networks should be avoided as it could get you associated with spam sites.
Avoid using programs that automatically submit your URL to thousands of sites… this can get you penalized.
Seeing What Your Competition Is Doing
Your competition may be your greatest source for finding good backlinks.
There are some programs like Yahoo! Site Explorer which allow you to see which websites link to your competitors.
There’s an excellent Firefox extension that lets you see your competitors backlinks, the anchor text used and other information about the links. You can find the program here:
By seeing what your competition is doing, you can follow in their footsteps and then go beyond their efforts.