If you want to make your website more visible online, you need to build incoming links. Web surfers follow links they see on other websites, and so do search engines; in fact, getting enough links of the right kind can raise your position on the search engine results pages. Keep reading for a few simple link building ideas.
Most of these ideas come from Nick Andrews, writing for Search Engine Journal. He talked about more ideas than I have space to discuss here. The most important, in my opinion, deals with content. No one will link to your site if you don't provide content that is worth linking to. So make sure you post the highest quality unique content that you can. That kind of content can attract links all by itself – and you'll get more “yes” responses when you ask other webmasters to link to those pages.
As you ask for those links, keep issues of relevancy in mind. If you run a website that sells floral baskets, for example, it doesn't make sense to try to get a link from a site focused on dog grooming...unless, perhaps, you have a gift basket specifically for pets. Try to stick to your own industry when hunting for sites to link to yours.
If you're just starting to build links, you might consider submitting to directories. Many, if not most, of the general ones don't pass value anymore, so try to stick with ones that are specific to your industry. This will take some research.
Reciprocal links have lately received a bad reputation. A number of observers have noted that Google devalues reciprocal links. To some extent, this depends on where they're placed. Links on link pages mean almost nothing to the search engines. Links within content, such as the body of a blog post, mean a fair bit more. As Andrews points out, “Agreeing with bloggers in your industry to include a link to each other on a weekly basis, per blog would result in 52 new links a year. Doing this with 10 bloggers per year is 520 incoming links to your site each year!”
If you're an expert in your field, you're probably familiar with its major blogs and forums. You can participate on them to help build up your brand and share your expertise. Others will notice, and may find and link to your site. Do NOT spam them, as that will destroy your credibility. But if you make sane, reasonable, helpful comments in the right blogs and forums in your industry, Andrews notes, you could “build links indirectly further down the line.”
This leads pretty smoothly to the next link idea – guest blogging. Once you've proven your expertise as a regular commenter on a blog, you might ask to write a guest post. According to Andrews, “The general purpose is you contribute high quality insight or information on someone else's blog in exchange for a link or two within your content.” This link, of course, would lead back to your website. If your guest blog post does well, you might even talk them into letting you do more than one, thus gaining multiple links from different pages back to your site.
Finally, don't overlook your employees. If they have the right skills and are carefully taught, they can be a great asset to your link building campaigns. Do you have employees that write well? Are they particularly knowledgeable? Do they have their pulse on what your customers want? Do they have good online people skills? They may be able to help you on their own blogs, or write good guest blogs, or participate in ways on forums that reflect positively on your company. They may even be able to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites in ways that attract links to your business.
That's all I have the space for right now. Next week, I hope to give you some more ideas and suggestions to help you build links that will get your website the traffic it deserves. Good luck!
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