So if you’ve read my ‘Linkbuilding FAQs for Beginners‘, you’ll know how important backlinks are to the success of your website.
In this post, I’ll share ten of the best ways to start building those all important links, straightforward ideas that you can start implementing today.
Firstly, let’s recap the dos & don’ts of successful linkbuilding:
DO: Keep it natural. One well placed link is worth a dozen sloppy mass produced ones!
DON’T: Buy Links. EVER!
DO: Be consistent. Start small and build your efforts gradually.
DON’T: Post a hundred links in a day then do nothing for a month.
DO: Keep track of your progress, pinpoint what is working & do more of it!
Building links for a new, or even an existing site, can feel like a daunting task. There are so many potential avenues to explore, it can be hard knowing where to start. Here, I’ll discuss ten of the easiest and most effective ways of getting your link out there.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest… love them or hate them, social networking is here to stay. In an age of smart phones and a need for constant, current information, any website not giving it’s readers the option to follow them on their favourite network, is taking a big risk. Social Networks allow you to build a community around your brand, encourage users to share your content, and ultimately, widens your potential audience.
Initially setting up the pages can be time consuming, but it really is worth it in the long run. If you’re overwhelmed by the variety available, pick perhaps three of the most popular networks and concentrate your efforts on those. Personally, I’d recommend Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is a good third as a current rising star of the online world.
Much like Social Networking, Social Bookmarking when it is done well, can be a very valuable tool. As with Facebook & Twitter, StumbleUpon & Digg buttons are an almost essential part of any great web design. Again, there are a huge number of platforms to choose from, so do a little research and decide which are a good fit for your project.
In my opinion, every site needs some form of blog. It is the perfect way to engage with your readers, keep them updated, and an ideal platform to encourage them to keep coming back for more. Posting regularly gives you an opportunity to keep your content keyword rich and consistent updates keep you on Google’s search radar too.
Many blogs are happy to accept relevant, well written guest posts, and will link back to your site in exchange for quality content. A link to your site on a relevant blog, can attract a huge amount of new traffic and do wonders for your Google rank – especially if the site you’re posting on already has a high rank of its own.
A quick search for ‘[your niche] blog’ will return countless results of blogs you can get commenting on, and this can be a great way to build new links. Be selective though – choose blogs that are relevant to your business, and make your comments useful and relevant too – avoid just a ‘great post!’ or ‘I agree!’ – These just look spammy and won’t encourage people to visit your site.
As with blog commenting, choose forums that are relevant & active. Keep your posts & replies on topic and informative.
Link Bait is any content or feature, within a site, designed to catch people’s attention and interest. A funny photo, a great info graphic, a must have app… Anything that people are drawn to and feel compelled to share with their network.
These can be divided into three groups – General, Niche & Local. General would be directories such as Yell, Thomson Local and so on. Niche obviously refers to directories relating specifically to your area of business, and local is anything based in your own area. All three can be useful, and while they may not attract so many visitors as other methods mentioned, they can be very useful in terms of mapping your location and influencing your ranking on Google Maps, check out my 54 top local citations.
There are two basic varieties here – General Link Directories, which accept basically anything and everything, and Niche Link Directories, which are industry specific. The former, are really not worth investing time in – the sheer volume of links is immense and consequently the links are not terribly credible and these sited generally have a poor page rank. By all means, submit to one or two each month for the sake of link diversity, but do not consider these sites a priority.
Niche directories on the other hand, can be very worthwhile as they specifically target people interested in your field. For example, if you run a Party Planning Website, directories focusing on Event Management, Entertainments and the like, are more likely to be accessed by people that your site will be of use to. The more selective choice of links published also contributes to the directory site having a better page rank, giving your own link more credibility.
Submitting an article, or press release to sites such as Article Dashboard or 24-7 Press Release can be a great way to expose your link to a new and wider audience. Don’t allow your standards to slip though – only submit content you would be happy to have on your own site, as it is still a direct representation of you. Also, don’t be tempted to submit the same content to a dozen different sites – it will be noticed, and do your site more harm than good. Keep your content unique and useful and this can be a worthwhile exercise.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other ways of successfully building links, but if you’re just starting out, these ideas can help build a solid foundation to build on.
Remember too, that linkbuilding is not just about getting your name out there. It’s about networking, building relationships and trust to grow a solid, diverse and ever expanding profile of back links to your site.
Use the ideas above and challenge yourself to create ten new backlinks today. Do the same tomorrow, and then again everyday for a week. As your traffic grows, you’ll see for yourself how worthwhile the process is. Good Luck!
Let me know of other link building opportunities you are aware of, and watch out for my 3 part blog on successfully building backlinks, which goes into far more detail! Subscribe now to ensure you don’t miss out! Do you agree with all I have said above? Let me know in the comments box below!