Link Building Strategies

Link building is probably the most frustrating part of SEO.  How do you build links to your website if you do not have the time or the inclination to do so.  This post will explore a few techniques that will allow you to achieve one way links to your site without having to spend time or money doing so.

It is a well known fact that the quantity and quality of links to a website are a major factor in determining if and where a site ranks for a specific search query.  The more competitive the keyword pharse the more difficult it is to rank unless you have a significant amount of quality relevant links pointing to the target page.  How do you go about getting these links?  Here are a few strategies I use:

Internal Links. Many webmasters overlook internal links on their site and actually, this is probably the biggest quick win you can achieve in your link building strategy. Internal links are links within your site linking to your pages.  As a rule of thumb, the more internal links you can build within your site the better.  Here are a few places where you can use internal links:

  • Top Navigation

  • Side Navigation

  • Breadcrumb trail (very valuable both for users and engines)

  • Footer Links (least valuable and often misused)

  • In content links (most valuable)

Create Link-Worthy Content.  Another often overlooked basic principle.  Create interesting content and people will link to it.  If you can’t create interesting and authoritative content for your site then you have to ask yourself this crucial question:  Why have I built this site?

Create content and distribute it to others.If you’re an authority in your field then act as one and create content to distribute to other websites. I’m not talking about generic content written for SEO but genuinely interesting and authoritative content that other webmasters will want to place on their site.  This content does not have to be website copy, it can also be videos, images, widgets or anything you can place a search-friendly link in.

Distributing this content is the art.  If you’ve taken the time and effort to write this great content you will want to make sure that you get the best value out fo it.  So how do you go about distributing it?  Here are a few tricks:

  • Search your log files and/or analytics account and look for referring sites (sites already linking to you).  Make a list of these sites.  Then rate them according to authority and relevance.  You can determine relevance manually by visiting the site and seeing if its is similar/complimentary to yours.  Check authority by analysing PageRank, Alexa Rank, Technorati authority if its a blog and Yahoo Backlinks in general.

  • Perform keyword searches and look at the sites in the top 10.  These could be fantastic content partners!  Again check their authority and relevance (as above) 

Be active in Social Media.  Tag, rate, comment, and review.  If you’re an active player in the online social scene, you’ll make friends and your will be known.  Here are a few tips for social media activity for link building:

  • Create a blog and you can use the pingback feature to forge relationships with other bloggers when you link to them. 

  • Create a YouTube Channel and add a link to your site.  The more popular the channel gets the more your site will be noticed.

  • Create a Twitter account and similar to the above, the more tweets you make, the more followers you get and if you have a link on your Twitter account, people will visit you site and link to you.

  • Add your site in your social media profiles such as Facebook and MySpace.

  • Create a Flickr account and add pictures relevant to your industry/niche.  Make sure you have a link to your site in your account!

The above are a few strategies to build link without having to beg or pay for them.  Be creative, invest some time and you will reap the rewards!

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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