Monday, April 5, 2010

Some Link Building Tips For Your Blog or Website

Building links to your site is one of the most effective ways to increase your web traffic and your search engine positions. Combined with your website or blog's content, the more links you have coming in, the more traffic you will receive. There are lots of free and paid ways to build backlinks to your blog or website.

Before I discuss some of the many ways to build incoming links, I want to let you know of the two types of backlinks you can receive;

Unsolicited Backlinks - The can also be called 'organic' backlinks. These are genuine links that come from other blogs/websites. It means that you didn't specifically request another website to link to you. It also means that you really didn't need to do any additional work to receive this link (besides offer something worth linking to). These are the type of links that search engines love. When you buy links (which I will discuss), making them appear to genuine and organic is usually an effective techique.

Solicited Backlinks - These include paid links and link exchange links. These are links that you specifically requested to have placed. In some way, you ask another website owner to place your link on their site. These also include directory submissions.

If you are building links to your site, you are most likely using your time wisely (unless of course, your website doesn't have any substantial content). Here are some ways that you can get free and paid incoming links to your site or blog.
  1. Directory Submissions - Go to the major directories on the web, such as DMoz.org and submit your link for inclusion. You can spend the entire day doing nothing but going through directories and submitting your link, and you won't make a dent on the overall number of free directories that are on the web today. However, it's best to do a few submissions per day as a gradual increase in the number of backlinks looks more genuine to search engines. There are also big directories, such as the Yahoo Directory, which charge an annual or one-time fee for inclusion. Some of these directories are worth the money and some are not. If you aren't looking to invest your money, then just do the free ones until you have some capitol or advertising money to spend on the premium directory listings. You can usually find people to do your directory submissions for you in return for a small fee or some other service. You can usually find someone to do directory submissions for you (at a very reasonable cost) at places like the Digital Point Forums. Be weary of directory submission services on the web that make ridiculous claims like "500,000 directories for just $5.00". If the offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If you are paying someone to do your directory submissions, you want them to manually submit your directory listing for you.

  2. Link Exchanges - If you are going to do link exchanges, your goal should not be to do as many as possible. Your goal should be to do quality exchanges with quality sites. Find other sites with substantial content and offer to put your link on a high content page in exchange for that site doing the same for you. Make sure your link isn't placed on a page that is buried more then 1 or 2 clicks from the site's main page. Also, be sure to exchange with other websites or blogs in your genre. If you have a sports betting website and you have a bunch of backlinks from a gardening website, it's not going to do you much good for two reasons; (1) The search engines won't consider those links as important and therefore won't increase your rankings for keywords in your genre; AND (2) The visitors who are most likely to see those links will not have any interest in your website as they won't be part of your target audience. If you email another webmaster to do a link exchange, don't just offer him an exchange and give him your link. Tell the other webmaster a little bit about your site and the page you are willing to place his link. Show the other webmaster some traffic numbers from that particular page and your site overall. Offer him a fair and reasonable link exchange. Don't just exchange links for the sole purpose of increasing your search engine positions. Do it to offer your visitors links to other quality sites and pages as well as gain direct traffic from the link you are getting in return. The more an incoming link looks natural and the more relevant the page that your link is on, the more the search engines are going to value that incoming link.

  3. Article Submissions & Press Releases - In my opinion, this is the most effective link building technique as it involves creating content-rich pages on other websites to go along with the link to your site. Write some yourself or pay someone to write a few articles and include a few links to your homepage and pages on your site in the articles. You can then submit your articles to other article directories and free press release websites. You can also find other sports blogs (or blogs in your genre) and ask them if they are looking for some guest writers. Just ask in return that they allow you to place a link or two to your site in return for the article. Most quality websites are looking for new content and are more then happy to oblige. However, keep the content unique. Don't submit the same article to more then one or two sites. You can also write some press releases about your blog or business website and submit them to free press release services. There are also paid press release services that will offer you more exposure.

  4. Create Good Content on Your Own Site / Offer Something Unique -If your website offers unique content or services that others do not, the chances are that some sites will link to you. Always make sure to write at least one or two articles a day on your own site and submit your feeds to social networking sites and you will build incoming links. Discuss a hot sports topic in a unique way. The more unique your content, the more other sites will be willing to link to you. Creating content on your own site is one of the best ways to increase your site's authority in your genre. You can also offer a free contest or niche where other sites will discuss what's happening at your site. You could rank other websites or blogs in some category or have top #10 list about other sites. The other sites will be happy to tell their visitors that you ranked them in your top #10 list by linking to your blog or website. Be creative. Creativity will earn you exposure and linkbacks in the web world. Offer something that other sites do not.

  5. Post on Forums and Comment on Blogs - You can also post on other web forums and comment on other blogs in effort to increase links. However, make sure that you are actually contributing to the site that you are posting on. Otherwise, you will not only make a bad name for yourself, but the other webmaster will just delete your comments or posts and bad you from the site. Spamming is not productive. Do one to others...

  6. Pay For Links - If you have some investment capital and want to build some backlinks fast, paid links are a good method. But, do not overdo it and be careful. Search engines have a way of noticing when a site is buying up a lot of paid links in effort to increase rankings. A heavy and unusual surge in backlinks in a short period of time will automatically raise a red flags with the search engines about your site. The search engines will be able to tell that you are not getting your links organically and that you are paying for back links. If you are buying links, purchase them from quality sites that have good content, rank well with the search engines, and aren't already over flooded with other paid links. Use different link titles with each site and ask them if they can put your paid links in some type of content or contextual placement.
This is not an all-inclusive list. There a plenty of other methods and techniques for building backlinks to your website. I will discuss more of these methods and will offer other traffic building techniques here on this blog. But, this is one of my first few posts and I wanted to give some novice website owners and bloggers a starting point to help with their marketing efforts. Whether this is a topic that you haven't read about or you needed a refresher, I hope that you found this post to be helpful . Will share more down the road.