Anyone involve in the Internet marketing industry would tell you that link building is very important to the success of a website in search engines since it is directly impacting Page Rank, a core feature of the Google algorithm. Although there are many other factors involved in the search engine ranking equation, taking advantage of the resources available and focusing on link building strategies that can help you increase Page Rank can go a long way.
Below you will find a list of link building strategies and tips that could help you increase Page Rank for your website. How you approach things is up to you so look at it as a simple checklist or source of new ideas and don’t hesitate to share your own link building strategies with other blog readers. Just remember a few link building basics…avoid spam, try to get links from pages with high Page Rank and fewer external links, look at the code to make sure the “nofollow” tag is not being used, alternate your anchor text, etc. Quality links matters!
1. Submit to Directories
Submitting your website to directories might seem like a very basic link building strategy but many people underestimate the value of directories. Having your website listed in major directories is one thing but local directories and industry specific directories can also be very helpful with niche keywords. Make your title relevant to the directory or category you are submitting to as much as possible and consider paid listings as well. Some of them offer permanent listings on pages with high Page Rank for less than $20.
2. Submit Press Releases
Press releases are good to promote your business but they can also have some link building value since many press release networks will allow you to insert links and html tags. Check out my “One Way Link Building with Free Press Releases” article for a listing of great free press release networks but keep in mind that you will not get the best quality links from press releases so use with moderation.
3. Be Active on Social Networks
Social networks can generate valuable traffic to your website and are really good to increase Page Rank to a certain level. I recently published a list of 55 do-follow social networks with Page Rank value for each of them so check it out and submit your articles to them every time you have something new.
4. Publish Articles
Articles can become a steady source of traffic and build credibility for your business but they can also be used for link building. Many online publishers will give you the opportunity to add a bio and link to your website so take advantage of that when you are given the opportunity.
5. Comment on Blogs
Although most blogging platforms are now using the “nofollow” tag in their comments, there are some bloggers out there that are glad to encourage participation on their blog by removing the “nofollow” tag. It doesn’t mean you can spam all you want though so be respectful, try to add value to the conversation and find blogs that are relevant to your content. New website owners should avoid commenting on blogs that are using a “Recent Comments” section because they are known to trigger a Google spam filter.
6. Submit your RSS Feed
RSS directories are great for getting your newly published articles indexed quickly by search engines. Technorati is my personal favorite but there are many other websites you can submit your RSS feed to. Take the time to look for them and incorporate this into your link building strategy.
7. Publish “Top 10” List of Things
People like to find references and lists that are easy to go through. They will often link to them and share them on social networks.
8. Create Partnerships with Other Webmasters
Although Google looks down at link exchanges, it is normal business to create partnerships. You could for example write about a directory on your blog and in exchange get a free listing on that same directory.
9. Provide Free Tools and Scripts
There is always someone looking for free tools and scripts. Providing free quality content that people can use is a really good link building strategy that many experts have mastered and use to get one-way links. You can for example add a link to your website in your script so every time someone is using it, you get a link back to your website.
10. Think Local
Your local area offers many link opportunities. You could for example get a link back from your chamber of commerce, phone directory or get a listing on a government website. Look at your options and take advantage of whatever you can.
11. Sponsor Events or Sports
Besides the obvious benefits, companies that are sponsoring events and athletes often end up getting a bunch of websites linking to theirs, which can definitely help increase Page Rank. If you are lucky, a newspaper might cover the event and list sponsors on its website.
12. Make Donations
This is not something I do for business but when making donations, a lot of organizations will gladly link back to your website. I’ve seen a few link building professionals using and recommending this strategy.
13. Get Links from Business Partners and Service Providers
Companies like to show their references. If you are one of their clients, make sure they are linking to your website. You can also ask manufacturers, retailers and other business partners you are dealing with.
14. Launch an Affiliate Program
This is more work and investment but it can be very rewarding. Not only affiliates can help you increase sales but there is also a good chance that they will spread the word on the quality of your affiliate program.
15. Publish Classified Ads
Craiglist for example, allow users to publish personalized ads for a period of 45 days. Take a look at your local classifieds and see if they could be helpful.
16. Share your Knowledge
Forums and websites such as Yahoo Answers and Google Groups are great opportunities for you to share your knowledge and link to useful resources. Some forums will even give you the opportunity to use a signature in which you can add a link to your website. Use them wisely and be relevant.
17. Create Wiki Pages
Wikipedia is known for being hard on newcomers but there are other wikis that are easier to deal with. Create wiki pages on those and get involved with the community.
18. Review Products and Services
Often, websites that are allowing users to add reviews of products and services will also give them the opportunity to add a link to their website from their profile. Some of them have an international presence and will duplicate your profile in many languages, meaning a lot of links for little effort.
19. Buy Old Domain Names and Use a 301 Redirection
This can involve a greater investment but it can also be very rewarding. Imagine having a website with thousands of incoming links redirecting to yours as if it was now part of your brand!
20. Build and Share Free Templates
Another great link building strategy is to build blog or website templates and share them with the online community. Not only you will get a link from most websites you are feeding with your templates but by adding a link in your template, you will also get a backlink every time someone is using your template.
21. Participate to Contests and Awards
Besides the potential recognition, many websites organizing contests and awards will add a bio of their nominees and link to their website. You can also go the other way and organize your own contest. Many people interested in your type of contest might end up linking to your website.
22. Join Professional Associations
Most professional associations provide great benefits to their members and will often publish a member directory with links to their websites. Evaluate the pros and cons of different membership packages and you might end up finding a fit for your budget and type of business.
23. Go to Conferences & Expos
Being a speaker at a conference can give you great visibility and generate a lot of natural one-way links. It doesn’t have to be a big event. Even a visit to your local college might generate a few links to your website. Most conferences will also list their exhibitors and link to their website so include that in your selection process.
24. Create a Directory
Directories are fairly easy to create and promote because a lot of people are looking for link opportunities. Add a link to your website in a few different sections and hope it becomes popular. On the long term, you can even start charging for a listing and turn your directory into a new source of revenue.
25. Buy Quality Links
Google has been fighting this link building strategy for a while now so if you decide to take this route in an attempt to increase Page Rank, try avoiding link brokers and links that will be published in a list. The best links you can get are those found within the content of a page so be selective and don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks.