As you work toward a program of building links to your site, one important factor to consider is "who" will be doing the work.
According to Sage Lewis's "Re-Thinking Link Building" column, many businesses resort to letting their interns take care of link building. Others outsource the task. Clearly, people think this job is tedious and trivial.
Lewis correctly suggests dropping the term "link building" because it implies "quantity over quality." It's important to focus instead on the idea of reaching out to others and building quality connections that make sense.
Concentrate on offering something of value to the online community/industry to demonstrate why they should visit your site. Would you leave that job to an intern? Keep this in mind as you read these other link building ideas.
Write an Insightful Article
Writing articles and submitting them to article directories can be a great way to get links back to your Web site. Identify something of value you can contribute to your industry, then write a detailed article and submit it to a few article directories like Ezine Articles, Article City, and Go Articles. The opportunity to get backlinks comes from the author bio that goes with the article, so don't forget to add keyword-rich anchor text links pointing back to your Web site when writing your bio.
Link Building with Social Media
Social media sites can be a good source for developing good quality links. As you participate in the many conversations online, you have the opportunity to place links in appropriate places.
Here are a few places that offer link juice to stories that are submitted:
- Twitter: Your tweets can include links back to your site, and often these links are picked up and added to sites that monitor twitter conversations.
- Digg: Links to your site are featured in Digg stories. If you end up on a top page, the link to your site will be considered higher quality (i.e. more link juice).
- Reddit: Links to your site are also featured in Reddit stories. Again, if you make it to the top pages, you'll get a great boost to your incoming link power.
There are many other similar sites out there, including Mixx, Backflip, and Mister Wong. An important feature of these sites: they allow search engines to follow their links to your site. Always be aware that some sites will provide you with "link juice" while others won't due to nofollow.
Generating Links with Twitter
We'll elaborate a little more on Twitter because of its popularity and potential for building quality links. This may not be the first thing you think of when you think about Twitter, but it can be one of the best tools to gain targeted, relevant, and natural links to your site. However, like any link building strategy, it must be done properly, or you'll end up wasting a lot of time with poor results.
Here are some general guidelines for building quality links with Twitter:
- Build a profile around a specific topic and stick to it. The more focused your profile is, the better your chances of attracting relevant followers and links.
- Provide relevant, focused, and valuable tweets. Focus on news, content, and links that are of high interest to your intended audience. The more valuable the information/link is to the reader, the more likely they are to follow you and ultimately provide you with links from their own blogs/sites. Avoid too many tweets about your personal life or other content unrelated to your specific niche.
- Tweet often and consistently. Be consistent in your use of Twitter. The more active you are in the conversations pertaining to a specific topic, the better your results will be.
- Identify the major players in your topic/industry. Twitter is a great resource for identifying the heavy hitters of a specific topic. A simple Twitter search on targeted keywords will reveal the movers and shakers of a specific niche. Once you've identified these people, network with them via Twitter and through other channels if appropriate.
- Integrate Twitter into your Web site. This will greatly improve your chances of finding good, targeted followers. A simple "Follow Me on Twitter" link/button can be added to your site quite easily. More advanced options include widgets that show your latest tweets and your followers on your site.
Again, if you think of link building as more about making quality connections rather than just placing links, you'll come out stronger in the long run. Also remember to think in terms of offering something of value to others.
Please post any comments about how these, or other tactics, have worked for you.
Ron Jones is off this week. Today's column ran earlier on Search Engine Watch.