Demystifying Link Building for the Business Owner
Link building is an essential part of increasing your websites rank in the search engine results. Link building, in terms of search engine optimization, is about getting links to your website. That’s when somebody has placed a link from their website to your website. You want links to your website because the number of inbound links greatly influences your search engine ranking. Your inbound link count is a way that the search engines determine your websites authority, legitimacy, and popularity.
I remember, for the longest time, thinking that link building was some sort of arcane voodoo art. That maybe the only way was to pay a shady character who claims to have thousands of websites in his “network” to create links for me. I’d search the topic and the advice was almost always the same: email the webmaster and ask for a link. If that were the case, link building seemed like a lot of work and a lot of rejection. Fortunately, I’ve learned a few things over the years. Things about link building that you can practice while simply going about your day.
5 Ways You Can Perform Link Building
Creating links to your website is easier than you might think. Here are 5 different ways (of which you should practice all of them whenever the opportunity arises) that you can do:
1) Post genuine and thoughtful blog comments. You probably already visit a few blogs – you’re on one right now – why not leave a thoughtful and genuine comment? Find some blogs in your industry, preferably not direct competitors, and post a nice comment. While filling in the posting information fields, most blogs have the option of putting in your website address. Make sure you’ve read the article and that you have formulated a thoughtful response. “Nice post!” does not count as thoughtful. Blog owners have spam folders too!
2) Post genuine and thoughtful messages on discussion forums. Discussion forums seem to be fading away a little bit these days. However, if you find yourself involved in one – make sure you’ve fully completed your user profile… Including a link to your website. Also, don’t be afraid to post helpful and relevant responses with a link to resources on your website. You should follow the same guidelines as number 1.
3) Create and complete your social media profiles. It should be no surprise, but social media plays a large role in your search ranking. All the better if you have fully completed your profiles with links to your website. If you have useful resources on your website, be sure to post links to them in your status updates. People might pick these up and post links to your articles without you even having to ask.
4) Submit your website to legitimate and well-known link directories. There are plenty of websites out there that actually want you to post a link. They’re called link directories, and you’ve probably visited a few in your day. Yellowpages, DMoz, local shopping directories, and industry associations… They’re all valuable places to have a link. Most of the good ones are free, so be wary if you ever have to purchase a link. It might be tough to identify a good directory from a bad one – so you might need to ask an expert SEO specialist if you’re unsure. One bad link can sometimes be worse than one good link.
5) Do some guest blogging for your friends, industry authorities, and business colleagues. It is absolutely brilliant to get your name out there while also obtaining a link to your website. Guest blogging is a great way to accomplish both. That’s when you write an article that gets posted on someone else’s blog. You may be surprised at how many bloggers are open to guest posting. Especially if you’re a good writer with expertise relevant to their audience.
A Couple Final Notes
Something you might notice about every point above is that each involves good quality content. If you focus on being an expert in your field, producing relevant content, and creating a positive reputation for yourself… The links will naturally come. Not too mention a whole lot of other good things for your business.
You might have also noticed that I use the words “relevant” and “thoughtful” a lot. That’s because you should be focused on actually contributing – not on link building. In all honesty, link building is an after-thought. It’s a perk of being a great contributor. This is also why anyone, especially you, can build links like an expert. If you think about it a little bit, you can almost always contribute something of value to someone else.
How have you been building links? Do you have any helpful tips for the other readers? What are your thoughts? I’d like to hear them. Please put your thoughtful comments below – and feel free to fill in the link field.