Here are tips for effective link building:
Reasons to link:
a) To drive traffic directly to your site
b) For search engine rankings
A) Linking to drive traffic to your site
Location Location Location
Identify high traffic sites that would be visited by your target audience. These include: publications, buyer’s guides, product review sites, shopping sites and guides
Low Hanging Fruit
Look for a links like: “submit site” “add url” “submit product” or “contact us” to contact the site editor to see if they will list your web site or product. Some of the sites will have a form for you to fill out. When it asks for the site name, use a name that includes your keywords.
Keep your message short, simple, keyword rich and accurate. If the site does not have a form for you to fill out but provides a contact email address, be sure to include how you want the site to link to your site. Point out the benefit to the site editor of why they should add a link to your site. Typically this format works best:
Link Title: Site Name (add keyword here)
Link URL: http://www.domainname.com
Link Description: Site name keyword keyword offers: keyword, keyword, keyword and keyword.
You could also provide this as HTML code to make it even easier for the webmaster to just copy and paste your link onto their web site. An example:
<a href=”http://www.domainname.com”>DomainName.com – Keyword</a> – Site name keyword keyword offers: keyword, keyword, keyword and keyword.
You might also consider paid listings on high traffic web sites. Some sites charge a one-time fee and some charge by the month. Ads that appear near the top of the page are best.
B) Linking for search engine rankings
Search engines rank pages of web sites based on many different factors and each major search engine uses unique algorithms for determining relevancy and ranking of web sites. One factor that all major search engines use to some degree is link popularity. If two sites are have equally relevant content, but one has more high quality links to it than another, the site with more links will rank higher.
Your task is to find “quality” sites and get them to link to you using text links that include your keywords. Try to avoid reciprocal linking or link exchanges. Many, many sites are abusing this method of linking and search engines will soon discount the value of any links shared directly between two sites that do not match certain criteria.
Quality is better than quantity.
By “quality” I mean sites that you need links from need to be considered authority sites on topics related to your own site. These include subject matter resource sites, publications, etc. Sites with .org, .edu are great. Chances are, there are many, many web sites out there with a theme similar to your site. Most that explicitly offer links require you to link back. When this happens, ask yourself if you would like to this type of site anyway – even without a link back.
Also, is the page where your site will be listed related directly to your site? The page that is linking to your site should have less than 40 links on it to other sites. 40 is not a hard number, but the lower the number of outgoing links the better.
The links to other sites should be to sites related to yours. If the links go to all different types of sites, that is of little value for you. If the links page has many, many links it may be of any value. The smaller the number of links to other web sites, the better for you if that page links to you. But the topic of the site should be related to your site.
How to find links.
Go to google.com and do a search for one of your keywords. Check each of the top 20 sites to see if there are opportunities for you to get a link back to your site.
You could also search Google and Yahoo using your keywords plus phrases like, “add site”. Example: keyword phrase” add site” or keyword “submit site”. This might result in sites that are open to accepting links.
There are many other ways to find links and will be included in a future, more in-depth article.
Remember, when you get links from other sites to yours, it is important that they are text links and that the text includes your keywords. Also, you don’t always need to use the same keywords and you don’t have to always link to your home page. You can get links from other sites to your specific product or services pages as well as your home page. Example:
Link Title: Product Keyword
Link URL: http://www.domainname.com/product-keyword.htm
Link Description: Order your product keyword online from domainname.com
By doing this you can build the link popularity to specific web pages of your site as well as your home page.
To Reciprocal Link or Not?
Avoid reciprocal links. Focus on one-way inbound links. It’s good to have a resources page pre-populated with links to authority sites in your industry. These would be one-way links out to other industry, association or resources web sites. Try to keep the number of links you have going out to other sites to a minimum compared to the number of links coming in. If it really makes sense to trade links with another site, you can use your resources page to link to them.
Building links to drive traffic directly to your site can also help build your link popularity. Just keep in mind that text links are ideal and they should include keywords relevant to the page you’re linking to. Set aside a few hours per week to research new links for your web site and mix up the links between your home page and the major category pages of your web site. Over time you’ll build link popularity across your entire site and rankings will follow.
More resources on link building are available at: