Link building is crucial to SEO, it’s how Google and other search engines gauge who likes and respects your website. Take a look at our top five ways to build these important links.

As I tell anyone attending one of our Internet Marketing courses, manual link building is a crucial part of your SEO campaign. It’s also quite possibly the most challenging and time consuming aspect. In an attempt to simplify things for you, here’s my top five ways to build links.

  1. Make Lists (ie “Five ways to build Links to your website”!)To get links you really need content that visitors may then want to link to, and, whilst news is good, lists make great, linkable content. So if you sell widgets and know about widgets, making an authoritative list on the best widgets in the world is great content that stands a good chance of being noticed. This is called “link baiting”, you may have heard the term.
  2. Submit your contentWhether you have written an article or a list, submitting your content to other websites is a great way to get links. Much like offline PR, producing content for others to use can lead to some very good links – the next time you write a press release, think about submitting it to PRWeb as well as the usual journalists – and don’t forget to research any bloggers in your industry, add them to any release lists you have.
  3. Business linksYou will get very little return from a cold email campaign requesting links. That’s not to say it isn’t worthwhile, but it’s always a better starting point to think about who you know. Ask your clients for links, ask your suppliers for links and ask the industry press for links. Make sure the link you get is:
    • relevant to your industry
    • part of the content of the website rather than on a useful links list
    • descriptive text not a url – eg “widget sales” rather than
  4. Free linksThere are lots of places you can get a link for free. Try to find out whether your industry has any free directories – Google is a good starting point. Visit question sites such as Yahoo! Answers and search for questions you will know the answer to. Visit relevant industry forums and spend some time making yourself an expert, once trust is built you can start to tell people what you do. Visit relevant blogs and post informative comments, bloggers will often visit your website or blog in return, and after a while you can ask for a link as well.
  5. Social networkingFinally, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all great places to attract traffic and you can add links to your news articles and content on a regular basis. For an effective way to attract followers, try running an exclusive promotion for followers – a discount code or a competition, with entry conditions based on Likes, joining a LinkedIn group or ReTweets.