Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tips and Methods for Building Links

Sometimes its almost possible to forget how important link building can be when it comes to SEO, for a non-competitive market that is. However, there are some industries which you simply can't avoid getting those links. One thing I would say though, it's never too late or too early to build links to a website, but the earlier the better.

Sourcing for external links can be slightly different from building internal links, for one thing, external links are from other websites so they carry a different level of power in the eyes of search engines. Internal links are necessary while external links are not necessary but you need it to get ahead when it comes to optimisation.

So with little ado, here's some tips for building links the easy way.
  1. Commenting: Dropping comments on other websites is good, most times. As long as you have something good to say. The better your comment the better the response. And when I say dropping comments to build links I don't mean leaving your website URL at the end of the comment (I see that as spamming and hate it) I mean dropping it in the section for URLs. Once you've dropped it there, you don't need to drop it anywhere else, because Google only registers the first URL to the same website anyway.
  2. Social Media: Don't run away from Social Media, instead embrace it. If i could, I would open an account on every single social media website that offers a section for my URL, but that would be over doing it. There's nothing worst than an inactive Social Media account, so just pick some useful sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Quora (if you know more and have time, by all means...) and focus on building an audience and reputation with these sites. These sites have options to include URLs and putting yours is always an easy type of inbound link to your website.
  3. Asking Nicely: Sometimes, getting a link is as simple as asking nicely. My only issue with this is asking the right people. Lets say I'm a tech blog and I ask another blogger friend who runs a food blog to put up my link. There's nothing run with a scenario like this, but I'll rather avoid it. I believe its a good idea to have a 'relationship' or 'connection' with another blog. In other words, a tech blog should be found on another tech blog and fashion blog or website should be found on another fashion related website. This way there's relevancy between websites and doesn't seem dodgy. Now that said, I don't think people do this much so don't hold your breath.
  4. Guest Posting: Guest posting is something I wish I could do a lot of and have found it very useful, although a little time consuming... Guest Posting builds links in an honest way; you write an article related to your industry and post it on another website which is also related to your industry/website and include a link back to your website. Once again, if your article is enlightening people would be curious enough to go to your website while the search engine would still go to it anyway. It works both ways really.
  5. Sponsorship and Charity Work: Now this is something I haven't gotten around to doing much, but once again I find it very useful for building links. A good explain of this which I recently noticed is a fellow blogger like myself, Otondo Blogger, who created a banner for the Nigerian Blog Awards website. I thought it was really thoughtful of him AND he got a free link and credit to his website AND name. Good move I'll say... And hey, he just got another link!
  6. Anchor Text Use: Lastly, this is definitely more of a tip. You know anchor texts carry a lot of relevance to the link, it 'defines' the link. It's a great idea to know what you're trying to achieve when you use anchor texts. Are you building your brand? If yes, you'll definitely want to consider the name you use when you drop comments on websites and create accounts on Social Media sites. And if no, then you're fine either way, just make sure your anchor texts are explanatory and legitimate, no point using words that are not related in any way to your website.
I've been using most of these tips and methods to build links to my website for a while now. A number of them are pretty basic but really that it's that simple, I guess it comes down to HOW you use it. For explain Guest Posting, do you know who your neighbours are? A website that would benefit from an article written by you? Or the anchor text use; Have you done your keyword research right? These little questions go a long way in deciding the best link building method or idea for you. So whatever you do, you don't want to go rushing into it! Or do you?

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