The top link-building strategies
So how do you go about getting the high-quality inbound links that will
drive your site to the top of the search engine results? Here are eight
proven link-building strategies.
Strategy #1: Submit your site to Web directories
One of the best incoming links you can get is from an established Web
directory. A directory is simply a compilation of websites that is
cataloged and maintained by human editors rather than computer software.
Like search engines, directories aim to provide useful, relevant search
results to searchers. And once your site is indexed with a high-ranking
directory, they provide you with a high PageRank link pointing back to
Some directories are free to list in, while others charge a fee. We'll
tell you the best ones to submit your site to in Lesson 3 of this module.
Strategy #2: Give away free content
Another great way to get lots of one-way links pointing to your site is
to write unique, authoritative articles about your niche market that
other people can post on their websites.
There is a HUGE demand for fresh, frequently updated content on websites
these days -- from search engines and site visitors alike. But many site
owners simply don't have the time to write new content for their sites on
a regular basis -- or they don't feel confident enough in their writing
That's why we HIGHLY recommend you consider writing some articles of your
own and making them available for other people to post on their sites --
for free -- with links back to your site, of course!
Strategy #3: Request links from relevant sites
You can also go out and look for good, clean, professional sites that are
relevant to yours, then just approach the owners and request a link.
When you find a site you think would prove to be a valuable inbound link,
contact the site owner and explain the benefits of linking to your site.
(We'll look at this in detail in Lesson 5 of this module.)
Remember, the ideal inbound link includes your top-performing keywords in
its anchor tag. An ideal link looks like this:
For example, if you have a dog training site, Google will pay more
attention to an inbound link that's attached to a strong keyword phrase
like "best dog training tips" than a link that's attached to
Strategy #4: Buy e-zine and newsletter ads
We talked about this form of advertising in Module 6, but it bears
If you can find a complementary, high-ranking website that:
Targets the same audience you do,
Has an e-zine or newsletter, and
Sells paid advertising in their e-zine or newsletter
... you've come across an excellent opportunity to reach a targeted
audience AND get a high-quality link back to your website!
Sure, you may have to shell out a few dollars to get your ad listed in
their newsletter or e-zine, but considering the impact this link can have
on your search engine rankings, it's a worthwhile investment. (See Module
6, Lesson 6 for more details.)
(Just be sure the site has a newsletter archive. This means they post
fresh content on their site frequently, which almost guarantees the
search engine spiders will revisit and re-index the site frequently.)
Strategy #5: Build your credibility through Yahoo Answers, other "Q&A"
sites, and blog comments
The best way to prove that you're an expert in your industry (and the
best possible person to solve your target market's problems) is to
provide answers to their questions -- and post them on a site where your
market can easily find them!
So-called "Q&A" sites, such as Yahoo! Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com),
Askville (http://askville.amazon.com), and LinkedIn Answers
(www.linkedin.com/answers), are growing in popularity -- piggybacking on
the explosion of social networking and user-generated content on the Web.
(More about this in a moment.)
In fact, Yahoo! Answers is the 100th most visited site on the Web,
according to HitWise, with 96% of the online Q&A market share!
These sites allow registered users to ask and answer questions on every
topic under the sun. They're perfect for building your credibility
through the quality of the information you provide in your answers.
Search for questions that include keywords relevant to your area of
business, and target ones that could be from potential new customers, so
you can "wow" them with your authoritative answers! Many of these sites
allow users to vote for the best answers -- so the more your answers get
voted for, the more you gain a reputation as an authoritative figure in
This is a great free way to get more links pointing back to your site.
All you have to do is include a link to your site in your signature file,
and then post away!
Note: Google doesn't take links in blog comments into account when it's
determining your PageRank. However, its spiders will follow such links to
see where they lead -- so if your primary goal is simply to get indexed
by Google, this is an excellent strategy.
The fourth-largest search engine, Ask.com, also focuses on providing
material from Q&A sites. Its AnswerFarm technology has crawled over 100
million question-and-answer pairs from hundreds of thousands of sources,
and made it all accessible right from its main search bar (click the
"lots of answers" option).
By going to this feature and asking a few questions based on your own
keywords, you can find Q&A sites you could contribute to. You can also
find answers from your competitors -- answers you might be able improve
Strategy #6: Blog your way to the top of the search engines
Another great way you can improve your search engine rankings is with a
blog. It's cheap (or free), it doesn't have to take much time, and it's
something that smaller, more personal businesses can do better than big
A blog is a website where entries are posted in chronological order, with
the most recent at the top. Originally designed as a kind of online
journal, blogs are easy to set up and great for search engine
Some blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as
food, politics, or local news; others function more as personal online
diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs,
web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs encourage
readers to leave comments, and that interaction is prized in the blogging
Search engines love fresh content, and that's why blogs are so useful.
The more often you post to your blog -- and you should be putting
something up at least a couple of times a week -- the more often the
search engines will come around to index it.
A blog works hand-in-hand with your regular website. It wouldn't make
sense to change the way your main site looks and what it says every two
days. But if you keep your site optimized for your main keywords, you can
use your blog for additional entries and any new niche keywords you
Lesson 7 shows you exactly how to build an SEO-boosting blog.
Strategy #7:Harness the power of social media
Over the last few years the Internet has become a place where you don't
just browse... but actually connect and interact with other people in
You can chat with friends, share videos, watch news as it happens, edit
files, collaborate on projects, and much more -- all within your web
This has all been driven by the development of social media websites,
which encourage user input and interactivity, and place heavy emphasis on
community and shared experiences.
Some of the popular social media sites include:
So what are some of the benefits to using social networking sites?
Viral marketing -- a good social networking site will generate buzz and
get people talking about -- and sharing! -- your site.
Build authority in your niche area -- your social networking site is
proof that you know what you're talking about!
Inbound Links -- links from other websites that point at your site are
great for SEO... and if your site is good, people will start linking to
Higher search rankings -- social networking sites that are frequently
updated are great for boosting your search engine rankings.
More traffic -- once you've built up a loyal following, increased traffic
is almost guaranteed, as people share your site and start linking to it.
List building -- all this increased traffic means you'll definitely want
to direct people to your homepage where they can opt in to your list. And
once someone has opted in, you can begin converting them into a paying
Joint venture (JV) opportunities -- getting your name and your message
out there isn't just good for your customers -- it's a great way to show
potential business partners that you're good at what you do, and
encourage them to partner with you.
Affiliate generation -- as with JVs, you can also find potential
affiliates through your social media site!
Content generation -- social networking sites are a great place to
showcase new products or services, and for your users to give you
feedback. This interaction is very valuable!
Keyword/product/niche ideas -- all this feedback from your customers is
likely to get you thinking about new products, services and niches you
We'll tell you all you need to know to get social media working for you
in Module 8.
Strategy #8: Shoot some videos
Most marketers don't realize that video is an incredibly powerful SEO
Video content is heavily weighted by the search engines. If you make the
effort to create a video, the search engines will recognize this -- and
they will reward you.
Our tests have shown it is possible to get a top 10 Google ranking for a
specific keyword using video in a matter of hours! So it's well worth
your time to take advantage of this new technology and use video to drive
more customers to your site.
The good news is, you don't have to spend a fortune to create a video the
search engines will love. You don't need high-quality production values,
or professional actors, or fancy special effects. All you need is a
digital camera that records video and you're good to go.
That being said, it's not a matter of simply standing in front of a
camera and winging it. You need to follow a particular sequence of steps
in order to create a video that will be a powerful SEO tool for your
We'll show you everything you need to do in Module 8 -- but for now, the
basic steps to creating a SEO-charged online video are:
Step #1: Find your problem statement
Step #2: Create your script and shoot your video
Step #3: Edit and optimize your video
Step #4: Promote your video
There are hundreds of different video sites that you can submit videos
to. Some of the more popular ones you should know about are...
Bing Video: http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&tab=soapbox
Google Video: http://video.google.com
Yahoo Video: http://video.yahoo.com