Inbound linking is an essential part of search engine optimisation, and from time to time it is worth revisiting the basics to make sure we’re not missing obvious opportunities for getting those all important inbound links.
We need to get the right quality of links and we need to get an appropriate quantity of links. The difficulty, of course, is balancing the two: finding enough of the high quality links.
It isn’t a question of getting any old links; we need to be getting perfect links with characteristics that are acceptable to the search engines. Good quality inbound links have these three characteristics:
1. They come from authoritative web sites – if the links to your site come from trusted and important sites they are essentially telling Google that your site deserves to be trusted also.
2. They have Keyword rich anchor text – you want the keywords that are relevant to your site to be used in the text that is linking to your site. This will tell Google that theses words are relevant to your site.
3. They come from a wide range of IP addresses – the IP address of a host computer uniquely identifies a website, and having lots of links from sites on the same IP address isn’t just useless, it can also be a sign of spam to Google.
The best quality links to your website are always a “gift” from another website.
It means they like your site, and the link is a “vote” to say here is some great contnet. Links that you can generate for yourself from free directories are, as a general rule, not worthwhile.
Social media is a great way to generate links. Take a look at this post on using social media for link building
Writing quality content for your website– Having great content on your site means people want to link to it, and this is called “Link bait”. Create content that people will want to link to and then submit it to the top social media sites. The sort of article that oftens does well on these sorts of sites tend to be helpful top ten lists and top tips – make it easy to digest.
Generating content for other websites– We all need fresh content for our websites, and a great link building strategy is to give away content that you’ve written that can be used on other authoritative, trust worthy sites. In return for the content, of course, you must get the keyword rich link coming back into your site.
Researching your competitors’ links – Investigating the inbound links from high ranking websites forms the cornerstone of your link building strategy. From this list you can ascertain who is linking to your competitors and try get yourself a link form them also. Remember that you want sites with good authority and to be topically relevant. Often the pages you find will have links or resources page that you can get a link on. If your competitors are getting links from blogs you may want to suggest that you write some topical unique content for them in exchange for a keyword rich links
Getting listed in Niche Directories – Niche directories and directories specific to your industry still provide valuable links due the fact that they are often authoritative and are always topical.
General Directory Submissions – This may be a good starting point for your link building efforts, but it doesn’t hold the influence it did previously. You want to start with DMOZ and the Yahoo! Directory as these will give you good authoritative links to begin your campaign with. DMOZ is free but can take a long time to get accepted. The Yahoo Directory costs the equivalent of about £200 but is worth every penny.
There aren’t any magic ways to get high quality links; it’s all about generating great content, and rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work.