Here at Out-Smarts, we often get asked to assess company websites from a search engine perspective, to ascertain why their page isn’t appearing higher on Google. One reasons is because they don’t have enough back links to their website or they have the wrong kind of backlinks – links from other websites tracking back to their site.
Despite Google’s algorithm changes, links are still valuable online, the more your website has the better its ranking will be but you have to be really careful how you go about building links. Link building can be extremely time consuming, can seem like a fruitless task and if you do it wrong can be damaging but it is a necessary evil.
Here are 9 ways that you can build links back to your site:
1. Social Networks – use your social networking presence to link back to your site or blog updates. Social links are valuable and are really easy to create.
2. Directories – beware the directories – there are gazillions of websites that simply list the URL’s of other websites (rather like the Yellow pages but online). Submit a link to your site only on the ones that have a good page rank, are relevant to your target audience and locality but avoid the ones that ask for payment or reciprolinks and absolutely ignore sites that are simply link farms – linking in those does more damage than good.
3. Content – make sure that the content on your website or blog is great. The better it is the more likely people will find it and link back to it.
4. Widgets – add widgets that allow visitors to easily share your content on the network of their choice. Social sharing should be encouraged.
5. Relationships – ask partners, clients and organisations you are a member of to place a link on their site back to yours but only on sites that are relevant and appropriate within your area or industry.
6. Advertising – consider advertising online: Craigslist can be a valuable way to to this – not only does it bring visitors to your site who might link to your content but it also gives you the ability to link back to your site from another high ranking site. But before you do, ask yourself is Craiglist fits your brand – it is a rather cheesy approach.
7. Social Bookmarking – there are innumerable forms of social networks and sites like Stumble Upon that allow you to submit content (whether it be written, photo or video) that you like. Submit your own (carefully) to build links back to your site but beware that this some might impact your bounce rate significantly and might not be worth it..
8. Articles -articles used to be a great way to get links back to your site but not so good any more. You would be better spending your time blogging. Posting good content on your blog encourages sharing.
9. Blog Comments – commenting on a blog can be a good way to start building relationships with bloggers and who knows where that might lead if it’s a prominent blogger but it’s not ideal for link building. The emphasis should be on the relationship with the blogger and not so much on the link you submit. There are too many blog comments that are simply spam these days so this isn’t a great tool any more.
Thanks -wink- for the great Flickr image.
Updated April 2013