Link Building Strategies - Part II

Written By: Stephen Scott
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In addition to requesting reciprocal links, here are a few additional strategies you can employ in support of your link building efforts.

Research Your Competitors

To find your competitors we recommend SEO Elite, which analyzes the major search engines by keyword to not only tell you who your competitors are, but also provides you with an in-depth analysis of each competitor. The analysis includes extremely important linking criteria, such as:
  • Where your Competitors ranks in the Search Engines
  • Their number of incoming links
  • What keywords are in the titles of their linking pages
  • Percentage of links containing keywords in the link text
  • The PageRank of linking pages

The statistics provided by SEO Elite will play a critical part in determining what tools your website will need to successfully compete on the Internet. SEO Elite also offers you the ability to send e-mails to all websites discovered that have quality reciprocal link potential.

Submit Your Site to Directory Listings

A directory listing is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to obtain targeted and highly relevant inbound links. Make sure your site is listed in dmoz.org (it's free!).

I would also suggest Yahoo! Sponsored Search, which lists your business on top directory sites like Yahoo!, AltaVista and CNN.

The advantage of having directory listings is that they boost link popularity because human editors screen for relevancy.

Promote External Links

A great website not only has well presented and relevant content, but also provides the user with additional resources and information located on other websites. Therefore, you want to include quality resources and appropriate outgoing links, including links to search engines, news hubs, blogs, industry resources, etc. External links are important for two reasons: they provide incentive for other quality sites to link to yours, and they can improve your PageRank score if linkage is done properly.

Publish Articles

As an expert on your websites subject matter, consider writing business articles for your target audience, submitting the articles to appropriate online publications. Include your website URL in the content and request that the article appear with your website link. This can generate multiple inbound links and also help promote additional traffic to your website.

Create Testimonials

Develop a testimonial page on your website giving users an opportunity to post their own testimonial. If a user enjoys your site and it's content, that user might be inclined to include a like to your website on their website or blog. Testimonials are a great way to interact with your users and also provides valuable feedback on the content of your site.

If you admire a similar but non-competing website, contact the webmaster explaining why you value the content. Don't be surprised if you get a request for permission to display your comments on their Web site. Perfect! You can then grant them permission provided they agree to link to your site. It can also help to post the testimonial on your site, referring them to it.

Reciprocal Link Building Software

You can supplement your link building campaign with reciprocal link software. Zeus is a great program for locating website link exchange candidates for additional reciprocal links.

Zeus will search the Internet, looking for reciprocal linking partners and ranking potential sites by relevance. You can review the websites, decide which companies to contact, request a link exchange, track the status of your requests, and check the viability of existing links.

Caution: Avoid link-building programs that query search engines for potential link partners. These programs overload the search engine servers, resulting in your website being penalized.

Post to Blogs and Discussion Forums

This is an easy way to get a link from discussion forums relevant to your website content. Be sure to include your URL in your post.

Create Links From Your Other Websites

If you own and manage additional sites with unique but similar content, be sure to link them to your main site. Make sure the anchor text in your link is relevant to the target pages content.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs can be a good source of links, depending on your website business goals and budget. One drawback to affiliate programs is that the program must be administered from your site to improve link popularity because outscoring requires linking via a third-party site. If you purchase affiliate software make sure the software generates static HTML pages for affiliate's links to enable indexing.

Create Social Network Profiles

Several social networking websites allow you to insert a link to your website on the profile page. Not only does this provide additional inbound links, it also increases your 'digital footprint' and can potentially result in more visitors to your website.

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