The Link Building Bible: Over 100 Ways to Build Backlinks to Your Website

 | 
author/source: Miles Galliford

 

The Link Building Bible:  Over 100 Ways to Build Backlinks to Your Website

 

Introduction

This article reveals a checklist of actions you can take to quickly increase the link popularity of your website.  In my humble opinion, 80% of free traffic is generated by just two activities:

  • Regularly adding high quality, focused content to your website; and

  • Getting inbound links from well-ranked, reputable, and relevant sites

If you do these two things well, your website will receive good rankings and plenty of free traffic.

 

What is Link Building and Why is it So Important?

Link building is the tactic of getting other websites to link to your website.  This is a crucial part of online marketing for three main reasons:

  • Search engines look at how many websites link to yours when they are indexing and ranking your website.  This determines how high up the website appears on search result pages.  Search engines also look at the quality of the linking sites (namely the “page rank”) and how relevant their content is to your own content

  • Links from other sites generate traffic directly to your website.  If these links are posted on relevant sites, the traffic should be well targeted

  • Links build your online reputation and authority.  If readers in your industry continuously find references to you and your website on many of the sites they visit, their trust in you increases, and trust builds traffic



Sources

I would like to acknowledge the following sources, which were used to help build this list:

  • Aaron Wall’s blog at www.seobook.com  – in particular, the 2006 article ‘101 Ways to Build Link Popularity’

  • Andy Hagans’s articles at www.andyhagans.com

  • Chris Sherman’s 2002 article ‘131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies’

  • Link Building Blog at www.linkbuildingblog.com

 

114 Ways to Build Links

Article Syndication

Whenever you provide free articles, news, or other content, make sure that your name and web address are always provided.

  1. Give articles away via one of the many article distribution services, such as EzineArticles, iSnare or GoArticles. You can also pay to join a service like SubmitYourArticle, which will submit your article to dozens of distribution sites
  2. Write articles for your industry’s news sites.  For example, Internet marketers can write for Clickz, MarketingProfs or SiteProNews
  3. Monitor who uses your articles and contact them directly to see if you can provide additional material
  4. Write press releases and distribute them through PRWeb, PRNewswire, or PRLeap
  5. Write a press release and offer it to a journalist as an exclusive
  6. Swap articles with other websites in your sector
  7. Look for websites in your sector that have “News” or “In the News” or “What People Are Saying” pages.  Write a flattering (but honest) article about a site, product, or company and let them know the article is on your website.  There is a chance they will link to it.  Do a search on “(your sector)” + “in the news” to find relevant sites
  8. Run surveys on your site and publish the results.  Good surveys can generate many links

 

Articles That Attract Links

Some types of articles attract more links than others.

9.  Say something controversial (but constructive and factual)

10. Create recommendation lists: “Top 10…” or “Best of…” or “10 Tips to…”  These types of lists attract inbound links

11.  Create lists that debunk: “Top 10 Myths…” or “Top 10 Mistakes…”

12.  Create a directory of gurus or experts in your industry.  With luck, they will link to your complimentary references 

13.   Create a directory of gurus or experts in your industry. With luck, they will be vain enough to link to your complimentary references.

      14.  Study what articles are being featured on Digg and other aggregation sites – and think about how you can write similar stuff.

15.  Support a cause.  In the US, the “Free Martha Stewart” campaign generated huge interest.  In the UK, the campaign against charging for road usage gained massive support


Become a Guru

  •  Position yourself as an industry guru and get yourself on journalists’ and bloggers’ Rolodexes.  Always make yourself available for comment.  Get your name and website into press articles
  •  Read The Obvious Expert by Elsom and Mark Eldridge (ISBN 0-9720941-6-4), a book with many great ideas about how to become an industry guru
  •  Offer to speak at industry events.  This has a few benefits as far as generating potential links.  First, the event should have a web page introducing the speakers.  Additionally, some of the event attendees may have blogs where they will write about you.  Finally, you can post slides, notes, and podcasts from the event on your site and encourage event attendees to visit
  •  Create your own list of recommended articles by tagging and bookmarking on one of the many bookmarking websites like Delicious.  If people like your lists, they will track back to your website to read about who you are, or they will link to your bookmark list
  •  Write in an accessible style. You want as broad an audience as possible to read and link to your site.
  •   Place a bio and photo of yourself on your site for other webmasters, bloggers, and journalists to download and use when they write about you
  •  Make your website easy to navigate so people can find the content they are searching for
  • Make sure your website looks good.  No one wants to link to an ugly site, even if the articles are good.  Invest in web design

 

Best Directories

24.  List your website on DMOZ, a directory used by Google to support page rankings.  Be aware that DMOZ is a human-edited directory that is tough to get into

25.   You have to pay to get in the best directories, but it is worth it to do so because most people don’t. The ones I recommend are Yahoo! Directory, Business.com and Best of the Web.

26.    Make sure you get listed in the specialist directories for your industry. For SubHub's industry, Go2Web20 drives a lot of traffic to our site.

27.   If there are no directories for your sector, create your own. It’s one way to be sure you get listed!


Easy Free Links

28.              Think of something you can advertise on Craigslist, for example 'For free information about content publishing, go to www.subhub.com '

29.              Ask and answer questions on Yahoo! Answers.  In your answers, you can point people to online resources including your own website

30.              Join relevant Google Groups.  Ask and answer questions, and refer people to articles on your website for answers

31.              If you or your website have established a reputation, create an entry on Wikipedia.  If you can’t justify an entry, try adding links to other entries, but be sure they actually add value and are not just wiki spam!

32.              Set up a MySpace page for your site.

33.              Set up a Facebook profile, group or fan page.

34.              Create a page on Squidoo or HubPages.  Make it about your sector, with links to different resources (including your own site).  This will help you build a reputation as an industry expert

35.              Make sure you have an RSS feed on your site.  Publish good content on a regular basis and drive readers to your site to view the whole article.  People will often put your RSS feed directly onto their website

36.              Participate in forums and be sure to include your domain name in your signature (where possible)

37.              Add comments to blogs and reference your website, but be sure to make relevant contributions

38.              Submit an article that references your site to Digg

 


Free, Free, Free

Everyone likes to tell their friends where they can get something for free.  Offer something of real value on your site and it will generate good links

39.              Write a downloadable eBook and give it away for free on your website.

40.              Write a white paper about your industry and give it away for free.  An easy way to do this is to run a survey on your site and create a white paper from the results

41.              Offer a free podcast

42.              Offer free downloadable templates, images, and screensavers with links attributing them to your site

43.              Offer a free application that is useful to people in your sector

44.              Have a competition on your site that requires no entry fee, and make the prize worthwhile to generate a good number of leads

45.              Release a free Firefox extension, Google widget, Facebook application, or other plug-in to one of the many social networking sites

46.              If you have a physical product, trade free samples for links and/or reviews

 


Social Bookmarking

47.              Many Internet users now have one or more bookmarking accounts they use. Make sure it is easy for them to add your website to the bookmarked list. The easiest way to do this is to include bookmarking functionality on every page.

48.              Ask your friends to Digg a particular article.  If you write a great article, ask your friends to vote for it on Digg.  If you get a front page listing, it can drive thousands of visitors to your site, some of whom may create direct links to the article

49.              Vote on StumbleUpon and ask your friends to give your site a thumbs up

50.              Look at meme trackers to see what stories are hot at the moment.  Write a relevant article, whether it’s an opposing view, new evidence, or case study.  For an example of a meme, check out Techmeme

51.              If you sell something, start your own affiliate program. Make sure all the affiliate links and display ads link back to your website.

 

Industry, Supplier and Local Links

52.              Join online schemes like the Better Business Bureau

53.              See if your local chamber of commerce or other business support group (Business Link in the UK) has a website where you can get listed

54.              Identify local directories that often have a free listing section for local businesses

55.              Your local newspaper’s website may have a section for links.  If not, contact one of the journalists to write an article about your site

56.              Ask any suppliers you use to link to your website, and in return, offer to write a testimonial or be a case study

57.              Get your site listed on the local library’s website

58.              Establish relationships with non-competing businesses in your sector and come to an agreement about recommending each other’s services via links on your site.

59.              Write testimonials about other products or services in your sector, but only endorse what you genuinely believe is good.  Remember, your credibility is at stake!

 

Reviews Help You

60.              Publish reviews of other websites.  Let the webmasters of the reviewed sites know, and you may get links in return

61.              Review new products as soon as they reach the market (or before, if possible).  If yours is the first review, it will get a good search engine ranking

62.              Build a reputation as someone who writes honest and factual reviews, and people will look forward to what you have to say about new products and services

63.              Write reviews about books and products on Amazon (www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk).

64.              Create a list of your recommended and/or favorite books on Amazon.  Keep the list focused on your subject area, and don’t forget to create a bio (with a link)

65.              Send your website to review sites

66.              If your website is new, submit it to KillerStartups

67.              Review products relevant to your audience on Epinions and, coming soon in the UK, Revoo.

68.              Find specialist review sites focused on your sector. One example is PhotographyREVIEW.

69.              If your online business has an offline counterpart, make sure you add a review at Yelp

 

The Blogosphere

70.              Start your own blog related to your specialty subject area.  Keep the content relevant, timely, personalized, and interesting.  Get links to your blog and create links from your blog

71.              Link to influential blogs.  Pro bloggers keep a close eye on who is linking to them, and they may link back to your site if they like what they read

72.              Post comments on other blogs and link to your blog.  You want to attract the attention of the blogger and the readers, so make sure your posts are thought-provoking and relevant

73.              Speed is crucial in the blogosphere.  Whether writing on your own site or commenting elsewhere, act quickly

74.              Tag your blog articles in Technorati

75.              Use Technorati to find other blogs in your sector.

Offline Links

Offline links may not help with your search engine ranking, but they can still generate traffic.

76.              Make sure you have your domain name on all of your stationery, including business cards and letterhead

77.              Try to get interviews and mentions in the print media. Always provide your domain name to journalists, for example: “Miles Galliford from SubHub.com.”

78.              Create marketing materials (e.g., A6 postcards) that you can leave in relevant places like industry conferences

79.              When you go to conferences, take photos and notes and post them on your site


Reciprocal Links

Providing links on your site in exchange for getting your links on another site is an acceptable strategy.  Search engines don’t give reciprocal links a rating as high as inbound links, but it doesn’t do any harm.

80.              Only link to sites you know. Ensure that they are relevant and of similar quality to yours

81.              If you have two sites, place the reciprocal link on the site that is not being linked to by the exchange partner (if possible)

82.              Ask to have the link placed in the context of a relevant article rather than stuck on a ‘Links’ page

83.              Better still, ask the reciprocal site to write an article recommending your website with the link at the end

84.              When choosing sites to trade links with, think about audiences. For example, if you run a website about retiring early, links from a website offering cruise holidays could be relevant

85.              Phone rather than email webmasters to exchange links. The conversion rate is much higher


Paying for Links

86.              Many websites, particularly blogs, allow you to pay for text links on their site. You can often deal directly with the site owner

87.              Some companies aggregate lists of sites that sell links. Prices vary from $10 a month up to $1,000+. Check out Text Link Ads to understand more

88.              Run a Google Adword campaign or something similar.  The links in the text ads can appear on a lot of sites, but you have to pay for the click-throughs, which can be expensive.  This is usually worth doing only if your site makes money from the traffic created by the ads

89.              Pay bloggers to mention your product, service or website in their posts. Try Pay Per Post

90.              Sponsor a website. Some websites would bite your hand off if you offered to sponsor them. Try charities, blogs and association

91.              Sell products on eBay and give the money to charity. Ask the charity to link to your site. Obviously, picking a big and relevant charity will provide the maximum benefit

92.              Consider buying established (but neglected) sites and using them to link to your site.  This is an effective marketing and business-building technique to create a network of specialist information sites.  The search engines like sites that have been live for a long time

93.              Hire a consultant to build links for you. This can be expensive. Try WarriorForum

 

 

Techie Bits

94.              If you have a choice about how your link appears on another site, always use a text description for the link.  In other words, make the link a keyword to your site.  For example, if your site is about designer handbags, make the link “Article by Peter Pan, editor of a specialist blog about designer handbags .”  Don’t ever allow text like this: “To read Peter Pan’s blog on designer handbags, click here.”  Search engines use the link text or anchor text as a way of determining relevance

95.              Make sure you assign alt-tags with real descriptions to all your images so they can be found by Google Image Search

 

19 Ways NOT to Build Links

Rubbish Websites

96.              Nobody wants to link to a poorly designed site with difficult navigation and no information about its owner.  Their credibility is at stake

97.              Nobody wants to link to poorly written articles, so make sure your articles are factually and grammatically correct


Link Farms and Dodgy Directories

98.              Don’t list your site in free link farms.  At best, search engines ignore them; at worst, they have a negative impact on your site’s ranking

99.              Don’t allow reciprocal links with sites that are not relevant to your subject.  For example, Google would frown upon an organic food site that has links from a poker site

100.          Never use an automated link generation service that offers to create hundreds of links for $20.  The quality of links are usually very poor (lots of adult, pharmacy and gambling sites), which will get your site penalized or even blacklisted by search engines

101.          Don’t send automated link requests using programs like IBP

102.          Don’t link from sites that list pages of links, even if they have relevant content


Forum Spam

103.          Don’t spam forums by making comments just to get your link on the site.  Don’t post comments like “I agree” or “Ditto” with a long signature file

104.          Don’t list too many domain names in your signature file on blogs and forums

105.          Don’t create an alias so you can write posts recommending your site, services, or products.  If you are caught doing this, the negative consequences could be far worse than any potential benefits

106.          Don’t ask the same question on lots of forums on the same day, just to get your link posted

107.          Don’t create profiles on forums that you don’t intend to post on

108.          Don’t post comments on threads that are out of date just to get your link on the site

Blog Spam

109.          Don’t spam blogs by adding comments to just get your link on their sites

110.          Don’t market your site or services in the comments section unless invited to do so

111.          Be careful about criticizing competitors in the comments section.  This can backfire with negative comments about your own website and services

112.          Only post if you have something worthwhile to say


Pester Power Doesn’t Work

113.          Don’t pester webmasters; if they decline to link to your site, write a polite note thanking them for their consideration

114.          If someone asks to be taken off your email list, do it. It’s the law