If you run a small website for your business then the chances are you have a million things to think about. Having just come across the rabbit hole that is SEO, link building probably seems like a challenge on par with running a marathon backwards. The problem is, link building is time consuming and not always that straight forward. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult.
Here I have put together some realistic methods and tips that you can use to improve your link building skills, and how to get backlinks. These ideas are just a starting point, don’t feel bound by these!
Use your connections.
Just because you are building links online, doesn’t mean you have to do everything online. If you have a website then the chances are so do your suppliers, customers and any other industry relations out there. Sometimes with your best relations you will simply be able to ask for a link from their site, other times you may have to offer them something. Either way picking up the phone is nearly always more successful than emailing.
For example, why not try offering testimonials? Using your industry connections, get in contact with any suppliers of software, hardware, office supplies etc and offer to provide a testimonial for their website because you like the product so much and they will most likely link to you. If not you can probably get away with politely asking afterwards.
Use your community
If you have an active community of users on the site already, why not try running a competition that involves getting users to create videos or tweet and shout on Facebook. This works especially well if you have a youthful or tech minded userbase combined with some good site content. The added social buzz will help generate traffic and links to your site. Remember, the overall aim is traffic, so even if it won’t always strictly benefit SEO it could still be worthwhile.
Copy your competition
This may end up becoming slightly more technical, but a starting point of any link building campaign should be proper competitor analysis. SEO tools like Yahoo! Site explorer or Yahoo site explorer alternatives make competitor backlink analysis incredibly easy, even for novice link builders. Gaining an idea on what your competitors have done to beat you in Google is crucial and can unveil some fantastic link building strategies, after all they must be working if they are above your site in the search engines.
The author James Blackwell runs the website Blog Design Services and writes about SEO, web design and online marketing.