Link Building Strategies – Part 2

Simple and quick results

It’s best to start off by attacking the low-hanging link building fruit first. In the second of these posts about the basics of link building strategies, we’re exploring some of the simplest and quickest ways to generate valuable back-links to your site.

Building credibility – Back-links from trusted sources

As a general rule, websites run by credible organisations come with plenty of link juice. Google and co appreciate trustworthiness, and getting links from highly credible places helps position your website in a position of trust. The idea is that if someone trustworthy links to you, you must also be trustworthy. So joining local and national organisations like this will help you set the right tone:

  • Your local Chamber of Commerce, Civic and Trade Associations
  • Support groups and business networks
  • Professional organisations in your industry sector
  • Geographically relevant communities

Like all quality link building, it’s about more than keeping search engines happy. When you include the logos of trusted organisations on your site and link back to them, you also show your users you can be trusted.

The idea is to associate yourself with as many credible industry associations as you can. Remember to complete your member profile in as much detail every time and announce your memberships via social media, shouting them from the rooftops by including links to membership pages.

Broadening your link profile – Quality general and niche directories

Once upon a time submitting your site to a long list of random high Page Rank directories generated links with a decent amount of oomph. These days it’s much better to go the quality route, which involves submitting to the big boys in the general directory category then cherry picking a bundle of niche directories to submit to, directly relevant to your business.

General directories

Trusted general directories include:

Make the effort to create a unique, marketing-led submission for each directory for the maximum effect. And take care over the category you submit to – one of the main reasons submissions are rejected is because the business owner has chosen an inappropriate category. And prepare to wait – popular directories often have a long waiting list, especially for free links, so unless you pay for a featured link, your submission might not be approved for some time.

Niche directories

Focus on directories with manual approval. Yahoo’s and DMOZ’s directories are excellent tools for identifying niche directories to submit your url to. In DMOZ, for example, simply navigate down through the high level categories on the DMOZ directory home page until you find the best matches for your business, and you’ll find a list of niche directories to submit to under the link called ‘directories’.

Classified ad site link submissions

You can also hunt down suitable niche directories via classified ads sites, many of which include directories and forums. In DMOZ, for example, click through to the ‘shopping’ category on the directory home page, hit the ‘classifieds’ link top left and you’ll find links to free classifieds sites plus an alphabetical list of niche categories to click on. The deeper you go, the tighter and more relevant the niche.

Media resource centres and business directories

DMOZ and Yahoo are also handy for finding media sources like online magazines, which often have resource centres and directories tacked on. In DMOZ, click through the directory home page to relevant categories then click the ‘news and media’ link for a list of suitable sites.

Finding directories to places to submitted content and links via Google search

You’ll love this. All you do is punt one of these nifty search phrases into Google and it returns a list of tightly-targeted places that might accept content and give links. Here are some examples. Copy and paste these into your Google search box and see what you get:

  • add URL + pet supplies
  • add website + gardening supplies
  • submit site + sports equipment
  • suggest a site + dog grooming

This is more of an outreach job and it can take a bit more effort because some of the sites returned might accept blog posts and articles as well as (or instead of) simple directory submissions. To stand a chance of getting a post or article accepted, make it as good as it can be and don’t forget to include a back-link to the page url you want them to link back to. Almost all the sites that take submissions include instructions about what they want, in what format, and how to submit it, and it’s really important to follow their requirements to the letter.

The next in this series of link building strategies will cover some of the more complex and convoluted ways to generate back links.