Part 8: Link Building for SEO

Travis Van SlootenSmall Business SEO

Welcome to part 8 of our 10-part series on SEO! In part 7 we talked about whether or not it is worthwhile to submit websites to search engines. Ultimately, we decided it was not, and that time is better spent implementing SEO elements that actually build rank.

One important SEO element is link building by developing inbound links to your website. This will be the focus of part 8. In fact, link building may be the most important aspect of the SEO process! Building inbound links is crucial and something that has to be done on an ongoing basis for SEO success.

Link Building and SEO

Today, we’re going to closely examine and break down exactly how to go about building really good inbound links to your site. We will discuss the following terms and examine the following ways to build inbound links:

  1. Reciprocal Link Building
  2. Non-reciprocal link building
  3. Listing your site within a directory

What is Reciprocal Link Building?

When you post a link on your website to someone else’s website, and that website posts a link to your website in return, that is reciprocal linking. This used to be a highly effective way to get backlinks but not so much anymore. You want to limit reciprocal linking to highly relevant websites.

When building reciprocal links, make sure:

  1. The site you are exchanging links with has a high PageRank.
  2. The site you are exchanging links with is not a direct competitor.
  3. The site you are exchanging links with is relevant to your site.
  4. Make sure the links aren’t blocked: Unethical website owners will occasionally block backlinks from search engine spiders. When considering a link exchange with another website, check to make sure the source code for the robots.txt file. When it’s set to “noindex” or “nofollow,” then you know that giving them a link won’t help you out at all.
  5. The site you are exchanging links with doesn’t have several outbound links. Each link is allotted a vote, which helps improve rankings.

If you sell shoes and a website selling shoelaces wants to exchange links, reciprocal linking is probably a good idea. However, if you sell shoes and a website selling video games approaches you, there is no relevancy so this link exchange will provide very little benefit.

How to Build Non-Reciprocal Inbound Links

The easiest way to get quality non-reciprocal inbound links is to provide visitors with high-quality content. If you give your readers what they want, they are likely to link back to you because they want to share your information. Here are some beneficial ways to build quality non-reciprocal links:

Write an Article

Writing an article accomplishes to things: 1. It solidifies your reputation as an expert in your field and, 2. by submitting your articles to article directories, it gives you a great inbound link you have control over.

Writing the article is the hard part. Just like your website, the content should be clear, interesting, and relevant to your topic.

Press Releases

Do you have anything interesting to share about your business? Press releases are another fantastic way to gain inbound links. Similar to articles, you want to submit your press release to key online publishers. Services like PRWeb will distribute your press release to many publishers for a fee. And if your news is worthwhile, you can be sure to gain some quality links to your website from high-ranking news sources.

Guest Blog Posts

This strategy involves finding quality blogs and then writing a high quality guest post for the blogs. Ideally, you want to find blogs that are relevant to your industry but it’s not entirely necessary if you’re using this strategy strictly for backlinks. What you do is make a list of quality blogs and then reach out to the blog owners and ask them if you can write a post for their blog. Typically blog owners will allow 1-2 links to your website in these posts.

Guest blog posts are some of the best backlinks you can get – especially if the blogs you write for are relevant to your industry. They are also great for increasing your blog audience as you get exposure to an audience of readers you wouldn’t otherwise get access to.

Links To The 10-Part SEO Series on How To Rank on Google

Part 1: SEO Success Starts With Keyword Research
Part 2: Why Producing Quality Content for SEO Is Important
Part 3: Structuring Your Website For SEO
Part 4: Content Optimization for SEO
Part 5: Internal Linking Strategies for SEO
Part 6: Human Testing for SEO Success
Part 7: Search Engines Submissions for SEO
Part 8: Link Building for SEO
Part 9: Monitoring Your SEO Efforts
Part 10: Extra Tools & Resources for SEO Success