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Tips for Successful Link Building: Winning Strategies that Work

Link building, as many optimizers already know, is one of the most important SEO tactics in getting a web site to rank well. It is one of the primary factors the search engine crawlers use in their determination of a site's value, and therefore it should be one of your top priorities. Link building is one of those aspects of search engine marketing you should never really stop working on. To get the best results, you should constantly be making efforts to build up the amount of inbound links to your site. Here we'll discuss some of the best methods of link building, starting with the most basic and moving to the some more difficult methods.

Using Directories

Using directories to build links is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it is still one of the most valuable and effective. It's also one of the most simple. Submitting links to your site to various web directories, whether they are specific to your niche or general directories should provide you with roughly 100 or so unique back links per directory.

Searching for Links

Using a major search engine like Google or Yahoo to search for pages that deal with a subject or have content that is closely related to your own and then submitting a link to your own web page can be a great way to build links, as well as relevant, quality traffic. Many sites will let you add a link on either a paid basis or by requiring you to set up a reciprocal link on your web page. These inbound links can have a great benefit on your Page Rank, but the best are by far the sites that offer links, paid or for free, only to sites that they determine to be the most important to a specific topic or niche. Getting links from these sites associates you with other high competition sites, which can be very beneficial. Try searching for sites with a certain popular keyword phrase that relates to your site and expand and experiment from there.

Getting Links from Your Top Competitors

Speaking of high competition sites, it never hurts to email or call the owners of other sites and ask them to link to your site. As long as you have high quality content or can offer a reciprocal link, most page owners are responsive and willing to accommodate you. In some cases you may have to go a little further, offering your services by contributing content or SEO assistance, but in the end links from high-ranking sites with related content can be very helpful.

Taking Advantage of Forums

While online forums and message board communities don't provide the most valuable links in terms of the search engine crawlers, they can still be an effective way to draw relevant traffic to your site, and to get people interested in your content. Providing a link in your signature and then simply participating often in discussions can draw some attention, but if a topic is directly related to an article or service you provide, you should definitely provide a link. In many cases, this can lead other people to link to your content as well, once they discover you a source of information or quality content. Just be sure not to cross the line into spamming or blatant advertising, as this can generate negative opinion and do more harm than good.

Getting the Links that Your Competitors Use

One of the best ways to stay on top in business is to keep up to date with your competitors, and this applies directly to link building strategies. By getting links from the same sites as your direct competitors, you even the playing field by eliminating advantages. Try searching directly for the URL of a competitor's site in any of the major search engines and you'll find lots of top sites that link to them. Then approach them about linking to you as well.

Writing and Submitting Articles

Crafting quality articles and texts for your own site is extremely important, but it can also be helpful to your link building strategy to have some articles hosted off site with links back to you. Writing helpful, informative articles on subjects related to you niche will also help generate interest in your site, and if people start to view you as an expert with a lot of articles out there on a specific subject, it can be very beneficial. Here is a list of sites that host articles that can double as back links to your web site:


There are lots of other sites out there as well, so search for others, as well as sites that may specialize in content pertaining to your niche.

Press Releases

Similar to submitting articles to third-party hosting services, writing press releases and submitting them to distribution sites can be a great way to create links to your site from pertinent, valuable information. SEO and keywords can play a large role in the efficiency of a press release. They should contain carefully constructed titles and well-written text with a good keyword density, as press releases alone can rank very well, especially in the first few weeks after they are published.

While press release distribution sites do cost money (anywhere up to around $250 per article), they reach a very wide audience and can be extremely effective for generating both traffic and links. Try some of the following sites, which are the best respected.



Having a blog related to your business and professional interests at your site can be a great way to generate interest and links. If you're blogging about current events, tips, new developments or valuable information about your industry or niche, blog owners and sites with a similar focus will often link to information they find useful. This also provides the opportunity for you to comment on other blogs with links back to your site, but be careful not to do this too much and have your links come across as spam. A good idea is also to only link back to specific entries in your blog, rather than the main web address.

It's hard to assess the value of blog comment links, however, as some blogs disallow the search engine crawlers from accessing material contained in comments. However, a well-constructed response to a blog post containing a few keyword phrases can be beneficial in some cases, and equally as important, it can generate interests and click-throughs from readers.

Investing in Advertising

Buying advertising plans as a method of link building can be effective, but it can also be very expensive. Before purchasing any advertising, be sure to get as many statistics from the provider as you can on click-through rates, traffic, unique visitors, and any other information they can provide. If the pay-off from your investment doesn't look like it's going to be worth it, investigate other ad sources. Keep in mind you're going to have to watch out for re-direct scripts and work around them.

Renting Web Pages from Leading Sites

In some cases, you may be able to rent a page within the domain of a more authoritative, leading site in your industry or niche. This allows you the chance to fill a page with links and pertinent information concerning your site, and works very much in the way buying a page in a magazine for advertising purposes would. Not many sites offer this service, but it does happen and inquiring is certainly worth the time.

Automated Link Building

It's true, automated programs that build links for you can be very risky. If the search engines catch you doing it, you'll almost certainly receive a penalty. However, this doesn't mean that some people don't still do it, and it doesn't mean it's impossible for it to work. If you do decide to try it, it's very important is to choose a competent provider or service that uses a widely distributed network of links that don't interlink. It also helps if they use at least some content for their pages that is relevant to your site, and that all of their pages are built in a way that appears natural and not falsely manufactured. Only consult services that you can clearly see are experts in the SEO industry. Automated link building programs can provide good, fast results and boost your ranking, but you have to be sure you're going about it the right way, or the results could be bad for your ranking and have a longstanding negative effect on your site or business.

Building and Offering Tools

By providing users with a helpful tool that is relevant to your site's content or industry, you can generate a lot of buzz and traffic as well as a great deal of links to your site. The key is to come up with a tool that users will find truly unique and worth sharing. Ideas can include tools that allow you to compare prices for goods and services, or that can illustrate a service or process visually. Make your tools interactive and customizable. There are plenty of possibilities, but they key is to market them to sites or people in your industry so that you can spread the word. Writing press releases, providing links to your tool in relevant blog comments, or simply writing emails to others who you think will find it interesting can all be helpful to spread the word of mouth.

Contributing to Charities

Often times when you contribute to a charity online, you'll have a chance to be recognized by name on their web site. If the charity or its web site has a decent Page Rank, getting them to provide a link for this purpose can be quite beneficial. You'll find that most charities or donation finds don't offer this service specifically, but most are more than happy to accommodate you in return for a donation. Keep in mind that the more relevant a charity is to your own content the better, though this isn't always possible.

Buying Text Links

While buying links throughout a website from brokers has come to be frowned upon by some search engines, purchasing text links in websites that have content relevant to yours can be quite beneficial. When considering purchase, take into consideration not only the content in which the link is provided, but also its placement. It works best if it does not appear as advertising and instead appears natural, which hinges greatly on the content around it and its similarity to your own content. Text links are most effective on pages with high Page Ranks, and may not be worth it on sites with poor ranks. And be sure to investigate anyone selling text links thoroughly. Not all of these services provide quality, legitimate services, and spreading text links the wrong way can produce negative results if the crawlers or search engines catch on.

Improving your Product to Build Links

This method of link building is probably the most effective and involves no tricks or gimmicks, but is also one of the most difficult. Basically, it works on the assumption that the site with the best content, the most useful tools and services and the best reputation within an industry is going to naturally generate the most inbound links from interest, satisfied users. Creating a following of committed users who truly “like your site the best” is ultimately going to have the best long-term results, no only for your link building strategy, but for the health of your site or business in general. Focus on providing an attractive, easy-to-use, informative and helpful service, and allow others to do the work of building links for you. Of course, this isn't as easy as it sounds, but it's good to keep in mind that this is your ultimate goal when it comes to link building strategies.