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How to Build a Strong Link Portfolio

Posted by fusionbox on Aug. 18, 2011, 6 p.m.

Search engines work by crawling and indexing web pages. As a search robot crawls through the Web it jumps from site to site gathering data about each one. Without links your site will have a hard time getting noticed. The more links which point to your web site, the easier it will be found. If many of your links come from other high-quality, trusted sources search engines will consider your site to be an authority on its subject. This is why link building is important to SEO.

Link building can be difficult. It is a time intensive process to find good websites that you would like to get links from. There are many methods of building these lists and admittedly, some of them work better than others. Once you have a good list of quality web sites you then have to decide what to do with it.

Interlink Your Own Content
The easiest way to build links is by doing it with your own content. For example, if you have a page on your website all about Denver SEO, you can link to it when you mention Denver SEO on another page. If someone has more than one website they can take it one step further by linking between their many domains. When linking your domains it is important to remember that the best links are from content that is relevant or somehow meaningful to all of your visitors.

Create Outstanding Content
You can find thousands of posts about what defines good content and how to write it. Still, it is very easy to find useless results when you type a query into Google. Good content is what you want to find when you surf the web, so that’s what you should be publishing too. Outstanding content will always attract links naturally.

Content that also has mass appeal is called link bait, because it will attract links like fish to a line. Some ways to attract links this way could include:

  • Give stuff away
    • If you’re a programmer, create a blog widget
    • If you’re a web designer, make a website template
    • Have a contest or a sweepstakes
  • Make a list
    • Top ten SEO companies in Denver
    • 15 best ice cream sundaes in the US
  • Create a useful resource
    • How to…
    • Glossary…
    • List of valuable web sites…
  • Do interviews
    • Often the interview subject will link back to you first, their fans will link to it and then mom shares it with her Facebook friends, and so on.
  • Do a review
    • Make sure the brand you review knows that you felt highly about their product. Sometimes they will link to you from their company blog or press page.

Directory Submissions
There are countless directories that you can submit your websites to. Most of these web directories are totally worthless. Directories that are human edited like Best of the Web or DMOZ, and also directories that have strict guidelines for submission are usually a good bet. Smaller directories, and even some second or third tier directories, can work as well. Be on the lookout for directories that focus on topics that are related to your market.

Distribute Press Releases
If you have something worth writing a press release for, and you have the budget for it, optimized press releases are great. Companies like PRWeb can be a great resource for this.

Distribute Articles
There are a couple of ways that this is done, and both should be used equally and selectively. Exclusive content given to other websites, such as guest posts on blogs within your industry, can contain links back to any site you like. More generic content can be distributed to multiple sites from distribution services like Ezine Articles and Associated Content.

Some people belong to several networks where they will meet like-minded people. It is easy to trade simple favors like tweeting a blog post or voting on a social media poll. If you are looking for a boost on a particular keyword you might instant message a colleague who has a site in that particular topic and ask for a link. Likewise, always give a friend a link if they ask nicely and their page is relevant to the content they want a link from…and it isn’t spam.

Join Associations
Nearly every industry has association websites. Your city’s Better Business Bureau can be a good place to start.

Social Media Marketing
Facebook and Twitter are probably the first things that come to your mind. You could think of those sites more as social networking then social media. Other sites like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon and Delicious can give a very quick jolt to the amount of links you get. This depends highly on having good content. Nobody wants to share boring web pages.

Social Networking
We know that sharing on the big social networking web sites can potentially improve your search ranking. There are also many niche social networking websites that will display links that search engines can follow. Interlink your social profiles so each of them has more page rank to pass onto your main site.

Blog Comments
Find “dofollow” blogs or, blogs that don’t add the nofollow tag to the commenter’s website. Leave thoughtful feedback that adds to the conversation and use moderation. Don’t be a spammer!

Trade Links
Regardless if you are making fancy three or four way link exchanges or old fashioned reciprocal links, link trades are still valuable when they are on-topic and used intelligently. A good example could be a network of roofers who operate in different cities.

There are plenty more methods of building organic SEO links that have been left out. This list should still be a good starting place however we would love to hear what your methods are. No one of these ideas will work on their own. They should be used in cooperation and with moderation. Except good content…use the heck out of that.

Would you like to know more? Contact the Denver Search Engine Optimization experts at Fusionbox.