Even with the recent Panda update, incoming links to your site are still very important if you want to get a higher ranking on search engines. What is a valuable incoming link then? It serves two purposes: to boost your search engine rankings, and to get you more customers for your business or at least visitors to your site.
Webmasters and site owners are always on the lookout for incoming link sources and many think that it is very difficult to do; it can be a time consuming, yet fairly straight-forward process to get valuable links into your site.
Here are some recommendations:
One of the easiest ways to get a valuable incoming link is to pay for advertising space. For a fixed or negotiated fee, you could have a text ad or a graphical ad on a site that is relevant to your business.
It is easy to identify sites that are relevant to your products and services, so you get to have more control over your incoming links. Plus, you get relevant links on sites that are closely related to what you do, giving you the chance to attract more potential customers.
It might be expensive to put up a text or graphical ad on another site. Also, if the site is a direct competitor, then it would be close to impossible to advertise there. Lastly, you might have problems getting a permanent link from the site. Your link might stay there for as long as you pay for it, but once you stop paying for it, you do not have control over it anymore.
- Great Content.
Everybody has been beating you over the head with the mantra “content is king.” Even the search giant, Google, is placing more importance on content in its search algorithms more than anything. The idea is if you have great content, people would naturally link to your blog post or webpage. They would naturally share your content with their friends and readers. They would want to mention you when they write their own blog posts.
Great content is the foundation of everything you do online. Having well-thought out, informative and entertaining text, pictures, slideshows, and videos will not only drive people into your site, it will get you recommended and mentioned by these people.
Creating great content is easier said than done. You have little control as to what other people do with your content so you really do not have an idea of how your blog post would be shared, or if your video would go viral. Further, it might take some time for your content to get you a good link profile.
The beauty of the Internet is that it is a great equalizer. You really do not have to be a professional to publish on the Internet, thus we have seen the rise of user generated content online. Your task as a link builder is to find influential blogs that are related to your business and get links from them. Not only will this get you links, but you have won new customers through that blog’s readership, as well as gained the approval and recommendation — explicit or otherwise — from that blog’s owner. For example, if you are a company specializing on social media and SEO services, then getting a positive mention on Mashable can certainly do wonders for your business and your traffic.
There are three ways to go about using blogs to get incoming links:
- Featured blogging. Getting featured on the blog you have identified, such as getting a press release or event discussed on the blog. If you have conducted a survey on your industry, you might want to share the results with the blog authors, or perhaps score an interview with them.
- Sponsored blogging. Paying the blog authors to talk about you and your business.
- Guest blogging. Writing a blog post for use on the blog you want to target.
There are a lot of blogs online, so your choices are quite unlimited. And as mentioned above, this works not just in getting you links but also in getting more receptive prospects and leads.
Links coming from influential blogs within your industry might be difficult to get. For example, authoritative blogs will not endanger their credibility by offering paid blog posts. You also have to get a certain amount of credibility to be invited to guest post, while getting featured on popular blogs usually means that you created some ground-breaking or important study or event for you to get mentioned.
- Local profiles.
Local business sites and review sites can give you great exposure. Think of it as the phone directory in the Internet era. It can also give you great links going to your website! And guess what? You would be getting a link from high page rank sites, like Yahoo Local Profiles, which has a native page rank of 8, Bing Business Portal, which has a 5, and Yelp, which has a 7.
Going local is something most businesses should do even if they have a national scope. So getting your profile completed on local business gets you not only incoming links, but also better business positioning and another way to get your business found.
There is no downside that we could give for this technique; a real win-win strategy for you.
- HARO or Help a Reporter Out.
No organization values credibility more than news organizations. How would you like a link from your local paper, or even national news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN or perhaps the New York Times?
HARO.com is a website that allows you to get in touch with reporters who are looking for sources for their articles. After registering as a source on the site, you will receive daily e-mail notifications that detail the reporter’s name, the subject of his or her news story, and how you could help. All you have to do is to send in your pitch and if you are selected, your quote or insights could end up in the story.
A great way to get links from credible news sites, blogs, other websites and even printed publications.
You could wait a long time for that perfect opportunity or the perfect story, and not all your story pitches may be entertained.
A good source of backlink source ideas are your competitors. There are a lot of free tools that can tell you what sites link to a particular site. For example, Google allows you to use the link: operator to find incoming links to a particular site or perhaps you could use their Webmaster Tools. Another popular tool to use is SEOMoz’s OpenSiteExplorer.
Having a good grasp of your competitor’s back link profile can be a blueprint to boosting your links from relevant sites. Not only that, it can open your eyes to link opportunities you might have missed had you not done the research.
This is a time consuming endeavour and if done improperly can just lead you clamoring after links that are not worth the time and effort. Also keep in mind that whatever back link profile you see from any tool currently available will only show but a sampling of the backlinks present for any site.