So, you made it through the basics in Part the First, tackled the optimisation tasks in Part the Second and you’re back for more. You have come far, my young padawan, and now it is time to reveal all the secret tricks that comprise the Jedi art of link building! Actually, it’s not that big a secret…sorry.
Put simply, you get people to link to you by offering something that they want to link to. Yeah I know, it’s a pat answer, but it’s true. There are a number of things you can do to make your site linkworthy:
- Offer something for free – knowledge, basic level accounts, a weekly comic…the list is almost endless and will depend on what you do and what you have.
- Create a conversation – every industry has it’s hot topics, create a discussion about the issues that affect your market and engage your customers and suppliers.
- Ask satisfied customers to write about their experience on their own site – it doesn’t hurt to ask and can be the start of establishing brand evangelists.
- Create an affiliate scheme to encourage new customers, reward the referrer and the referee with a discount or other incentive
- Sponsor an event, support a charity, get involved with your communitiy – helping others will encourage them to help you.
- You can also look at partnering with companies and organisations that are in parallel sectors to yours – if you’re a commercial printing company, for instance, look to partner with local graphic designers. This is a great way of getting more business, as well as links.
There are other things that you can do, especially when you are starting out with a new site, the most sucessful of which (in my experience) is spending time ensuring your site is in good quality directories. Now don’t run off and buy that “we’ll submit your site to 10000 directories for £1.20″ package that you found on the web, keep your £1.20 and keep reading!
There are hundreds of millions of web directories out there and a huge proportion of them are rubbish, but there are some good ones. Directories I’d consider submitting to are:
Some of these are paid inclusion, some are free, but the common denominator for all of them is that they are carefully moderated. This means that a site has to meet specific quality criteria before it is listed and means that the search engines consider an inclusion in these directories to have some value. Because these directories are popular, you can also get some great referral traffic from them.
There may also be quality directories that are specific to your niche, lookout for quality sites being listed in them and see if they are properly moderated before you submit your site.
Needless to say, this is just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities, spend some time thinking about your market and try to think outside the box. In otherwords…use the force.
I’ll be back with analytics, judging your competitors’ link strength and how to keep tweaking your site for further improvements in Part the Fourth!