3 Crucial Link Building Strategies to Get First Page Rankings
Link building is one of the most important factors behind your search engine rankings. In general, the more links you have pointing to your website and the higher quality those links, the better your website will perform in the search engines. Without incoming links your website will struggle to rank for profitable keywords, and it may not even rank at all. Today you are going to learn three link building strategies that will help you get first page rankings for your website. These proven methods won't put your website at risk of being penalized for SEO malpractice.
One of the most powerful strategies you can use to build a strong incoming link profile is to engage actively in guest blogging. This is where you make posts on blogs owned by other webmasters and bloggers, in exchange for links back to your website. Usually, these links come in the form of “resource box” links, where you post a little blurb about yourself and your website at the bottom of the post. With a bit of coercion you can usually convince bloggers to allow a link or two directly in the body content of the blog post as well (remember that the higher up the page a link is, the greater its weight and likelihood of being clicked)
To find guest blogging opportunities you need to reach out to fellow bloggers in your niche. If you’ve done any form of niche background research then you probably already have a list of blogs that you read or at least know of. However, it always pays to broaden your horizons and find even more potential guest blogging outlets. To do this, perform a simple Google search for “your niche + blog”, and then find any relevant contact details. Reach out to the owners of the blogs you’ve found with a simple email asking whether they are interested in high-quality guest posts in exchange for a link or two.
When guest posting you need to make sure that your writing is of the highest quality possible, and totally unique. Spun articles or cheaply outsourced content simply won’t cut it here, as bloggers will not accept presenting their valued readers with inferior quality.
The real secret with guest posting is to build up long-lasting relationships with fellow bloggers, who will then consistently accept your fresh content on an ongoing basis. Done properly and consistently, guest blogging is one of the most effective link building strategies around.
Another link building strategy that you cannot ignore is forum commenting. This particular method of building links is becoming increasingly relevant in 2012, as Google rewards forums and discussion boards as being hubs of community-made content. Forum commenting is not building links by spamming discussion boards with worthless messages and irrelevant links. Instead, it is the subtle art of adding value into a web-based community, garnering the trust of other forum members, and providing insight and solutions through the links you share.
To start with, you will need to find a list of forums available for public registration. Searching for your niche topic, followed by “forum” or “message board” in Google is a good starting point. Once you have gathered a list of forums, it’s simply a case of joining them one by one. Before you go any further, the first thing you should do is edit your public profile for each forum account you create. Most will allow you to add a link back to your homepage URL – place a link to your website in here for an easy backlink. It is also best practice to fill out your profile with an avatar image, and some basic information about yourself.
The bulk of the links you build with forum commenting will come from your signature file. This small message is automatically added to the end of every post you make. The vast majority of forums allow you to add clickable links into your signature file. If you can add anchor text then this is even better for link building and SEO. What you need to do is create a signature that subtly targets the main keyword around which you have built your website or blog. For example, if your website is built around the phrase “dog training tips” then your forum signature could be something like “read my blog for more dog training tips”, with that keyword phrase linked through to your website. Bear in mind that some forums will require you to amass a certain number of posts, or achieve a set level of reputation, before you are allowed to add links into your signature.
At the very heart of successful forum commenting is delivering value and information with your posts. Don’t be tempted to drop meaningless posts that add nothing to the discussion or you will quickly find yourself banned by moderators or reported for spamming. However, if you answer peoples’ questions and fully immerse yourself in the community then your link building efforts will not be in vain.
Suggesting directory submission as a valid link building strategy in 2012 might seem archaic, to say the least. However, the value of proper directory submission for backlink creation cannot be underestimated. Where the negative press surrounding web directories stems from is a misunderstanding of their purpose for SEO. Many webmasters falsely believe that submitting to hundreds of low value directories will provide extra “link juice” to push their website up the search engine rankings. Instead, the value of directory submission comes in submitting to a smaller stable of quality directories, whose links act as a foundation for further SEO efforts. Using automated submitter software to add your website to thousands of PR0 directories full of spammy links is of no appreciable benefit. However, if you find yourself listed in even ten high-quality directories then you have a powerful vouch for your site’s value and worth.
Search for higher PR web directories that offer free, non-reciprocal submission. Make sure these directories have human editors, and do not automatically accept any old submission. The higher the quality, the more valuable the link you will receive. Remember that web directories are much older than search engines – they have been around since the dawn of the Internet, and are unlikely to go anywhere soon.
To conclude, you have learned three important and effective link building strategies today. None of these strategies is revolutionary, as when it comes to SEO you are best to stick to the tried and tested basics. By guest blogging, forum commenting, and submitting to quality website directories, you will build valuable links and increase your search engine rankings. The big secret behind all this is to be consistent; the harder you work at link building, the better the results you will see.