February 9, 2011
Link building is an extremely important part of SEO. The more websites you have linking into your site, the more credible your site appears to the search engines. Credible websites get awarded with higher search engine page result rankings which will allow more potential customers to see your Website, therefore increasing sales.
There are many ways to increase your link popularity. Here are some tips and trends from Search Engine Land to help you with link building this year.
• In 2011, Bing and Blekko will become great places to build links. Last year, many link builders relied heavily on Google and Google’s search listings. However, although Google is never going away, other search engines will step out of the shadows and bring great link building opportunities to marketers.
• Start to concentrate on creating well-rounded link popularity. Make sure your links are coming from a variety of places such as social media networks, link directories, blogs, older sites, newer sites, articles, social bookmarking sites and more. Generating links from many different platforms will allow you to create a larger list. It also makes your site look more credible to search engines than if all your links were coming from just link directories or just social media networks alone.
• Link builders should begin to focus more on how to secure links rather than just ways to generate lists of link building sites and opportunities. Without the right link building technique, a list isn’t worth much in the long run anyway.
• The rise of apps is beginning to take people away from actual Websites. In order to combat this, it’s important to develop a loyal following to use for link building as well as product announcements. Try to gain opt-in email addresses and split your Internet marketing campaign into two parts, one to focus on link building and one to focus on driving traffic to your site, email marketing and social media. Building your following leaves you with a back-up plan if apps do end up totally driving people away from Websites, because you’ll be able to get links from your fans/followers.
• In 2011, expect to see smaller brands ranking better based on customer service reviews and social media interaction. In previous years, big brands have had the most power when it comes to online marketing. However, smaller brands tend to provide better customer service and now social media and customer review sites have allowed that quality to shine.
• Start using social media networks Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for link building. Here’s how:
o Facebook: Post links to your Website on your wall, in discussion and on other people’s walls (when appropriate, don’t spam). Also search for Groups that are associated with your keywords. Join these groups and start to respond to discussions. Make sure to leave a link to your site at the end of each response. You can also use Facebook ads to buy links and target them by region, gender, keywords and more.
o LinkedIn: Not only can you post links to your “wall” but also participate in LinkedIn Answers using keywords. By answering multiple questions posted by other members each week, you’ll establish credibility and attract links and sales leads. You can also leave the link to your Website as a reference which will help with your link building efforts. When you’re done answering a question you can also ask the person who asked it for a link back to your site.
o Twitter: Make sure to use keywords in every tweet and include a short link back to a relevant page on your Website. Since tweets are now being indexed in Google this will greatly help your link building efforts and drive more traffic to your website.
• Look for fresh sources and sites when it comes to traditional link directories. Ask your social media followers if they would like to host articles or blogs you’ve written on their sites. You’ll be surprised how many respond which will get you a few valuable links.
• Participate on forums and review sites. Leave your link with your signature.
• Try to gain .gov and .edu links. These credible sources will have a positive impact on your search engine rankings and are also relatively easy to gain if your site is relevant to the subject of the organization.
• Remember that quality over quantity is important when it comes to link building. Do not conduct any link exchanges with websites that are irrelevant to your industry or topic. Google and other search engines frown upon this. This year, concentrate on building quality links that will last and on gaining loyal followers/fans/customers who will help drive traffic to your website.
Wendy Suto, President and CEO of Search Circus, which is a full service certified and ethical search engine optimization and marketing firm that offers Internet marketing, corporate blogging, PR distribution, PPC consulting, link building and other online marketing solutions with proven results.