Tuesday, October 06, 2009

7 Techniques for Advanced SEO Link Building

Basic link building involves getting your website listed on partner sites, quality online directories and do-follow social bookmarking / social networking sites. Depending upon your industry and the keywords you are trying to rank for, those efforts may be enough to get you a top spot on Google and the other major search engines.

But if you've taken care of the "low hanging fruit" with regard to links and your site still isn't ranking well, you may need to try some more advanced link building techniques. Here are a half-dozen+1 more tactics to generate high-quality external links to your site.

1. Link bait. Produce "linkable" content that others will be happy to link to. A page that's little more than an online marketing brochure is unlikely to attract many links independently. However, bloggers and other site owners will happily link to quality content such as helpful how-to articles, original research, resources such as useful lists, and cool online tools.

2. Interactive PR. Write compelling news releases with key terms linked back to corresponding pages on your site. Create a social media release through PitchEngine. Distribute your releases through online press release services to increase your exposure. Consider both free press release services and fee-based PR distribution sites.

3. Articles. Create your own external links to your site by writing helpful industry-related articles and linking these back to your site. Submit your articles to high-quality article directories.

The next four tactics involve generating links through blogs, in order from the easiest but lowest value to the most challenging but rewarding techniques.

4. Blog comments. Post comments on industry-related blogs. Make sure you comments are relevant to the post, add value (i.e. they aren't just about your company), and include no more than two links back to your site. One is better.

5. Blogger outreach. Take the direct route—send notes to carefully selected bloggers pointing them to original research, compelling content, a useful tool or (truly) interesting news. Use proper blogger relations techniques, and avoid these worst practices in blogger outreach.

6. Blogger relationships. Since bloggers who know you are more likely to link to you, try to establish relationships with some key bloggers in your industry space. Subscribe to their RSS feeds, follow them on Twitter, tweet their posts on occasion, write comments (see above), ask for advice, and, if possible, try to connect live at conferences where they are presenting or attending.

7. Guest posts. Most powerful of all, once you've established a relationship with an influential blogger, offer to write a guest post. Make sure it offers valuable information; is not self-promotional; and appeals to the blog's readers. It's generally acceptable to include 2-3 links back to your own site between the post and the "about the author," but don't overdo it, and ideally the post should link to other information sources as well.

They aren't quick or easy, but with patience and persistence, these techniques can create not only high-quality links for SEO purposes, but also new professional connections and even long-term friendships. Those personal connections are the most rewarding links of all.


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


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