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A Guide To Link Building - Part 2

Posted 14th October, 2013 by Aliysa

In the first part of this guide I covered what link building is, the factors that indicate a quality link and the benefits of engaging in this practise. Next, I move on to the techniques, tips and tools to check and monitor your backlinks, and importantly to gain quality links.

What can you do to build links to your site?

Here are just a few of the many tips and techniques to build up links to your site:

  1. Create high quality content - give visitors a reason to link to your site with consistent interesting, shareable content.
  2. Develop and establish a blog that encourages discussion and debate - it’s all well writing a good blog post, but failing to respond to comments and engage in discussion is a missed opportunity to provoke increased interest in your posts.
  3. Guest blog - contributing to external blogs with (I stress again) great content, is an awesome way to showcase yourself and link to your website (ensure you remember to include a link!).
  4. Participate in the community - being active on forums, blogs and social media showcases your industry knowledge and can spark relationships with relevant website owners who may be willing to link to you in the future.
  5. Create shareable visuals - this could be anything from infographics to memes. As long as they’re executed to a high standard and add value, they’ll gain attention and fuel links to your site.
  6. Give freebies - people love free stuff. Obviously it doesn’t have to be your entire or main offering, but giving away a product or service of some sort of value to the community will generate interest and links to you.
  7. Hold or participate in an event - besides other benefits this can bestow, involvement in an industry-related event can often prompt mentions online along with backlinks. By incorporating social media as a core communication channel for before, during and after the event, you can increase the likelihood of gaining backlinks.
  8. Share! - the ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ principal. Share other people’s content (as long as you believe it will interest your audience) and this action may be reciprocated with a backlink to your site.

What link building techniques should you not engage in?

There are methods which, in the long-term, can damage your SEO efforts and thus should be avoided to gain links:

  1. Don’t buy links - link schemes violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and they have a whole host of ways to catch you out if you choose to pay for links to your site. Subsequent penalties can severely wound your business - in our eyes it’s not worth it!
  2. Don’t trade links with irrelevant sites - search engines are so sophisticated with search results nowadays that they can easily recognise link swaps. Unless these links are relevant, they are of no value and can even harm your rankings.
  3. Don’t spam sites to get links - no-one likes a spammer, including search engines. Again, you don’t want to get in trouble with them.
  4. Don’t duplicate or create poor content - focus on quality over quantity every time. Poor quality content will not attract links and will effectively discourage people from visiting your site in the future.

How can you check your backlinks?

It’s important to actively track the backlinks to your site so you can monitor the effectiveness of your link building efforts. There are literally hundreds of tools at your disposal to do this - but be warned - some are better than others. You’ll find that the results returned by different tools vary, so it’s advised to use a few for analysis and to not take results as an absolute indicator of your link building performance. A couple of the most popular and recommended tools are Open Site Explorer and ahrefs, which both offer free, limited access to metric scores and values for factors such as domain and page authority, linking domains and so on.

This concludes the link building series. Please note, this is just a basic guide - link building is a complex practise and can become considerably more advanced. In fact, nowadays there are even SEO experts who focus solely on backlinks, which also reflects its importance to search engine rankings. However, we realise that not everyone has the time, nor the technical ability to engage in link building at a qualified level.

Categories: Tips, SEO

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