If you want to appear higher on Google, Bing and Yahoo! for your search terms, you need to do more than just have relevant content. Search engines also take into account the number and quality of websites linking to yours as an indication of how useful your website is going to be to its users. Thankfully, link-building is fairly simple if you're willing to commit the time.
1. Where are you now?
Use Open Site Explorer to find out your current 'domain authority'. This is a score out of 100 that gives a rough indication of your perceived quality against competitors sites. You should also be able to see the number of 'linking domains', which is the number of websites linking to yours as opposed to total individual links. It's this number that you want to increase, and by running the same search for your competitors you can get a goal. For example, if your best-performing competitor has 200 links and you only have 50, then you need to get at least 150 more (assuming the quality of those links is equivalent).
2. Set your link-building goals
Commit to spending regular time on your link-building and aim to generate say 20 links a month. As you submit more links you'll get a better idea of the time you need. Time can be quite varied as some websites will be easier to submit links to than others, and bear in mind that not all of your submissions will be successful. You should not add links too quickly as search engines will be suspicious about a sudden increase in links. Building at what would seem a natural rate is a better idea.
3. Get involved in your industry
It's relatively easy to find websites in your industry, such as blogs, magazine websites and other resources that talk about your area. You should be able to add comments to existing articles, or even write your own content. Just make sure you get a link to your website.
4. Open free accounts with links
There are countless social media accounts that allow you to register free and include a link in your profile. As well as the familiar Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, try this AddThis list.
5. Get links on business directories
It may be worth paying for some online directories if the linking page is good enough quality (see below), but there will be plenty of free ones to choose. Find general business directories, directories relating to your industry, and local directories for your area.
6. Look at competitors' links
Use Open Site Explorer as explained above and you can see where your competitors are currently linked. Scroll down the list and try to get yourself on the same pages. Look at the 'domain authority' of the page where you'll be listed to make sure it's good enough quality. You can also search Google for "link:www.domain.com" or "www.domain.com" (where the domain is your competitors).
7. Give away free content to get links
Find ways to give away useful advice and information. This will establish your expertise as well as provide relevant content for search engines. You could respond to something in the news, write a free tips guide like this one, or respond to an article you've read elsewhere with a different opinion.
8. Check the quality of links
Again, Open Site Explorer is a really useful tool to judge the quality of your links. Make sure you submit to those with a higher 'domain authority'.
9. Vary your links
Don't just link to your home page. Get links to other pages on your website so that those pages and the keywords they contain will get well listed too.
10. Track your link-building
Most importantly, you need to track your work and its effect. The simplest way to track your success is to choose around 10 search terms and look at your position on Google, Bing and Yahoo! about monthly. Beyond this, watch out for visitors coming to your site from these new links and monitor your performance in tools such as the Open Site Explorer. It pays to be patient with link building as it can take a long time for your link to be added and then a long time for the search engines to pick it up. Good luck!
Our link building services
- Provide a list of recommended links based on your target search terms £100 + VAT
- Submit the links for you for a monthly fee £100 + VAT per month for 10 links
- Monthly ranking reports for your search terms for £25 + VAT per month