Having incoming links—links from other websites—is very important for successful SEO. “Off-page” factors have become more and more important as they relate to rankings. In particular, solid link popularity can raise your site considerably in the search engine results.
Link popularity refers to the number and quality of the incoming links that are pointing to your site. The search engines have made sure to protect their results from link farming and link exchange programs, so it is important that you cultivate real links to your content from sites with good reputations. As such, building link popularity is one of the more difficult SEO tasks to do.
Ways to Build Link Popularity
This is the oldest and best-known method for improving link popularity. You look for sites that talk about the same general subject matter as you do without being direct competition. Contact the proprietor or web master and ask her if she will link to your site as you will link to hers.
- Always have a link already put on your own site before you ask for one in return. That is called good link Karma.
- Always give the other site the exact link text to use, even going so far as to put it into HTML so they can simple cut and paste it into place.
- Make sure they actually have a links page or places within their content that a link to you would be appropriate.
- Give them as much information as they may need in order to make it easy for them to link to you. If they have a big site, send them the exact URL where your site would fit into their content.
- If possible, use voice mail as opposed to email to ask for the link.
- Pre-qualify the people you solicit for reciprocal links: do they have links to sites like yours already? Do they have the ability to make changes to their own site?
- Search for sites that rank high for search terms that are important to you, then look through the results for sites that are not direct competition. These should be high on your list of link targets
- Check the link popularity of your direct competitors, then find out who is linking to them. See if those sites will link to you, too.
- Send a personal thank you email when someone does link to you.
Pay to be listed by quality directories:
- Yahoo Directory: One of the older, more “trusted” directories, you can get your business listed here for an annual fee of $299. Select the subject that best matches with your business, and request a listing.
- Best of the Web : A great directory, with fees ranging from $149.95 per year, per listing to a one-time only charge of $299.95.
- Business.com Directory: Another quality directory with pricing at $299 per year.
Find as many themed directories to submit to as possible. Make sure the directories are already in Google and has a good Page Rank.
When someone you do business with wants to link to you and vice versa, it is good to have a set of links somewhere on you site for such partner links.
Become a Content Provider: Give people a reason to link to you. How good is your content? Become an expert in your field and write related articles on your site or blog.
- Write and submit articles to the top-level sites who accept them.
- Don’t market in your article, just deliver value.
- Before writing anything, subscribe to their ezine and go through their site: fill in any gaps you can with your article.
- Be sure to include your full URL in your sig file, which is the file that includes your name and a brief description of you.
- Write product or service testimonials and submit them. Many companies will put these throughout their site, with links back to their authors’ sites.
- License content from your site for free in exchange for a link bback to yur site.
- Offer something for free—a downloadable asset of some kind, perhaps—and ask for a link back in return.
Leave your link everywhere you can: in chat rooms, guest books, news groups. Post questions on forums and include a link. Include it as a sticker on every package. Put the link everywhere you can, it will get noticed.