Link building is one of the most time consuming parts of SEO but it remains to be one of the most important factors of having a successful SEO campaign.
As a San Diego Based SEO consultant, link building is one of the services I offer to my clients.
If you own a small business, I recommend you look into the following tactics and see which one you haven’t done and or you could improve on.
White Hat Link Building Tactics
Article Submission Sites
I have a list of refined and high quality article submission sites that I submit my articles to with contextual links to them linking back to the websites I am linking building for. I keep my article submission sites updated and I make sure I submit my articles only to very selected high quality article sites and I make sure each post is unique only for that site.
If my client has newsworthy content, I send it over wires as press releases. Press releases can get you a few good relevant links but the main advantage is that they can get the attention of other writers and they may write about you. I have seen that happen over and over and it did last week for my client.
There are many blogs that are in need of fresh content for their blogs and by writing a unique quality content for their website, they may allow you to drop a link back to your website in that post.
Link exchange, if done moderately still works. The key is to stay relevant to your industry and not over do it.
Blog commenting, if done on relevant websites and if done in non spammy way, still works. Even the comment links have nofollow tags which prevent search engines from following them, they still generate good traffic and are needed for a good link profile showing the search engines you are pretty active in your own community. Also they can grab other webmasters attention to your website and they may link to you if they like you or your website.
Participating in relevant forums and linking back to your website in the signature works. Again the key is to stay relevant to your website and your industry. They also help you find other websites who would do link exchanges with you or would like to link to you.
I recommend businesses to reach out to bloggers within their own industry and build a relationship with them so when they have a product or service they want them to review, they can simply ask them. Most bloggers will review your products or services for free if you have a good relationship with them.
Social Media Links
Gray Hat Link Building Tactics
The following methods are in the gray area of Google guidelines violation which is why we SEOs call them gray hat. I tend not to follow these methods for my clients but I have done them in the past when I worked as an in house SEO for some of my employers. Mainly because the field my last employer was in was too competitive and it was also hard to get fresh natural links on a regular basis.
Paid links are against Google’s guidelines and are considered black hat but paid reviews are not. As long as you don’t pay for a link, you should be ok. But that puts you in a gray spot because people that review often tend to link. So, you must make sure you do this in a manner that looks natural to Google. If you all have a ton of reviews that have the same or similar anchor texts, then that could look very unnatural and could trigger some sort of spam filter with Google or simply your competitor .
Three way links
This method may not sound gray at all but it is. It is basically link exchange done in a sneaky way. The way it works is that you basically have a main website, let’s call it site A, and a supportive website, let’s call it Site B. Then you reach out to others and ask them to link to your main website site A and in exchange you link to them from Site B. That way you don’t leave a trace of direct link exchange because too much link exchange could be considered spammy. This method works pretty well and unless you get reported by your competitors or someone in Google webspam team finds out, chances are it will go unnoticed.
Link Buying for satellite sites
Link buying is against Google guidelines and if you buy links for your main website I highly recommend you rethink your strategy. If you really need to buy links, I recommend you set up supportive sites and mirror sites. You can buy links from those websites, increasing their page rank and authority, and then link from those sites to your main website. This is another method that works well, but it is has its own risks as your competitor may find out this tactic and report you to Google webspam team and you may get penalized. It could also get very expensive so I recommend you do this moderately if you need to.
link building should be part of small business strategy because getting links naturally is hard and in my opinion near impossible for small businesses. However, I highly recommend you follow Google guidelines and stay white hat in this effort. If you have to cross into the gray area, just be careful!