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Link Building Tips 101

by Deborah Ager on November 9, 2010

links on a chain

Nothing succeeds like planning

If you take time to plan your link building strategy, you will probably be a step ahead of your competition. Link building can be a time-consuming effort that can take time to show results. However, carefully building your links can attract your target customer to your site.

What follows are several tips to help you get started on your way to developing a link building strategy for your organization.

Use a Tool to Help

The BatchBlue tool allows me to track my communications with bloggers and website owners.

Instead of searching through my old emails, I can view all relevant communications inside the web-based BatchBlue software. This saves me hours of time when I want to track responses and what was said.

When a blog stops publishing or contact information changes, I have a place to track those changes so I don’t waste time using old information next time. In addition, I can outsource certain tasks to others, saving myself even more time.

Ask and You Shall Receive

In a past life, I was a business and life coach.

What I noticed most in conversation with my clients was that they did not ask me for what they wanted.

One client wanted to take a class and lived in resentment about “not having time.” When she did finally ask her husband to watch their son—the spouse immediately said yes—she was able to take a class.

Have you asked that powerful website owner you admire for a link back to your site yet? If they say no, then volunteer to write a post for them (and ask if you can include a link to your site in your blog).

What is the best way to ask? Ideally, you know a little about your market. You’ve done your research about whether the site owner prefers email, Twitter, or another communication method.

You could even—gasp!—use the telephone to request a link. If you call and ask politely, you will certainly stand out from the all the other website managers sending emails.

Write Compelling Content

In a recent Women Grow Business (WGB) chat about search engine optimization (SEO), someone asked me for my number one tip about SEO.

One chat participant chimed in, and I agreed, that writing compelling and relevant content proves extremely important. An organization can work hard to get 100 or 1,000 backlinks.

They can develop all the traffic they want to have. However, people won’t stay on the site or complete your website goals if the content isn’t answering their questions.

Good websites solve problems. What is the problem your content can solve? Do your potential visitors need to organize their house or get health questions answered?

Your well-written, keyword-targeted content can help people and move your website higher in Google rankings.

PR + SEO = SEOPR

During the same WGB chat, chat host Shonali Burke asked me how PR and SEO could work together.

In the old days, I optimized press releases. Ideally, these press releases would appear online and the links from the press release service’s website would increase a website’s search engine rankings.

Sometimes press releases were written expressly for the purpose of getting the links, which is not a good idea.

When writing your own release, think of your organization’s story. A pitch you write for your local business journal will be far different from a release you write for your regional newspaper. Don’t overlook local news sources or stop yourself from aiming high.

If a news organization picks up your story, you may receive a coveted link from a high-quality news site. Among search engines, these highly regarded websites help your site’s credibility.

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Image: Teresa Gibbison via Flickr, Creative Commons

Deborah Ager manages niche affiliate websites, publishes a nationally known poetry magazine, owns ClickWisdom, and authored a book of poetry (Midnight Voices). She likes connecting on Twitter.

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