Getting links from other websites to your website helps increase your rank in Google. The business owners I mention this to are usually not enthusiastic, saying something like, “I don’t feel comfortable asking other business owners I don’t even know to link to my website.”
Link building would be a real pain if this was the only way to do it. Fortunately, it isn’t. The process is actually a lot more natural than this and can even be fun.
These are some of the basics of link building:
Do you read any blogs that are related to your industry? Become a more active participant by leaving a thoughtful comment; add to the discussion with some genuinely useful information. While filling in the comment fields, make sure you put in your website URL (most blogs offer this option).
Do you belong to any discussion forums? Make sure you’ve fully filled out your user profile, including the link to your website. You can also include a link to your website in any responses you post. The caveat is the same as for the blog suggestion above: make sure your contributions are relevant and helpful. An out and out advertisement for your product or service will not be welcome and can be flagged as spam.
Are you a member of any business associations? Some member associations, such as your local chamber of commerce, BNI chapter, or other trade organizations, list businesses in their online directories as a benefit of membership. The listing will include a link to your website.
Does your business have any social media profiles? Make sure these profiles are fully filled out. When you post, include links to content on your website.
Have you claimed your Google+ Business Page and created listings in other directories such as DMOZ, YellowPages, Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo? If you are starting from scratch with directory listings, do it slowly over a period of months Too many submissions at once might attract negative attention from Google. And keep an eye out for directories geared towards your specific industry; getting website links in these may be even more valuable from the search engines’ perspective.
These ideas for link building involve a little more work:
Write guest posts on the blogs of friends, industry authorities, and business colleagues. Many bloggers are thrilled to have guest posting, especially if you write well and you contribute something substantial to their site. Be sure to include a link to your website somewhere in the post.
Create your own blog. If you consistently create interesting content, other bloggers will link to it. (Make sure you set up an RSS feed to make it easier for others to syndicate your content.) Be sure that you link to other blogs as well.
Publish a regular newsletter on your site and encourage people to link to it.
Create a free tool on your website that other websites will link to.
Create a resource list. A resource list is both great for links and very and helpful content for your readers. If you create a comprehensive resource list, it will be easy for other websites to link to it in their own posts instead doing all the research over again.
Administer a survey and promise to share the data with others. Then post the results on your site and publicize the link.
Create a presentation. Repurpose some slides or an infographic from a live presentation you did, or create one from scratch. You can put this in your website’s resource center, or on a SlideShare account for more links.
Create a free webinar and post an archived copy online.
Write a press release about some interesting company news. Post it on your website and publicize the release through one of the big newswires.
Sponsor or speak at an event. You can usually get website publicity.