Link building is a complicated and time-consuming business. If you get it right it can make your SEO campaign. If you get it wrong it can break your website. The secret is to tread gently and keep your head beneath the parapet. With decades of linking experience to draw on we know what works and what doesn’t

Fifteen link building techniques that really work

  1. You search rankings depend on the strength of your site and the strength of your competition. And to gauge the strength of a website, you first need to know how to assess the value of a link.
  2. While some optimisers still insist that ‘a link is a link’, Google takes a much more complex approach to linking.
  3. Google rewards relevant links and you need to address this at every level, from the website, to the page, to the surrounding copy to the anchor text.
  4. Quality sits next to relevance in Google’s algorithmic mind. The quantity of inbound links is of less importance.
  5. Start your link building campaign close to home by asking friends and acquaintances, before approaching all your business contacts.
  6. Submitting you site to business, local and generic online directories is a smart way to kick-start a link building campaign.
  7. Personalise all link requests and spell out exactly how linking to your content will benefit their audience.
  8. Point links deep into your website to strengthen lower order pages and target niche keywords. Taking a big bite of a small pie is more satisfying than contemplating a bigger pie while your stomach rumbles.
  9. Synchronize your link building campaign with your marketing and public relations activities; and you’ll be surprised at how much link love you can squeeze out.
  10. Buying links violates Google’s webmaster guidelines and could cause your site to be penalised. But if it’s working for your competitors; you’ll understandably be tempted.
  11. If you insist on buying links, make sure that you don’t get caught. Your link acquisition should mirror natural link growth, so don’t do anything that might make Google suspicious.
  12. Attracting links with quality content is the most sensible and the most financially sustainable way to run a link building campaign. Quality may demand more ‘up front’ investment, but you can expect healthy dividends in the long term.
  13. No matter how grey your business sector, think creatively and you can develop some colourful link bait.
  14. Searchers can only be dazzled by your content once they have found it. Adding a RSS feed to your site is a good start, but don’t overlook the power online press releases or the potency of blog comments.
  15. Linking can be monotonous and a drain on your resources, but no matter how much your enthusiasm may be flagging; don’t be tempted to take any short cuts.