25 Link-Building Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Website

A well-thought-out link-building strategy will help drive customers, prospects or partners to your website. To help you devise a plan, three experts offer proven link-building techniques. Here's a teaser: focus on quality, keep it in house and, above all, put someone in charge.

By James A. Martin
Wed, May 09, 2012

CIO — You may have an amazing website, but not many people will see it if other sites aren't linking to it.

Relevant inbound links from authoritative, trusted and/or quality websites are every search marketer's dream. (An inbound link, also called a backlink, is a link from an external site that points to content on your site.) Google, which owns about 66 percent of the search engine market according to comScore, sees such links as votes of confidence for your content. Because Google wants to serve users the most relevant, freshest, trustworthy results, inbound links from trusted sites to yours can go a long way toward pushing your content up in search result rankings.

Of course, obtaining those inbound links takes considerable time, effort and resources. There are also a lot of myths and misunderstandings related to link building. For example, some believe Google will penalize you for getting too many links too quickly (not necessarily) or that reciprocal links are a surefire way to boost your rankings (it depends).

To help your site develop a quality inbound link profile, we've collected 25 top link-building strategies and tips from three experts:

  • Eric Ward, a link-building strategist since 1994 and author of LinkMoses, an email newsletter ($8 monthly).
  • Debra Mastaler, president of Alliance-Link, which provides custom link building training.
  • Scott Fasser, director of customer experience for Optify, developer of SaaS-based inbound marketing software.
  • Set Your Link-Building Foundation

    1. Put someone in charge.

    Because link building is time-consuming and resource intensive, someone needs to be responsible for driving the effort, Fasser says. "You need someone focused on actively managing the program, promoting the right content and always looking for new opportunities."

    2. Set up a process for monitoring and measuring progress.

    From the beginning, have a method in place—usually accomplished via SaaS tools—to monitor and measure your link-building efforts on a regular basis. "If you don't have that process set up, when someone asks how effective your link-building campaign is, you won't have a good answer," Fasser says. "And if you don't have a good answer, you're not likely to get the time and resources you need to continue the link building."

    3. Don't outsource your entire link-building campaign.

    "You can't outsource 100 percent of your link building or website promotion to a third-party and expect to get the same results you'd get if you had someone doing it in-house. You need someone in-house who really knows your industry," Ward says, since that will give link campaign strategies both context and focus.

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