Monday, December 12, 2005

Basics + Little Tricks

Link building is two parts creative, one part techincal and one part plain ole' common sense. Unless you're selling a totally obscure product you need them to succeed online from an SEO, promotional and business standpoint. So what are some of the ways to go about getting links? There are tons of ways but let's start with a couple of the better known basics and then look at custom tactics.

I'm a fan of Directories for many reasons but in regards to linking, if you're getting started or want to increase your stable in short order, using Directories is great. There are about 30 good ones (general Directories) and most of these allow you to personalize your anchors and/or descriptions. I always make sure the page I'm adding a description to is in the index of Google, Yahoo and MSN and doesn't use any redirects or frames.

Using competitors to find links has it's good and bad points and I always issue a word of caution with this tactic. Just because your competitor has a link from a site doesn't mean you have to - always check the link carefully and don't raise to their level of mediocrity "just because" they're there.

Search on your keywords and take a look at the top 30 sites listed; if any are hosting adsense type ads it's a pretty good bet they'll sell space to you as well. Negiotate wisely and always for keyword rich anchor text links.

You can swap links if you'd like, but I'd keep it short and sweet and limit yourself to a couple. Remember - like links you buy, reciprocal links can be beneficial since your partner will use the anchors and links you provide. (hint - link deep, link smart).

Those are the basic link building tatics you hear about frequently. More indepth campaigns or what I call custom link building isn't as cookie cutter and is usually created after careful research of a site's stats, customer feedback forms, surveys etc. Armed with this info you can decide how to proceed into markets, what type of promotions to run and whom to target......basically what will give you the biggest bang for your link buck.

Here's several custom programs I've used with success:

Link incentives. Offer free shipping or some other "better" discount only a link partner gets. The offer drives this programs success so make it good. Search on secondary keywords and find sites not directly competing with yours to host the link. For example, if you sell baby cribs and have a model for twins, search out all the sites devoted to twins online and offer the incentive. You stay on topic, have targeted traffic potential, capitalize on a kw term with greater ROI and well..... are probably the only one doing it.

Help wanted ads. If you hire, here's one for you. Help wanted ads can be offered to the all coveted schools/universities (think .edu) who need/want to offer opportuntities to it's graduates. Brainstorm this tactic and you'll see the possibilities are endless.

Craigslist and other classified type sites are great for local links but I've seen listings pop up in the serps for "general" terms as well. Take a look at these wonderful resources and see if there's a category and opportunity for you. There's lots of little tricks out there!

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