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How To Build Successful Links

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a hot topic because it is vital in increasing the long term traffic to your website. It involves populating your site with keyword-rich content; ensuring that all tags and headings are correctly optimised and that your internal linking structure, site map and so on are correctly set up. Perhaps most importantly, SEO requires that you attract relevant links from other sites which are counted as `votes of confidence` by the search engines.

You therefore need to identify and attract links from other sites within your space. Clearly these are unlikely to be head-on competitors. Rather they should be complimentary to the content and theme of your site. As a simple test, ask yourself whether a partner would be of potential use to your own visitors.

1888 PressReleaseWhilst free directories and article sites remain popular in building links, the stature of these sites and thus the value of such links is diminishing. The better links are those given by other professional sites in your space. Linking must be about the exchange of value between sites. A few years ago this was most popularly the exchange of links on a reciprocal `you link to me, I`ll link to you` basis. Since there is now a widely held view that the search engines are applying `dampening` factors to reciprocal links, webmasters have also started to trade links on a `triangular` or `three way` basis with site A linking to site B and site B linking back to site C. Other more sophisticated options include offering content in return for a link: here one site benefits from some free of charge, relevant content whilst the other obtains an inbound-only link. In an ideal world, a blend of these approaches is best employed as this will create more of a balanced `natural` link structure preferred by the search engines with a mixture of inbound, outbound and reciprocal links.

It is vital that you stick to ethical techniques: avoid free for all directories which have little or no value and under no circumstances pay for links: this is regarded as an unethical `black hat` approach and is expressly against the search engines` terms of service with the risk of a ban or a ranking penalty. When approaching link partners, you need to personalise your initial email insofar as you can to ensure that the relevancy of the two sites as potential link partners is obvious. Also make it clear as to what is on offer - from where you are able to link to them or the type and quality of content you could provide in return for a link. You may even have more innovative `value` to offer such as affiliate commissions; discounts for the partner`s visitors or perhaps some free technology or `widgets` useful for their site.

Ultimately, however you approach it, knowing how to build links ethically is essential in generating natural traffic to your website.

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