This article is contributed by Audrey Porterman.
With Google’s latest update, Google Penguin, quality links have become more important than ever. Sites with poor links saw their page rank drop significantly. While links had always been important to a site’s search engine ranking, the update shifted the emphasis to the quality of those links.
Getting a high number of quality links is one of the best ways to increase your search engine ranking and to drive traffic to your site. Here are some of the top strategies used by successful websites and blogs to get more links to their sites:
1. Post Shareable Content
All Internet marketing boils down to the same refrain: “Content is king.” The more quality, interesting content you post, the more likely your readers are to share it, generating quality links for you.
Post content that entertains, that is interesting, or that solves your readers’ problems. If you do, your readers will build your links for you.
2. Guest Blog
Guest posting is a popular way to build links because it allows you to share quality content, establish yourself as an authority in your niche, and get a link from a quality website.
The key to successful guest blogging for link building is to target sites within your niche that have a strong link profile themselves and that have high traffic. Not only will you attract some new readers, but you’ll also get a link that is viewed favorably by Google.
3. Comment on Forums and Blogs
Any time you post on a forum or another blog and leave your link in your signature line, Google may count that as a link back to your site. The best part is that you don’t have to ask for the link!
However, in order to get quality links using this strategy, you have to comment on top-quality forums and blogs in your niche. Then you have to make sure your comments are contributing to the conversation and adding valuable information – rather than offering generic sentiments like “Sounds great!” or “I agree!”
4. Submit to Directories
Directories are a great way to get links and to target readers in your niche by being listed among your top competitors. However, you should be careful only to submit to trusted directory sites. Otherwise, Google will view the link as spam from a link farm and devalue your site for it. Do your homework first before you choose the right directory for you.
5. Ask for Links
Often, the easiest way to get something is simply to ask for it. Reach out to your competitors, authoritative sites in your niche, and blogs and websites with complementary content that also appeals to your target audience. You can share content that might be of interest, or you can simply point out the usefulness of your site to their readers.
You’ll often be turned down, but you’ll also land a few quality links if you do it right.
Generating quality links for your site is critical to your long-term success. Links will help you achieve higher search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your site. Try some of these top strategies to see your link profile grow and your traffic soar.
What other strategies do you use to build links to your site? Share your ideas in the comments!
Author Bio: Audrey Porterman is the main researcher and writer for doctoralprograms.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Ohio State, with a degree in business management. Her current focus for the site involves a phd degree online.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Fred Seibert via Flickr
Editorial Note: It should be noted that Google has been making a flurry of algorithm changes in recent months and Item 4 here is one that has received their attention. You may wish to check current views on Google search and directories before choosing where to put your efforts.