co Link Building: A Key Component To Doing Business Online |

You might have heard of something called link building. All it really is is the process of building inbound links to your website. But why would you want to do that?

The purpose for link building is two-fold: First, it’s a part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines rank websites based on certain criteria. Links are a part of that equation, but not just any links. You want certain kind of links (more on that in a moment). The second reason you want to do link building is to drive traffic to your website. I’m sure you understand why that’s important.

Now, the types of links you want to build to your website are links from well trusted sites within your niche. Well, there are a number of ways.

  • Conduct a search for specific keywords within your niche and see which sites appear at the top of the results pages – The first two or three pages of search listings at Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask will show you which sites within your niche are SEOd well.
  • Same as above, but don’t ignore the sponsored search listings – Many newer websites must rely on pay-per-click advertising to gain an initial foothold; you could find some worthy up and coming sites in your niche.
  • Search Alexa – Alexa provides useful information such as traffic counts and ranks websites based on traffic, load times, and other useful criteria. Look for the top sites for your keywords.
  • Download the Google toolbar – Google doesn’t use PageRank much any more (so they say), but the Google toolbar will tell you the PageRank of every site you visit. If you find a high PR site in your industry, chances are it’s a trusted site, but don’t rely on this alone.
  • Scour the article, blog, and ezine directories – Directories are good sources for links. Add your site to as many directories as you can as these inbound links help you, but also use the directories to find sites within your niche that you can request a link from. Be willing to offer them a link in return.
  • Join relevant social networks – Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and industry-specific social networks are a great way to find people interested in the same topics as you.
  • Join a few forums – Like directories, forums are a great place to build links, but also a good place to meet people just like yourself.

There are many ways to build inbound links to your website, but it is an absolutely essential thing to do. Spend a few minutes each day working on your link building strategy.

Caroline Melberg
Small Business Mavericks
Small Business Mavericks Blog