Link building – getting backlinks to your website – is of the highest importance in your traffic generation efforts. Backlinks and content are what search engines respond to. The more backlinks you have, the more traffic you will get (assuming you have quality content on your pages).
Backlinks to your website are links on other websites pointing “back” to you. They are also called inbound, incoming, or pinpointing links.
The Importance of Inbound Links
Google and other search engines view an inbound link to your site on another website as a “vote” for your site from that other site. Google counts these “votes” and gives more exposure to websites with a higher number of backlinks. Sites with lots of inbound links must be of good quality since so many people link to them, Google thinks.
Therefore, when it comes to attracting free search engine traffic, link building is crucial. However, it’s not the number of incoming links alone that matters, but also from what kind of websites they are coming. Links to your site on quality “authority” sites (like Yahoo, Amazon, government sites, etc.) carry more weight than links on smaller, less “prominent” sites. So try to get some quality links.
Natural Link Building
All the same, the number of backlinks is important, so gather as many of them as possible. Try to acquire inbound links from a variety of sources. Google appreciates websites that get a steady trickle of links from different places more than those who get lots of links in a short period of time. Always try to get links from quality sites, and avoid “link farms”!
If Google suspects your backlinks aren’t coming naturally, your website may get “sandboxed”, meaning the ranking of your site will be delayed. So, try to make your linking look natural; for example, it looks more natural if you build 10 links a day back to your site for 10 days rather than doing 100 links in one day.
Content Comes First
Build your website to at least 50 pages of high-quality content, and also have links to other useful websites. Backlinks will “work” only on websites with good content, and people are more likely to link to your site if they find it interesting and valuable. Therefore, link building is a waste of time unless you create quality content for your web pages.
Also, don’t monetize your pages until you have a considerable number of backlinks and visitors. Ads and affiliate links on your pages will reduce your chances to get backlinks, especially from ‘authority’ sites.
Anchor Text Linking
Sometimes you will just make a “straight” link to your website, like this:
http://www.yourdomain.com (which would link to your home page).
However, more often than not, you will use anchor text when adding yours in pointing links to other people’s websites. Anchor text is the word(s) you attach the link to so they get blue and underlined, and clickable.
An in-depth explanation of anchor text linking here.
Keywords as Anchor Text
As anchor text, you will use keywords that are closely related to the content of the web page you link to. Don’t use the same keyword (phrase) each time you create a backlink; use variations of the keyword or different keywords (but still related to the page’s content). You will use this linking method on articles that you submit to article directories, in your signature when posting on forums, when commenting on other people’s blogs, when exchanging links, and more.
is when links are embedded in the normal text of a web page. A context link is attached to a few anchor words of the text and flows naturally into the text. The link will lead to another page within your site, or to another site. The content on that other page must, of course, be relevant to the linking text.
Click through for contextual links are typically higher than for other links (and chances are that Google appreciates them, too), so in your efforts at attracting inbound links, you should strive for contextual link building.
Example of a Context Link:
When building backlinks to your website, it’s important to use keywords as anchor text to get the best effect possible.
Links From Related Websites
Remember that a link from a related website counts much more than a link from a non-related website. So, for this website, I’m aiming at getting backlinks from ‘online business’ websites rather than sites about ‘dog training’, for example.
Find Number of Backlinks
You can get the total number of incoming links by typing into the search box of Yahoo.com: ‘link:www.yourwebsite.com’ and then selecting ‘Except this domain’ and ‘to Entire Site’.
At Google, you’ll get more detailed information on your backlinks by using their Webmaster Tools. To view your links you’ll have to set up an account with Google (it’s free).
Link building isn’t difficult, but it takes time and work. There are many ways to create inbound links, and many sources to get them from. Below are listed some articles that explain different methods for backlink building.