Building Quality Incoming Links
by Mike Barry
CEO Fort Collins Web Works LLC
Creating a website filled with valuable content and building quality incoming links will make your website valuable to search engines and improve its ranking in the search results.
How do we build quality incoming links?
1. Make sure you have your own custom 404 error page
When a customer mistypes a URL on your website, or clicks on a broken link they will be redirected to your 404 error page. If this page just says "Error 404: page not found", they will probably leave your website. If you have a custom 404 error page you can redirect them to the proper page with a sitemap or a site-wide search tool.
2. Create a viral web campaign
Upload a clever video, or put an invaluable tool on your website, do almost anything that will drive millions of people to your website, and they will start linking to your site from blogs, forums and other sites. Its not easy, but if everyone could create a viral web campaign then it probably wouldn't be as valuable.
3. Request links from related businesses
Talk to your suppliers, your vendors, your customers, friends with related products, and ask them to link to your website. A few link exchanges will help your website, just make sure that you have other links too.
4. Get links from organizations that you support
If you are a member of the Elks, Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau or any other organization, find out if they will link to your website.
5. Post comments to blogs
Create your own blog and post valuable content, or search for blogs on topics related to your business, and answer questions or make comments, and be sure to include your website URL in your signature.
6. Create Social media accounts
Create accounts at different social media sites, fill out the profiles, and add enough content to encourage a following. Facebook.com, LinkedIn.com, Friendster.com, Technorati.com, Twitter.com, digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, squidoo.com, MySpace.com.
7. Submit pictures to online photo galleries
If you are a photographer, submit your pictures to online photo galleries like Flickr.com, picasa.google.com, and Shutterfly.com. Be sure to include tags and descriptions along with the images.
8. Create Wiki entries for your business
Wikipedia, Google Knol, MyWikiBiz, Google Places, and specialized wikis are all important (authoritive) sites. You should create entries for your business in wikis even if they have nofollow tags, and don't help your pagerank because they will bring customers to your website.
9. Write articles for How to sites
Publish articles on sites like eHow.com, Instructables.com, wikiHow.com, and HowStuffWorks.com. How to articles are quite popular, and they can send both pagerank and customers to your website.
10. Press releases
Write press releases for PRWeb.com, Google News, Yahoo News, PRLog.com, PR.com, 24-7PressRelease.com, free-press-release-center.info. Submit press releases to local newspapers, they will often include them in their online version.
11. Educational links
If you are in college, or know someone in college, or graduated from college you might be able to get a link on a personal page, or in a newsletter.
12. Send reviews or testimonials to other businesses
You want to give them a good enough review that they publish it on their website and include a link back to your website.
When you request a link, give them the HTML code for the link so you can specify which page it links to and include your keywords in the link text. There is some evidence that Google is looking for sites that continuously build incoming links, and ranks them higher than sites that create 1000's of links at once and then go dormant.