The Basics of Link Building

Building a great linking structure for your web site is not something that happens in the time it takes to throw a web page together. Building a successful link structure takes months, and sometimes longer.

When you begin creating your link structure, you’ll probably have mostly outgoing links. Those are links that lead to other pages — popular pages if you can manage it — that will help to bring traffic back to your site. But over time, you should be building your links to include not only links back into your site, but other useful links that aren’t damaging to your search engine results rankings.

One of the most important things to remember as you’re building your link structure is that quantity isn’t nearly as important as quality. Your linking strategy will be far more successful if you create links (both inbound and outbound) that are high quality. Link to great sites that are more popular than your own and try to gain links from those sites to your own, as well.

Of course, getting those inbound links won’t be nearly as easy as creating links out to other web sites. Gaining links to your site is a business process. It takes time, and lots of consistent effort on your part. One strategy for gaining inbound links is to send letters to prospective sites, requesting a link. But don’t just send out 10,000 letters, generated by some mail-merge program that doesn’t customize the letters to the particular site that you’re targeting.

Your link request will be most effective if you can give potential linking partners a good reason for them to support you. Perhaps you can show their customers why they should purchase more of that site’s products. Whatever the reason, try to give the site you’re requesting a link from some motivation to take the time to add your site to their linking system.

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Also keep in mind that link building is time-consuming. You’re not going to populate the Web with links to your site in one week or even one month. Once your site is built and ready for customers, link building will be an ongoing process that you’ll work at for the lifetime of the web sites.

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