Yesterday i wrote a post about “gaining nofollow links” and I thought to myself, while im in the mood ill write about how to get the links that matter.
Gaining high value links is a tough job, there is such a low success rate over almost every industry so you need to be prepared for rejection. But for every 50 people you contact you may land yourself with that one really great link which could make the difference between ranking on the second page and ranking on the first.
Finding websites to contact shouldn’t be too hard, there are a number of ways to source links these days, from advanced search queries to specialised tools, depending on what type of person you are you may use one or the other and in most cases both.
Advanced Search Queries
Advanced search queries are not as hard as they sound, it is in essence a way to refine your search results when looking for something in particular. They can be useful for a range of things from finding websites that have particular keywords in their title tag to finding all the pages about a particular topic on a website. Some of the more useful ones are:
- “Keyword” – Finds website with an exact match for that keyword
- Title:Keyword – finds all the websites with the keyword in the title
- Title:”Long tail keyword” – find websites with the exact long-tail keywords in the title
- Allintext:Keyword – like the title query except it searches websites content
- inurl: – again same principle as before but searches in the URL
- site:Domain – lists the pages of that domain
The above list of advanced search queries can also be used together to form more refined searches for example:
site:scottmclay.co.uk + inurl:”link building” OR inurl:”development”
The above query would search scottmclay.co.uk for URL’s that contain either link building or development, so as you see its not as hard as it sounds.
Link Building Tools
The other way of easily finding great sites to link to yourself is by looking at who links to your competitor, this will allow you to see links which could be easily obtainable as if your competitor is listed then there is a good chance you warrant a listing also. My two current link building tools are:
- Yahoo Site Explorer – This is a free tool supplied by yahoo and will let you view a sample (upto around 1000) of any websites link profile, the easiest way to access this information is by using the SEO Book toolbar which i talked about in my SEO Tools post a few days ago.
- Open Site Explorer – This is both a Free and Paid (SEOmoz subscription) tool from SEOmoz, the free version lets you view a sample of the information SEOmoz has about links to your website with the added bonus of being able to see SEOmoz metrics for each which helps to separate the good ones from the bad.
Building the links
Having found suitable websites to source links from using the suggestions above, the next step is to start contacting owners of the websites, the best practice is to do some research on each person, look at their social media accounts and see what interests them so you can personalise each email and comment them on their great website or content because personalised emails get better responses than generic emails (which often get mistaken as spam).
If you are contacting the owner of a really authoritative blog or website in your industry then strike up a friendship with them via social media so when they receive an email from you they have more of a reason to respond.
Many people will want something in return for links, the best way to do this is by supplying users with the best content you can, or the best deals within your industry, something which makes that link useful to the websites visitors.
Just remember to follow the Google Webmasters Guidelines while link building.