Whether links or content is King, we see enough questions on forums about link building techniques to know that backlinks are central to success in the SERPs (search engine result pages).
Link Bait. The most powerful technique, hands down, is to create content that will attract links. The rest of the "self service" links - those that you can create yourself - have some value, but there is nothing like the "citation links" that come from other webmasters. Where to start with link bait:
- Freebies - Give away an e-book or a tutorial or?
- Review products in your industry
- Write about news in your niche
- Develop a tool and share it (another freebie, yes)
- Interview someone famous in your industry and publish the article on your own site
- Start a controversy
- A Contest or Award Program
- Create a Resource: lists of the best the books in your industry, a glossary of terms for your niche
- Report on Statistical or Financial trends in your industry.
Here's a very popular and comprehensive resource for link bait ideas: http://www.copyblogger.com/increase-web-traffic/.
Social Media. Not all links are created equal. Some links from social media are followed, some are not. But as in many things in life, you get what you "pay" for. Twitter links may not be followed, but if you put in the effort and post useful information, the traffic will come. With the right information in your Tweets and on your website, you will attract more links from your visitors.
- Make A Facebook Page not a Group for your business. Groups have some advantages - you can send a message to your members' inboxes, for example. But Pages are indexed by the search engines and Groups are not.
- Use Social Bookmarking to Drive Traffic. When you publish a new post or article, use your favorite bookmarking sites to get the viral ball rolling.
Article Marketing. If you write well, this is a powerful tool in the 'self service link" genre. Article on top sites, such as Ezine, Go and Isnare, can actually rank well in the SERPs and drive significant traffic to a site in addition to providing a link.
Directory Submissions. Directory links are not the amazing boost they once were, but there are lots of good directories. Try to get into: Yahoo! DMOZ (submit ONCE and then forget it about); Jayde, JoeAnt, GoGuides, and directories specific to your niche. (See: http://www.webproworld.com/webmaster...es-and-Indices.)
Forum & Blog Commenting. Forum links are useful, but like most self service links they are not all that powerful - believe me, I have thousands and while they are helpful in SEO they are not a be-all end all. They can drive traffic, though! If you participate in forums in a truly helpful way, you will drive traffic to your site, you will gain the attention of other professionals who may link to your site or help you promote your site with Tweets or other mentions, and you will attract business.
Blog commenting, to be truly effective, requires the same sort of effort to be a powerful source of traffic and link juice. If you take the time to offer unique and helpful information, you will gain the respect of other professionals, clients will find you and you may end up with a guest blog post on a regular basis.
Press Releases. Not my favorite self service link strategy, but I have use it and find it highly effective when a client has newsworthy information to share.
Link Exchanges - No, Make That Article Exchanges. There is a place for link exchanges - even reciprocals. The key is relevance. If you have a tourist attraction in Podunk, then trading links with a local hotel is highly effective. Forget PageRank or link juice in trades and think traffic.
I also favor article exchanges. When you provide useful content to another relevant site, the link juice is only part of the equation. Traffic completes the picture.
I want to encourage others to offer more helpful link building techniques in this thread. In addition to a link, you will gain respect from your peers.