We all know that links are what makes the world go round as far as search engine optimisation is concerned, they can literally be the difference between position 100 and position 1 in the search results. Links can be aquired on a shoestring budget, they can even be aquired with no budget at all. In this post I’m going to outline how I regularly get links for sites I’m working on.
Starting then - I download the lastest directory excel file from http://info.vilesilencer.com/. This regularly updated excel file basically lists all free SEO friendly directories (along with PR information) that are actively adding sites. At the moment there are about 500 directories maintained in the list. It’s quite a time consuming, tough and boring task but what I do is literally submit to each and every one of them, even those with a PR of zero. I’d say about 60% of links I get from these directories are of less than average standard but it’s a numbers game and every little helps.
Most of the time submitting to these 500 or so directories results in about 150 new links within four or five weeks of completing the last submittal. If you were to attempt something similar I recommend using two or three variations of your target keyword for your listing title because this is what most of the directories use to link to the listing URL and using only one variation might look like artificial link building to Google, MSN and the other search engines. Be sure to use a throw away email address as some of the directories will send you spam. If your not in an uber competitive industry these links will shoot you right up the rankings.
After I’ve a good base of links from free directories, I then move on to using content to get more higher quality links. If I’m promoting a site about something I’m knowledgeable in I will write up two or three articles myself, if however I’m working with a client that’s in the gardening industry for example which I know nothing about I’ll hop on to http://www.elance.com and have one of my regular content writers do up the articles. Elance have a tonne of talented freelance writers who can do up content about pretty much any topic for very moderate amounts of money.
Articles in place, I then use Google to search for sites which may be interested in publishing them in return for an embedded link of course. Examples of search queries which I might use include ‘keyword1 inurl:submitarticle’, ‘keyword1 keyword2 inurl:addarticle’, ’keyword1 keyword2 intitle:”submit article”‘ as well as a couple of other variations. Sites which are returned from searches like this are highly targeted and therefore likely to publish your articles, these sites will most likely publish a lot of ‘guest’ articles however and thus your link(s) will be of lesser value.
What I often do is just search for related sites (without any ’submit’,'article’,'content’ type keywords) and simply just email the webmaster of each appropriate result asking him/her if they’re interested in publishing my articles. With this approach I find that I usually have about a 20% (assuming content is always at a high standard) success rate, which I think is pretty decent. This means that to get published 20 times (which equals 20 links) I would have to visit and email approximately 100 sites which is obviously time consuming but well worth it as it can result in some very high quality links which can do wonders for your rankings. After being published by a site I add that sites details such as url, topic, webmaster name, webmaster email etc. to a excel file so I can try and have content published on that site again at some stage in the future. Additionally I pretty much always submit my articles to the top ten or so article directories which usually results in another handful or so of variable quality links.
There you have it, cheap, perhaps free (if you can write content yourself) methods of link building. I use these same methods all the time when working with akamarketing.com and with clients and I’ve seen really good results. Be warned though that link building, no matter what approach you take is a very time consuming task. Happy linking!