Link building is an art. It's almost always the most challenging part of an SEO's job, but also the one most critical to success. Link building requires creativity, hustle, and often, a budget. No two link building campaigns are the same, and the way you choose to build links depends as much upon your website as it does your personality. Below are three basic types of link acquisition.
In the field of search engine optimization, link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a page.
For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Using sophisticated link analysis, the engines can discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways.
The resource provides a nice introduction to link building, and offers up plenty of food for thought. I very much enjoyed reading the book and have decided to summarise some of Kelvin's techniques, adding my own input along the way.
Links pointing to competitors is very important . The logic being, if a website links to your competitors, they might also want to link to you.
Link Research on Trusted Domains
Somehow get opportunities to get links from .gov, .edu or .ac.uk domains. These are highly trusted sites in Google's eyes so will really help your cause. I remember an opportunity I once had to secure an inbound link from the South Downs National Park website.
Donating to Charity
A great way to get inbound links is to get involved in a local charity or event. You'll not only get links from the charity organisation themselves, but there's also the possibility the press and media coverage will mention you in their online content.
I'm personally a huge fan of guest posting. You need to find other websites related to your niche, and then write some great content for them, in exchange for a link back to your own site. It benefits your website two fold. First, you get an inbound link from a highly related domain. But also, you increase awareness of yourself within your niche and should benefit from plenty of direct traffic from the post.
Awards for Links
Why not invent your own awards? This is an extremely effective link building technique when done properly. Just look at 'What Hifi', their star rating is displayed in every HiFi advert, which is a great advertisement for their main magazine. Make sure you provide the winners with a badge which they can proudly display on their site (and link back to you).
Blog Commenting and Forum Posting
Most blogs and forums use no follow links. But don't let this put you off. Remember, even if Google doesn't count these links directly for your ranking, you might attract the attention of other people in your niche, helping with your reputation. Of course only write well thought-out comments, as quick spammy posts may have a negative impact on your credibility.
Become a member of any relevant professional organisations that you can find. You usually get a link back to your website, plus you will gain credibility being part of a professional group.
You can either conduct this yourself, or collaborate with other people in your niche. Original research is great for attracting attention, and is clearly identified by Google as the mark of a quality website.
Real Life Events
Both speaking at an event, or merely attending and reporting on an event can generate substantial links for your website. Act quickly and get your report up before anyone else to catch the wave of inbound links.
Gifts and Freebies
This is absolutely an general marketing trick, but still works great for generating links to your website. If there's a blog that you particularly enjoy reading, why not send them a gift to show them how much you love them? They're likely to write a dedicated post, thanking you for your gift. Better still offer them something which is related to your niche, for example, a complimentary meal for two at your restaurant. You might find they'll write all about the experience.