How to Build Links For Less

If you have been unimpressed by your backlink profile, there are a number of things that you can do right now to beef up your links, and you don’t have to have a big budget to do so. Links are essential for rising up in the search engine ranks and driving traffic to your site. Every campaign is different for the website, but these strategies can be adjusted to enhance your strengths.

1. Use the Right Directories

Most people think directories have disappeared as a good linking strategy, but they are actually very integral to how well a site performs in search engines. However, you shouldn’t submit your site to 200 directories. You also don’t want to pay too much to have your site listed in a directory. It’s important to look for niche directories that will provide value for your links.

To find niche directories, you can use these methods. This example is for Italian restaurants in Google:

  • Search “Italian restaurants” in Google
  • Change the settings in Google to display 100 results
  • Now press “CTRL+F” or use the find function to type in “directory.” Now you have a list of different directories that are in the top 100 for the keyword that you used.
  • You can also use SEOQuake to reorder the page sites by PageRank.
  • You should visit each site and look for the important stuff like cost. Add sites that you’ll want to be listed in and ignore others.
  • Change the query and do the search over to get different results for other keywords.
  • Create a list of all your directories and figure out a budget that will give you the best directories for your budget.

This will likely be the most costly part of building links, but it’s also going to help you with your profile in the long run.

2. Build Better Lists

In addition to directories, you want to be sure that your company is in the top lists, which is important for both reputation and link building. Most links are compiled yearly or monthly. You want to add your company to lists that are regularly updated. These are the best methods to getting on the right lists:

  • Search “Italian restaurants” again and then add in some keywords like “best,” “top” or “list.” This will give you different results that list all of the right restaurants. You’ll probably need to play with the wording. For example, Italian restaurants serve spaghetti and other dishes, and you probably have a location in mind so “best spaghetti New York City” might provide you with a number of lists.
  • There may be payment required to get in on these lists, and it will take time to get reviewed by the list publishers. You’ll want to pick the lists that are towards the top of the results and don’t have such a fee just to get listed.
  • Build a list of all the sites that you apply for and add in more as you build your budget.

In some cases, you may have to engage with the blogger or writer of lists if that’s your only option. Some sites have definitive lists with links while others are just favorites listed by a top blogger or author on the subject. If this is the case, you may need to pay to have your site listed in their next “top 10” list.

3. Link Bait with Ego

Earning business is based on how much people like you, and how often they see you in the media. You have to be engaging and genuine with people in order to complete this step in link building as you’ll only get natural links if you’re trustworthy and constantly talking to people around you. Ego baiting means that you listen to others, praise their works and talk about other people’s interests instead of your own.

Here’s some ideas on how to build natural links with ego baiting:

  • Find the people who influence traffic the most for your audience. They can be helpful affiliates if you ego bait them and pay attention to their interests over time.
  • Engage with influential bloggers and other potential affiliates through social media. If they’re particularly interested in some type of content or want to learn about something, you should be there with a link and video.
  • Offer an interview or free guest post opportunity to exchange links.
  • Credit, publish and link to an influencer’s content to gain their attention.
  • After you’ve built a relationship with an influential writer, then ask for a favor to push out what you’re writing or if you can post a piece on their blog.

It takes time to work with ego baiting, but it happens to work the best for natural link opportunities. It’s about making friends and influencing people, and larger companies probably have entire marketing departments dedicated to the practice. However, by picking out some of the right influential writers in your audience and listening to their needs, you’ll be able to build profitable link building strategies.

The final note on this is that your site must always have excellent content. If you aren’t publishing original, authoritative works, it will be hard to get anyone to link to your content because it’s not worth reading. All good content answers a questions and makes it enjoyable yet easy to read. Look to a previous post on our blog Amazing SEO Content: How to Win Friends and Influence People” for more tips on content.