If you have a domain name and a website, chances are you are regularly inundated with requests to exchange links. While being linked to can boost your Search Engine Popularity and in turn help with your website positioning, it is very important to employ a proper strategy to your link development. 

The following are some Good Link Development Strategies:

  1. Natural Linking
  2. Relevant Directories
  3. Social Networking
  4. New Media Linking
  5. Link Exchange/Reciprocal Linkin

Natural Link Building:

Just as you naturally link to other websites of interest, others may link to you. Perhaps you have a links page, or periodically showcase another product/service/website in your newsletter, blog, or general content areas. Because these types of links normally offer value to the visitor, are relevant to your website and provide good information they usually provide good ‘link weight’ with the search engines. By sharing a link with your visitors, you are also telling the search engines that the other site is of value.

You can encourage natural linking to your own website by providing good, quality content. Whether it is through a resource section, a marketing message or sale, powerful newsletter articles, informative blog posts, or simply well-written and valuable content on your pages, you are encouraging others to link to you.

You can help the process of natural link building by letting visitors know that they are welcome to share the information by linking to your website/articles etc. with a link to us section. Additionally, allowing visitors the ability to share the information via. Social networking and bookmarking websites is also of value.

Natural Link Building starts naturally and it starts with providing content that encourages others to share.

Relevant Directories:

The jury is still out on just how important directory submissions will be in the future; however, hand-submitting your website to local portals and directories, as well as industry specific directories, and directories that have NOT been penalized by Google and other search engines can serve you well in the long run. Ideally, your rule of thumb should be “will my potential client/visitor be visiting a directory like this and does my site provide value to their visitor”.

Social Networking:

If you are using Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In as part of your Social Networking Strategy and you are sharing links to your website then you are engaging in a positive link building strategy.  Your Social Networking Strategy should ensure that you are not inundating your friends/followers with links/marketing etc.

New Media Linking:

If you are sharing photos and videos online through any number of popular websites including Flikr and YouTube then you can also share a link to your website/product/services etc.

Link Exchange / Reciprocal Linking:

In the past, many thought that the more links you had to your website, the better. It did not matter where the link came from, or what sort of content was provided alongside the link, people began massive email campaigns to encourage others to exchange links. Today, your site could be penalized for sharing links in this manner. If your site is found on sites that are considered link farms or have been penalized for not providing valued content then not only will you not receive weight from that link, but your site could be penalized as well. This is why hand submission to directories and websites is so crucial.

You can do link exchanges / reciprocal linking without being penalized, if you go about it properly. Again, you will want to exchange links with other sites that are relevant to your visitor. For instance, a real estate agent may wish to exchange links with a mortgage broker or local moving company, a winery may wish to exchange links with a local real estate agent, and a health food store may wish to exchange links with a fitness centre or personal trainer.

When taking part in a link exchange you want to ensure that:

  •  the site is relevant to your viewer
  •  adds valued content/resources to your viewer
  •  may or may not be local
  •  the page you are listed on does not have a long list of other links
  •  allows you to offer a description to go along with a Keyword Phrase Link

There are still many ways to build your link popularity and encourage proper link development to your website. By utilizing the best practices, your website stands the best chance of taking advantage of the leads, traffic, and potential search engine positioning that comes with proper Online Marketing.