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Search Engine Optimisation: Link-Building

In my previous blog, I described one part of the SEO work – submitting websites to directories. Today, I’d like to present another way of getting inbound links – link-building.

What Is Link-Building?

Link-building, as well as listing in directories, will get your website inbound links. The more valuable links, the better, as your website will be better featured in the search engines. And that means, you’ll get more customers’ visits and, hopefully, sales.
There isn’t much point in gathering poor quality links as they will not benefit your website. I will explain what valuable links are in the Check Suitability paragraph.

First Things First

There are a few things to remember before starting to look for potential link partners. First of all, your website should have a links page. This is the page where your link partners will be placed. Don’t worry if your site doesn’t have a resources page. If this is the case, you might still be able to gather the links. Talk to your SEO consultant about your requirements.

Checking Suitability

Another thing is to think about what kind of businesses you want to appear on that page. You don’t want any competitive businesses but you also don’t want the ones that are not relevant to what you do. By adding random links to your resources page, you will get some inbound links but they won’t be very powerful. Search engines know if you are adding content related to your business or not, and your website is listed based on the content you provide.
By adding irrelevant content not only do you spend lots of time on a pointless activity, but also risk being reported as spamming. If this happens, search engines may delete your site from their results listings.
Try to look for other businesses that offer related services. For example, if you are a beautician, you might want to add websites that offer spa treatments, organize hen nights, wedding venues, hair salons, etc.

What To Do Next

When you find a relevant website, check if it has a links page. If this is the case, check what kind of links are listed there. They may specify the kind of sites they will link with, and you might also find linking information on this page, such as the website’s title, URL and description. Make sure you use those details if they request it.

Once on the resources page, you should also make sure the page is spidered by Google. In order to check that, click on the PageRank button in the Google toolbar (if you are using this). Some pages might not be seen only because they are relatively new and it’s still worth appearing there. Again, if you’re not sure, ask your SEO consultant.

“No Follow” Tag

It is also worth checking if the page has the “no follow” tag. Simply right-click on the links page and go to ‘view source’. You’ll find there the page code. Make sure there is no “no follow” tag. If there is one, it means that the page is set up in such a way that Google won’t see the links on it. It will therefore not benefit you website. If the “no follow” tag is there, you might still want to place that link. Just remember to ask in the email you’ll be sending, to remove it before placing your link.

Linking Information

If you decide to add a website to your links page but you didn’t find any linking information, such as title, URL, description or linking code, just go to their home or about us page and try to briefly describe what the business has to offer.

After Adding The Link

Once added, send an email informing the website has been placed on your resources page. Include a link to that page so that the prospective link partner can click on it and check his link is there. Say you require a reciprocal link and provide the linking information (your site title, URL and description or code). It will be much better for your business if you used key phrases as a title instead of just your trade name, because Google reads the text in the link itself.

Links for Information & Resources

Depending on your requirements, you might not always need a link back. Your business will also benefit from adding resources links, which are links providing relevant content for your website. By providing such information, your website could become an ‘authority site’ in the search engines. If you find a website that you want to add to your links page for information only, you can still ask for a reciprocal, or only inform them their link has been placed on your site.

Emailing Process

The aim of this work, though, is to get as many links back as possible. In your email, therefore, mention that you will only keep the site live if they reciprocate the link. Do not delete the link if they don’t link back straightaway, though. It’s a good idea to send two or three messages over some period of time. If you still don’t hear back from them then, delete the link, and set about finding more possible link-exchange partners.

About The Author: Agnieszka Wach is the administrator and receptionist for WNW Design, and also assists the SEO team with website optimisation. You can email her at or phone her on 01395 542569. You can also follow WNW Design on Facebook.

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