Link Building Ideas & Tips - 12 Good Ideas

Having links to your website is, as you are probably aware, vital to your successful search engine rankings. Link building can, and should, have a big impact on the ranking of your website.

Link building is a time-consuming and often boring undertaking, and it can be very frustrating when hours and hours of work seems to bear little, or no fruit at all. There are a number of different aspects of link building – some requiring considerably more effort than others. The list on this page gives you an idea of where to go to acquire useful links for your website. This will hopefully allow you to make a more informed choice.

These are also the tactics we will be employing should you commission us to do link building as part of your SEO package.

1. Directories

DMOZ (ODP) is the king of directories, and should be the first place you submit a link request. Directory submissions take place in a variety of ways:

    1. Free Listings – A lot of directories offer the option of submitting a link request without any fee. Some will offer free listings only - DMOZ is one of these - and they can take a long time to review link requests, but can also be well worth the wait. Others offer a combination of submission options, with the free listings usually being last in line for a review. There are those that will give you a free listing but without any link to your website, so from a link building perspective, totally pointless.
    2.  Paid Review - Some directories charge to review listings. This simply means that your link request will be reviewed very quickly – usually within 24 hours – and not have to wait in the queue for months with the free listings. This approach can be particularly helpful to new sites attempting to establish an initial presence.
    3. Paid Featured Listings - Some directories will charge for a featured listing, and this means that your listing appears at the top of the page, above the free listings. These charges can be for monthly, annual or lifetime listings. Sometime these featured listings will include more information than a standard listing.. This type of listing is very similar to standard paid advertising. Yahoo Directory and are two of the better ones that have been useful to be listed in.
    4. Reciprocal Listings – These are listings where the directory will only include a link to your site if you have a link to theirs on your site. In a lot of cases, directories will offer this option as an alternative to paid links, so you still get your site reviewed as quickly as a paid listing. This is an option that should be used sparingly, as strings of links to directories on your site will not help to improve your rankings.

Most directories are organized by category, and it is important to consider carefully the category that is best for you.
There are also a lot of directories that specialize in particular industries - once again, consider carefully your target audience and the type of searchers you hope to attract. It can take months to get a listing in a directory, and in some cases it just never happens! Some directory submissions are quick and easy requiring few details, while others are a little more demanding. Some directories, and even some pages within directories are more valuable to a link building campaign than others – a good mix of both is probably the best strategy.

2. Local Listings

Google and Bing are the 3 big players in this area, although there are a growing number of business directories specialising on this market sector. The recent introduction of localized searching has changed the face of search engines, and appearing in local searches can have a substantial impact on your website. Visitors now have the option to search within a specific area, and even those that don’t will usually be offered information relating to their physical location. Getting listed in Google local can be frustrating, as Google will list your business according to its physical location, and there is little you can do to influence this position.  Changes are constantly being made to how local listings are provided by search engines, but it is abundantly clear that if you have a business that operates in a specific geographic area then you need to have a local listing.

3. Press Releases

These are really useful when you have something newsworthy to share – changes in legislation relating to your industry, new innovations, a move change in management etc. PRWEB is the most successful of these. When deciding to write a press release, please make sure that it is newsworthy and readable. A poorly written, key word stuffed press release will not do you any favours. Also, bear in mind, that although press releases are typically written for a particular event in time, they will be around for a long time. Ensure that the links within your press release are linking to relevant pages within your website – it is not necessary or wise to have all links to your home page only.

4. Article Directories

Similar to press releases, but for more general information. Once again, ensure that your articles are well written and interesting. Choose a topic that you know well enough to write about, and write about it assuming that it is going to be read by human visitors.  Avoid the temptation to over-indulge in keywords, and keep the copy interesting. Ezinearticles  is probably the most successful of the article directories. A lot of article directories offer RSS feeds – a facility where a reader can subscribe and be notified of any new article within a given topic - so your article stands a chance of being instantly picked up without waiting for visitors to find it.  Well-written articles can be picked up and circulated by a number of different sources, and are a great way to attract links to specific pages within your site.

5. Social Bookmarks

This is simply a way to share bookmarks online. Similar to your “favourites” on your own pc, your bookmarks are a list of links to favourite sites. Keeping them online makes it easier to share and search lists of web resources. Delicious and digg are two good examples of these. From a link building perspective, bookmarks can add value, but are certainly not the most powerful aspect of link building. However, as part of your overall maarketing strategy social bookmarks certainly do have value.

6. Social Media

Twitter, Facebook et al. Social Media is currently the wunderkind of link-building. It is low cost, and can produce high returns. Social Media should never be used in isolation. It is there to complement your other link-building efforts. The main benefit from social media is to build a base of followers – people who have or would like to shop with you, and they will provide you with exposure to their friends, and their friends, and so on. Can produce results, but does require some time commitment.

7. Blogging

Having a blog offers the opportunity to share information and expertise on a wide range of topics related to your own business. Blogging is fairly easy to set up, and usually initiated with considerable enthusiasm; the tricky bit is to keep at it. Blogging will generate links, but you do need to be able to make the commitment.

8. Blog Comments

If you don’t feel able to commit to a blog then commenting on other blogs will get your site noticed. Pick blogs that are relevant to your target audience and don’t forget to include a link back to your site.

9. Forums

Another useful and fairly quick method of attracting links. Once again, be sure to limit yourself to forums that are relevant to your website, and don’t forget the link to your site

10. Your Other Sites

Don’t forget your own sites. If you have more than one, make sure they link to one another.

11. Reciprocal links

You may have friends or business associates where a reciprocal link could be mutually beneficial. Be discerning, and be wary of link request where you end up giving more than you get – 3 way links should be carefully scrutinized. Exchanging links is no longer considered as valuable as it once was, and you should therefore consider the returns on time and effort spent seeking out these links.

12. Building up your own website

Your own website can offer link building opportunities by linking from one page to another within the site. This should be viewed exactly the same as any other link building – is the page you are linking to worthwhile with interesting content and a good page rank?


Link building is an ongoing process, and should be carried out, and monitored regularly. Links will fluctuate as sites rearrange and even remove pages, so it is important to keep track of links to your site. It is also worth bearing in mind that a link request does not always become a link –some take months to come through, and some never will! Monitoring actual links is a far better way of assessing the results of your link building campaign. Not all links are equal, and some directories (freeindex) have a fairly complex submission process but are well worth the effort.

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Thanks for the website Ian.
As you stated, I have had a steady stream of enquiries since setting me up on the internet.
Morning Ian, just a short note to say 'thankyou' for the work on my website. Not only am I pleased with the way it looks, but I could not believe it when I got my first enquiry from it only a few days after its completion. All you said would happen has indeed happened.
Thank you very much for your kind help. It is really a good advice for my marketing plan.

Thanks and best regards,
Hi Ian Just a short note to tell you we have had a very good season, an excellent sales increase so we should be ok now the autumn is here and going very soon into Winter.. . . . . . . . .
Thanks Ian. The website has certainly increased our Bookings and we look forward to next year.
Best Wishes
I am not really interested in getting back in to PPC as it cost a lot of money last time for not a lot of return. We have been without it for over a year and what you are doing is still increasing visits and turnover on the site.
Sports Outlets
Just a quick note to say I’m very interested in maintaining the website you have completed a marvellous job of so far. We are already noticing a complete change and receiving a lot higher internet inquires.
Thanks Ian
Hello Ian, came across your website via a Google search and wanted to say how impressed I am! The marketing plan template arrived within seconds of my request - it is clear, tremendously helpful and has provided me with the structure I desperately lacked as I prepare to kick off my new business on 1st September! A really super service, am sure I will be in touch again over the coming weeks to discuss other elements of your offer.

Thanks and regards

....... I have also noticed the success of extra clicks! Business is also up by at least 15 percent from last year. Regards
Owner (Dry Cleaners)

I would just like to bring a ray of sunshine to your day (well it did for me).
Since we started to work with Ian Smith, our Adwords guru, our results have improved impressively. These figures are the average across the board, ..
Our Click through rate has gone from 1% to a very credible 4.5%
Our average cost per click has dropped from 87p to 63p (just remember some clicks are still £2+).
Our average position has gone from 5.4 to 4.6
So all in all a very good result and with further input we hope to do even better.
Interior Design Retailer