As far as SEO tools go, link building is pretty high on the list. Incoming and direct links will add credibility to your site – assuming of course, that they are from credible sources – which invariably leads the search engines to sit up and take note.
The aforementioned point on credible sources does need to be flagged up immediately though. Just as in any walk of life, if you hang around with shady characters, regardless of your intentions, inevitably some of that perceived negativity rubs off on you. There are so many spamming directories, many of which may request a payment, that it can be a bit of a minefield. But simply submitting your site left right and centre could cause more problems than it does offer solutions.
A brilliant way to create a number of decent links is to write and publish articles. Wisely, most article submission sites – eZine and Buzzle are probably the most popular – don’t allow you to pepper articles with keywords and HTML code, so you’ll need to be a little smarter than that. Essentially, the back link will often come from the ‘Author’s Bio’ (or equivalent), where you can write a little blurb about yourself, the site and get in that all important embedded link.
Submitting articles not only creates strong links, but if readers find your piece interesting you may find that it is also a good source of direct traffic too. This is reflected in a number of other free posting sites such as Squidoo. Here you have the opportunity to write an informative page about any topic – preferably related to your site and area of expertise – and provide a useful resource; both selfishly for your own site’s SEO but also for the genuinely interested readership.
There are also literally hundreds of business directories where you can also post links that point back to pages of your site; many are free, some are not, but be sure to shop around when locating them to avoid the spammers mentioned earlier in the post. LinkedIn is a particularly reputable business networking tool, allowing users to write a little information about themselves, their company and provide a link; everything you need really to continue pushing that message.
Linking is very much the unseen part of SEO. Whilst you can analyse how many links you have coming in, it’s not always as easy to ascertain what effect they’re having. Without a steady stream of good links to your site though, you may never gain the respect of search engines. The better the quality, the higher the search ranking. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s certainly worth taking the time to research and effort to do it properly.