No matter how you look at it link building remains the single rank driving factor in the SEO game. On page optimization, sitemaps, crawling and indexing issues and some other stuff are certainly not to be completely abandoned; they do help making your site more competitive in the SERPs. When implemented right they will even make you rank high for the long tail. However when it comes to the most traffic-heavy keywords where the competition is really tough, links turn out to be the only key that will open the door to the first page of search results for you. That clearly explains why link building has become the critical SEO task.
There are many ways to build links these days. Some of them, like directory submissions, will deliver hundreds or even thousands of links overnight with little effort on your part. However the quality of these links is not quite up to the standard you’d want it to be. Then there is blog commenting and forum posting. While the SEO effect of these techniques on your linking profile is arguable they are worth doing for a different reason. First of all these are a means of personal communication. By participating in forums and communities, you build reputation for yourself and your (or your clients business). You build brand awareness and connect directly with the customers and prospects, get valuable feedback and create important business and personal relations. And while doing all these important things you also get some link love for your website.
Some of the today’s popular link building tactics involve social media, social bookmarking, and microblogging read twitter (although links from this service can hardly be accounted for SEO). But we tend to get it wrong thinking about reddit, dig, sphinn and the company as a purely link building means. They are rather important and effective channels of information distribution and marketing. What this means is that in order to employ them you first need to create something of interest and/or value (since interest is a value in itself). You don’t just jump into twitter or stumbleupon shouting out: hey, link to me (although many tend to do this exact thing). You need to offer some information or product which will be original, sleek, innovative or useful enough to spark people’s interests and make them want to link out to you.
This is the hard part of link building: being creative and interesting no matter how boring and ordinary your niche is. Even if you deal with mortgage loans or life insurance which may seem too dull to create even a slightest shadow of possibility to produce something that can go viral.
Think outside the box, change the angle and look at ordinary things from a fresh point of view and you’ll come up with something that will make everyone itchy to put a link to your creation.
Do this and the reward will follow. And you’ll not just get quality and more importantly natural links to your website but also enjoy a nice and sustainable flow of targeted traffic to grow your business.