For the past 9 years, I have spent the majority of my time as a SEO. Whether it is helping other companies or building out my own sites, at one point in time I ranked for some of the most lucrative keywords on Google.
Online poker, credit cards, online dating, forex trading, and hotels were just a few of the terms I ranked well for. And I wasn’t just on page 1 for these keywords, but for some of them I ranked within the top 3 results.
And unlike most SEOs, it didn’t take me years to do this, for many of the terms I mentioned above I was able to rank within a few months.
My big secret
So how did I do all of this? By building legitimate links.
Now don’t get me wrong, like most SEOs I have bought text links… and probably over 7 figures worth of links throughout my SEO history. The problem with buying paid links is, you’ll rank really well in the short run, but sooner or later you will get caught.
Trust me, I have had a ton of sites that I personally owned that got banned from Google… so take a page out of my book and learn from my mistakes. Don’t waste your time buying links.
If you don’t believe me that buying links isn’t worth the risk, here is a quick statement that Matt Cutts from Google’s Webspam team gave me:
Google continues to take reports of link spam, including paid links that pass PageRank, very seriously. I put out a call for linkspam reports in March and we’ve been investigating all those reports. We do use that data to improve our algorithms, but we also take manual action on those linkspam reports. In fact, we’ve been developing new tools to help us tackle paid links that pass PageRank and other types of linkspam.
Link building doesn’t have to be painful
There are a ton of ways you can build links without spending thousands of dollars. Here are a few tactics that have worked for me throughout the years.
Send out emails
It’s painful to send out emails asking for a links, but it’s really effective. If someone is linking to your competition, they’ll probably be willing to link to you.
All you have to do is send that website owner an email like this:
I know you don’t know me, but name is Neil Patel and I’m with KISSmetrics. I noticed that you link to a few of my competitors such as Omniture so I thought I would take a shot in the dark to see if you would be willing to link to us as well.
Don’t worry, KISSmetrics isn’t another me-too analytics solution, which is why your website readers will see value in us. Unlike some of the other solutions in the market place, KISSmetrics allows you to track, optimize and improve your conversion funnels with a simple and easy to use report.
Thanks for taking the time for reading this email.
Have a great day,
And before you start sending out emails, if you can’t figure out who links to your competition, all you have to do is go to Yahoo and type in link:http://yourwebsite.com within the search box.
Write great content
Lists, how-to guides and even white papers are a great way to build links. As long as the content you are writing is really good people will end up linking to it.
For example, Passages Malibu, a drug rehab center wrote a detailed article on illegal drugs. The article isn’t sexy, but it breaks down every illegal drug, where it can be found, the side effects, and how to spot if someone is high on that specific drug.
Good articles like that will always get links. It may not happen within a few weeks or even a few months, but over the years it will end up being linked to.
When you are trying to write good content make sure you are:
- Thorough – you have to write really detailed content. If you don’t cover all of the aspects of the topic you are writing on, don’t bother publishing it.
- Write good headlines – if no one reads your content, no one will ever link to it. So make sure you come up with a creative headline, as it will increase the odds of someone reading your content.
- Include pictures – no one likes reading big blocks of text. So make it easier on your readers’ eyes by including pictures.
- Spicing things up – writing factual content isn’t enough to build links. Write on up and coming trends and information that others haven’t written on. And make sure you do not regurgitate the same information over again.
Don’t forget the basics
One easy way to get more links is to submit your website to popular directories. Directories like DMOZ, Yahoo, and Best of the Web are good sources of links as long as you are submitting your website into a related category.
For example, if you have a tech website, you wouldn’t want to submit it to a financial directory. Instead you would want to submit it to a tech directory.
If you are looking for a list of directories to submit your website to, you can find them here.
Write a guest post
The easiest way to get a blogger to link to you isn’t to pay them, but instead it is to write a guest post on their blog… similar to this.
In every guest post you publish, just include a short bio that describes you and your company. And obviously, link your company name to your company website.
Here are the steps you need to take to become a guest author.
- Go to Technorati and search for related blogs.
- Once you have a list of related blogs do a bit of research and come up with some content ideas that may be useful for their readers.
- After you have some topic ideas send the blogger an email asking if they are currently accepting any guest authors. And within that email tell them the content idea you have and how it would be beneficial for their readers.
- If you are accepted to be a guest author, great! If not, move along and approach other bloggers.
There are tons of ways you can increase the amount of sites linking to yours. It isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg like these link building tactics.
I know the tactics I mentioned above aren’t fun and sexy, but they work. Try them out… trust me, you won’t be disappointed.