How to Build Links to Your Web Site

One of the best ways to get your site or blog listed on page one at any search engine is to have a substantial number of inbound and outbound links. So, how do you get those links? First and foremost, make sure your site has useful, interesting, up-to-date content that people will consider link-worthy. Next, set up a blog as part of your site because it is one of the best ways to build both inbound and outbound links. Below are some ways to get inbound links.

How to get people to link to your site

  1. Get found. Find out what phrases people are searching by using a tool like Wordtracker. Then, make sure your pages use those phrases, so people will find you before they find other sites.
  2. Stay current. Make sure your pages contain relevant, informative, and interesting information.
  3. Promote your site. Encourage readers to digg and your articles. This puts links to your site on some very credible news feeds.
  4. Let visitors generate content. Allow comments on articles and blogs.
  5. Make lists. There’s nothing is more link-able than a good list.
  6. Start controversy. That’s right, don’t be afraid to be controversial. As they say,“any press is good press”.

Consider who would benefit from linking to you

  1. Bloggers. A great way to get noticed is to get out into the blogging community and start commenting on other blogs. Most blogging platforms will link to your site when someone clicks on your alias. Many bloggers rely on outside articles to supply their blog with updated, relevant information. Many are a quick “copy & paste” of information with a link to the external source. Even journalistic blogs will cite other blogs as references for their information. Whenever you get an e-mail or a comment from someone on an article you’ve written, make sure you follow up with them. If they are reading your content, they must think you are a reliable resource and this could be the start of a great business relationship.
  2. Business Partners. These could be your blogger friends, your conference networking buddies, old colleagues, but they may also be your competition. It may be easier than you think to form a strategic alliance by finding a way that both will benefit. Many people will link to you if you link to them–even competitors.
  3. Customers. Who better to spread the word about you than your loyal clientele? Offering links in your thank-you e-mails to related articles, and even outwardly asking them to link to you is a great way to invite traffic to your site. Many people will do so if you just ask. Any incoming link helps.
  4. Suppliers. Think about offering testimonials (closing with a link to your site) on the testimonial pages of your dealers. Most organizations can use new testimonials, so a good deed for a good deed is good business. Ask them to list you on their “Partners” page.
  5. Friends. If all else fails, talk to your friends. In the digital age, almost everyone has a blog or is part of some social network. Tell your friends to link to your site in their forum signatures, blogrolls, MySpace and Facebook profiles, and anywhere else they can think of.

How to get bloggers to write about you

This is the epitome of link building. If your list of blogger prospects isn’t large enough, find more at Technorati, Google Blog Search and‘s blog search engine. Here are a few ways to get bloggers to notice you and link to your articles:

  1. Contact the blogger. This is a bold move, but if you think that something you’ve written will be of interest to the writer, then by all means, put yourself out there. You can usually find contact details on a bloggers site or contact page. When you contact bloggers, start with a compliment. Talk about how much you enjoy their blog, and do your research beforehand. Make sure you provide them with all the details they need to link to your site. For more tips, check out Ogilvy’s Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics.
  2. Comment on other blogs. This has multiple benefits. If you write genuinely-interesting comments, people will feel inclined to learn more about you. Most blogs link back to your Web site if a user clicks on your comment name. Another benefit is that your comments immediately create backlinks to your site. Don’t leave obvious promotional comments; no one likes reading them.
  3. Ask for a review. If you are product-based, offer relevant bloggers a chance to receive a free product in exchange for their review. Even if they are not an immediate fan, if they blog about your product you still a backlink that others may follow and even find a different product they prefer.

How to get your competitors to write about you

On the Web and in the blogosphere, it may be you have no competitors at all–just potential partners. Find arrangements that are mutually beneficial when it comes to link-building.

  1. Exchange links. A non-threatening place to suggest a link-exchange would be in a blogroll or “partners” area of your competitor’s site. It doesn’t distract their readers but it’s still a valuable placement.
  2. Fill a void. It may be that you have a complimentary article or product on your site that they don’t cover and they may see it as valuable to their readers. Many bloggers rely on other bloggers to fulfill their editorial needs by cutting and pasting, or speed-linking (a post composed completely of links to interesting articles and sites) to fill some white space. Fill that space.

How to get other inbound links to your site

Think about user-generated sites to create your own external inbound links. Use forums, online communities, social bookmarks, and online reviews to create live links to your content.

  1. Social networks. Read more about how to do this in an article about being a social networking evangelist. It includes a link to our “evangelist toolbox” which shows you multiple places to set up shop and create links to your site from multiple domains, including Digg, MySpace, LinkedIn, Technorati and more.
  2. Online Press Releases. If appropriate to your content, consider an online press release, which may generate multiple links to your site from all over the Web. Not only from PR sites themselves, but also from any browsing blogger looking to pick up a story. A list of free and paid resources (as well as a step-by-step how-to) is at Quick guide to distributing press releases online.

How to find out who is linking to your site

  1. Try Yahoo! Site Explorer
  2. See the backlink tool in Google Webmaster Tools
  3. Check out the backlink analyzer Domain Stats Tool
  4. The Firefox browser has a great plugin called “Search Status” that displays Google PageRank, Alexa rank, and Compete ranking anywhere in your browser, along with a fast keyword density analyzer, keyword/nofollow highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info, and more.

This post was adapted from several articles at Mequoda.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Amanda December 23, 2007, 10:52 am

    Hi Larry,

    I’m glad you found our content useful. Perhaps you could link to the Mequoda Daily Blog instead though?

    Also, we have a free report called 8 Landing Page Templates that you may want to review for your readers, it has some very valuable content for your audience.

  • ldswebguy December 30, 2007, 7:49 pm

    Thanks. I’ve changed the link above to

  • Andy December 31, 2007, 4:54 pm

    I’m new at this and have found your article very informative. Thank you for taking to time. Us newbees need a jumping off point, and the information you have provided has pointed me in the right direction.


  • MySpace vs Orkut February 27, 2008, 3:39 am

    There are many social networking services operated like,, etc. is being operated by MySpace is an online community that lets you meet your friends’ friends. These are popular sites especially among youths. We can judge the popularity of these sites by seeing their ranking in Alexa. Orkut has been steadily rising on the Alexa charts but MySpace is still significantly bigger than

  • Jerry January 7, 2011, 11:37 pm

    Thank you very much for the informative article. I’ve been wondering how to obtain the credible backlinks that we all need so badly. Now I know.

  • Mitchell June 28, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Does anyone have a good way to check and make sure you are not wasting time on nofollow links?

  • Mitchell June 28, 2011, 4:39 pm

    This seems to be the biggest problem we are having with our SEO campaign. Any help would be very much appreciated

  • Katran Miller August 18, 2011, 9:16 pm

    Mitchell: I don’t know how you can make sure someone who’s agreed to plant a link for you will leave it DoFollow. But there’s a NoFollow Bookmarklet that you can add to your bookmarks bar and click to see which links on a page are NoFollow. You’ll be able to see, for example, that links in this guestbook are NoFollow. 🙂

    Generally, social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon have nofollow links, or some kind of robots.txt filter telling search engines not to index links on their sites. (Or, I think, Digg will let links be DoFollow if they’re voted up by LOTS of people.) For social media links, write descriptions and blurbs with people in mind — not search engines — because the goal is to get people to click the links. What do people want? Not keywords, but something authentic, interesting, useful.

    Basically, nofollow links can be powerful; you just have to remember to tailor them to people, not computers.

  • Johnc660 September 1, 2014, 1:52 pm

    Appreciate you sharing, great blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

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