You know I’m always harping on about writing good content and the links will follow, well sometimes you need to give yourself a quick leg-up.
You have to start somewhere; so when you’ve got a site that really offers value, has something different or you’re just desperate for links and eyeballs, here’s what to do.
If you had Google Adplanner you could just put in a few sites in your industry that come to mind and Google will list similar sites – here’ you’ll just export them to a xls and save them for the next step.
If you didn’t have access to it you simply find a relevant directory listing in DMOZ and then think about relevant keywords for your topic. Put them into the Google Keyword Suggestion tool, and get yourself a good range of related keywords (say 50).
From this, just search Google and get some domains that rank well for those terms – add them to a spreadsheet and the continue to expand on them until you’ve got 20-30 domains (as a starting point, you could always do more if you wanted).
Then go over to Yahoo Site Explorer, and drop in the domains, click search and then select “Inlinks”. Simply export them and then aggregate them into one spreadsheet and filter for unique links. It sounds complicated but it doesn’t take long.
You’ll now have a nice long list of sites for you to work through and see if you can establish a way for them to link to you. For one client I’ve got over 6000 links – some of their competitors are spamming with doorway sites etc – so I can ignore those.
Some of these pages will actually be blog posts and you can leave a comment. They’ll probably have a nofollow on the links so there wouldn’t be significant SEO benefit, but you’ll still be getting eyeballs and visits from relevant people.
Other times they’ll be directories, which is fine, but they’re not as cracked up to be as some say.
Sometimes, it’ll be a list of relevant sites that a website owner has created so you’ll be able to get a link from them.
The thing is I hate the traditional method of searching for “sumbit url [keyword]” “add your site [keyword]” etc as every Muppet does that. Also most of the directories that you’ll find are utter crap. Also more and more of them are charging for entry – and the title of this post includes “Without Spending A Penny”.
Also you’d want to get links from sites/blogs which don’t link to your competitors. So you’ve got to be clever. Conduct searches like “how does [keyword]” and post away. You could be even cleverer and try and spot blogs that reward frequent comments with “commentluv” – work out how to do that one yourself 😉
You can also offer to write content for people and have your link included as a reference.
But don’t forget, you need good quality content if you want to break out from the pack. Do something unusual with your site, do some research, put some graft in, or at the very least get lucky!
Also, don’t forget link-building is exponential. The higher up the SERPS you go, the more visits you have and then you’ll have more chance of attracting people that actually see value in your site and want to link back to you. In otherwords, it gets easier!