SEO is all about getting traffic and backlinks. If you control the traffic, you will make money. But you normally do not get a lot of traffic if you do not have good quality links pointing to your website (unless you want to spend a ton of cash on PPC or banner ads).
Towards that end, here are 90 ways in which you can build links to your website(s) and make them rank higher. Yes, some methods are “weird” and “unconventional” but that is why we put them here, so you think about link building more creatively.
Here it goes:
1. Directory submissions:
There are many directories out there which are free and where you can just submit your website and get a link back over a period of time. Now, directory submission links are not the best ones so you have to be cautious when using them especially when you have a new website, but this is still a viable link source.
Here is a list of some top free and paid directories:
2. Article submissions:
Another common way to get links although I do think that with the recent Google algorithmic changes, these links are now less valuable. But then again, you can post your articles to multiple directories and get a link back. This works out well in terms of pre-selling to your prospective customers before getting them to visit your website.
Here is a list of top article directories:
However, submitting individual articles to these directories will usually take a long time so you might as well get Article Marketing Robot or a similar software.
3. RSS submission:
Another good strategy to get more links to your webpage is to submit an RSS to RSS directories. If you have an HTML page, you can still create an RSS feed here: http://www.feedage.com/html2rss/
Once the RSS is created, you can submit it to many of the top RSS directories here:
If you want to automate the process (and I am sure you would want to if you have a lot of URLs) you can get RSS Submit here: http://www.dummysoftware.com/rsssubmit.html
4. Homepage Backlinks:
Homepage links are very powerful and will definitely help you with the rankings. Because these links are comparatively more difficult to get, they provide a lot more link juice. There are many High PR homepage backlink subscriptions out there in the Warrior Forum and Backlinks Forum.
However, depending on your website, a good trick could be to negotiate a one-time payment with the homepage link seller in order to save money down the road.
5. Forum profiles:
Contrary to popular belief, these profiles still do help considerably with rankings. Most people are just used to creating a profile and leaving a link, which is what reduces link effectiveness. A better idea would be to create accounts on forums, wait 3 days then go back and place unique relevant content (200-500 words if possible) and leave your links INSIDE the content if there is an option.
Once that is done, you should ping the links, create RSS out of them (as mentioned above) and submit them to various RSS directories.
Software such as SENuke X and Sick Submitter are very good at creating these types of links.
6. Social bookmarking:
Social bookmarking sites have very high traffic and high PR and are mostly used to quickly index links. However, you should always make it a point to bookmark ANY URLs which have unique content as this helps a lot with the rankings.
For example, say your website has around 100 backlinks, all which have unique content. You should always do the extra work by getting them all bookmarked either through SENukeX or a similar software.
Here is a list of the top social bookmarking sites out there:
Iif you have SENukeX or Bookmarking Demon, you can nearly automate this process as these programs already have a decent inventory of websites.
7. Private blog networks:
This one is huge, at least in our testing. Blog networks link Build My Rank and LinkVana provide more link juice since they have a higher content quality (pronounced: less duplicate content) and you can include an in-content link with these services.
Be sure to try these out since they are cheap and if you can write the posts yourself, you can easily afford the membership.
8. Content Syndication: We always forget about the simple things. Syndication is always important in order to get “free” links. A good idea is to hook up your blog’s RSS to ping.fm which will send out your updates to around 20-30 other high PR services.
Yes the links which come in will contain duplicate content, but hey, as long as those links are free we should not complain.
You can also use Hoot Suite (http://hootsuite.com) to achieve the same results.
The only catch is that you will have to write consistent blog posts in order to reap benefits from this method.
9. Blog posts: Which brings me to blog posts. Just install a WordPress blog on your website, tweak the tags etc and start cranking those posts out. Yes this is a long-term strategy but once you get going, you will see a considerable amount of traffic.
Once you install the blog, you should also install some free plugins in order to make your job easier. Here is a list of plugins you should have:
-All in One SEO
-SEO Smart Links
-Google XML Sitemaps
-Automated SEO Links (but use this sparingly).
If you are not sure how to install WordPress, just google “WordPress installation help”.
10. Write free ebooks and submit them: A lesser known method to get additional traffic is to write 10-15 page ebooks and submit them to ebook directories. Most ebook directories are free for ebook uploaders. You can also include links to your website or your splash page(s) in the ebook for additional conversions.
Just search for “Top ebook directories” and you will get around 10-20 ebook sites where you can upload your report and wait for the leads to come in.
11. Web 2.0 sites: These sites are very important as far as rankings and link juice is concerned, although some of them happen to be NoFollow, which is not a big issue.
The benefit you get from these sites are that they can all contain unique content and if you are clever enough, you can add a link to your splash page in there as well.
However, the important point to note is that, once you build up unique content on these sites and point them to your site, you should heavily backlink the web 2.0 sites for additional link juice.
Here is a list of web 2.0 sites:
12. Manual blog comments: These comments are quite effective in terms of rankings and traffic IF you post a valuable relevant comment. Doing so is simple. Just search for “your niche” + blog in Google and comment on the top blogs you find. Most of them will make your links live soon.
Just make sure that you use non-commercial anchor text and it will increase the chances of your link getting accepted.
This technique also makes your backlink profile look more natural and since you are rotating anchor text, it reduces the chances that a Google algorithm change will hugely lower your website’s rankings.
13. Automated blog comments: Most people already know about this technique but in my opinion use it the wrong way. These kinds of blog comments are of extremely low quality and although you can place thousands of links this way, most of them will either not be counted or will not be indexed. However it is always a good idea to use these kinds of links to point to web 2.0 hubs etc which are sure to not get penalized.
Never direct these links directly to your money site.
There are many services out there which provide you auto blog comments. Just search on Backlinks Forum for them.
14. Press Releases: There are two types of press releases. Paid and free. We normally do free press releases just to get backlinks but doing paid releases will definitely get you more exposure (although it might not be as beneficial for SEO).
The idea behind sending out press releases is to sound formal and non-promotional and by having a very catchy headline.
Most PR sites will allow you to link to your money site. Another good thing is that press releases, if they are interesting, will get syndicated to other sites, which adds to the number of links pointing back to your site.
Here is a list of free press release sites:
You can get a PR written and submitted to many sites for a very cheap price by hiring someone at a freelance site or getting someone from online marketing forums.
If you want a paid press release, PRWeb is a good option. You will need to proof read the release as there is editorial control on PRWeb.
15. Twitter and Synnd: Google is now incorporating more “evidence” of social proof in their algorithm. For this reason, it is generally a good idea to send out a Tweet every other day with your URL in there in order to get your money site noticed.
Another good service which automates “social proof” is Synnd. Depending on what your website is on and how interesting your content is, Synnd can really make a difference in terms of the number of links and visitors you get to your website.
16. Guest Posts:
This is always a win-win for blog owners and for those promoting their sites. The blog owners get free content for their sites and you get backlinks, often on blogs with very high PR rankings.
This site is kind of like Digg, but you are expected to provide some bit of original content for the blurbs you post here. Just consider it as another source of quality links.
18. Answer Sites
Yahoo! Answers, Answerbag, Askville and more all offer you the chance to build backlinks. Now, while they may be no follow links, the reality is that these can still be useful as referrals from people actually reading your answers.
19. Facebook Pages
While this may be covered by the Web 2.0 list and or Social Networking ideas above, it’ still worth listing separately, just as Twitter is listed separately. The reality is that Facebook is huge and if you don’t have a Facebook page with links back to your home page, you’re missing out. Get 25 fans on your Facebook page and you can even add a custom URL.
20. Other Facebook Pages
Not only should you have your own Facebook page, but you should also have links to your site on other Facebook pages. Owners generally don’t mind if you put in a link back to your own site if you include some insightful comments on the page.
Add a link in your LinkedIn profile to your website. Not only does this just make good sense since people on LinkedIn are trying to find people who could make good business contacts, but it also helps because it gives you a free backlink.
Speaking of that, while the world has largely forgotten about MySpace, it’s still around and another great place to put up an additional backlink to your website.
Here’s another one of those overlooked sites which could be worth checking out. You’ll actually make some money by putting content on RedGage, in addition to getting a link. Just don’t expect to get rich by doing it.
25. Slide Shows
Create presentations and put them up on sites like Slideshare. Then, include a link back to your site inside of your slide shows and you’ve got more free backlinks to your website.
We often forget that newspapers and major websites have columnists who often own their own business and or blog. Want to get more links to your site? Contact some newspapers and offer to write a column on your area of expertise. Not only will you get a link back to your site, but you’ll also often get paid for doing the work.
27. Major Blog Networks
The same idea as above with newspapers – you simply look for major blog networks and major blogs and offer to write a column for them. Then, you go ahead and place a link back to your site on the bio that you provide to the newspaper.
28. Newspaper Comment Sections
Almost every newspaper online has comment sections available – why not include a link back to your site when you place a comment on one of those sites? Yes, they’re likely no follow, but even a no follow link is worth something. It’s just not worth as much as a do follow link.
This is harder to do, but the concept is basically the same – pitch an idea for a story to a major magazine. They print your bio and a link back your site inside of their websites which gives you some major link juice.
Got some ideas for cool videos that can be put onto YouTube? Why not create ‘em and leave a link to your site? No, it won’t get indexed, but it will help you to build more traffic which is the ultimate goal of any SEO campaign.
31. YouTube Comments
Speaking of YouTube, try the comments section for another place to put your backlinks and earn a few more visitors to your website.
32. Mini Sites
Create mini sites which have information about specific issues which relate to your site’s area of expertise. For example, if you are running a financial services site, you might create a mini site which talks about how to understand Social Security. The idea is similar, though not completely the same as creating a blog.
Got a membership in a church or synagogue? Maybe you’re a member of the local Rotary Club? If they put out a newsletter, you can often get them to run a story about the site which is owned by a member of the community and provide you with a backlink to your website.
No, you can’t just post a link to your site on eHow because you want to. However, if you can find a relevant subject to write about in the Demand Studios site, you can easily add links there using the sources section of the website.
Bukisa doesn’t let you add links inside the content, but they do allow links in the bio on the website, so why not include some backlinks there as well? The best part? You can even make money by doing so.
36. News Aggregators
Get yourself listed in Google News and you could see tons of traffic coming to your website, plus it will provide you with a high quality backlink to your website. It’s a win-win. And don’t forget about other news sites as well, such as Yahoo! and MSN.
Try and get your content listed on portal sites such as AOL, MSN and Yahoo!. These sites all offer to create custom pages and they pull RSS content from dozens of sources for their readers. Apply to have your site listed as one of the possible sources of content and you’ll get traffic and backlinks galore.
38. Forum Blogs
While forums were mentioned above, many forums also include blogs. Be sure to take advantage of this functionality as well to add in some backlinks to your website.
39. Amazon Reviews
Write a book and you can get links back to your website on Amazon.com reviews of the book that you published. These links are often published as part of the review process or they’ll get published by people writing reviews of your book.
40. Link Exchanges
This is a fairly weak way to get backlinks, however a handful of link exchanges never hurt anyone and can actually be helpful to your SEO efforts.
41. Create a Discussion Group
Another useful source of backlinks is to create a discussion group which includes a topic which your site is about. Just stick backlinks into the group and watch the traffic role on in.
Don’t forget to offer a deal for affiliates. They’ll happily promote your site and products if you give them a piece of the action. This does mean spending money, but it’s only money spent on sales, so it’s worth your while to do so.
43. Google Places
If you have a local site, be sure to create a Google Places profile where you mention your site. This is a great way to add additional backlinks to your site.
Does your site have pictures? If so, create a Flickr account and you can add links to your site on a regular basis.
45. Other Photo Sharing Sites
Speaking of Flickr, another great source of backlinks is other photo sharing sites such as Photo Xpress and StockExchange.
Create and give away useful software tools which include backlinks to your website. These things can also generate sales since you can offer a free “lite” version along with a more advanced “pro” version which is for sale.
47. PLR Content
Offer PLR content for free and include backlinks inside of the content. This is just a variation of the idea of using article submissions, but it still works really well to allow you to build additional backlinks.
48. Torrent Sites
Believe it or not, BitTorrent isn’t only for trading illegal downloads of movies and music along with kiddie porn. There are legitimate uses for BitTorrent and you can provide all kinds of content on Torrent sites while including backlinks in your descriptions.
49. Meta Search Shopping
Get yourself into a Meta Search service for shopping such as PriceGrabber and you can build additional backlinks for yourself since their information is often indexed by Google.
50. Create a TV Show
This one takes some investment, but if you have the ability to do it, you can build additional backlinks to your website by offering a free TV show which is downloaded from your site or from other video sites. Those with very professional looking work can even apply to have their stuff distributed by Hulu or Crackle.
51. Do Interviews
Professional journalists are always looking for people to interview. Make sure to get your name out there as someone who welcomes calls for interviews and you can build additional backlinks when the journalist’s article comes out.
52. Give Webinars
No, it’s not a true backlink, but this will bring in traffic and often very high quality traffic with people who are seriously motivated to make a purchase. Ultimately, that’s what you’re after, isn’t it?
53. Offer Something for Free
This will get you lots of free backlinks from sites such as SlickDeals.Net and Fatwallet.com. These sites are often frequented by deal seekers though, so be sure to offer something you can afford to give away a lot of (or have a set limit on the number you’ll give away).
54. Sponsor a Theme
Many themes are offered in WordPress which include a sponsorship message at the bottom of the theme. This is another way to get a diverse list of backlinks to your website.
55. Sponsor a Contest
Contests create buzz around your website and will help to drive additional people to your website. Just be sure to spread the word around about your contest so that it doesn’t become a dud which attracts too little attention.
56. Sponsor a Plugin
Similar to the idea above to sponsor a theme for wordpress, this idea involves paying for the cost of building a WordPress plugin and then including your links inside of the plugin.
57. Create Embeddable Games
Creating embeddable games is a great way to build backlinks for your website. By doing so, you give webmasters something they want (i.e. games to keep their visitors occupied) while at the same time give yourself backlinks.
58. Create Embeddable Tools
There are a large number of embeddable retirement calculators on the web. The same concept can be applied to other tools which people would use regularly and that webmasters would want to include on their sites.
59. Write an Op Ed
While I mentioned above the idea of writing for a newspaper, you can also write an Op Ed, which is a one-time column for a newspaper. These will generally also include a backlink to your website.
60. Write an App
Create an app for Android or iPhone and watch the business roll on in the door. This is a great way to get backlinks as well on the various marketplaces for the apps.
61. Create a Mobile Site
While this will have much of the same content as your regular site, a mobile site is still considered a separate site by Google and can provide you with lots of quality backlinks.
62. Offer Free Classic Books
A variation on the idea of creating your own ebooks, you can also take classic books which may have some relationship to your niche and which are in the public domain, reformat them and include a link saying that they’re sponsored by you.
63. Offer Free Short Stories
Of course, just like you can take the free classic books approach, you can also take the approach of offering free short stories which include a sponsorship message. If you can’t write such stories, you can generally contract someone to do the work for you.
While the audio obviously won’t give you a backlink, the profile of the podcast, as listed on various sites around the Internet will indeed give you the backlinks you are looking for.
65. Sponsor a Worthy Cause
Non profits are generally happy to include a link back to your site when you sponsor them, either with cash donations or in kind donations (for example, if you run an accounting firm, you could offer free accounting services to a small nonprofit in exchange for agreeing to put a link on their website.)
66. Apply for a Weird Patent
Amazon.com recently earned some free publicity and backlinks by applying for a patent on airbags for a tablet computer. This method can work for you as well if you have a weird idea for a product.
67. Talk to Government Officials
The most prized of backlinks are probably the fabled .gov backlinks. These links can be had for the price of a call to a member of Congress where you offer their constituents some kind of service. Often, that’s all it takes to get a write up on their personal websites.
68. Sell to Foreign Governments
Speaking of government, don’t forget to offer your products to foreign governments. They’ll include information on whom they made purchases from on their official websites. These write ups will include free backlinks for your website.
69. Create an Online Mystery Contest
This has been tried by a few people, so far with limited success, but creating a contest where different clues are scattered throughout the web is another way to build backlinks, both through buzz and through the actual content.
70. Create Easter Eggs
Just like a traditional Easter egg hunt, Easter eggs on websites are hidden content on your site which include extra information or features. It’s a variation on the concept above. If you want to make it easy, make the pages indexable (which will create more backlinks). Or, if you’re confident of the amount of traffic you can generate, don’t index the pages and just provide clues. Your fans will post links to your site and your Easter eggs.
71. Write Fan Fiction
Speaking of fans, don’t forget that fan fiction sites include profiles of authors. If you’re a writer trying to build more readership for your blog, one of the best ways to do it is to create fan fiction.
72. Create Comics
A variation on the above, you can create comics which are either viewable online or downloadable and which include a link back to your website.
73. Create Lists
Everyone loves useful lists of things. Create list posts which can be placed all over the web and be sure to include your site prominently in the list as well as in the sponsorship information for the list in order to add backlinks to your profile.
74. Get Images Indexed
Don’t forget to include links inside of your images and to include searchable content. This will get them indexed and create additional links to your site.
75. Get Videos Indexed
Same concept as above, except that videos that you have on your site need to have descriptions and links so that they get indexed also.
76. Get Listed in Who’s Who Lists
These lists of important people in various industries are published by a wide variety of different websites. Just be sure you’re not being asked to pay for a listing. Paying for it means it’s probably not a very prominent Who’s Who.
77. Break a Record
Not only can you get coverage in newspapers for your record breaking feat, you can also get backlinks in the Guinness Book of World Records for doing so. Of course, since records are hard to break, this isn’t for everyone, but if you happen to run say a Falafel stand, you can compete with Israeli and Lebanese chefs, who regularly compete for the largest falafel balls and the largest bowls of hummus.
78. Offer Free Music
Everyone likes free music and if you offer a disc of the stuff, you can earn some good backlinks from doing so. Look on Fiverr for some talented singers willing to record songs for you.
79. Offer Free E-Mail
Free e-mail is another way to get free backlinks to your website. While it’s no longer a novel idea, it’s still a way to build a base of customers who will remember who you are.
80. Use URL Shortners
Not only is it useful to use something like Bit.ly to create short URLs for your website’s content when you post on Twitter, it’s also a great way to add some indexed backlinks to your profile.
81. Free Online Storage Site
If you have plenty of server space available, you can offer free online storage sites like Microsoft’s Office Live Drive and include backlinks on those sites.
82. Comment on Current Events
This is a variation of the above idea for writing for a newspaper (hey, I promised 90 link building ideas, so I’ve got to spread ‘em around a bit). In essence, instead of writing about your subject area, you comment on current events and simply include a link back to your site in the bio.
83. Create an Elance Profile
Even if you don’t want to work at Elance, you can create a profile where you mention the kind of work you do and you provide samples with links back to your own content on the site.
84. Create a Coupon
Coupon sites are always on the lookout for deals. This is a variation of the freebie idea above where you offer a coupon for whatever you sell with a discount off the price for using the coupon.
85. Sponsor a Facebook app
Facebook apps are very popular and if you can create one or have one built which has a useful function, you can easily bring in additional backlinks for your website.
86. Hold a Press Conference
Unlike the press release mentioned above, holding a press conference means calling the press together to present some idea that you have to offer. This allows you to get the press to put out backlinks for your site.
87. Run an Event
Another publicity stunt which can easily bring in additional backlinks is to run an event. This will get people to talk about your site and the fact that you sponsored it.
88. Create a WSO
A Warrior Special Offer is a great way to build up a list. It’s also a good way to create a backlink which could potentially become popular, especially if the product you sell or give away is really worthwhile.
89. Sponsor a Twitter App
Not only will you get the direct backlinks from the Twitter app, but you’ll also be able to get extra backlinks from people who install the app and tell their friends.
90. Write Link Bait
Okay, so it’s a bit redundant, but ultimately, many of these ideas are about link bait, meaning that you create content which will attract links from people. So come up with your own ideas which will bring people in the door.
We hope you enjoyed this “short” list. Comments are always appreciated!