Everything in life that is worth anything takes a lot of effort and action. When I was in High School my Dad bought me an old 66’ Ford Mustang that was really beat up. For three years I worked on that old car and made it look like a million bucks. Because I worked hard and took action the car was amazing and it meant a lot to me, a lot more that if my Dad would have just bought me a new car.
The point is you have to ACT to receive what it is you want. Link Building is no different. If you want links (which you should) then you have to take some specific actions to get links. If you think they are just going to come because you have a cool website, then I am afraid you will be very disappointed.
Link Building in regards to Search Engine Optimization is not going away anytime soon, and for this very reason if you don’t have a strategy it will be very hard for you to rank for the keywords/phrases that you so desire.
Below you will find some specific actions you must take to build up your link juice. These items are not the only steps you need to take (there are hundreds – even thousands) but they will tell you what actions you need to take today to start your Link Building campaign. A.C.T. stands for Ask, Content, and Timing. You must A.C.T. to build links effectively.
A – ASK
I truly believe that you get what you are looking for. In my life I have found that to get what I want, I simply have to ask. You might think that is crazy but really it is a simple truth. To take action today to start getting links, you have to become a person that is not afraid to ask.
Here are a couple steps and tips that you don’t want to forget when asking others for links.
You must remember to be nice and willing to give back. An article I read by Kandi Humpf called “Linking is Like Love, You Have to Give Some to Get Some” is a perfect example of this. You need to build a relationship before you ask. For example, you probably wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date and if you did you would more than likely be rejected. The same applies to link building. You need to take time to build a relationship with the person you are trying to get a link from. Yes, it might take a bit longer and is a bit more work, but in the end you will be more successful and you will start building equity.
Secondly you need to remember that you are going to be turned down. Hopefully by now you have realized that life isn’t all roses. You are going to get some people who tell you “No” but that is just part of the game. So if some tell you “No” then remember that a “Yes” is coming soon.
Last, you have to know how to ask. Don’t come right out and ask for the link exchange, instead, introduce yourself and your website. I receive a lot of link exchange requests and the ones that I end up doing are the ones that asked me the right way. What is the right way? There isn’t really a perfect answer to this question but here are some ideas.
First, you need to make sure that the site that you are asking to be linked from is somewhat related to your site. Why on earth would a dog trainer want to link to your fitness website?
You need to be different! If you send an email out that a thousand other webmasters sent out, more than likely your email will be deleted just as fast the others. But if you are unique and stand out, your success rate will be much higher.
Make sure your website is somewhat established. It will be hard to get someone to link to an ‘Under Construction’ or halfway finished website.
Lastly, make sure that you follow up. Some people will still say “No” but I look for the people that are serious and willing to take time to contact me again.
So it all comes down to taking action and asking. If you don’t do this, then you will be sure to fail in your link building efforts.
C – CONTENT
I firmly believe that to be successful online and especially in link building you have to create valuable content consistently. It is often argued whether content is King or links are King. To me they are equally important. It is hard to get individuals to link to your website or blog if you do not have great content on a consistent basis. I noticed over the years that the websites that rank well usually have a lot of relevant valuable content. This is not always the case but more often than not, the sites that get the most links and stay high in the rankings are the ones that provide reliable valuable content.
Creating your own content and submitting it to article directories, social networks, video submission sites, and other user generated websites has been a way that I have found that works best for me. Even if the sites nofollow your link, a link is a link is a link. Here are some of the top sites I suggest you submit your content with links:
Now, this is just a short, top list that you should at least be submitting your content for links. Keep in mind that your content needs to be valuable and the links need to be relevant. Do not spam these sites or you are just doing us all a disfavor. Now of course your content will be submitted differently to each of the sites above but as long as you are submitting amazing content on a regular basis you will find that your sites rank higher and your link building efforts will grow.
Another way to get links that a lot of people miss out on, and what I believe is a gold mine is your own existing content. Look back through all the past content you already have in blogs, web pages, guest posts, press releases, etc. There is possibly a lot of areas that you can add links. For example, if you have a related article on your blog and you have a website or web page that you need a link, then go back to that blog post and add the link.
T – TIME
You’ve heard the phrase “Timing is everything” haven’t you? Well with link building, timing isn’t everything but it sure plays a big role.
As I have mentioned above, if you are asking for links you need to make sure your timing is right. For example, if your website is not completed, it is not the right time to ask for a link. If your blog has one blog post, it might not be the right time to ask another blogger with hundreds of blog posts for a link.
As another aspect of TIME, you need to plan and build a process that works for you. If you have read any of my content you know that I am all about building processes and being consistent which has everything to do with TIME.
Of course there are many more options and strategies to link building but for me and my clients it is all about how we ACT. Remember to ask, create valuable content, and make sure the timing is right.
Here are some other great link building articles to help you in your efforts:
Garrett Pierson is Founder and President of New Generation Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in search engine optimization, social media, website conversion, and success. He is the creator of Building Social Equity 2.0 a “SEO Meets Social Media” training course. Garrett can be followed on Twitter @garrettpierson