Linking building or Link acquisition is still for the time being; a staple function in gaining keyword search rankings and in turn, delivering traffic to a website.
The moment the conversation turns to Link acquisition you will no doubt become embroiled in a ‘white hat’ vs ‘grey hat’ vs ‘black hat’ debate. And that’s fair enough as the landscape for highly competitive SEO has changed since the recent changes to Google (Panda and Penguin – more so the later). Check Google’s webmaster guidelines for an understanding of ‘their’ expectations and what can be labelled as any specific shade of grey.
1) Maximize Internal Linking:
Have you addressed your on-site internal linking practices? It doesn’t get anymore white-hat than linking to your own pages with target anchor text. In doing so you are making it easier for visitors to navigate to your various pages as well as send positive indicators to the google crawl bot. Here’s a fantastically well written article on how to really take advantage of internal linking: http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/12-internal-linking-best-practices.html
2) Create an off-site Blog:
Create a blog or blog network. Not a blog on your site, instead separately on a different domain(s). Keep the theme for discussion / content related to your target SEO benefactor. WordPress is a simple enough solution for this task, but don’t be afraid to allow spam-free-comments (unlike I do on my site) as Google Panda and it’s artificial-intelligence evaluation of the visitor experience on your blog will like seeing the interaction in visitor comments. Establishing a blog and getting value from the links to your primary site will take considerable time, but it’s worth it in the end.
3) Link to Me:
Are you making it easy for people to link to you? Do you have a ‘Link to us’ page on your site? Are you offering the appropriate HTML/embed and social share buttons for the sharing of your content?
Use your on-site blog to create a fascinating and engaging article with internal links to your site/products. Ensure this amazing and remarkable article is not about your products, and that you are not selling anything, but instead offering a great story related to the industry. Your goal should be getting this article circulated on a site similar to digg. Some controversy or humour won’t go astray. Also, consider submission to article directories like Ezinearticles.com and PR press release sites (both are of small-moderate value).
5) Local Links:
Research sites that are non-competitive, trustworthy, popular, have plenty of page rank and very importantly are related to your industry, product or brand. Ask for a link back to your site, or a link exchange. If you can find education or government related pages or categories and acquire a link you are one step closer to becoming an SEO champion. In considering websites that are ‘local’ to yours also consider that a potential link needs to be from a page with an acceptable number of out-bound links. Getting onto a sidebar with 100+ other links is far detached from ‘white hat’ SEO and depending on how desperate you are – can be useless or even detrimental.
6) Find Bloggers:
Blogging is immensely popular. Consider researching blogs in your related industry and asking them to link to your site. You can also find guest bloggers using services like myblogguest.com (this is also a useful resource for your own on-site blog and finding good writers. Also try Blogdash, Blogger Linkup, and Guestr.com
7) Utilise existing partnerships:
Have you thought about the people who supply your products? What other services does your site use or what businesses are you in partnerships with already? It’s likely they have a site too and it may be an invaluable linking opportunity.