Link Building For Introverts

Not everybody wants to get busy on social media sites or send out tons of e-mail begging for links. But just about everyone with a website would like to rank well and be found in Google – and it’s hard to do that without links. Fortunately for the introverts among us, you can build useful links to help you rank while hardly leaving the comfort of your home page.

I found these and other amazing ideas for link building on Search Engine Journal. I’d like to tip my hat to Sujan Patel, who has come up with one of the most comprehensive lists of link building tips I’ve ever seen – and after well over a decade covering the Internet, I’ve seen a lot of these lists. If you ever find yourself at a loss as to how you can get more links to your website, just go through this list; you’re bound to find something you haven’t tried yet.

Patel wrote the list in response to complaints he kept hearing that link building has gotten so hard now. Well, yeah, with Penguin on the prowl, perhaps you can’t build links the way you used to. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually gotten hard to do. In fact, in this piece I’m only going to focus on the first set of techniques he mentions, all of which you can do without really leaving your own website.

So you feel odd getting on social sites to share your blog posts. No problem. Why not get your readers to do it for you? Just add social sharing tools to your blog posts. Make it easy for your readers, and they’ll happily oblige. You can even make this easy on yourself by using a plug-in, such as Digg Digg or TweetMEME.

Once you’ve added those social sharing tools, you can take things one step further. In addition to the gentle nudge of putting the tools in place, go ahead and directly ask your readers to share your post, with a call to action at the end. Patel notes that this is an easy way to significantly boost social sharing. It could be as simple as writing “Did you like what you’ve read? Tell your friends about it!”

If you write for a loyal audience that keeps coming back (or would like to build one), you should launch an RSS feed. Your readers will appreciate being informed whenever you publish a new post. Set it up right, and your readers will be even more likely to share your posts with their friends on social networks, thus building more links to your site.

Once you’ve set up that RSS feed, you might want to encourage more sign-ups. But how? You’ll need to venture off your site just long enough to find a directory – not just any directory, mind you, but a respected one that covers your industry. Once you do, you can submit the link for your feed to that directory. Doing this may not only boost your ranking in Google; it can get you a wider audience.

Here’s a simple link building tip that’s way too easy to forget: linking internally to other pages on your website. If your blog post focuses on a certain topic, chances are you’ve written other posts that focus on the same or related topics. (See what I did there?) Link to those other posts within your current one, and you give your readers a reason to stay on your website and keep interacting with your content.

If you’re already publishing regular content on your website (or even if you’re not), have you considered creating an email newsletter? Readers will share newsletters with their friends, as long as they feature helpful content. I know I don’t need to tell you to include links back to your website in the newsletter! As readers share the newsletter, you’ll gain even more links back to your site.

My final two tips are so website-based and simple, at least in principle, that it’s amazing more sites don’t do them. Make sure the search engines can easily crawl and navigate your website! That may mean reverting to text-based navigation links rather than using graphic navigation elements. At the very least, if there are issues with your site’s navigation when a search engine looks at it, you need to get them resolved. As Patel notes, “Resolving these problems automatically results in more backlinks.”

In order for a search engine to index your site’s pages, they must be able to crawl and navigate your website’s links – which brings me to my last tip. Make sure ALL of your site links can be spidered, not just the ones used for navigation on your site menus. Patel explained that “on-page issues (including the improper use of JavaScript scrips or Flash files) can limit the search engines’ ability to index your links.” Fix these problems to improve your site’s link equity.

Link building doesn’t need to be painful or a major struggle. You’ll probably want to use many more techniques, but these should get you off to a good start. So put your site’s best foot forward and get busy. Good luck!

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