How to Link Build for Your “How to” Articles

One of the most important factors to search engines in determining the relevance of a website for a particular search term is the number of high-quality, in-bound links. …

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One of the most important factors to search engines in determining the relevance of a website for a particular search term is the number of high-quality, in-bound links. The hope, of course, is that your “how to” article content will be so good that many websites will want to link to it. However, you can increase your chances of getting quality links by increasing the number of people and web channels that come across your content.

Start with you
Think about the places that you could easily provide a link into your article. Do you have a website for your business? Do you have profiles on social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn? Do you write for a blog? Quality in-bound links are vital to SEO and the most important way to drive visibility for your article. In addition, as the quality and quantity of these in-bound links increases, the value of the link from your “how to” article to your website will become more valuable.

 

Tip: College and university alumni websites can be powerful places to place links to your content. Search engines will generally give more credibility to links from “.edu” websites because they are often more credible than “.com” websites. If you have a profile page on your college alumni website, place some links to your articles there. You may also get the benefit of driving some clientele from your alma mater.
 
Network
You likely have friends, family and colleagues who also have websites or blogs. Ask them to link to and blog about your articles. You can also tap into your group of friends on social networking websites or social bookmarking websites, such as Digg or Del.ici.ous. Ask your friends on those sites to link to and/or vote for your articles. If your friends share similar interests, they will likely be inclined to link to your content.
 
Tip: If you have few friends on social networking/bookmarking websites, make more. Although it will require an investment of time to locate people who share your interests and views, friends on these websites can pay huge dividends in driving exposure to your content and consequently your business.
 
Perform a link search
Search in Google for the keyword or search phrase for which you would like to rank. What websites are currently on page one? Are any of them direct competitors of your business? If there are some direct competitors, write down the urls for those websites, go to Yahoo Site Explorer and type in one of the urls. Now click on the tag that says “inlinks”. This will show you all the web pages Yahoo has found which link to that url. Because the websites in this list have already linked to one of your competitors, you should stand a reasonable chance of getting them to link to you.
 
Tip: Pay special attention to inlinks to your competitors with sites ending in “.edu” or “.org”. In general, these are more valuable links than those from “.com” addresses. Put those websites at the top of your list for link requests.
 
Send link requests
Don’t just send an e-mail to webmaster@website.com with a message that says “please link to www.mywebsite.com/mypage.” Take a few minutes to find the e-mail address of someone who will understand how your article can add value to their website and then communicate that value in a personalized e-mail. Sending an effective link request requires thought. Most link requests aren’t read because they look like spam. You are likely busy and have only a small amount of time to devote to sending link requests, so make them count. Stand out from the link spam and focus on only valuable links.

Tip: For valuable potential inbound links (those from highly credible and relevant websites), you may want to consider following up your e-mail with a phone call. A quick phone call can often be more effective than an e-mail.

 

Jeremy Ames is the executive editor and CEO of NuWire, Inc. NuWire, through NuWireInvestor.com, provides news and information on real estate investment and other forms of alternative investing. Mr. Ames has built a career around service based businesses for investors. In addition to founding NuWire, Inc., he has also co-founded an investment focused real estate brokerage and a financial services firm specializing in self-directed investing (Guidant Financial Group, Inc.). In 2007, he received recognition as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

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