Inbound links to your website are important but need to be relevant and from reputable websites. Don’t ever be tempted to buy links: there are plenty of dodgy companies offering 100 links for £50, don’t be fooled, these are links from websites that are probably already blacklisted by Google, do you really want them to link to you?

Once again don’t be lazy, take the long approach which usually consists of being listed on someone else’s website because of what you’ve achieved. Work on some press releases, do it locally first, get a link from one of the associations your business is part of. Start small. And always keep in mind that quality is better than quantity.

1. Get links from reputable websites

Getting a link from a prestigious website like the BBC or The Guardian for example would be ideal of course but to do so you will need to do something that will get your business noticed. Some would argue that announcing something controversial would get you an article in newspapers, but is it really the route you want to take? Your reputation would inevitably suffer from it and in the end, what’s the point of being listed high in search engines if nobody wants to do business with you?

But if you feel like you’re the new Michael O’Leary – his announcement that there would be a fare to use toilets on Ryanair planes was a great publicity stunt – go ahead and do it. If you can’t get an article on the BBC, try to get backlinks on a, website or (try to make sure they are charities as these domain names can now be bought by anyone). How to do this?

Think about sponsorship for example when it comes to charities or schools or simply try to provide them with your products or services and offer them a discount if they add your link on their website (provide them with a logo with an embedded link for example). Also try to get listed on your local authority website.

2. Try to get an award

Getting an award for your business will get you good exposure so try to think about an attainable honour you could get and work on it. Getting an award will also allow you to create some press releases you can spread out across the web. These will help increase your good reputation which is something that Google will like.

3. Be social

Start a blog and post regularly on social media sites. Be innovative in your posts or simply start a competition that your readers will want to share. Try to use all the social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ for the best results possible.

4. Check the competition

Find out what their links are. There are a few free tools out there to help you with this like Open Site Explorer. Get in contact with those organisations and try to get a link on their website. You may find out some of them are online directories for your sector of activity and find it quite easy to get listed on those. This will help increase your number of links.

5. Get a mascot

Creating a buzz around your business or website can sometimes be as simple as having a little character that everyone will like and want to follow. Post pictures of your mascot or animal (cats are probably the animals with the highest number of views on YouTube) on your website in funny situations. This will generate a lot of sharing and help with your link building. Don’t expect too much for your business from those followers though as only a few of them will probably be interested in your products or services.

6. Use forums

Talk casually about your business on forums. Add a link to your website in your signature. Don’t overdo it though as this will be seen as spam by the forum moderators and search engines. As usual, try to be relevant with your comments and posts. Also try to only use forums related to your activity.

7. Use your clients

Do you have business customers? Build an accreditation program and send them an icon embedded with your link to put on their website. Offer them a special discount if they put your logo and link on their website. Check regularly that your logo and link are still in place.

8. Get listed on directories

Build a list of general or industry specific online directories and get your business and website listed on those. One of the most renowned is Dmoz, it may take a while before you get listed on this one but keep trying regularly until it finally works.

9. Organise a contest

Dedicate a page of your website to a competition with a great prize. Then share it on your Facebook page. It is important to have the page on your website as you will want people to share your link on their Facebook page and the idea here is to increase your natural rankings through deep linking.

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