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Since generating links to your website is by far the most important aspect of any internet marketing campaign, it’s imperative that you find ways to not only build as many links back to your site as possible, but to obtain relevant links that will generate traffic and improve rankings.

Although link building can be a tedious task that can be extremely difficult for some people, it can also be fun for other people. However one thing is for sure, you have to be in the link building mind-set. Either you’re in the mindset 24/7 and are always ready to obtain your next link whenever the opportunity arises or you have to set 3 hours aside to get in the zone to build as many links possible.

It’s best to have both mindsets. Always look for an opportunity to get links. But also recognize that to obtain truly relevant links, it’s necessary to set a special time aside to do so. After all, strategic link building is crucial to any SEO campaign competing in a tough industry, it well worth the time.

I recommend you spend some time creating a list of URL’s of pages you could possible get your link on. Create this list in a spreadsheet document such as Excel so you can add columns and perform tasks such as sort and filter.

Once you have a spreadsheet ready, here are a few ways to create a list of relevant possibilities…

  • Determine who your competition is and perform a link: search. [ie:] Export all results to CSV. Then find all the sites linking to sites “related” (Google’s related) to your competitors.
  • Manually visit the top 100 sites for your top 2 – 10 targeted terms and see which ones are directories, blogs or have link (resources) pages.
  • Use special search operators such as intitle:Keyword Phrase “add link”, inurl:directory intitle:keyword, intitle:keyword inurl:resources, etc.

These 3 techniques should help you create a nice size list. The size of the list normally depends on the competition. I aim to find at least 1,000 sites. This list will increase along the way. There are a variety of link building tools to help you generate even longer list of URL’s.

So, now that you have a huge list of URL’s you have to set a few hours aside to manually go through this list. Depending on what stats you have on each URL, the order you go in is up to you.

Because the list was generated by analyzing relevant sites, no matter how much time you spend on it, it will help your rankings (assuming on-page SEO is intact).

After you visit all the sites on your list or just need to take a break from THE LIST. Here are a few other ways to get more relevant back links;

  • Contact other webmasters and let them know about your site. These webmasters should be websites in your industry with a lot of visitors
  • Notify forums. Every industry has forums. Letting visitors that participate in these forums know about your site can generate buzz.
  • Find blogs in your industry with huge RSS subscribers. Ask them to review your site. Normally all their visitors/commentators will review your site as well.
  • Convert all your text content to podcast using text to voice software (Or you can record someone reading it). Then submit your podcast to podcast directories.
  • Do the same with PDF’s and e-books by simply adding table of contents and converting the file type to a PDF. Then you can submit them to free e-book and PDF directories in return for links.
  • Write a press release. Your website can get picked up by a major site with high Page Rank. Helping rankings or sending traffic your way.

Once you’ve performed these techniques and you’re still not on top, it is recommend you find long term, passive link building strategies like creating badges or pictures for people to add to their site. [i.e.: page counters with back links, WordPress blog theme footer links, etc.]

Furthermore, if you are linking to any sites, make sure that they know. Good luck!

James Harrison is an experienced link building expert from SEO by the Hour, a San Diego SEO firm.

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