Make Your Website Linkable

One of the most important aspects of marketing and promoting a website or blog is attracting inbound links. A great deal of effort goes into creating link bait and sometimes into directory submissions and requesting links from others. But before these link building attempts can truly be successful, your site or blog will need to be ready. Here are some tips to making your website more linkable:

CONTENT

Of course, the most important aspect of drawing links is the content. Typically when others link to you they are doing so because there is something on their site that they consider to be useful, interesting, funny, or entertaining. Link baiting focuses primarily on the content, and rightfully so. Without good content it will be hard to draw links regardless of the other factors involved.

LINK TO OTHERS

Especially with blogs, linking out can be a very effective way to also draw inbound links. Some of those people that you link out to will probably return the favor. If your blog is new or not very well known you will have the best results if you link out to other small blogs. A link will mean a lot to these bloggers, but A-listers get so many links that they are unlikely to really notice and link back to you.

By linking out from your website or blog you show others that you are willing to share some of your traffic with them and that you find value in what they have to offer. Some people may not think much of this, but this type of approach will be appreciated by many, and they’ll be more willing to also link to you.

GET TO KNOW OTHER WEBSITE OWNERS AND BLOGGERS


Don’t underestimate the importance of networking for. There are probably hundreds of other bloggers that cover topics related to yours, and most are looking for mutually beneficial relationships. There are plenty of ways to get to know others. You can comment on other blogs, send an email, visit forums, or use social media just to name a few.

BE FRIENDLY

Bloggers link to those who they like. Sure, content is very important, but relationships are important too. I know this is true because I’m an example. Each weekend I publish a post of links, and every week there are links to a handful of other bloggers that I consider to be friends. Part of the mentality of linking out is wanting to help someone else, and of course we all want to help people that we like more than people that we don’t know of don’t like. Be friendly and willing to help others and you’ll find that more people will want to help you too.

BE THE FIRST TO PUBLISH NEWS

This is easier said than done, but it can be very effective. Look at some of the websites and blogs that focus on current events and news. TechCrunch draws loads of inbound links, thanks in part to consistently breaking new stories.

COMMENT ON BLOGS

Some bloggers, including me, try to give links to those readers who comment regularly. If you regularly read some of these blogs be sure to comment whenever possible as it will help you to easily get some new inbound links.

THANK PEOPLE WHEN THEY LINK TO YOU

Everyone appreciates a thank you. If a lot of blogs are linking to you it may not be possible to thank them all, but most of us don’t have this problem. Every week my links post gets several comments for others thanking me for linking to them, and I do notice. If people know that you appreciate the link and that you’re likely to stop by and leave a comment, they’ll be more interested in linking to you again in the future.

BE ACTIVE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

One of the best ways to draw new links is to maximize the potential of social media sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Del.icio.us. Pages that are popular on these sites frequently draw a lot of links as a result. Get to know social media and learn how you can use it to promote your content.

GIVE SOMETHING OF VALUE

If your website or blog offers something of value for free to visitors, others will be interested in linking to you. E-books and other downloadable products are good options since they are easy and cheap to distribute.

BE UNIQUE

In order to draw inbound links something about your website has to grab their attention and make them want to tell others about you. It’s very difficult to do this if your website or blog is just like everyone else’s. Stand out and you’ll have a much better chance of getting other people to be interested.

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29 Responses

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  • TyCat, December 4, 2007

    I keep seeing ‘give something of value’ but as a designer, what can i give?

  • Anna Vester, December 4, 2007

    Thanks for these tips, they are excellent.

    @TyCat, as a designer you could publish tutorials, create icon sets (something simple, maybe it will be of value to somebody).

  • TyCat, December 4, 2007

    I thought you should do that anyway. I just published a tutorial. I also offer templates.

  • pablopabla, December 4, 2007

    You know what Steven? You have done precisely what you have written here. And I vouch that your tips really worked.

  • Tay - Super Blogging, December 4, 2007

    Very well-written, Steven! I happen to work in phases, and sometimes I’m in a phase where I want to gain traffic, or make money – but right now I’m the link-building phase. I appreciate all the tips and advice you’ve given and I agree with them 100%. Your blog is linkable, too. :D

  • Moucki, December 5, 2007

    Thanks for all your precious advices ! I have just started my first blog and I learn everyday from your posts. :-)

  • Matthew Griffin, December 5, 2007

    You made some great points. I’ve also noticed that the quality of writing can affect you more than you realize. Bloggers are notoriously bad writers so writing well will make you stand out from the crowd and give you authority. You may think you are a good writer but you can always write better.

  • Jenny Wilde, December 5, 2007

    Thanks for this, a pretty comprehensive guide! Of course it’s good to apply many of these tips not just to gain links, but also to improve your blog for readers in general. Agree with some of the comments too – you can never be perfect as a writer, so constantly striving to improve is important.

  • Dave Walker, December 5, 2007

    Thanks for a good article – attracting inbound links is very important for SEO/SEM, too.

    To find your inbound links in Google, type ‘link:www.yourdomain.com’ (without the quotes) in the search box. I’ve found Google to be very inaccurate when showing the inbound links, but they are being recorded (so I’m told).

    Yahoo: linkdomain:www.yourdomain.com
    MSN: linkdomain:www.yourdomain.com

  • Dave Walker, December 5, 2007

    @TyCat & @Anna – (I’ll try not to step on Steven’s blog) For example, Nick La at Web Designer Wall does great tutorials and icon sets – check out his free christmas icon pack.

    Offering things of value depends on your blog’s target audience. Who are you aiming your blog at, and what do they value?

  • Vandelay Design, December 5, 2007

    TyCat,
    I think there are several good suggestions for you in the other comments. I would recommend something like free WordPress themes, design templates, icons, articles about design in an ebook, etc. I can’t really say too much, because this site doesn’t have any of those at this point.

    Tay,
    I’m glad this was good timing for you. Good luck with your link building!

    Mouki,
    Thank you. Good luck with your new blog.

    Matthew,
    Very true. I’m always trying to improve as well. Hopefully I’m getting a little better.

    Jenny,
    You’re absolutely right. Links are only one of the benefits, there are others that are just as important.

    Dave,
    Yeah, Google doesn’t show a lot of the links. It does give you a good idea though of what they value as a quality link. No worries about stepping on any toes, reader participation is the goal!

  • Self Improvement Ideas, December 6, 2007

    very good information, improving my sites linkability is something i have been trying to work on lately, thanks

  • Madhur Kapoor, December 6, 2007

    Thanks for a great article Steven. One of the best ways of linking is to write a post on a similar article and link back to the original author’s blog. This way you can even express your ideas to that person.

  • Ruchir, December 8, 2007

    “BE THE FIRST TO PUBLISH NEWS

    This is easier said than done, but it can be very effective. Look at some of the websites and blogs that focus on current events and news. TechCrunch draws loads of inbound links, thanks in part to consistently breaking new stories.”

    I kind of disagree with you there. Breaking news only matters if you have the traffic. What if you broke news and your site only gets 10 visitors a day?

  • Wypoczynek, December 9, 2007

    cool :-)

  • Wallspro, January 30, 2008

    You’re website is Vandelay Web Design??? Are you in latex sales?

  • BasiT, February 8, 2008

    sallam

  • Gunjan, May 25, 2008

    Hi, I like the tips and would try to follow this up. Thanks, Gunjan

  • jina, May 28, 2009

    hi, for a web site designin company ,how seo helps and how can seo works??

  • Justin, July 30, 2009

    Great post. I am just starting my blog as well. Do you find it hard to have something to say, because I don’t feel like natural writer and it seems to come natural for you.

  • Sarah, August 6, 2009

    I love networking and honestly it is very beneficial. Recently I guest post for a fellow blogger and my gosh, I got hundreds of visits coming from there alone. The best part is I get to have a permanent link there too.

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