What is link-building?
Link-building is the process of gaining links that point from external websites to yours. It’s important to have because the more high-quality websites link to your website the more likely it is that your website will rank higher in search results for keywords pertaining to your site. You need it for organic search results, but how you go about getting it could help you, or hurt you.
The internet’s maturity process over the past several years has included the revelation that anybody can pay for links, and obviously that doesn’t necessarily mean your page contains the most relevant information to the search. Therefore, search engines have begun to keep track of the quality of the links that point to your web pages, and to ignore, and even penalize those pages that have links coming in from link farms, and from sites with little content value. For this reason you must be choosey when it comes to which websites you allow to link to yours.
How do you get good links?
At the end of the day marketing is about networking. Ask your business affiliates, vendors, or even those who are in relevant, non-competing verticals to link to your website from theirs. Cross-linking (when two websites link to each other), while not recommended in most cases, is a good practice when it is between two relevant websites (a guitar lessons website, and a musical instruments website).
There are also many search engines that you have not heard of that you can submit your website to. That’s right, Google, Yahoo, and Bing are not the only ones out there. There are many valid search directories out there. Submitting your website to these sites is an example of ‘good’ link-building.
Lastly, the use of off-site channels you have control of like blogs and social media, should not be ignored. Blogging is a way to get relevant content to point to your website. Write an article about your product or service, make sure it contains many of the keywords that are regularly searched for in your industry, and link to your website from it. It’s not dishonest, it’s helping internet users get what they’re searching for.