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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If you're doing business on the Web, then getting your Website to the top of Google and other major search engines should be your top priority. To reach the top of Google, your website will need to offer something of value, provide quality content, and build a lot of inbound links.

Inbound links are a key factor for improving Google rankings. How do you build links to your website? There are a number of strategies that have proven effective time and again. Use these seven strategies for building links and improving search engine rankings.

1. Identify the right websites for link targeting. Getting links from other websites is beneficial, but not if you don't have a plan. Trying to acquire links from just any old website won't generate the type of return you're looking for. To determine the best sites for link targeting purposese, simply visit Google and type the keyword or keyword phrase you're trying to optimize for. Record the #1 Google ranked website for that keyword and see who's linking to that website. By targeting the same sites, you can mirror the acheivements of the #1 ranked website. There are many tools that can help you do this. One is to type in "link:" into the Google search box and the name of the top ranked website. This will list all of the sites that link to the top ranked site.

2. Build a links page. Before starting any link building program, I strongly encourages those I consult for to build their own Partner page. A partner page or links page is where you can post links from your website to those who may be placing your link on their own website. This is referred to as reciprocal linking and is a great way to start building valuable links to your website. This links page can also be used for other types of link exchanges like 3-way linking. The key is to have some real estate on your own website that you can use to barter for links on other sites.

3. Contacting other websites. Once you've identified the sites you should be getting links from, the next step is to begin contacting them and asking for a link exchange or post. There are a variety of ways to acquire links from these sites but one of the best, and most simple ways, is to ask with a contextual email. This is simply an email you send to the websmaster of the site revealing your intentions. The key is to spend some time on the website you're targeting and to reference something on the site and the fact that a link exchange would be beneficial for both parties.

4. Directory submissions. Getting links from quality directories is a great way to start building links to your website. There are many free directories, and some paid, that can provide one-way links to your site. One-way links are the most valuable kinds of links because each serves as a vote from another website to yours. These are even more valuable if the site that is linking to yours has a high Google PR and only a few other links present on the page where your link is placed.

5. Article Submission. Distributing valuable content in the form of article marketing is a great way to build valuable one-way links. When you create article content and distribute the content via article directories or submissions, you benefit by the links which are present in the "About the Author" section of your article. As others post your articles to their own websites, they include your author box and links back to your website. Article marketing is one of the quickest and most powerful way to build meaningful links.

Link building is the most important SEO strategy you can employ for improving search engine rankings. As we've discussed in this article, start by identifying the right sites to target. Contact other websites and ask for a link exchange. Submit to website and article directories and include links back to your website in the about the author section. Using these top SEO strategies are sure to improve your search engine rankings.

Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert with more than 12 years of marketing experience. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. For additional strategies to improve search engine rankings, visit The Marketing Blog.


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