Links into your website, commonly known as Back Links can become a vital part of your search engine strategy.
Obviously having lots of web pages linking to yours is a very good traffic generator in its own right as they will produce some highly targeted visitors, but we will focus on why you should spend a little time developing links to your site.
As we discuss in the basic search engine optimization article, there is only a certain amount of information that a search engine can glean from your website and pages. As the search engine spiders traverse the web, they build a map of the links from other web pages to yours and therefor count how many links out in on the internet lead back to your site.
It is not impossible for you to get your web pages highly ranked with almost no links back to your website, but if you are operating in a highly competitive market, you will find that you will need a good back link strategy to climb the rankings against your competition.
Google places a great deal of emphasis on the quality and quantity of a websites backlinks. Its better to have a few links from popular high quality well ranked websites than a gazzillion links from web sites that are essentially junk and worthless.
It is also worth noting that the anchor text of your back links will factor in your search engine ranking for any primary or secondary search terms you use, so when placing your back links, pick a number of keywords or phrases that will help your overall strategy.
If we take our website Internet-Affiliate.com as an example, having Affiliate Directory, Affiliate Programs or Affiliate Forum as the textual element of back links will push Internet-Affiliate.com up the search rankings for those particular search terms.
As for how you build your backlinks, there are many ways in which to do this.
Build a database of websites that are highly ranked for the various search terms you are targeting and send a carefully crafted email asking them to exchange links. Most website owners will understand the value of exchanging links and will be happy to exchange links with you if your website looks good and contains sufficient good quality content.
Submit your website to the various directory services such as DMOZ, Jade, FindWhat etc. Instead of doing this manually, we recommend that you use a directory submission software package such as Dynamic Submission from Apex Pacific Marketing or similar.
Post articles to forums and blogs and include a signature which contains a link to your website
Distribute press releases for network exposure including a link back to your website
Create Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and G+ accounts for your website
Create your own mini network of websites that link back to your primary site.
Be prepared to pay for some text links from highly ranked sites, although be careful as some "paid ad networks" will not improve your rankings as Google will see these links as being commercially controlled.
A successful back link strategy will take you many hours of hard work to initiate and then maintain and there are no shortcuts to a strategy with longjevity as most black hat techniques are eventually uncovered, you get penalised and have to start again or potentially blacklisted and all your hard work was for nothing.