'Search Engines'

Good and Bad Link Building Methods (Part II)

26 JAN 2011 2

In this second part we will discuss two more link building methods: directory submissions and holding a contest.

Running a contest

Holding a SEO contest can do magic in terms of link building if you do it right. You will need two key factors: consistent prizes (no one rushes in to win pennies) and publicity (if you’re offering the latest Macbook Pro, people have to know about it.)

  • Difficulty: Easy to medium. Large contests can be quite a headache to organize and manage. People ask all sorts of questions, ranging from legitimate concerns to the “Hey is this for real?” kind, and you will have to answer each of them.
  • Time consumed: Medium. Doing all the customer support, keeping in touch with sponsors and promoting the contest takes time.
  • Quality: High, provided you are doing it right. As I said above, people won’t come if you don’t make it worth their while. Don’t offer banner advertisements on your site with 300 monthly unique visitors and expect to get huge response rates.

To improve your chances of success, try to offer consistent prizes. Hard cold cash or latest technology gadgets are always baits for the “big players” in any industry. 2011 will probably be the year of the tablets, so an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab (or anything retailed at $500 or more) could get some well established bloggers in your contest.

Directory submissions

Submitting to directories used to be on top of the wave ten years ago when SEO was only about setting up the right meta tags and getting as many inbound links as humanly possible. Opinions vary on the quality of directory submissions these days—some say they are completely useless, while others believe that the quantity over quality approach (i.e. submitting to tens of thousands of sites) is far better than other link building methods. My take is that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and submitting to a handful of directories can still be of some help if you do it right.

  • Difficulty: Easy. You must fill out a short form, which is not exactly rocket science.
  • Time consumed: Little. You will only spend a couple of minutes for each submission, or much less if you have a semi-automated scheme (Roboform or any other script or program that can help you out with filling in forms faster.)
  • Quality: Low to medium. There are still lots of quality directories out there that can pass considerable amounts of link juice to your page.

For better chances of getting it done properly, choose directories that have a proper category structure (i.e. no sites on Make Money Online schemes in the Automotives section,) as this will ensure the relevancy of your inbound link. Niche directories might also be of help.

In our third episode I will talk about social media bookmarking and forum posting as means of building inbound links.

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