Need some good links? Well put down that reciprocal link email request and get your hands dirty with a little bit of research. If you’re looking to build a site for the long run then you should spend the time to find out who the big players in your vertical are. Find out which sites are the most respected and find out what groups and associations you can get involved in. If you want to get the most out of your site then it’s important to engulf yourself and your brand into the community.
You can’t push websites out of the SEO factory like they are all exactly the same. While it may be easy to just submit your latest project to the same list of directories as your last site, you won’t be getting the best value. Most industries will have their own group of devoted followers. Take advantage of this fact to help to promote your website, gain quality links and drive traffic.
Start by making a list of every group, association and niche directory within the market that you’re targeting. Some industries will obviously have more then others and be prepared to spend a little cash to be a part of some of them. Go through each one individually and decide on which ones actually offer some value to become a member or sponsor. Getting a straight link that Google will follow is a goal and you should be able to pick up a few nice ones during the process. Remember that when you’re judging these sites don’t be completely hung up on the fact of whether or not it pushes link juice. Just because the link has a ‘no-follow’ attribute attached doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worthless. If that link is coming from a great site then there is a chance to get real qualified traffic which can turn into leads. In the end, that is what you want anyway, more quality traffic.
Once you have tracked down some good sites and become a member, try to become active within the community. This can allow you the opportunity to network and build relationships which in turn can help promote the site. By becoming an active member, some associations may even give you the opportunity to contribute with an article or guest blog post. This will give you a forum to help build name recognition and possibly get a few valuable links back to your site.
Another benefit of gaining links from associations is for branding purposes. Because people will be using search engines to research the product they’re looking for, they will most likely be looking through a whole number of sites during the process. If they run across your site as a member or sponsor on multiple occasions they are more likely going to remember you when it come time to buy. Get associated with quality organizations and you will make your site look like more of authority in the eye of the consumer. Even though this may take some time, it will be worth it when building for the long run.