Getting inbound links is one of the most important parts of SEO.

Here’s the criteria for getting great inbound link:

  • The site is related to yours but is not a competitor
  • The site has a high page rank
  • The site has a lot of authority
  • The site does not use link-building strategies that Google will penalize

Okay, great. Where are all these sites?

Here’s how you might begin a research campaign:

  • Google the keywords you want to target. See who comes up. Make a list of all the sites that are relevant but are not competitors.
  • Now go through all the actual competitors. Run them through some SEO software to check all of their inbound links. Who’s linking to them?

At this point you have a big list of possible sites. Now you need to narrow things down a bit.

  • I suggest putting the list into Excel. Include columns for the website URL, the title, the webmaster or main content writer, its Google page rank, and where on the site a link to your site might be good, or why THEY might benefit.
  • Use your head. Spend some time on each site to determine how good a fit linking between the two of you is.
  • Don’t just spam a zillion people. You’ll get bad links and it’ll hurt you in the long run.
  • Before you discuss linking with the webmaster, know exactly why a link would benefit you both. This will help when you email them, and it’ll help make sure you’re

    setting up links between relevant sites – which means more benefit for you, more benefit for them, and more benefit for the readers who’ll eventually come across those links.

  • Have a good landing page for them to link to (not just your homepage all the time) so that they’re providing their reader with value by linking to you. This is a lot easier if you’ve already written helpful search engine optimized articles for your site.
  • Find a page on their site you might link to, because you want to provide value to your readers. This info will also help you when you email them.

Link building takes time.

But if you ask any SEO experts, they’ll say that it’s a snowball effect. You start linking to others, slowly, slowly, slowly, until people start linking to you, and you’re getting tons of options to link to high quality, authoritative sites.

When your link building campaign is focused on only grabbing high quality links, you’ll get better SEO results and you’ll provide more value to your readers.

In the long run, this is probably exactly what Google wants. They’re a pretty smart bunch, those folks.