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Link building is probably one of the most important and cost effective ways to increase traffic to your website organically. Not only does link building increase your ranking on search engines (Google for one, and MSN and Yahoo! are only soon to follow), but it also opens up an infinite amount of doorways leading to increased traffic opportunity without the use of a search engine. A backlink is when another website links to your website in some way shape or form. Link building is the art of increasing your backlinks.

Think of a backlink as a trail of cookie crumbs for people to follow back to your website. In theory, the more trails of cookie crumbs you have out there, the higher your chances of catching a cookie monster are.

I’ve compiled a bunch of link building techniques that I’ve found to be effective and useful from SEO Book. We’re going to start with the ones some of the more obvious ones.

  1. Make your content easy to understand and put effort into minimizing grammatical spelling errors, especially if you want people to link to your site as a reference.
  2. When you want to be taken seriously, put an easily accessible privacy policy and about section to tell the viewer “I’m not a bootleg website, you can trust me”.
  3. Submit your website to directories that allow free submissions. Additionally, submit your website to paid directories — but remember quality matters.
  4. Reach out to friends and family when you have important relevant news and ask them for feedback and referencing if they find it useful.
  5. Leverage social-bookmarking by referencing websites of similar interest. The more interesting websites you find useful and bookmark, the higher the chance of someone stumbling across your findings and following you back to your website.
  6. Look at meme trackers to see what ideas are trending, and write about them. Be sure to link to original content and resources. This will give you a chance of being listed as a source on the meme tracker site.
  7. Join the Better Business Bureau.
  8. Get a link from your local chamber of commerce.
  9. See if business affiliates (manufactures, retailers or other business partners) would mind sharing or trading links with your site.
  10. Develop relationships with non-competing businesses in similar fields and leverage these relationships by sharing or trading links.
  11. Trade articles with other webmasters.
  12. Craigslist is a cheap and free classified service.
  13. Contribute to forums and blog community by posting comments with relevant and useful information. Be sure to include a backlink to your website in your signature. Be careful not to spam– doing so will give you a poor reputation and will influence your search engines rankings in a negative way.
  14. If you are a reputable company, create a page about it in Wikipedia.
  15. Leverage websites like Digg by submitting stories and referencing your website.
  16. If you publish RSS feeds and your content is useful and regularly updated, some people will syndicate your RSS content.
  17. Link to other blogs from your blog. Many bloggers track traffic sources and will often return the favor.
  18. Web 2.0-ify your site. People love to link to anything with AJAX or great designs. Having a good design can get you referenced from websites that showcase creative designs.
  19. Hire a consultant. Yes, you can outsource link building. Just make sure it’s someone good.
  20. If you don’t have a blog, consider making one. Posting and blogging gives you a chance to be found on search engines. If you post good content and someone discovers you, they may use you as a reference.

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