Link building is an important aspect of SEO. A link to your website from another quality, relevant website can count as a vote in favour of your website and can improve the ranking of your own website.
There are many ways of generating links which can improve your overall search engine rankings.
There are free and paid options available and many can be time consuming but can be worthwhile in the long run. We have detailed just a few here:
You can approach other websites to ask for a link back in return for a link on your website.
As a photographer you should approach similar websites but not those in direct competition. A good strategy is to approach photographers covering other regions.
Reciprocal linking is not generally regarded as the best way to proceed, however, it cannot do any harm so long as you exchange links with relevant websites, particularly those already indexed by Google.
Links to your website can be optimised as well. Try to ensure that the anchor text of a link contains the main key words you are targeting. For example if you want to target the phrase 'Wedding Photographers Manchester', the link should look like this > Wedding Photographers Manchester. The anchor text is the text you actually click on in the link. Try also to add a title tag to the code containing the same phrase. All these details tell a search engine what the linked page is about. So long as the linked page is then optimised for that phrase, rankings should improve.
More links generated on this basis can improve the rankings and also generate direct traffic from these sites. The code should look as follows:
<a href="http://yourdomain.co.uk" title="wedding photographers manchester">Wedding Photographers Manchester</a>.
yourdomain.co.uk should be changed to your own website address and the title and anchor text changed to the phrase you are targeting. You can also add a description outside the <a> tags so visitors have more information about your website.
*However, everything should be done in moderation and not too many links with the same or very similar anchor text should be used or generated in a short space of time. Vary the anchor text and have a good spread of different but relevant phrases.
When approaching sites to add reciprocal links it is always a good idea to add the link to your own website first and send a link to the page in an e-mail request. Include in the e-mail, the code you would like to use in your reciprocal link. Remember to make a note of the sites you contact and those you have linked to. If you get no response you may wsih to remove the links after a period of time.
You may receive requests to link to your website from others. Try to ensure they add your link first and you can see where the link is on the site and if there are direct links to them from the home and other main pages. If there is no link from other pages, these links will be useless as a search engine cannot find it. This is also the case for links within flash files or framesets.
You may be approached to add a 3 way link. Reciprocal links are not always the best method to improve your pagerank as one way links are looked on more favourably by search engines. However, if you are approached to add a link to a website, in return for a link on a different website the site linking to you may be of poor quality or a link farm.
When asked to link to a site, this is the site that is being actively marketed so you need to ask yourself what benefit you will receive from the site linking back to you?
Directory links can be a good source of traffic so long as they are relevant to the service you provide. Niche directories are generally the best type to generate direct traffic. www.ourweddingmemories.co.uk is a specific wedding photographers directory and this and similar sites should be considered.
Most websites offer free listings in return for a link on your site as well as paid options. Our Wedding Memories also has a photographers blog system which is an ideal way of generating direct links to your own website. To add blog posts you need to be a registered photographer, so please complete the following form to begin.
Other more general directories can be used to acquire links. Although they may not generate much in the way of direct traffic, building up these links over time can help to improve rankings on major search engines.
Writing and submitting online articles is also a great way of generating links to your website. Good quality content can be used as well as the correct anchor text, so you can optimise all links within the article.
An online press release is similar to the article submission services but you need to submit to major press release outlets. These releases can be picked up by news editor and rss feeds on thousands of websites increasing the number of back links to your website. A press release will generally be picked up by Google and Yahoo news services within 24 hours.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkdIn are becoming more important as far as search engines are concerned. Although most social media links will include a "no-follow" tag meaning the link won't help improve rankings, a good social profile can do. Social media links can also generate a great deal of traffic which, after all, is the whole point of SEO.
Regularly post to your social media profiles and try to include links back to relevant pages of your website. For example, if you have recently written a Blog post, link to this page with a short introduction.