There are several ways to find places to put a link:
- See which sites have links to your competitors’ sites. The Firefox AddOn SearchStatus is a great tool to use to get a quick list of backlinks to any site. Once you have a list, see if any are of interest to you. See if 5 minutes of effort could gain your site the same link with a new profile on a community site or a comment on a relevant blog post. Note that some links, especially those that are easy to obtain like blog comments, have a feature called NoFollow that basically remove any benefit from that link. This is meant to prevent spammers from filling up blog comment forms to get SEO backlink credit, but it also affects honest backlinks also. Another Firefox AddOn called NoDoFollow highlights links on a page with this feature, so you can instantly see if a link on that page will benefit your backlink campaign.
- As mentioned above you can also place a link in a comment. Find blogs that are relevant to your business and join the conversation! There are tons of great resources for this: Google Blog Search, Do Follow Diver, Radpixels, Blog Search Engine, and more. Find a blog post that resonates with your own message and leave a comment. Make sure to say something meaningful and non-offensive to the blog owner so your comment gets approved.
- Of course we want all our backlinks to be on “popular” sites with high PageRank, so that the link carries more weight, but don’t get bogged down searching only for high PR sites. Just look for great content that you think will be of interest to your audience in the long term – even a low PageRank site can eventually grow to be a big dog if the content appeals to it’s target audience.
And once you’ve worked to get all these great links, make sure they stay active! Run a Backlink report on yourself every so often, either with SearchStatus or in your Google Webmaster Tools and make sure they’re all live, functioning links.
The key to any manual link-building campaign is patience. Understand that each one of these links will be hard-won and a prize in your marketing efforts. You can also hire SEO experts to do the research and keep up with the detail, but with a little time and some good guidance you can achieve the same results.
The important thing to remember about manual link building is that it takes a lot of time and research….thus its value. Experts will be able to find you the best links, worry about all the details, and