One of the best ways of optimizing and getting traffic to your site is to create links — both links from other people’s websites to your own, and from your website to other people’s sites.

Creating links will increase your ranking in the search engines and generate traffic to your site.  This is vital if you want to progress to the top of the organic listings and is by far the best way to develop your business.

So how do you create the best links?

Well, search engines not only look for the content of your website and how frequently you update it, they also rank your website based on how many high-quality webpages link to your site.  The quality of the links really does make a difference.

Creating high quality links

High quality links must be relevant to your site, and from a site that is considered to be something of an authority on the subject by the search engines.  High quality links generally come from sites that are content rich or from experts in the field.

High quality links are links that:

Are from trusted sites
Sites that are already high in the rankings
Links that can send traffic directly to your site
Links to deep pages
Links that can be crawled by the search engines
Links with relevant anchor text
Links that are established
One way inbound links
Links that are contextual

Bad quality links are links that are irrelevant or linked with a site that has been banned by search engines or those that undertakes bad practices.

If you need to find out who’s linking to your site at the moment, you can go to, enter your domain name and you will get a free report on who is linking to your website.  You can also get e-mail updates for free.

There are a few ways to create high quality links into your site.  The first thing you need to do is to find relevant information.  There is no point spending time getting links from sites that are based on a completely different and irrelevant subject.

Why not brainstorm the different types of sites you could approach for links to your site?  For example if you sell motor accessories, you could try to get links from sites that deal with a variety of car related subjects — car sales, rally cars, driving schools, MOT centres, garages, hire cars, chauffeurs, prestige cards and so on…

Make sure you choose sites that have some authority.  The best way to find them is to search for specific and relevant keywords on the search engines, then target the best sites.

Most Webmasters will get many requests for links, so you have to work on your proposal so that it is something they will be interested in.  You could find something to offer them in return that would be of value to them — try to think of something unique that nobody else could possibly be offering them.  You should also offer links from your site to theirs, but this is not always necessary as far as the search engines are concerned.

Do you need reciprocal links?

Reciprocal links are when you return the favour when a site creates a link to you.  You create a link back to their site from yours.  This is regarded as good manners, apart from anything else.

However, some search engines, particularly Google, usually disregard reciprocal links, so they may not make much difference when it comes to optimising your own site. It is still good business practice to offer reciprocal links and I would advise you to offer them when you are seeking links to your own site, regardless of whether or not it makes difference.

In a nutshell

When you are working on creating links to and from your website, make sure you aim for quality rather than quantity and stay focused on the benefits to your customers.  Try to think from your customers’ point of view and make sure that any links will create value and will be beneficial rather than focus on simply getting as many links as you can.

Make sure the links you request are relevant and from a reputable source – don’t become associated with bad business practices or disreputable sites as this will reflect very badly on you.

Always think quality rather than quantity when it comes to getting links.  It will make all the difference to boosting your rankings.

You should work on improving your web content and establishing strong keywords if you want better quality sites to link to yours.  A decent site will certainly check you out before they risk sending their customers to you, so time is spent on this will be worthwhile.

Finally, make sure you keep working to keep those links active and stay in touch with linking sites on a regular basis — who knows what sort of business partnerships and projects could spring up between you!