Link exchanges aren’t all that they have cracked up to be. If you’re not familiar with the practice, it is when two or more websites decide that they are going to link to one another. Link exchanges or reciprocal linking is supposed to bring more organic site traffic and increase a site’s authority. Seems innocent enough, but link exchanges are actually bad. Not only are they in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, they are also not guaranteed to do much of anything for your business or site. Here are some worthwhile alternatives to try.
1. Hire a Professional
If you’re really looking to get your SEO in order with no fuss, consider hiring link building services to get it done correctly. The world of SEO is constantly changing and there’s a lot of nuance to it, so if you can outsource it, you can focus your attention on other aspects of your business.
2. Quality Content
There is no substitute for high quality content that your audience finds valuable. When you create engaging content that can be widely applied within your niche, you are more likely to get noticed by the right people who will share your content. Quality content leads to great editorial links that organically get you noticed.
3. Write Guest Blog Posts
Although writing guest posts may seem very similar to link exchanges, they are different. Getting featured on the right blogs and sites will increase your visibility and even give you more traffic. Keep in mind that many guest posting opportunities require you to pay for the opportunity.
4. Choose Quality Directories
Submitting your site to quality directories is a great option. Make sure that the directory you choose should have a high PageRank and a long history, and don’t use a submission service that puts your site on hundreds of directories. This will make you look spammy and hurt you in the long run.
5. Social Media
Social media is a free way of getting noticed. You’ll need more than just social media profiles, you’ll also want to comment, repost and engage with others. Creating quality content on your social media platforms is also essential, as is engaging with other users.
6. Leverage Photos
A picture says a thousand words, and when it comes to link building, this couldn’t be more true. If you have great photos that you don’t mind giving people free access to on sites like Flickr for only attribution, you’re in a great position to get looks and recognition. Every site is looking for great photos to grab visitors’ attention.
7. Community Forums
Asking and answering questions on community forums and message boards. You’ll often have the opportunity to post your website and other information. Not only will you be creating online relationships, but you will also be providing value to other members.
Now that you’ve got some healthier alternatives to link exchanging, you can start building better links, relationships and site traffic. There are plenty of free and low-cost ways to link building. You can stand out in the crowded Internet with some of these alternatives.