Link building remains one of the key components of any good SEO strategy, but the focus now has to be on quality rather than quantity.
Changes to the Google algorithm, such as the recent Penguin 2.0 update, have made it counterproductive to acquire large volumes of links from sites with little relevance to your industry. Instead, you need to concentrate on securing links from credible sites.
You should regard this as a long-term project, as your efforts are unlikely to make an immediate impact on your position in search results. So, it makes sense to try link building activities that also raise the profile of your brand and directly drive traffic to your site.
Produce great content
Content should be produced for people rather than search engines. If your website has compelling and regularly updated content, visitors will link to it, spread the word on social media and add the site to their favourites.
Carefully constructed content can also help to establish your business as an authority in the industry and, most importantly of all, contribute to converting web traffic into sales.
Use social media
SEO experts are split on the extent to which Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Linkedin activity directly affects search engine rankings, but there is no doubt that the channels are very useful for driving traffic.
They increase the likelihood of bloggers and webmasters seeing your content and linking to it, as well as helping to raise the profile of your brand, product launches and promotions.
Make content available in a variety of forms
Think about the different forms your content could take and which will persuade people to link to it.
Can the information on your site be transformed into an infographic, white paper, YouTube video or Powerpoint slide presentation that potential customers would find useful? Content that is visually appealing or regarded as authoritative is much more likely to be shared and linked to.
Utilise real-life contacts
If your business is a member of a reputable industry body or local networking group, make sure your entry in the directory section of their website is up to date and contains a link to your site.
Similarly, if a customer or partner is promoting a product or service you are involved in supplying, check to see if there is an opportunity for a link.