Building Your Inbound Links

The Building Your Inbound Links article contains ideas to generate organic links to your website and the dos and don'ts of asking for reciprocal links via email in New Zealand.

When it comes having your site rank well in search engines to drive more visitors to your content, services and products, link building is going to be the Search Engine Optimisation trump card for the foreseeable future.

Having a good number of relevant inbound links to your website from other sites is hugely important in the game of SEO, but there are good and bad strategies for building links.

Reciprocal link building is one of the most obvious and popular tactics, but sending out link requests can be a time-consuming business. Building links organically is the ideal situation, so here are our top tips for getting links without even having to ask for them.

Submit Your Site To A Quality Directory

It goes without saying, but submitting your website to a quality directory like should be your first point of call in building your inbound links and getting your url and name out there.

Content, Content, Content

In case you didn’t get the memo, offering compelling, interesting and relevant content on your website is the best way to get people to link to you. Create extensive resources for your specific area of expertise that are easy for people to link to.  You could even position yourself as an industry expert on a particular topic and compile a ‘101 List’ authority document. You’d be surprised how often links to these articles pop up on networks such as Digg.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

It might sound obvious, but make it clear on your own website that you want links! Ask for them directly and make it as easy as possible for people to link to you by writing the html code for them so they can just copy and paste it.

Be Active In The Online Community

You can’t expect to build a good number of relevant links by passively waiting at your screen and occasionally sending out the odd email. Play an active part in online discussion groups to get your name out there, become known, and spot the industry movers and shakers. You could even pick up on a few helpful tips yourself, and if you offer some good opinions and helpful advice, people will link to you.

Become A Niche Expert

Spend time looking for niche e-zines and newsletters that serve your market, and then find ways to contribute. Publish articles that fit within their writing style and offer relevant and original content, and you should be given the opportunity to link to your website under your name in the credits.

The Old Praise And Link

When you find a genuinely useful resource, it’s a good idea to write a short, complimentary review together with a link to publish on your website. A few days later flick a brief email to each reviewed site inviting them to quote your comments on their own website in return for a link.

If You Do Want To Ask For Links…

Sending a brief, personalised email to the owner of the website you’d like to swap links with can prove effective. On a small scale, and with relevant partners that will send you traffic, reciprocal link building can be beneficial.  Be wary though. By no means should you email hundreds of webmasters in hopes of getting a few hits. That’s just bad form. Not to mention a waste of time. Only seek link exchanges that you would consider pursuing even if search engines did not exist, because they’re relevant, of interest to your visitors, and add value to your website.


  • Keep link requests short and succinct.
  • Explain the relevancy of the link and specify the benefits for them, ie: “my book club website attracts avid readers, and a reciprocal link could be useful to your online bookshop site”.
  • Keep the email sincere and personalised. Take the time to search for the name of the person you are emailing.
  • Give them snaps, everyone likes to hear praise, so let them know what you like about their website or blog.
  • Proof read.  Nothing makes a worse first impression than bad spelling and grammar when you’re asking someone to associate themselves with your website


  • Call your email recipient ‘Webmaster’. Doing so smacks of the fact that you’re probably just mass emailing a bunch of website owners the same spammy-sounding request.
  • Be too demanding or choosey. You are asking for something, so don’t get too picky about where you want your link to go, or start specifying the anchor text.

There are hundreds of tips online on the topic of asking for links via email, but in short, just be sure to maintain a balance of being genuinely interested in their website with a touch of flattery and incentive.

Working on gaining links organically through your content and online community participation should always be your priority though, as these methods ensure the most relevant links, and also have double-whammy benefits. By focusing your attention on organic link building methods you’ll not only be steadily improving your SEO, but also improving the quality of your website and the experience for your users.