While it can be a great idea to hire your link building out to someone who understands this type of marketing, the fact remains that most small businesses can do quite a bit of good quality link building on their own. In fact, link guru Debra Mastaler has put together a fantastic blog post that includes a monster list of link building tactics you can do on your own.

For most small businesses, taking the time to tackle this list one option at a time will leave you in a pretty good position in terms of links. For those who need a little extra "oomph," working through this checklist before hiring a link marketer can save you a fair amount of dough.

Debra calls this "foundational link building," but I'll be honest with you. Her version of foundational trumps many link builders definitions of "advanced." Debra's list includes more than a dozen solid link building tactics, many of which borrow from good old fashioned marketing.

A few of my favorites that often get overlooked by busy small business owners:

Locate the prominent bloggers in your niche and start adding to the industry by commenting on their views. Don't be obnoxious and don't do it everyday. Join their community and they'll join yours. (cost - free)

Develop a "how to" video for your site and it's products. Submit to the video and How To sites (cost - low)

Join a Chamber, your industry Association, and clubs. (cost - low to moderate)

You may notice many of Debra's suggestions focus on building relationships and offering something of value. A lot of these ideas tie in with the suggestions I offered in my three part series How to Win Links and Influence People.

Remember, link building doesn't have to happen all at once. Print Debra's list out, hang it on the wall of your office and aim to tackle the ideas one at a time. It may take a few weeks or even months, but eventually you'll find yourself with a site drawing much better traffic and rankings than you have now.

October 2, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


While I agree that good content will attract links, I think it's unrealistic to only create content that is valuable for readers. This is business afterall, and to succeed online you need to create content that attracts spiders as well.

Join a Chamber, your industry Association is a great idea. Simple and Chamber members will be very open about trading links.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > A Link Building Checklist