If you do the same things over and over again and expect different results, it’s crazy … however to do complex tasks over and over again it’s likely that you’ve developed a checklist and for those that follow me on Facebook, yes I did pick this subject up from a short conversation there when I wasted an afternoon because I forgot to set a wildcard DNS entry.

Many business people use checklists – from the website designers who build successful websites, to search engine optimisation specialists that help promote your website. Checklists are essential parts of doing business even if you’ve done something over and over again, it’s one sure fire way to ensure something isn’t overlooked.

Every single website owner should embark on a link building strategy, and it helps to have a workable checklist. This is a checklist for beginners, because over time as your become more experienced and technology changes you’ll choose to add or subtract from this list.

Now as with most things it’s important to know your audience, understand everything you can about your customer, understand their language and understand what solutions your products and services fulfil for them.

Do you understand your audience, I was at a breakfast networking event recently and I was fortunate enough to be seated next to a very successful businessman. He produced security products primarily for the home market. He was very proud of his website and he told me he employed a search engine marketing company who managed his pay per click campaigns. We discussed a few things and I made a great contact who has since subscribed to my newsletter so he might very well see this article. Returning from the meeting I looked this company up on Google and visited their website. Low and behold the website fits into the looks nice and shiny category however it’s not been built with his audience in mind. His audience is home owners and these people access the Internet on Smartphones and Tablets more often than computers users and you’ve guessed it, his website is not mobile friendly (responsive) and this also potentially means, that much of his monthly advertising dollars are wasted on these users who simply come to the website and leave because it isn’t mobile friendly. I know I have transgressed somewhat here but I write a lot about knowing your audience, target niche, etc. and I wanted to share with you a real world example that demonstrates the importance of this.

Getting back to Link Building, always try and give outbound links yourself to those who provide quality content relevant to your audience and don’t do it expecting a link back, in fact one way links are the way to go.

Create Profiles on Social Media Accounts

Know where your audience hangs out and go there and get involved, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or others. Create full profiles and try to make them consistent and participate by commenting intelligently on discussions and adding new discussions. Also use your social media accounts to promote all your content, products and/or services, just leave off all the sales jargon, I constantly see people posting little more than one sales letter after another and people will always respond better if you engage them and educate them, sales then generally follow.

Get Listed on Relevant Local Sites, Industry Sites and Directories

It really doesn’t matter if your business is locally or naturally focused, getting listed on locally focused sites will help you get more relevant links as well as more business. Check out Yellow pages, Google, the Chamber of Commerce and other locally focused organizations to ensure that you are listed. In some cases you may get to list your business free and in some cases you’ll need to pay, so research each one for relevance and site rank so that you can determine if it’s worth it or not.

Create a Sharable Engaging Newsletter

Whether it goes out weekly or monthly isn’t the point. Ensure that it’s very useful to your audience and something they want to share. By sharing it, they create a link to your site; by being relevant it will make your newsletter an authoritative piece of content that will get a lot of attention.

Add Social Media Share Buttons to Your Website

Seems simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget such a simple thing. If you use WordPress it’s easy to add social media buttons; if you don’t, you can look on the social media site itself to figure out how to create or grab a button for your site or you could hire a freelancer to do this for you.

Create Guest Blog Posts for Relevant Blogs

Guest blogging is going out of vogue for some people, but not for relevant websites with high quality content. While some spammers took over the process for a while, it’s still a good idea to engage in guest blogging on relevant, authoritative sites by contributing excellent, useful, relevant and well-written content. Your bio will create a link back to your site and the authority of the site will determine how well it boosts your ranking.

Comment and Discuss Intelligently on Relevant Blogs, Social Media Sites and Articles

You already know that commenting is powerful, but you may not realize that even if you get a “no follow” link it’s still relevant and a good link to get back to your site. You never know when someone will read your comment and want to find you so that they can purchase your products or services.

Create Great Content Consistently

It shouldn’t have to be said, but remember to create relevant content that is well produced in many different formats from articles, to blogs, to infographics, to videos, white papers and more. If you are creating share-worthy content on a regular basis, you’ll get even more links back to your site than you thought possible, this will naturally happen.

Finally, you can enter contests, become a social media source and more to help increase the number of links you have coming into your site. The important thing to do is to ensure that everything you do to get a link is as natural as possible, and links to relevant and interesting content that your audience will find useful.

Link Building Checklist for Beginners
5 things every small business can fix on their website in the next week to increase leads
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