Link building is one of the most important factors in developing a strong web presence and building a solid flow of traffic. Most readers should understand that that effective link building adds value to your site and boosts your rankings in the search engines for target keywords.
However most people over look the other benefits of link building and tend to focus far too much on just gaining search engine rankings. Personally I use link building as an overall means of web promotion and not just to boost search engine rankings. By putting all your eggs in the search engines basket if they decide to alter their algorithm which has a negative impact on your rankings then your sales and profit will be decrease significantly.
The answer is to build a solid web presence and to spread your traffic streams across as many locations as possible, a sort of spread betting. When looking at your web stats (site side analytics) you should see a good distribution of traffic between, search engines, direct and referral traffic.
To achieve this you need to promote your "brand" and develop a significant web presence. Link building is the most effective way to achieve this. I will outline the most effective ways to build a solid web presence below:
1. Directory submissions
Submitting your website to directories should be your first port of cal in your link building quest. Nowadays they don't provide much in the way of traffic but can still put your name out there and build your web presence. Directories are also probably the easiest and cheapest link you can acquire online.
2. Press release syndication
Press releases are great means of promoting your site online, they building links and traffic. PR releases have the added effect of showing at the top of the search engine for a while, which further develops your online presence.
3. Social network profile creation
Social networks are a great way to engage your potential customers in their own backyard. By creating quality social network profiles your can create a home away from home, attract potential new customers and then divert them to the main conversion site.
4. Article syndication
Article syndication is a very effective method to build links and web presence. Good quality articles can drive targeted traffic to the main conversion site, building important valuable links, establish you as an authority and show up in the search results helping your dominate the search engine results pages (SERPS).
5. RSS syndication
RSS syndication is a newer highly effective means of building links and developing web presence. Having and publishing a good quality RSS will further establish your authority status in your niche, drive traffic and building links.
7. Leverage partnerships
Google does look down at link exchanges but this is still a good means to build a web presence, by building link between related sites. You should aim for contextual link place inside blocks of copy and not links pages.
8. Create free tools and widgets
Widgets and apps are highly effective link building tactics but you have to make sure your content is good quality and most of all provides an answer to a problem, i.e. make sure people need it, sound simple but so many people miss this vital step. Remember as the widget/app spreads so does your web presence.
9. Classified ads
Classified ads are another effective means of web promotion, some of the bigger sites can drive quite a bit of traffic and have good visibility among the search engine. But remember to stay within the rules of these sites and do not spam them.
10. Knowledge sharing
Know your niche, by this I mean you should know all the forums and blogs that hold influence in your niche and be active in these areas. Help people with their problems by sharing information. This will develop your web presence, build links, drive traffic and again further establish you authority status.
11. Create Wiki Pages
Wikipedia is massive and has huge visibility in the engines, so make sure you leverage this resource. Create a wiki page for your business. But make sure you do it correctly; it has to be informative and not promotional.
12. Distribute templates
Creating templates relating to your niche, for various programs is a great means of web promotion. Create themes or templates based on your niche for very widely used software such as Wordpress or Joomla. Every site that decides to use this fee template will provide you with a relevant link and ha the potential to drive some good quality traffic.
13. Social Bookmarking
All sites should have social bookmarking integrate into their page layout, so users can bookmark their favourite content or product. Many social bookmarking sites have a very high traffic and strong link popularity.
14. Blog links
As previously mentioned you need to build a good understanding of who the influencers are in your niche, then approach the top forums and blogs and see if they will endorse or review your site.
15. Blog Commenting
I advise caution with this next method as it has been heavily abused, so the search engines are looking to put a stop to this. First do not spam blogs, you will need to identify the top blog in your niche and read them regularly adding good quality useful comments to their posts. You can add target keywords in the "name" field and add your URL, but make sure you are adding value to the blog.
Building an effective web presence and conducting a holistic link building campaign is a lot of work and has to be done correctly. I would recommend getting a specialists partner to set this up for your business. Once you have solid foundations laid you can learn the ropes yourself and develop this.