Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Marketing’
Link building in a nutshell, is the process of getting other web sites and web pages to link to your web site. These links will not only drive direct targeted traffic to your pages; but more importantly will increase your overall search engine visibility and rankings. Building a solid incoming linking structure for your site is one of the most effective techniques used by search engine optimization professionals to improve your search engine rankings and boost the overall amount of traffic any given web page receives. However the process of building incoming links to your site can be a daunting and tedious task when just getting started. The purpose of this essay is to outline the importance of building a strong linking profile for your site as well as offer a handful of key strategies that any webmaster regardless of marketing budget can employ to climb to the top of the search engine ladder.
1.) Purchasing Links & Sponsored Reviews
Paying other web masters to place a link on their site back to yours is probably the easiest and most straight forward way to generate links to your site. However the down-side of purchasing or renting links from other web masters is that it can become a very expensive venture, not to mention you need to pick and choose your potential candidates vary carefully. There are many services out there to help connect you with other web masters that are interested in selling links from their web pages, however you will save yourself a lot of time, and money by working directly with other web masters as apposed to paying a middle man to act as a link broker. Unfortunately there is no set standard on determining what any given link is worth: however you should pay careful attention to a few key factors before cracking open your wallet and spending your hard earned money on a paid link. These things include but are not limited to the number of incoming links the candidate site itself has, it’s overall page rank, the age of the site and finally the search engine saturation (number of pages indexed in the major search engines) of the site. When approaching a web master to purchase links from make your goals as clear as day – and ensure that he or she knows you’re interested in purchasing a link for Search Engine Optimization reasons. You need to ensure the link will not be cloaked (hidden from search engine spiders) or nofollowed (marked to inform search engines not to follow the link with the rel=”nofollow” attribute) as either of these conditions will make the link relatively worthless from an SEO stand point.
2.) Comment and Post on Related Blogs & Message Boards
Even a web novice can find a litany of blogs and message boards for any given niche or market to post comments and feed back . I strongly encourage you to register on message boards related to your topic or subject and include links within the signature of your posts and messages. The same goes for blogs and commenting. There are many blogs that will allow you to include a link back to your site either within the content of your message, or make your user name a clickable link back to your site. However there is a fine line between spamming and offering valid comments, posts and responses to community based web sites and blogs. Making obvious spam posts such as “Cool site, check my site out at …” will likely get your IP address banned from the web site or network, and can negatively impact the reputation of your brand or web site. If you don’t have a valuable view point, or comment to offer other readers of the site you’re posting on, you’re better off not commenting at all.
3.) Write User Testimonials & Product Reviews
Writing user reviews or testimonials is an under appreciated technique to create a wealth of back links to your site. Most often when you write a review for a product or service you’ve had success with, the web master will include a link back to your site in the signature of the review. This technique is simple and straight forward; if you’ve purchased a product or service write up a short 100 – 300 word review for the product outlining it’s strengths and your positive experiences and include your full name, and web site address in the signature of the review. Nine out of ten times the web master of the site you’ve written the testimonial for will be more than happy to include and activate the link when they post the review onto their website.
4.) Develop a Free Online Service or Software Application
5.) Write Articles and Distribute Them Online
Assuming this isn’t the first essay you’ve read on improving the amount of links to your web site, you should be well aware that writing articles and submitting your articles to the popular article directories is a fantastic way to generate many back links to your web site. The premise is simple yet effective; Write a handful of articles geared toward your topic and subject matter and distribute them to the many article directories on the Internet. Often times when your article is posted on these article directory sites they will include an authors bio, or resource box. Within the authors bio area you want to include a little information about your company or product(s) as well as a link back to your site. Whenever your article is picked up by other web masters or syndicated across other popular web sites you will receive a free one way link back to your site. Repeat these steps over and over to build several 1,000 links back to your web site. This is an amazing technique as your only investment is a little time to write and submit an article.
6.) Submit Your Site to Directories
Over the past few years links from directories or web indexes has become less and less valuable. However there are still a handful of well trusted and high quality directories that you should consider submitting your site to. This will boost both your linking profile, as well as your page and trust rank. Some of the most notable directories to submit your web site to in no particular order are DMOZ, The Yahoo! Business Directory, JoeAnt, Gimpsy, GoGuides, Linkopedia and Uncoverthenet. Though most of the directories l’ve mentioned here are not free to submit to, the cost of submission is well worth the price as the links you’ll receive from this investment are quality one-way links that carry a good amount of page trust and rank. When submitting your site to any of these directories, pay special attention to the category you are submitting your web address to, make sure that you are submitting your site to the most relevant, and related topic to the subject of your own web site. As this will ensure that you’re submission is not denied, or skipped by the directory editors once it gets reviewed.
7.) Exchange Links and Build Partnerships
Link exchanges or trading links with other web masters is another technique that has lost a little of it’s gusto over the years, however this method of generating back links does still hold a bit of value and should not be overlooked. Many webmasters dedicate a page of their site titled references or resources and use this page to link out to other web pages that have agreed to link back to their site. As mentioned above this technique is not as effective as it once was; however picking and choosing web sites that are well trusted and ranked by the search engines and that are related to the topic and subject mater of your own site promise to be well worth the effort. Finding other web sites that are prime candidates to exchange links with are those that are linking out to other relevant sites in your field or niche. Once you’ve found a web site that you’d be interested in swapping links with, contact the web master via email with your offer. When soliciting another web master for a link you want to write a personal email message and refer to specific content and aspects of his or her web site. Doing so will show the prospective linking partner that you’ve actually taken the time to give their site the once over before sending your solicitation; as a result you will be far more likely to receive a positive reply. As with purchasing paid links you want to ensure that the site you are requesting to exchange links with doesn’t end up cloaking it’s outbound links (hidden from search engine spiders) or nofollowed (marked to inform search engines not to follow the link with the rel=”nofollow” attribute) as either of these conditions will make your link relatively worthless from an SEO stand point.
In this article we’ve discussed 7 of the most effective, and commonly used methods to generate a massive amount of incoming links to your web site. With any luck, after reading this article you should have a handful of ideas and techniques in your tool box that you can employ to kick-start your web site’s model for success. Building links to your web site is by no means a set-it and forget-it facet of web marketing and requires time, dedication and ongoing analysis. You can never have too many quality incoming links to your site and once you’ve had a small taste of success with link building I’m confident you’ll be hungry for more.
There are five simple tasks that you need to do daily to keep your site on top. Here they are:
1. You need to start off by managing your links. This involves making sure that none of your current links are dead, and you should also check if there are any sites linking to you that you don’t know about. If your site consists of a large number of links you should make sure that they aren’t getting out of control and get rid of anything that is no longer relevant. Also make sure that your links are sufficiently labelled to reflect the page that they link to.
2. Re-order your links, putting the best ones first. And putting them into categories if you have a high number of links. If you have a links page with 25+ links it is a good idea to turn it into a directory of some sort. This can even help you in getting more links to your site in exchange for back links on the directory that you have created. Also check the sites that you link to and make sure that any back links that are due to you are still there as you don’t have much reason to keep a link if you aren’t getting the backlink that you deserve (if the back link was, indeed, negotiated when you placed the link onto your site).
3. Process link request emails. Whenever you receive requests for a link exchange, respond quickly. Not every mail you receive will be a good one, and you should make sure to check any site that wants you to link to it. If you are declining a link request let the web master know why. Perhaps you have an incite that they do not have. They may be able to fix a few things and then become excellent link partners in the future. It is common curtesy to inform the web master as to whether or not you are willing to exchange links within two or three days of receiving a request. Web masters will be even more impressed if you send them a personalized message regarding your approval or disapproval of the link exchange.
4. Check link exchange forums. This is a similar aspect to the above except that in this case it is more difficult to keep track of all of the people who can potentially request links from your site. There is a lot of spam on these sorts of things as well as many really terrible and useless sites. If you encounter such a site or forum member, inform them of your problem with what they are doing and report them to a moderator/administrator if they do not correct their behavior in a suitable manor. It is important that these kinds of forums be kept clean or a search engine may consider it a link farm more than an exchange service.
5. Finally, you should check each feature of your website, to make sure it’s still working properly. The dynamic content that you will probably include at some point must be delivered properly. Any messages that are generated on the fly must not be generated at misopportune times. The difference between a quality dynamic site and a subpar dynamic site is that in a quality dynamic site all content is delivered at the right time and everything seems static and planned out.
Take your time with your website and make sure that you do everything you can for it each day. Keep adding anything new that you find, because updating regularly will keep search engines coming back to spider more often. Updates are crucial and if you can follow the patterns here of insuring quality and precision, you will probably be able to come up with other ways that you can insure your visitors satisfaction and your increased traffic, link count, and search engine listings.
Never agree to link to someone’s site without asking for a link in exchange, unless they offer to pay you – even then, you should think twice. All your incoming and outgoing links need to be related to your site’s content for you to be ranked high in the search engines.
Basic Link Checks.
Some sites use robots.txt to stop search engines from indexing their links pages, in the mistaken belief that outbound links will count against them. To check, just retype their URL with robots.txt on the end (for example, http://www.website.com/robots.txt). If you see a page that says ‘Disallow’ and has the URL of their links page, then they’re not letting spiders index that page. Don’t exchange links with that site.
You should also check to see if the website is being ‘cloaked’, and report it to the search engines if it is. You don’t want to get involved with these people – better to have them banned and out of the way.
Does the site offering you a link have PageRank? Even if they do, you should look at how it drops between the front page and the links page. Be aware that new pages take a while to get ranked, so PR0 doesn’t necessarily mean a site that will never have any PageRank.
Take a look at how many links are on the page already. There shouldn’t be more than 20 links – if the site breaks this rule, don’t even consider it. Plenty of webmasters collect links, thinking they’re helping their rankings, but it just has the effect of making them look like link farms. Many of them don’t even involve linking to the big spam industries, like casinos and adult content. There’s no point in having a link from a site that takes links from just anyone.
Huge Mistake #1: Creating a Website with Flash — Did you know in a recent study, top internet marketers discovered that having a website created with Flash, actually decreased the response from prospects and customers by as much as 370 percent?
Here’s why: Your prospects and customers are most likely visiting your website using all types of different computers, connection speeds and internet configuration settings…
What may look great to one visitor may not even appear for another! You could very easily have shelled out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have a website created using the Flash technology, only to find out that some of your visitors will never see it! (Not to mention the loading times can cause your visitor to close your site, never to return again.)
Huge Mistake #2: The “Internet Catalog” Approach — You see this everywhere. Good, honest and hardworking businessmen and women get online to sell their products or services, and have a site created for them that contains a link to just about everything they offer on one page. Their thinking goes along the lines of, “…well, I don’t want to leave anyone out. If they come to my site, I want to make sure I have what they’re looking for…” — This way of thinking could not be further from the truth.
Here’s why: There’s an ancient rule that goes back to the very beginning of direct-marketing on the internet, taught by the richest, most legendary and well-respected internet marketers of all time…
“When you give your prospects too many choices, they become confused and aren’t sure what to do next. Confused people never buy anything.”
Huge Mistake #3: Optimizing Your Sales Site for the Search Engines — You’ll see this taught in nearly every “internet marketing” course, manual or eBook out there… “You must optimize every page of your website for the search engines!” — In fact, this false teaching is accepted as ‘gospel truth’ so often that most web designers will offer to do this for you at no, or little extra cost…
What they don’t understand is that certain words and phrases must be either re-worded (to make it “keyword rich”) or taken out completely, just to be looked upon highly by the mighty search engines — and this could kill your sales, literally overnight.
Here’s why: When you or a hired web designer optimize your sales page (i.e. any web page designed to sell your products and services) to get a higher listing in the search engines, you’re going to have to sacrifice the pulling-power of your sales copy (i.e. written sales material) just to get those higher listings. Sure, this can bring you more traffic — but what good is all the traffic in the world, if your visitors arrive at your website and aren’t compelled enough to read why they should order your product?
For years, it has been taught that you should always try to find a “balance” of SEO (Search-Engine-Optimization) mixed with promotional copy designed to sell your products and services…
Wrong Again! — The truth is that you should never optimize your sales page for the Search Engines. Instead, you should create tiny “entry pages” for each keyword related to your product or service, (highly optimized for the Search Engines) and have them link to your main sales site! (We can show you exactly how to do this quickly and easily and get *massive* targeted traffic from the Search Engines – without ever *touching* your sales site!)
Huge Mistake #4: Having a “Graphics-Based” Website — Sure, graphics can certainly help us to visualize a particular situation or circumstance, product or service… But did you know that having a graphically-driven website can actually distract your visitor away from your sales message?
After all, your sales message (or “web copy”) is The #-1 most important factor in a website that makes money. If your visitors are paying more attention to your “professional graphics” than your sales message… you’ve just lost another sale.
Here’s why: You’ve got approximately seven seconds from the time your visitor arrives at your site, to the time they decide whether to buy your product, get more information or leave. If you’ve got a graphically-intensive website, your website will most likely still be loading past your seven-second time limit.
That’s a “customer-killer” in and of itself – however, the real reason lies within the fact that the bigger, brighter and more beautiful your graphics are, the more they will distract your visitor from your sales message. And if your visitor is distracted even for one second, it could mean the difference between getting a sale, and losing a customer.
Huge Mistake #5: Designing a Website with Zero Marketing Experience — Most web designers have no idea how to make money on the internet, with anything other than their design services. It’s not their fault – they simply have no or very little marketing and sales experience. After all, they’re just website designers…
However, having your website designed by someone with Zero internet marketing experience is like buying a street-car without an engine… it won’t go anywhere, and it’ll just waste your time and money!
For help on website design please visit www.onlinewebconsultants.com