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Building Links to Your Site
Google & co use so many factors to rank your website. You may have tried pay-per-click, taken care of your keyword density and honed your web copy. But you’ll only make it to the top of the search page if you support these efforts with a focused links campaign.
A link to your site works on 2 levels. It drives in traffic (obviously) and acts as a vote of confidence, positioning you as a trusted authority. The search engines like this kind of validation – as long as the link source is relevant to your business.
First steps in your link-building campaign...
Use your own keywords in Google & co to review the top 30 search results. Many will be your competitors, but you’ll also find services that complement your own. Submit or swap links with these sites – they’re already trusted by the search engines so their "vote" carries some weight.
Find industry and location-specific online directories. Many of these will add your link twice – by sector and by location. But if there’s a charge, remember linking is about volume and quality – it’s unlikely that a single link will make a huge difference to your ranking. (That doesn’t mean you should ignore paid directories – but only pay for inclusion if you think it will be a direct source of referrals).
Get links from web pages that are read by your target audience. It doesn’t matter if the page doesn’t rank highly in searches, as long as your prospects have discovered it.
Ask your resellers and distributors to link to your site. Most should be happy to oblige, especially if you have reports and other information that will help their customers make a buying decision.
Get involved in blogging! Add your comments to the best industry blogs and forums. This needn’t be as time-consuming as maintaining your own. Try typing "keyword + blogs" (eg "travel + blogs") into a search engine to find the ones in your sector. You could also try britblog.com or industry-blogs.com.
If your business has ties to any academic institutions or government bodies, then do your best to get a link. It might not be easy, but it pays to persevere with such a trusted source.
Is there a resource you could develop? A useful tool for your audience? Many printers offer design templates, what could you do for your customers? These freebie tools – whether they’re useful or just entertaining – can attract multiple links and lead to viral marketing, where every visitor sends it on to their colleagues. And their friends. And family…
Remember your site is more than just your homepage. Set up links to different pages of your site so the content is as relevant as you can get. This is especially effective if you host multimedia files (for podcasts) or a forum on your site.
These tips should kick-start your link-building campaign and help you raise your game.
Just remember, building links one-by-one is a lengthy process, with no tangible results for the first 2 - 3 months. Put another way - the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll make the top spot.
About the Author: Simon Davies is the co-founder of Wales-based copywriters EarthMonkey Media. He and partner James Daniel have over 30 years experience as journalists, copywriters and scriptwriters. Their site can be found here: www.earthmonkey.biz