5 Linking Strategies That Work
One of the most effective ways to promote your business online, especially if you use search engine optimization to build traffic, is linking.
However, as a certified Web CEO professional, and someone who also uses only "white hat" optimization strategies, I see people make a lot of mistakes when using this technique.
Below are some of the strategies that I use to make linking more effective, as well as raise my rankings in the search engines.
1. Do your homework first.
You're probably wondering what "white hat" techniques are.
"White hat" techniques are techniques that will always work with the search engines, like writing articles, blogs, and press releases, and optimizing individual pages for the search engines.
These are the primary techniques I use in addition to linking because they work.
Just ask Tinu Abayomi-Paul, the owner of http://www.freetraffictip.com. Tinu is an expert when it comes to using search engines to build traffic to her sites.
She wrote me the other day to thank me for "inspiring her". I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I do know that she uses a lot of the same techniques I do to promote my sites. She now has over 90,000 relevant entries in Google, more than a lot of the top "gurus" on the internet.
The fact is, the more pages you have listed in the search engines, and the more links you have pointing back to your site, the more likely you are to be found.
Although writing articles, blogs, press releases, and optimizing pages definitely works, you still have to do your homework. This means actually doing a search in the search engines to find out how sites get to the top, i.e. what keywords they use, how their pages are optimized, etc.
I use Alexa, http://www.alexa.com, for this because it allows me to look at traffic stats, as well as see what sites are linked to eachother.
To get started, search for the keywords you are targeting. Take a good look at the sites at the top. This includes studying the keywords, titles, and descriptions they use in their headers. Also, read the text of the pages. It's not that hard to optimize your page(s). Just write search engine friendly content that repeats your keywords. Make your content easy for your readers to read and understand though.
Now this may sound juvenile, but again, it works. Tools like Keyword Density Analyzer, http://www.keyworddensityanalzyzer.com, and Web CEO, http://www.smallbusinesshowto.com/ht/search.html, can tell you if you are on the right track.
You can also read Linking Matters, http://www.linkingmatters.com. This short, and free ebook in PDF, will give you more tips on linking.
2. Link to complementary sites.
I get link requests all the time, and I have to reject about half of them. The reason why is that I won't link to sites that have nothing to do with mine.
I offer small business, internet marketing, and search engine optimization and submission products and services. Links to quote sites, joke sites, and shoe sites don't fit with this.
The key here is to understand that not only does Google, the most important of all the search engines, look at how many links are pointing back to your site, but they also look at the relevance of the links.
Sites that are similar, or complementary to yours, give you more credibility and higher page rank than having tons of sites pointing back to you that have nothing to do with your site.
Make the links pointing back to your site relevant.
3. Choose relevant, highly searched for, low competition keywords for your anchor text.
This tip relates to tip four. Before you start sending out link requests to other webmasters, make sure that you're targeting the right keywords. Not only are a lot of relevant links important, but your keywords should be keywords that will get you traffic.
4. Change your anchor text.
Recently Google decided that links with the same text between your and text should be different. Too many links pointing back to your site that had the same text "looks" like spam. This doesn't mean it is spam, and sometimes, you don't have control over how others link back to your site.
However, if you decide to exchange links with others, vary your anchor text.
5. Try other alternatives to software.
Although there are many software programs out there you can use to help you automate this process, I caution you to be careful when using this kind of software. Although it may speed things up for you, you may also end up with a lot of links pointing back to you that have no relevance. Also, these programs really won't help you as much as you think if you don't change your anchor text once in awhile.
If you do choose to use software to automate the process, make sure that you personalize your emails. Again, do your homework and make sure that you are actually sending out email to sites that complement yours. No one likes to receive emails that say "Dear Webmaster".
Using a directory script on your site can help you because others can visit your site and add their links. Just make sure that you check your directory once in awhile to see who is linking to you. Also, make sure that you set up your script in such a way that others have to have a link pointing back to you first before your script will accept their site.
Link Management Assistant - http://www.dirfile.com/link_management_assistant.htm
You can also find reciprocal link exchange sites like Link Metro, http://www.linkmetro.com. Sites like this will allow you to choose your partners, search for new partners, and exchange links without being bombarded with email or generic requests.
Regardless of how you develop a linking strategy for your site, you need to develop one if you want high rankings in the search engines.
About the Author: Jinger Jarrett is a writer and internet marketer living in Alpharetta, Georgia. She teaches search engine optimization strategies "for the rest of us", as well as teaching internet marketers how to use content management strategies and free promotion to promote their websites. You can get her best strategies, as well as a copy of her "Search Engine Secrets" ebook for free, when you visit her site at http://www.jingerjarrett.com.