As promised, I am following up on the Link Strategy post with some Link Building and Traffic Building tips specifically for static websites...
In the linking world there are Neighborhoods and Hubs. A Neighborhood is who links to you, and who you link to - or clusters/types of sites that generally link to each other. A Hub is a website that links out to many of the top ranking domains in your niche, sometimes also considered an 'authority site'.
Just like society judges you by the company that you keep, major search engines judge your web pages by the company that they keep... or the pages that they link to and get links from.
First, there are three articles that you'll want to read if you havent already. They are each written by experts in the industry and are a must-read for anyone that plans to continue doing business online, in my opinion:
Checking out those sources will give you a solid foundation for link building, and a clear understanding of what type of link strategies you should consider going forward. The focus is on gaining quality, relevant links of course - and avoiding things that may give your site a bad reputation (a bad Link Reputation, that is).
It may seem like I am stating the obvious, but let's be honest here: the last two years the major focus for most online business owners has been to gain as many inbound links as humanly possible with a specific anchor text, in order to drive web pages to the top of the search results.
It has made for a lot of link clutter... and it has turned the everyday site owner into a spammer. And of course, as with all things that get overdone, it is becoming useless as a way to achieve good search engine rankings. So what should we focus on now as a way to promote our websites and become established in the major search engines? Read on...
Getting Links & Building Traffic
These are simply quick points for consideration. Add a little thought and creativity, and you'll be able to outline a solid online marketing strategy for your site(s).
Content: You must have content worth linking to. The majority of it needs to be unique, and this means you will either need to write valuable content yourself or outsource the task.
- Not all of your content has to be in text format. Just because the search engines cant 'read it' doesnt mean that people wont link to it.
- You dont necessarily have to spend time or money developing the biggest part of your content. There are ways to have people do this for you for free.
Task: Look at your web pages, one by one, and decide whether someone would link to them and why. Without being bribed or paid, that is. Analyzing your pages from this perspective will give you some insight as to changes you might consider making.
Community: Think of ways that you can make your website interactive. People enjoy getting involved. And people recommend things that they enjoy. Just a few options to consider could include:
- Add a blog or journal with an open commenting system. This also gives you tagging and trackback options, which are a great form of quality inbound links.
- Add a contact form. You could post the most popular questions (along with your answers) on the site, as well as testimonials, etc. It's good to send a quick email to the person who wrote it to thank them and point them to where you published their remarks.
- Add a discussion forum
- If you have a newsletter, invite questions/comments and then publish some of those in future issues. It encourages more participation - and people are more likely to open future issues to see if you are talking about them.
Note: Every aspect of your website gives you new options for quality inbound links to internal pages. There are resource lists or directories specifically for newsletters, forums, blogs, etc that you can get a link from once you add these to your site.
Tagging: This is a way of 'connecting related information on the web'. You want your information connected, dont you? If you have a blog, be sure that you include keyword Tags at the end of each post. This allows people to find you through Technorati, or by following links on other blogs that they read.
You can also Tag your photos by opening a free account at Flickr. This allows you to upload your photos, "tag" each photo set, and you can even include links in the description of each photo. See my Flickr account as an example. (This is a great free tool to add rotating photos to your web pages, too)
We all have photos, don't we? 😉
Consider this: Once you are 'connected' and begin Tagging, people will find you through those tags and connections. These are people who may be your target market, or they may be people who will link to your content from their own pages. Either is good!
Note: Learn more about tagging here
Getting MORE Quality Inbound Links: Use the Common Backlinks Tool to find the sites that are linking to your competitors, or to similar sites. Simply enter as many URLs as you can think of, and hit "Go". This tool will tell you which sites are linking to two or more of the URLs you listed. THOSE are good sites for you to get links from as well.
Internal Links: These play an important role in your 'SEO' as well, not to mention helping your visitors find related information on your website. You want to use Anchor Text (or keyword phrases) in these links, and you want to use them within the content area of your web pages. Look at your website, your sections, and then your pages - and consider ways that you can cross reference (or connect) in ways that will benefit your readers.
Article Submissions: I would rather call this Content Syndication. Just the term "article submission" is getting to the point that it sounds 'spammy' anymore. It doesnt take much to write a GOOD article on a topic you are passionate about, and the return can be quite high in contrast to the time invested.
You want to put your content or your articles in front of highly targeted audiences, so submit it directly to established websites that already reach these readers. You can also submit it to the top article directories, or niche content directories, for further distribution.
Tip: Link to internal pages in your Signature or Byline - meaning, link to the web page on your site that will be of most interest to the reader of that article. If you have several relevant pages, you can change out the link that you use each time you submit the article to a new site/directory. This helps to build up your Internal Links.
Shortcuts: Do you respond in detail to forum posts, or do you post interesting topics on discussion forums? Some of our best writing happens when we arent "trying" to write something worth syndicating! A few edits & additions can turn those posts into articles.
Likewise, if you answer emails in depth - much of that can be turned into great website content and/or articles for syndication.
Is it easier to say it than write it? Record your thoughts, and then transcribe them - or have them transcribed.
Inbound Links are not JUST a way to get better search engine rankings. They are also a great way to get targeted traffic to your web pages from other related sites. If you shift your focus in this direction while you are 'link building', and work towards gaining quality links in to your website (which includes your internal pages, not just your main page), then you will notice a nice increase in quality traffic... as well as better search engine rankings.
More Traffic, More Sales, Better Conversions...
That's what we're aiming for, right? 😀
I just read a new guide called Link Building Strategies by Paul Short. He shares some excellent strategies for getting quality inbound links, and some creative ways at that. I talked him into making it available for my readers at SSWT this week, even though it is not yet available to the public.
The price is $24.95 (for now, and only for you). In the process of going public with this product, Paul is creating video tutorials and adding even more Link Building tips to the guide. Obviously this product will sell for a higher price when he officially launches it...
BUT if you grab your copy today, you will get all of those updates for FREE.
I cant guarantee how long this link will be good, but until Paul removes the page you can get that deal here: http://www.exseo.com/guide.html
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