Successful internet marketing is founded on page ranking and influence.
The higher a website ranks on Google and other search engines, the more likely it is to attract targeted visitors. Page ranking is determined by the relevance and quality of your chosen keywords and backlinks. If your business is already well established, then obtaining quality backlinks isn’t perhaps such an imperative: however, if you’re just starting out, then backlinks are crucial. They drive traffic to your website, make it more popular and help to increase your search engine rankings simply by the power of association. Put like that, it sounds so simple, but that’s often where the confusion begins. How do businesses build these links with other websites? Where do businesses source them, and how can they differentiate between the good, the bad and the downright ugly?
What exactly are links?
Many people starting out in online business are confused by backlinks, yet are afraid to admit it. If it’s any consolation to them, then they’re not alone. It can be a mystery. The most confusing aspect of link building for newer websites is trying to establish precisely what a backlink actually is, and why it is so important. Essentially it’s a recommendation of your website or blog on another person’s website – a vote of confidence that tells other users that you’re a useful resource and can be trusted. When you look at it objectively it makes sense. Linking your website to other quality sites will increase your web visibility and hopefully improve your search engine ranking. They won’t necessarily mean your business will get more website traffic, but that’s not really the point. Link building increases your search engine visibility, which in turn can lead to more organic traffic when users search for your chosen keywords.
How do you avoid the ropey ones?
The overriding concern many businesses might have with the process of link building is the fear of linking to poor quality sites: let’s face it, it’s difficult to determine whether any particular site has credence and authority unless it’s been recommended, though not all businesses recommend for the right reasons. No business would consciously choose to link to poor sites, and be accused of guilt purely by association, but it’s often difficult to distinguish them from the others. The only way to guarantee that you avoid dubious sites is by seeking direct links just from high quality websites that have some relevance to you or your business: there’s no point linking to a vintage clothing site if you sell nuts and bolts – well, none that are immediately obvious.
Who are the good guys?
Not all links are good links and they’re certainly not all of equal value – some, to quote Orwell, are definitely more equal than others. Choosing which sites to link to is generally a matter of trial and error, but any business would do well to simply concentrate on the following sites: they may not generate the links you’d like, but they all have gravitas and are trusted sources.
Writing articles is a tried and tested way of increasing the number of backlinks. Businesses should submit their articles to the best and most trusted online article directories like eZine and Article base and others with a high PR ranking. Make sure the keywords you use are the same as the optimised ones on your website and that you try to vary the text using a variety of keywords in different links. This should ultimately result in a number of high quality ‘do follow’ backlinks which will enable the search engines to rank many of your keywords higher on the page.
Join social networking and social bookmarking sites
Link building with social networking platforms is becoming increasingly popular. It’s important to determine which networks your targeted visitors frequent and to concentrate on these. The key to social networking is to build a bond of trust with other users. The best way to achieve this is by joining the communities that are specifically related to your own chosen field and by joining in the conversations and offering expert advice and guidance. Once you’ve built this trust, you can then entice targeted customers to your website using links with keyword anchor text. Other users who recognise the quality of your input will be encouraged then to link to your site so they can share the content with their own readers.
Participate in forums
Join and converse with other forum users in your own niche market. If you can provide interesting and authoritative information on your area of expertise, and include signatures with a keyword anchor text link back to your website, you will encourage other users to create permanent backlinks to you.
Nurturing quality backlinks to your website does take time, but it’s best to develop these links naturally and organically. They’re worth the extra effort as backlinks are a fundamental part of a sound and successful internet marketing strategy.