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13 Steps to Increasing Your Link Luck
By: Courtney Heard
Link development can be an absolute nightmare. It takes up most of a marketer’s time and the yield isn’t always what we originally hoped. Worrying about PR, one way inbound links, triangle linking, where to find quality sites to exchange with, it’s all just a huge headache. To be honest, there’s no real way to wash your hands of it, unless you have a huge budget for purchasing text links or to hire someone to do your linking for you. So here are 13 ways to increase your linking luck. They require a little bit of effort, but executed properly, these steps will only bring your site success.
1. Create a page or series of pages on which you will post the links you are reciprocating. It is important to make sure these pages are a valuable resource to anyone who actually visits them. Try to avoid the use of the word “link” or phrase “link exchange” in your body text, title or file names. Use “resource” instead. Allow visitors to these pages to suggest additions without using link exchange language like “submit site”.
2. Keep your outgoing links relevant, but don’t be too specific. For example, http://www.realestatelicense.com - this is a real estate license school, so we would list resources for real estate, real estate training, post secondaries, trade schools, education, careers, mortgages, architecture, interior design, contractors, etc. It is important to keep your entire web site’s keyword density to a decent level and this includes not just the keywords you are targeting, but keywords that relate to the theme of your site. keeping your site’s keyword density to a good level is the reason why you should only list related web sites. Dedicating a page on http://www.realestatelicense.com to baking will bring down that site’s keyword density.
3. Keep an eye on your link to text ratio. Write paragraphs for each link page explaining what types of sites visitors will find on this page, how you hope this will help your visitors and that they can suggest additions if they know of any. You can also add comments to each link you have on the site. Too many links and not enough text will tell search engines that this page is a link page and is only there for search engine optimization purposes. Search engines like real resource pages, that are there for the use of your site’s visitors.
4. Don’t worry too much about PR - search trends are beginning to show that PR is less and less important. As I’ve said in previous articles, just like the saying “no publicity is bad publicity”, no inbound link is a bad one, the more links you have, the more your site will be seen, plain and simple. Relevancy is the new PR. Keep your outbounds relevant and useful, regardless of PR, and you’ll do fine.
5. Submit your site to directories, including industry and geographically specific. This is a universally known tactic, but most people just do it once. You’ve got to search every once in a while to find new directories, search engines and other people’s resource pages. They pop up daily, keeping on top of it will be the most beneficial thing you can do for your site.
6. Join link exchange networks. There are a few out there that are quite valuable and well done, like http://value-exchange.sitesell.com/ and even some of the less valuable ones will send you a decent link opportunity every now and again.
7. Talk to the people in your geographic area. If your store is in a mall, ask the other stores in your mall to exchange links. If you’re in an office building, ask all the other businesses in the building. Look through your chamber of commerce web site, or local business directory. Remember, relevancy includes geography. http://www.realestatelicense.com can exchange with sites related to the keywords I listed in step 1 as well as sites in and around their area of California.
8. Ask any clients with businesses to link to your site. Offer them a discount on further purchases for the duration of time they keep your link up. Not only does this produce a one-way incoming link to your site, but it also promotes repeat business.
9. Ask every site you come across that you like or find useful for a link exchange.
10. Participate in forums, such as http://scamcops.abalone.ca/forums/ and use your signature to link to your site.
11.Triangle linking, though hard work, can be very beneficial. Triangle linking is the process of creating one way links between three sites. Eg. Site 1 agrees to link to site 2 if site 2 links to site 3 and site 3 links back to site 1.
12. Write articles and submit them to places such as articlecity.com and goarticles.com. Make them valuable articles that people will actually read, and they’ll get picked up by more places. Make sure your Author’s bio has a link to your web site.
13. Create a “Link to Us” page and allow visitors who find your site a great resource to link to you on their own. Avoid banner links or button links and stick to text links. Relevant anchor text is as important as the link itself.
And finally, be patient. Obtaining a lot of incoming links all at once can raise some flags in search engine algorithms. A well conducted link development campaign takes time but is well worth it. The pay-off can turn your new business into a massive success and can mean the difference between flipping burgers for operating capital, or sipping Mai-Tais in Bora Bora while all your worker bees back home keep things going. Trust me, Tahiti’s worth the wait.
About the Author
Courtney Heard is the founder of Abalone Designs, a search engine optimization company. in Vancouver, Canada. She has been involved in web development and marketing since 1995 and has helped start several businesses since then in the Vancouver area. More of Courtney's articles are available at http://www.abalone.ca/resources/
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