Archive for the ‘Link Building’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Why Are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks are an essential part of online marketing, but to many new site owners it often takes the backseat to more straightforward methods such as article marketing and forum posts. While these are just as important, one can’t deny the importance of high quality backlinks, both for your search engine rankings and your overall credibility.

A backlink is a link that leads back to you from other websites, one of your own, or even the same website. The benefit most people are familiar with is search engine optimization—the more people link back to you, the more popular and relevant you are as far as the search engines are concerned. Major search engines such as Google have more advanced algorithms that determine whether these links are from relevant sites and how current the information is. That’s why entire positions have been set up for people to monitor and create backlinks to make sure a site stays on top of the page

Second, and probably more obviously, backlinks send traffic your way. If a popular website links back to you, visitors to that site can also end up on yours. And if that website is in the same niche as you, you don’t just get visitors—you get interested visitors who may potentially want to do business with you. The fact that you were referred by a site they already trust also adds bonus points to your credibility.

Another important benefit of backlinks is networking. Often, when a site links back to you, it’s a sign of appreciation—you may have provided some useful information or given them good publicity. In any case, it’s a way to build good relationships with others in your field. Down the line, it can mean anything from more backlinks to promising collaborative projects. And just like in any business, that’s one of the things that set successful users apart.

There are several ways to get backlinks, but the most effective ones are the ones that take work and effort. Search engines are now programmed to see through tactics such as loading your site with backlinks or posting in forums just to make your signature hyperlink show up. Some people also try to rank highly but choose keywords with little competition or demand, but that doesn’t mean much either—you do show up on top of Google, but the people who do visit are probably not interested.

The bottom line is that backlinks are worth your time, and should be given at least the same amount of effort as other marketing tools. Don’t think of it as just another thing on your plate, but as the foundation for the rest of your marketing and a long-term investment in credibility.

PostHeaderIcon Link Building Software

Link building dates back longer than even most professionals think: before there was Google, the only way to get around the Web, and therefore to get site traffic, was to link from other websites. When search engines realized that links were a valuable indicator of a site’s popularity, the practice of linking to one’s site from as many destinations as possible became big business. The more relevant links a website has, the higher up it tends to rank on search engine pages.

As is often the case, more than a few site owners have tried to find easy ways to get these links. No one really wants to spend time posting on forums, commenting on blogs, and other tried-and-tested ways to get backlinks. Link building software promises to put the tedious work out of the picture and get your links up for you. The idea is that by paying to automate the process, all you have to do is wait for the traffic to pour in.

A typical link building system will post links to your site from content websites that are ideally relevant to your own. Many of the newer ones post one-way links, which means you don’t link back to them in exchange. This helps improve your search engine ranking, as two-way links are a sign that a website is in a link exchange agreement and isn’t worth as much. How effective this is depends a lot on the provider itself: how reputable are its websites? Do they have useful content, or are they just “link farms” that don’t attract the right traffic? These are just some of the factors worth taking into account when looking at link building software.

For most site owners, link building software is useful mostly as a data entry tool. Manually setting up links requires you to research relevant websites and fill out dozens of forms, a task that can take up six to seven hours a day for an average-sized network. Automating the process can save you a lot of time, but it shouldn’t replace research, quality content, and networking—the main factors that make link building effective.

If you think you can benefit from link building software, you may want to look into other features as well. Many programs set themselves apart from the competition by offering other services, such as article submission and email marketing tools. Others offer site analytics, but these are rarely as reliable as those of Google and Alexa. Look closely at the list of features and see which ones are most worth your money.

PostHeaderIcon Finding High PR Backlinks

In this age where online competition is getting stiffer by the day, traffic isn’t enough—you want quality traffic, visitors who are genuinely interested in your site and are likely to be converted into buyers (or at least make a return visit). This is also true for methods such as link building. You don’t just want lots of links; you want relevant links, preferably from a website that holds high authority in your field. These are called high PR backlinks—links from a site with a PR of 5 or more (others put the minimum at 6 or 7).

Finding high PR backlinks can be tricky, of course. For one thing, high-PR sites tend to get a lot of link requests, and they cannot accommodate all of them. Most of the time, they have strict policies on link exchanges, and their terms can be hard to meet. If you do get a backlink from them, you may be up there with hundreds of other sites, so it may still take some effort to get relevant traffic.

One way around it is to use social networks. Websites like Facebook or MySpace have high PR rankings, and fairly accessible advertising platforms. If you’re familiar with the Facebook interface, you’ve probably noticed the dozens of sidebar ads that appear as you surf—these are paid ads that link back to a site (or a Facebook page where you’ll find that link). This is a great example of high PR back-linking. Other sites worth checking out are Digg, Twitter, and StumbleUpon, where your content can be shared between users and generate even more traffic.

Forum posting is also a great way to get high PR backlinks. Not all forums will have a high PR, so it’s best to start with popular ones—just do a Google search for forums relevant to your topic, and the ones that turn up first are likely to have the highest PR. Make sure to post relevant comments and not just a link with a token invitation. Lurk around and see what other people are talking about, so you can provide contextual feedback and get credibility for your site.

The most important thing to remember is that online marketing is all about authority. Besides building up your numbers and increasing your network, you want to be trusted in your field. The best way to do this is to interact with others and post useful, easy-to-read content. If you focus on that, the rest can just come naturally, including backlinks.

PostHeaderIcon Link Building Services

One of the best ways to generate good traffic to your site is through relevant links from other websites. As far as Google and other ranking systems are concerned, the more people link back to your site, the more popular and credible you are—and the higher you’ll appear in their rankings. The catch, of course, is that links are hard to generate organically. How do you get people to link to you on their websites?

This is where a link building service comes in. Link building is just as the name suggests—they put up links to your site in a variety of places, from blogs and forums to social networks. This boosts your site’s “authority,” which means that search engines and other ranking bodies consider your site a credible resource in your field.

Of course, not all link building services are worth your money or effort. Just a quick Google search on the term will turn up dozens of SEO companies, each promising large returns. That’s why it’s important to look at each provider’s history, reputation, and track record, and most importantly, their methods. You want to know that your links aren’t flooding people’s blogs or being flagged as spam in forums. The best link building services provide credible, organic links, those that are actually in context and say something useful besides “Check out my site.”

Another way to assess a link building service is to look at their other services. Link building is only one of several ways to boost site traffic, and a good company will offer the whole package. To a website owner, it’s much easier to have all your marketing done by one company than to have one firm doing your links and another managing your social networks. Working with a full-service company will help ensure more seamless marketing and make sure that one method isn’t interfering with the other. Just make sure they can get results on all fronts—a good company will be more than willing to share their numbers with you.

Finally, consider the type of customer service they offer. Many SEO companies and link builders operate largely online, which is understandable given the nature of their business. But you want to be able to talk to a real person when something comes up or when you need extra help—a 24-hour service or a same-day response guarantee is a big plus. It may not make or break the deal, but it’s always good to know you can get help when you need it.