If you only concentrated on website (on-page) search engine optimization for better rankings in the search engines, you’d be absolutely selling yourself short and miss the mark entirely. It’s vital to include link popularity as a component in your overall website marketing strategy.
Link popularity (ie. the amount of links you have pointing to your site) has become THE most important factor when determining where a site will rank on the search results list. While it may sound easy, there’s much more to this process than simply finding any site that will link out to you.
Link building should be done right the first time, with the proper tools, training, and knowledge. For example, links must be from quality sites related to yours and grow slowly over time, which looks more natural to the search engines.
The general idea is this: if your website is a good website, then it will have more sites linking to it. What this then amounts to is a voting system. When you vote in the elections, you give your vote to the person whom you think is the best. The more votes a person gets, the higher their popularity. In the end, the person with the highest amount of votes is declared the winner.
Similar is the case with link popularity. When results are compiled in the search engines, the search engines count all of the ‘votes’ to all the websites, and use this as one of their criteria to rank websites in their index. Although there are many factors, some criteria used in a search engine’s ranking algorithm are more heavily weighted than others. They base their results to a large extent on the amount of votes received for a particular website and the quality of the sites that vote for it by linking to it.
Of course the best way to garner all natural and powerful links to your website is by providing content that users can’t help but link to. If on the other hand you don’t have the resources or creativity required to create a true resource, there are many ways to find the right links that simulate natural website popularity growth.
Common Client Question: Why even bother with getting links? Isn’t it enough to just be listed with the search engines and showing up in their index?
Not if you want to rank well and high website rankings are a part of your long term strategy. For entrepreneurs on a tight budget, link building is simply the best method of getting valuable website exposure, getting ranked by the search engines, and staying there. It also helps in getting what every site owner really wants – targeted traffic and conversions.
The reason is quite simple. Manual targeted link building is the most cost effective means of increasing your link popularity in search engines, and hence increasing your rankings and conversions to your site.
The only costs you have (unless you simply buy text link ads from link brokerages, which can be quite expensive and lead to penalties) are the fees your ISP charges you for your internet access, and the time that you are online seeking the best sites to request links from. All that you have to do is to have the firm determination that you are following a proven, tried and tested method that is going to help you succeed in getting traffic to your site.
You may struggle a little in the beginning, but you have to absolutely have the faith that your website marketing efforts are going in the right direction. If you do decide to just buy links, make sure you’re buying links that can’t easily be detected by the search engines.
Look for links that will be contained in the body of the page, with the best case scenario being a link with optimized anchor text in the middle of a sentence. Also make sure the site you’re buying links from isn’t selling links to bad neighbors, such a adult, gambling, rx, or other industries known for spammy sites. Do the math and figure out if the links you’re buying are really worth the money, if they don’t count as a vote for your website then the clickthrough traffic has to justify the spend.
Stay on top of new trends with the search engines and pay special attention to patent applications, studies, and other documents that can provide valuable insight into the next big way to drive targeted visitors to your site. Link building and link popularity aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so know that your efforts today will surely benefit you down the road.