If you’re not yet sold on the importance of effective link management, maybe this will convince you.
Four easy pieces
Finally we’ve made it to the last week of link lessons! Let’s quickly go through four other easy ways to get links pointing to your site, to help build your rankings, traffic and profits.
1. Forums are a dead easy way to get optimised links. But you have to be smart about it. Many people are members of internet forums where members post comments and ask for help about a myriad of topics. One I subscribe to is webproworld where webmasters and SEO people congregate to talk all things geeky. The trick with obtaining quality links from forums is to optimise your sig (signature) profile.
Every time you post a comment, your signature is also posted automatically at the bottom of your post. So, in your sig profile, include a link to your website.
The more you post, the more links you get! If you’ve been a member for a while, you can go in right now and change your sig file. Your new sig should appear on all the posts you’ve ever made! How seriously Google counts these links is another matter. But it’s probably worth the effort anyway.
2. Affiliate programs can also boost your link popularity because they have to link to you to earn a profit! However, if you run your affiliate campaign through a portal, sometimes you’ll find that your affiliates will actually be linking to the portal you’re using – so traffic from your affiliates’ link is directed to the portal first (for tracking purposes) before being redirected to your website.
Most good portals now offer SEO-friendly links, so be sure to use one that offers this feature. If you have your own affiliate tracking software, you’re covered.
3. Mini sites can also help you gather really relevant links. Mind you, it can be an expensive and time-consuming way to get them! But let’s discuss it anyway. I’ve had tremendous success creating mini sites to gather one-way links to various sites.
Basically I’ve registered domain names with targeted keywords in them from different domain name registrars. I’ve then built web pages with thematically related content, linked back to the main site I’m trying to promote, then launched the site using different (and cheap) hosting providers from the main site I’m linking to.
Within a couple of months, I’ve seen sites go from the 30s to top three with no other changes. So it seems that it’s not always PageRank but site relevance which appears to be the key when obtaining or exchanging links.
4. Writing a press release is another method used by Search Engine Marketers to promote websites and create one-way links them. There’s a real skill in doing this, so your press release is picked up as real news and not some lame attempt to promote a product or service! If you head down this path, do your home work or hire someone to consult to you about it. Visit www.prweb.com for more information about this topic.
Finally, the best strategy for obtaining links is having a great website with wonderful, compelling content. Links will come naturally and you’ll never have to worry about trying to build your link popularity artificially. Content is king!
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Chris Thomas heads Reseo a search engine marketing company which specialises in setting up and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns, Affiliate Programs and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.
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Sharyn Hall at dog-e-treats.com writes: Are the services of a “search engine marketing” company an affordable option for small (little/tiny!) businesses?
Chris replies: Thanks for the question! To be honest, I think your efforts (and hard earned cash) are probably best spent on other endeavours within your business than with an SEO company – especially when you’re little. I know how tough it is online. I’ve been there. I’m guessing you could be in a little cycle of, “My online area of my business is struggling, and because I’m not making a lot of money, I don’t want to spend a heap more on something that I’m not even sure will work”.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Like you, I also have a micro business (on the side), one that I’ve had online since 2001 and love dearly: www.Hibermate.com. In the beginning I spent ages reading books about SEO and now rank top three globally for keywords and phrases that matter to my business. It might not be the best designed website in the world, but it sells like crazy!
So to answer your question, maybe it’s worthwhile to get a good SEO/SEM consultant to sit with you and go over the issues and your goals. Spend a few hundred dollars for a few hours of time and you should come out with a plan that will help your site. The reality is, (and I know you know this) if you’re little, you gotta be everything and wear all the hats.