This is the first in a series of three articles showing you how to find a suitable linking strategy for your website and put it to work for you.
If you've been sitting and wondering why the traffic to your website is trickling in to your website ever so slowly then this article is intended to help you add some much needed oomph to your marketing campaign by using a linking strategy.
You may have heard that linking to other websites can benefit your website. Here are the three main reasons:
Traffic . By linking to sites with similar themes to your own you can develop a hub of traffic that will always remain constant. There's an old saying that "a link lasts for all time" and it's essentially true. There are short termers, shysters and hucksters that try to tilt the playing field but ultimately they are the biggest losers in the link strategy game.
Once links have been placed they generally remain for years to come, feeding your site with a steady stream of reliable traffic. In fact it often happens that some domains which have been given up by their previous owners have thousands of links still pointing to them after many, many years. It may be a slog in the beginning to set up a linking exchange program but you will be rewarded with quality traffic which lasts well into the future.
Popularity. When search engines look at how highly to rank a site on their search engine results pages (serps) they follow an in house algorithm which determines where your site gets placed in the results page. On page factors such as page titles, headings, Meta tags etc all have a bearing on how your page gets ranked but also important is the "popularity" of your website.
The popularity of your site is determined by the links that point to your site. Not just any old links either. The type and quality of the link is also under scrutiny here and so there is no point rushing off and trying to get as many links as possible, you need to track down quality links to your site to gain the best benefit from a linking campaign.
Partnerships. Growing your business in the wired world has many similar facets to establishing a business in a traditional manner.
You need to cultivate and establish your partnerships
with other sites to enable growth. Trying to do everything in an insular manner by relying on one method (for example "pay per click") is certain to end your hopes of building a successful website prematurely. It's essential that you seek out like minded businesses and work with them to satisfy your customer.
It's unlikely that you will have all of the necessary requirements in place to satisfy every customer, so just as in the high street, it makes sense to partner with other businesses that can provide the missing components to the overall solution.
Viewed in this way it makes complete sense to seek links with related sites.
For example. A site that specialises in tailored suits would be in a particularly niche market. Saville row tailors are much in demand these days but who would they partner with online?
Traditional linking strategies would have you seeking out similar tailors, maybe from other parts of the country so that you were not in direct competition.
However, thinking laterally, it makes complete sense that someone doing a search on Google for "tailor" would want to see other tailor related sites so that they could compare services.
So an improved linking strategy would be to provide links to related services. For example, one of the most common reasons for getting a new suit is a wedding. So wedding organisers and marquee companies would be good to approach. High class catering services and wedding limousine companies would be other good avenues to explore.
The strategy should be to link with partners who will actually be able to provide a service to your website visitors rather than just linking to a site because you can. As well as the value of the link in your popularity stakes you will also benefit from the increased traffic that the related links provide.
In the next article I examine some practical methods you can use to gain link popularity and traffic