The bottom line is, if a Web site has a good quantity of reliable, subject-related links it should be placed at or near the top of the popular search engines. Link building is both a science and an art. There are proven ways to make these connections work without wasting a lot of time and money getting onto every list available. This means you have to do what it takes to make your site and your links available to the correct group of people.
The network that can carry a Web site to the top is built with exposure to a specific group of people. Target audiences are the crucial factor for anyone considering directory submissions.
Assume you have a site that offers Product X and related services. A particular sector of the online population will go to search engines and use Product X or one of the related services as a keyword for their search. Your goal is to have a Web site and its link at the top of the search engine when this target group searches. This could mean significant traffic to your site and consequently, significant income for you.
Link building is not a quick way to make a dollar or two. It takes careful planning and serious effort. You should also make use of several of the quality directories in your chosen area, whether these are link directories, article directories or a combination of both. You should also know about the different kinds of links so you can make the most efficient use of your time and effort.
Here are some key categories:
- No Follow – Search engines treat the no-follow directions as “a signal that link popularity should not be passed through that link.” (Wikipedia) This is a “way of not vouching for the quality of the site being linked to, and is heavily used by sites that allow users to insert links into content that isn’t reviewed before being published.”
- Authority – You may have to buy these links from sites such as Google Search, Yahoo Directory etc. These sites rank for top-level keywords.
- Directory – The best advice is to submit only three or four times a month to directories. Don’t flood them!! Some people who work with SEO think directory links are the best way to go but they may not be as strong as relevant, one-way links.
- One-Way – This will be one of the most effective ways to get rankings. Think about quality content and link bait. Don’t get trapped into sponsored links and advertising. Try forums for focused content and audiences.
- Press Release – Press release submission services and sites are leaders in the field. Try PR.com, for example.
- Reciprocal – This type of link is rather easy to get but is not necessarily the most effective link category. Think about this: Reciprocal links are usually an equal exchange – you get what you give in quality and reliability.
- Pre-sell Page – These might be a little harder to find. Contact webmasters. The entire page is your content so they can be excellent for SEO.
- Social Media – This has become a real buzzword in the online community over the past couple of years. With this type of link you need to think about people getting together and having a conversation. That’s the key word today – conversation.
- RSS/Blog – Think about syndication. Start your blog with quality content and make sure you have RSS, Atom etc.
This is only a short list!! There are many other types of links that you can use to build your presence. Use these ideas and learn more about: site-wide links; three-way link; links to and from media outlets such as radio stations, television stations and newspaper companies; edu and gov links; article submission links.
Not Just the Traffic, Silly!
No matter how you go about getting linked up with others who have similar interests, stimulating traffic is only part of the story. Remember, we mentioned conversations earlier. Success in the online world is about connections, of course, but after you make the connection you need to continue the conversation.
Of course, it’s tempting to just get started, try to make money quickly and move on to something else. A few people have been fortunate enough to do this. You may find that success has a short life span when you flood the Web with information and hope 1 percent or 2 percent come back to you. However, if you have a little more patience than the next guy, use some intelligence and focus on the right link or article directories you may find yourself building a more long-term business.
You may as well begin with the free directories when you begin the process of submitting your site link to a links directory. Many of these will establish good connections in sufficient numbers. It pays, however, to be selective when submitting to the many free directory sites. You could sign on with a link-submission service if you have funds to pay the fees. Be very selective with this method because some services might flood the Web with your link and you are looking for quality connections.
People interested in your particular service or product will be looking for your sign and a brief explanation of what you offer. Those who are searching for something entirely different probably won’t come into your “store.” Your choice of a few select link or article directories is like putting up the right sign on your “main street business.” In fact, it may be better if they don’t. You need to focus on the customers with real potential.