Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the links Category

Article Marketing Brings One-Way Links

Link building is essential to good rankings in the search engines. The number and quality of other web sites that link to yours builds your link popularity, and that affects your rankings. Especially in Google. While reciprocal links (you link to me and I link back to you) are excellent to have, one-way links are even more powerful. One excellent way to get such links is through article marketing.

Published articles bring incoming links to your site.Webmasters are always in need of good, relevant content for their web sites. If you have well-written articles about your area of expertise in one of the several article repositories on the web, your articles will be found, picked up, and reprinted on other web sites. The price those webmasters pay for using your article is that they have to include your own “About The Author” blurb at the end of the article. A blurb in which you just happen to include a link to your web site.

There’s no reason you can’t include such articles on your own web site, of course. But the links from other related web sites are what you’re really after here. We can submit your articles to a number of online article repositories, or you can do that yourself, of course.

Article Quality is Critical

Excellent copywriting skills are priceless.It’s essential that your articles not be commercials for you; they need to be useful and informative, with information that readers will find valuable. There are two very selfish reasons for this. First, article that tout your products or services are least likely to be picked up for inclusion on anyone else’s web site. And second, a great article with lots of informative content is more likely to entice a reader to click on your link at the bottom and visit your web site.

Not all of us are capable of writing compelling articles that can both inform and entertain, but don’t let that stop you. We work with some excellent copywriters who can “ghost write” articles for you. The ideas, of course, have to be yours, but the words can be crafted by someone who specializes in that. Some of the copywriters we’re familiar with and can recommend include Anne Lazo of Eagle Soars Marketing, Scott Stadler of Words By Design, Toni Sydor of The Write Direction, and Naoma Welk of Welk Ink.

Link Building With Google Alerts

Here’s an idea to build quality one-way links to your site. It’s a bit labor-intensive, but can be well worth the trouble — especially if you have an assistant or intern who can be tasked with this effort.

Sign up for Google Alerts and enter keywords you want to promote. For example, you might sign up for “Brooklyn eye doctor”. Whenever those keyword phrases pop up, Google sends you an email with a link to where the phrase was used. Lots of times your term will appear in a blog or on a social networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook or other social sites like those discussed in our April 13 post below.. Often someone may be asking questions about the topic that you can reply to — and include a link to content on your web site in the process.

The point here is to get your site included in the mix of online discussions of the topics you care about. Prospects will follow those links and your search engine rankings may well improve at the same time.

Find Broken Inbound Links

Find broken links.Inbound links to your web site from others are wonderful things. They usually constitute an endorsement by someone else. They attract potential customers to click over to your web site where they may just buy what you’re selling. And the help your site to rank higher in search engine results, which is just icing on the cake.

Sometimes those links go bad, though. They may link to a page you’ve deleted or moved. They may have formatted the link incorrectly. Whatever the cause, when someone clicks on the link, they get a “404 error” — the one that says “Not Found” in big black letters. That makes your web site look bad, and annoys a potential customer.

Finding those bad links, then, is a worthwhile ting to do. Until now it’s been very hard to do. But Google has a new tool that let’s you find these bad links — what Google calls “crawl errors”. That helps you identify the web site and web page that has a link to your site that’s broken. Then you can contact the site owner and ask them to change the link.

Finding the source of these broken links is like finding little nuggets of gold. Here’s Google’s explanation of how to use this new webmaster tool.

SEO Link Building Fundamentals

Link Building FundamentalsLink building is a long-term process but the rewards are great. Building your Link Popularity is a a fundamental requirement for marketing any Web site, regardless of how established it is.

Eric Enge has an article at Search Engine Watch that can help you  get started with effective research that can focus your efforts on high ROI links.

Cost Per Link Is a Lousy Metric

Typically what happens is that an SEO is performing work on behalf of a client, or the company they work for. They are diligently adding incoming links. Then the person managing the SEO does a calculation, looking at the money spent on the SEO, and the number of links acquired.

For example, if you have an in-house SEO getting paid $8,000 per month, and they obtained 40 links for you last month, your cost per link is $200. So why not try to drive this cost per link metric down?

The reason is that it will drive you to acquire crappier and crappier links. What the metric ignores is that all links are not created equal. In fact, a high quality link can easily be 10,000, or even 100,000, times more valuable to your web site then one of those crappy links.

<Read more of Eric Enge’s pithy and insightful analysis>