As the power and influence of the Internet continues to shape how we all do business, getting a top ranking for a website continues to be the ‘Holy Grail’ for many companies – large and small.
The benefits are obvious. Better visibility on the Web will result in a greater number of eyeballs, generating more traffic and stimulating greater interest in your products and services.
Naturally, a well-designed website with compelling, quality content is a vital ingredient to getting good placement in the organic search engine rankings while other factors such as ease-of-use, clear navigation, valid code and some basic optimisation techniques will also help considerably. But these are all ‘on-page’ aspects of website optimisation. So what of ‘off-page’ optimisation, the other critical part that’s needed to gain a good ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). And, in particular, the process of link building?
Many website owners are understandably strapped for time just running their business, so here are five top tips for busy people on how to increase the number of backlinks to your site.
- Cross-site linking
If you own more than one website, one of the quickest and simplest ways to backlink involves putting a link to relevant pages from another of your sites. And the neat thing is, by using content-based links, you can precisely control the anchor text of each link for maximum benefit.
- Directory submission links
Submitting your website to free, online directories takes surprisingly little time and can be a very effective way to increase your inbound links. This is especially true if it becomes part of an ongoing process, for example, if you commit to two or three directory submissions a week, this will result in at least a hundred over a year. Some directories even allow writing your own title and description which presents another opportunity to include relevant ‘anchor’ text.
- Social media links
The most popular (and therefore the most valuable) social media tools as far as backlinking is concerned, can be broken down by media type. Each are relatively quick methods to get your content onto the Web and the potential to make sure you get good keyword-based inbound links. Here are some of the most widely used:
- Blogging: Blogger, WordPress
- Micro-blogging: Twitter, Plurk
- Social networks: Facebook, MySpace
- Social bookmarking (or tagging): Digg, StumbleUpon
- Video sharing: YouTube, Vimeo
- Picture sharing: Flickr, Photobucket.
- Article distribution links
Yet another powerful link-building strategy is to write interesting and informative articles and publish them online. Keep them original and brief (around 500 words) and then submit them to popular article marketing sites such as ezinearticles.com and articlesbase.com.
- Paid advertising links
OK, so paying for links to your website might seem like ‘cheating’ but it really can work well depending on the size of your wallet. Set up a Pay-Per-Click campaign such as Google AdWords or Microsoft’s adCenter programmes. In Google’s case, they claim that the signup process “can go live in 15 minutes or less.” If you’re new to paid search advertising, it’s a good idea to research thoroughly at first and take a steady-as-you-go approach. Otherwise, enlist the help of experts.
As we all know, the Web is a place of rapid change and many of the techniques used today to promote your website may not be as effective tomorrow. But the worst thing you can do if your serious about getting a better search ranking for your website is do nothing. Happy link building.