BACKLINKS: THE IMPORTANCE OF LINKS
Natural & Relevant Link Building
A main aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) which is often very confusing and time consuming for web site owners is hypertext link building. Link building is the process of creating links that bring interested potential customers to your web site. The higher the number of relevant inbound external links to your web site, the greater potential for your web site to have an improved search engine ranking.
Importance of Links
Links are extremely important because of the weight Google and other search engines place on them. Another reason they are important is because each relevant backlink provides you with an opportunity to draw in a new potential customer to your web site and increase your site traffic - another thing Google considers when calculating search engine ranking; traffic patterns.
Methods of Developing Links Naturally
There are many methods of developing backlinks. When starting a link building campaign, one of the first things people often do is to analyze what their competitors are doing. Looking at where your competitors are getting links is one of the easiest ways to identify new link building opportunities for your own site.
In addition to getting links from the same sources as your competitors, you should also look at the types of sites that are linking to your competitors, and how you can manage to get links on the same kinds of sites. Just copying your competitors' links will leave you constantly behind them, so it is important to think outside of the box and use link building strategies outlined below to outrank them.
One of the best ways to build links for SEO purposes is to obtain contextual links that are editorial in nature. Contextual links refer to links within the content of the page (like below). These kinds of links are effective for SEO because they're natural to search engines. By getting a contextual link on a high PR page which also has a low number of links to external sites, this ensures that your link will be assigned lot of authority since the a measure of reference isn't spread thin between all the links on the page.
Quality Article Marketing
You can also develop backlinks through article marketing. Article marketing is a great way in which to demonstrate expertise in your field. Quality articles are submitted to article databases or to industry web sites. You gain exposure to your web site through backlinks that are contained within the text of the article and also in the author information box (like below) associated with the article.
Reciprocal Links (Must Be Relevant & Traffic Oriented)
Another method is (or was) to develop reciprocal links. These are links in which your link is listed on another web site and, in exchange, you have a link to that web site on yours. This has become less popular these days from abuse, but it still does work very well in events where the linking partners are covering very related topics.
Participation in Bulletin Boards and Forums
Another method of developing backlinks is through forum or blog comments. Those who do this well maintain a viable 'purpose' for the comment by generating useful and/or valuable discussion within a community of contributors. Small relevant comments are left on forums or blogs which are related to the service or product being marketed. These comments contain a backlink to your web site, most often in the signature of the comment or within the content of the message.
Web 2.0 (Socially Engaged) Links
Social media marketing is the newest and most innovated method of developing backlinks. With the advent of Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, it is possible to create literally thousands of backlinks with little effort on your part. When you post a Tweet or a message on your Facebook wall, the message will not only go out to your followers, but also be posted on the front page of the social media site. Followers who find your post interesting or think their own followers would be interested then forward your post, creating even more backlinks. Web 2.0 links are a good starting point for a link building campaign for a new site. When unique content related to your niche is created and submitted to web 2.0 properties around the web, you get highly relevant backlinks to your web page.
For those who are unaware, web 2.0 sites basically refer to a new generation of sites that allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user generated content. Prior to the web 2.0 most web sites were static and didn’t interact with users. An important consideration when creating content for web 2.0 sites is how well the pages rank in Google. If you can get web 2.0 articles to rank well in Google, which is very possible when you write great content and promote the content, not only are you building relevant links to your site to help with SEO, but you can get targeted traffic to your web 2.0 properties.
Homepage Blogroll Links
These kinds of links ensure your link is on the homepage, the page with the highest authority on a site. Ideally you want to get contextual links and homepage links using the strategies discussed above but blogroll links are very popular as well. The only negative with blogroll links are that they are site wide which means they appear on every single page of a web site, usually appearing in sidebar. These site wide links have been said to count only as one (1) link, regardless that they appear many pages. They are given one (1) editorial vote by search engines and usually do not appear within surrounding text or relevant context.
Backlinks and links in general are one of the cornerstone strategies of improving search engine rankings through SEO activities. Any effective internet marketing strategy should include the development of links as one of the key elements. While it can seem like developing links would be time consuming, your business can utilize the efforts of our team of writers and SEO experts to accomplish your backlink development goals.
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