This is the third 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.
Link strategy number four. The Reciprocal Link
The classic reciprocal link should be the staple diet of your linking campaign. By linking to other sites of similar interest to your visitor you provide a service and in return you get a link back to your site for your trouble. It’s a win/win situation.
There are several good software packages that can help you manage your linking campaign and I’ve listed several in the resource box at the end of this article.
Link strategy number five. The Paid Link.
For larger corporate companies and for people who simply don’t want to get involved with exchanging loads of links then it’s possible to purchase links.
Why purchase links?
There are several reasons. Firstly if you are putting a lot of time and money into a new site development then you really need good linking power out of the gate. Otherwise you are going to have an expensive site with no traffic.
Purchasing links can give you that jump start required to quickly build a successful site. Try and purchase links from sites related to your site subject. There are several link brokers who can help you find this type of link.
Of course companies who have already built successful internet sites can use their existing real estate to give a leg up to any new start up.
And that’s an added benefit of building a successful internet business; similar to high street chain stores you can pass a proportion of your existing power to help a new business development. This is one major reason why some search engine optimisation companies can really work wonders for your site and others struggle to make any impact.
One useful way of using paid links is to temporarily improve your linking power so that you can garner links from other sites of a similar stature. Many sites that have a high page rank will refuse to swap links with a site of a much lower page rank. Artificially enhancing your page rank will allow you to swap links until your site is big enough to stand on its own two feet and compete. Then the paid links can be dispensed with.
The big drawback with the paid text link approach is that they are expensive. A single front page text link from a high page rank site can cost $2,000 per link. So you better have deep pockets if you want to do it this way.
The cost can become very expensive if no page rank updates occur for a while and you have to keep paying for your links until an update happens. Ouch! Then it becomes a serious drain on your marketing budget.
Linking strategy number six. Use your “anchor text” wisely.
If you take anything away at all from this article then you should know this.
Search engines and Google in particular place a high level of importance on the text in your link. It’s one of the most powerful and yet most overlooked part of any linking strategy.
Take this text which a customer could use for their link exchange text:
A: Celtic design studio, we produce handmade Celtic rings and jewellery.
And compare with this:
B: Celtic jewellery, Celtic design studio produce handmade Celtic rings and jewellery.
Which would you use?
If you chose example A then you are on the path to search engine wilderness. You are only using half of your linking power that you have available.
If you chose example B then you are well on the way to dominating your market sector!
How can such a simple contextual change make such a huge difference to your linking campaign?
It’s to do with your keyword research and the way that the link is presented. Here is how it works:
Taking Google as everybody’s favourite example, we know that a link from site A to site B counts as a vote for that site (B), which means that it must be popular. In turn a link from site C which is an industry portal to site B means that it must be even more popular because site C considers it to be so and is already an important site itself.
Next we examine the text in the link itself. In the first example we have “Celtic design studio” as the text displaying in our link. This means that the votes from our two linking sites are saying “this site is a good resource for Celtic design studio”.
However in our second example we have “Celtic jewellery” as the link or “anchor text” and so our linking sites are now saying “this site is a good resource for Celtic jewellery”!
Does the penny drop for you?
Now, this is where the keyword research comes into play. If you choose your anchor text unwisely then it could take you forever to play catch up with your competitors. If they have been gaining links for several years then you have a lot of catch up to do. However by choosing an alternative keyword phrase that is not so competitive you can swing the link strategy in your favour.
Suffice to say that only one or two inbound links with your keywords in your anchor text can make you rank right up with the leaders – that’s how powerful it is!
Make sure you incorporate the full power of your linking text into your link exchange strategy.
Tony Cooper is the Internet Marketing manager at http://www.keywordmarketing.com Building web sites that achieve tangible and accountable results.