What Are Links?
If you use the Internet, you are familiar with links. Links are the highlighted, (usually) blue-colored and underlined, and clickable, words and phrases that you see everywhere. You are clicking on them constantly to move from one place to another. Typically, you click on:
- The link pointing to another page of the same site
- A link to another website that promises to provide more info
- A link that appears in the Google or Yahoo or MSN search results
- A link in a directory like Yahoo Directory or DMOZ or niche directories like travelsur.com
- Links in advertisements you see on websites, online newsletters or on Google search pages
- A link in an e-mail you receive, often from a friend who suggest that you look up some interesting site
As you would notice, people could land on your Web site from many different places. The more places you can manage to have such links, the more likely people would come to your site.
How Do You Get Links Pointing to Your Site?
Let us approach this issue in the same order we listed the kinds of links above.
- On your website home page, include a link to a site map on your home page. On the site map page, include links to all your content pages. In that way, all your important pages would get an in-pointing link.
- If your local business association or chamber of commerce has a website, you could ask them to include a link to your site (under a relevant section) in that website. You could also exchange links with websites of businesses similar, or complementary, to yours. Exchanging links with irrelevant and obscure sites has no value.
- Get your web site and even multiple pages of your site into search engines by submitting your site to them (or better, leading the search engines to your pages through links on other websites that point to the pages).
- You should definitely submit your site to as many directories as possible, particularly niche directories that focus on your kind of business. However, submitting to directories is not as easy as submitting to search engines. You have to follow certain standard procedures to ensure that the human editors of the directory would feel interested enough to include your site in their directory.
- You have the highest degree of control on the advertisement links. You could have your advertisement displayed at portal sites like Yahoo or MSN or specialized sites that focus on your business or relevant newsletters. You could also run a pay-per-click campaign using Google’s AdWords or Yahoo’s Search Marketing.
- Links in emails is the last kind of link we have to look at. The best kind of links in this case is links in newsletters (or ezines). You could write articles that are published in the ezines. You are allowed to include a link to your site in the author byline to the article.
One definite way to get links is to develop exceptionally good content for your site and then design a neat, easily navigated site layout for publishing the content. People would then instinctively tell their friends and colleagues about the site. Additionally, other relevant sites would include links pointing to your site as a good resource.
Yet another reason for creating good content is that good content and neat site design would make it easier to get listed in directories.
You’ve got the Links. Now What?
If you have got hundreds of links pointing to your website pages, you could expect a steady flow of traffic. And if your site content is really good, you could also expect the level of traffic to increase at a steady pace.
- People would click the links (provided the description under the link is inviting enough) and land on your Web pages
- Search engines would notice the numerous relevant links pointing to your site and conclude that your site is an authority site. Such authority sites are displayed at the top of search results when people search for the words related to your business. (However, this requires that those words must be used with adequate prominence on your Web pages.) If your site is displayed on the first page of search results, far more people would notice it than if it is on page 101.