SEO and the Art of Link Building
Web design involves more than creating compelling graphics and user interfaces. Skilled web designers will not only create a nice looking website they will also know how to employ the tactics that make your website visible. Website visibility is dependent on several factors not the least of which is search engine rank; that is, where the site appears when it’s targeted keywords are searched. If you have a website about web design but the search engines can’t read the text because it is built with Flash they will not know where to place your site when someone searches for “web design.” Similarly, even if your site is search engine friendly and you are using those words properly in the content of the pages your site will appear in the search engines however, due to the shear massiveness of the internet, your site will appear on page 3022 which no one will ever find. Needless to say that without traffic your site is pretty useless. You can send out promo email blasts but this is a limited tactic… unless you want to be dubbed a spammer. There are several things you can do to increase your traffic without spamming your list every week however one of the most powerful concepts of search engine optimization is link building.
Link building is something that every knowledgeable webmaster should know about. One of the more popular link building strategies is the process of putting a link to another website on your own page in exchange for a link to your site from them. This is called reciprocal linking. There are entire companies that focus solely on this and will provide link building services for huge monthly fees.
If you’ve just put up a website and are trying to get it noticed, link building will be most successful if you approach other websites of a similar size and style to your own. Chances are they will be just as interested in working with you as you are with them. It may be difficult to get a reciprocal link request for your one week old dog biscuits store from a national powerhouse such as the Humane Society so begin by staying in your own web neighborhood and build links up slowly. You should also begin a one way link building strategy. You also need to find related keywords and what are termed as long tail keywords. The longer terms will have less search volume but if used properly they can help the slow process of building a sites authority.
Personal blog sites are great for link building because there are so many of them. You can usually find one that relates to your site in some way or another. One tip to remember is that links from related sites will always be more powerful than links from a non-related site. Also, one way link building is usually more powerful than exchanging reciprocal links.
Focusing on sites that relate to your site will make it more likely that your links will be clicked on. And once visitors are on your website, they will be more likely to stay around and browse.
Reciprocal linking is just one type of link building and is not necessarily the most powerful. It has been said that getting a one way link to your site that uses your keyword as the anchor text within the natural flow of language in an article on a related topic that has your keyword in it’s title is indeed the most powerful type of link building strategy. It has also been said that focusing too much on getting links to your homepage is not as powerful as getting links to ALL your pages. These are things you just can’t do with link building software so do not be enticed to take or try to find any short cuts here. The most natural way to do this is of course to write compelling content. Write stuff that people want to link to simply because it is useful or entertaining.
There are many little tricks to SEO and even though no one REALLY knows how the search engines divvy up the juice the above techniques have been tried and proven to work time and time again. SEO tips and tricks are not hard to find, just do a search on the terms and see what you get.
If you really want to find out how to rank within your choosen realm, do a search on your main keyword, go to the number one site and check out how they’re doing it. What is their page rank? How much link building have they done. If a site is on the top spot at Google you can be assured they know their SEO. If they don’t…. you’re in LUCK.
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