The Importance Of Backlinks

One of the most important aspects of  online marketing commonly unclear to new users are backlinks. If you are not sure what a backlink is, here is a short explanation that should make sense to you, even if you have no idea about Internet marketing terms:

A backlink is a hyperlink pointed to your website from another site, or it can also be a link you give yourself from any pages within your site. Backlinks are the bread& butter of online marketing for die-hard webmasters, and the key to ranking high in the search engines.

Why are backlinks important?

The answer is simple. Backlinks are important because they are seen as a type of credit given to you from other webmasters. Search engines give you more status for quality backlinks, especially if they are from other sites within your niche. The more status a site has, the higher it will rank (this is especially true in competitive niches).

If for example your site is geared for travelers, a backlink from a cruise site will give you great “bonus” points in the eyes of Google – especially if that site has a strong PR.

When you receive a link from another site administrator it is like a token of appreciation that they appreciate your content. The more of these links you get, the higher your website will rank. If those links contain proper anchor text, featuring the keyword(s) you want to rank for it is even better for you.

Can you rank a site without many backlinks?

You bet you can! However, if you manage to rank a site with only a few backlinks it usually is because:

  • there isn’t much competition to start with, or
  • the daily search terms for the keyword you rank for is very poor

So while it might feel great to see your site pop up on the first spot in Google, it means nothing for your bottom line if no one is looking for the information in the first place (no/low searches).

Is it possible to compete with established authority sites?

Yes and no. Ultimately, given enough backlinks AND quality content you can beat just about any ranking site in the search engines with a few exceptions. But to do so takes time and patience. Plus you need to know a thing or two about SEO and how to “tweak” your content with white hat optimization methods.

Most people experience problems when they try to game the search engines. They go off in search of work-today, get rich quick solutions and bomb their site with backlinks from dodgy places and then wonder when Google slaps them at the next PR update (or sooner).

All the auto-publishing features for blogs and websites will eventually come to haunt you because logically they can simply not function long-term. Neither can black hat marketing methods or any other weird and not-so-wonderful marketing practices. More than ever quality content is key. Google has been doing some heavy weeding out in recent months and I suspect they will continue to do so in order to get rid of all those crappy autoblogs you see pop up everywhere you look.

Patience is key

Whether you like it or not, Google will favor webmasters who practice patience. These are the marketers who publish top quality content and build links “naturally” over time. Since it is hardly possible to build links naturally (meaning, you wait for others to link to you at will), most webmasters do some form of link building.

This is fine, as long as you build links bit by bit and not buy 10,000 links today (for a brand new blog) and then nothing for the next year. Google’s algorithm is sure to pick up on that and your site will be branded negatively by bots you don’t even know exist.

What about costs?

If you are actively learning about online marketing you would have already found a lot of services that offer backlink promotion for your site. Many of them come at a healthy cost. Here is the thing, you will always pay a price:

  • You could pay the price of being lazy
  • You could pay the price of having no discpline
  • You could pay the price of not knowing
  • Or you could end up paying the price of stupidity by choosing the wrong provider

There are two types of marketers online; the first group is the person with no money, but with a resonable amount of time at their disposal; the second group is the established marketer with plenty of money but little time.

Type one would be best advised to do most of the link building themselves to save money, gain knowledge and increase their website’s ranking over time, whereas type two is probably best served by hiring a capable SEO professional to do the link building for them.

You will know what’s best for you, based on your current situation. However you look at link building, you really ought to make it one of your regular activities if you want to see results from your online marketing efforts.

 

How to Get Your Site a Top Ranking in Google

It’s the new American dream. Your website appears in a top spot on Google for your chosen keyword. Next thing you know, orders start coming in faster than you can handle, and you are rolling in the money. If only it were so easy, right?

Well,

It can be done. I’ve done it many times in many different industries. There is no secret, but rather, it’s just knowing what to do. I’ve made just about every mistake one can make with a website, but I learned from every setback. If you were only allowed to do one thing to get ranked for your site in Google, without a doubt, all you’d need to do is get links for your site.

Yes, there are many other factors involved in getting your site to a top position. But this is the most powerful way as of this writing to get a top spot in Google. It’s not just enough to have links pointing to your site, but you need to have your keyword “anchor linked” to your site. Anchor linking is when you use your keyword phrase as the click-able text for a link. So, instead of saying “Click Here”, you would use “Widgets” as the link text.

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Now, another point of consideration is determining what keyword/phrase you want to use to get your site found. Most times, people impulsively choose a one word phrase. While this would be a great way to bring traffic to your site, would it bring targeted traffic, with people looking specifically for your product or service? Most times when people type in a one letter keyphrase, they are in the beginning of their search.

They may type in “Shoes”, but are really looking for “Running Shoes”. So, if you have a top ranking for shoes, do you serve that user’s needs? Maybe, but they may also be looking for dress, casual, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, athletic, girl’s, boy’s, etc. This is why when you begin to optimize your site, you should focus on more targeted keyword phrases.

Suppose you sell a certain brand name of dress shoes. For this example, we’ll call the famous brand XYZ. So, by getting anchor links as “XYZ Dress Shoes”, you are already eliminating those users who are looking for another brand or line of shoe. Next, you need to make sure that the page that gets linked contains the on the page content with “XYZ Dress Shoes”. If you would link to a page without relevant content, Google would view this link as possible spam, or more appropriately, irrelevant content.

Now, once you have compiled your list of keywords, you need to see which one are searched on the most. The best tool for this is WordTracker, and it is worth the tiny fee you need to pay to have access for one day. There are also free tools online that you can use, but WordTracker will give you the most accurate results.

Once you have run through your list of all your keywords, the obvious choice is to pick the ones with the highest amount of searches (and content relevant to your site!). The next step is to then begin the process of a link campaign. Now, I can already hear you complaining about doing a link exchange. This is only 1/3 of your campaign. The ideal method is to not only engage in a reciprocal link exchange, but to also engage in strategic linking.

Strategic linking is when you get a link to your site without having to return the favor. What’s the best way to do this? Write an article just like this one. If I get one website to use this article and have it point to my site, I’ve just created another link to my site. Pretty easy, eh?

Since you have now engaged in a linking campaign, you should expect to see results in Google in as little as 4 days, and as far as 6 months. All of this is determined by where your links are coming from, and the popularity of the site from which the link came. Next, you need to get as many links as you can pointing to your site with your popular keyword phrase anchor linked to your site.

As I mentioned before, there many other factors that will only enhance your rankings in Google, but the implementation of a link campaign is the strongest method to get your site to a top ranking!