How do I use linking to drive traffic to my website?

I need to link my site with the appropriate companies in order to get traffic. How do I go about doing this?

Louise – Dating website for the disabled

Louise, thanks for your question. Here are my thoughts:

Firstly, I think you need to recognize that linking is only part of the traffic puzzle. In a very basic sense, linking works because most of the search engines consider a site’s popularity as an indicia of its importance. This same theory works in the legal arena and in academia. If a particular law case or a particular scientific paper is recognized as a primary source for ideas, then lots of other documents will reference that case or paper.

For this reason, the term “news” is associated with CNN, “click here” with Adobe, etc.

In my experience, simply exchanging reciprocal links does not really do much. If you think about it, a web site with 500 reciprocal links is not inherently important or relevant – most likely the 500 links are the result of the efforts of a diligent link exchanger.

To put it another way, the search engines look for artificial reciprocal link exchange practices and filter out those links.

That being said, it has been my experience that reciprocal link exchange does have some value – it will get you indexed by the big 3 search engines and it appears that it will get you up to a PR 4 on Google.

So, I still engage in some reciprocal or three way link exchange for that purpose.

If you do engage in link exchange, make sure to select three or four phrases that will be used as your link text. For example, when I referenced your site above, I called it Dating Website for the Disabled as opposed to www.soulfulencounters.com. Why? Because you want to associate your site with a search term. No one types in “soulful encounters” in the Google search box. But hopefully there is traffic on terms related to the subject matter of your site. “Dating website for the disabled” is an example of link text. Ultimately your goal is to associate several search phrases with your web site. That will improve the chances that your site will appear when those search phrases are entered into the search engine.
Search phrase (also known as “key word”) research is really the starting point of your Internet business. You may have the best product or service in the world, but if no one is looking for it, your business will not succeed. So, before you spend any more time and money on promoting your business, you need to discover whether there is a market for your service and, if so, what terms are potential customers using to search for your service. Those search phrases ought to be your “link text.”

I personally use three or four different link text phrases for linking purposes. The goal is to make my linking campaign look natural. In the real world, it is unlikely that every searcher will use the same three or four word phrase. You need to vary it a bit.

Five years ago, a simple link exchange may have done more, but now, the search engine algorighms see them for what they are – an attempt by web site owners and SEO companies to artificially inflate web site positioning. So, what do you do?

What I like right now are article exchanges. For example, if you wrote an article about dating issues related to heart patients, I could post that article as a link on the page of my Social Security disability resource site addressing how to win a cardiac impairment Social Security disability case.

Even better, I might add a paragraph or two to your article focusing on the disability component and now each of us has relevant, unique content. More importantly, this content is natural and logical and it very well may respond specifically to a search engine query on the subject. And what do the search engines want more than anything – relevant search results, not ads and search engine spam.

So, the bottom line is that if you want to use linking to build page rank and to generate paying customers to your web site, you need to find article exchange partners who will work with you in posting content.

Jonathan

[tags] linking, page rank [/tags]


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