Monday, August 31, 2009

Part IX - Link to Campaign

As we discussed earlier, your site’s PageRank is a major contributor to where you appear in search results. The best way to increase your PageRank is get links to your site from other sites. Not only do links on other sites increase your PageRank, but will also increase the traffic to your site.

Since you do not have control over other people’s sites, you have to devise a strategy. Not only is it important to generate links on other websites, but to ensure that the text in these links work best for your needs. This will involve traditional sales techniques and public relations strategies. The web also offers many emerging means of adding links to your website, including shopping indexes, social bookmarking sites, and social networking sites.

How Does a Link to Campaign Work?

Google provides a tool to see how many sites link to a particular site. Type "" into the Google search function. For example, Thunderbird Supply Company would search for "". Google will provide a list of larger website that link to the site specified. You could also use this tool to see who is linking to your competitor's sites.

How Do You Generate Links?

The process of working a link-to campaign is very similar to the sales process. First you contact the people you know, or websites that already link to you. Then you generate leads through those contacts for more links to your site. Contact these leads and try to get links to your website, and more leads for people to contact. This process can continue infinitely, or can be cut off at any point.

Is your company a part of any associations? If so, insist on having a link to your website from any association website. Many association websites already have their member companies listed on the association website. Make sure that your company is listed, that there is a link, and that the link is worded properly.

Another source of potential links to your site is your vendors that you purchase from. Many of these vendors are happy to provide publicity for their customers, because they know the more you sell, the more you will buy from them.

Non-product vendors have websites, and are happy to showcase customers to help improve their image. These vendors could include software vendors, business machine vendors, etc. Contact these vendors about placing a link to your site on their site. There are other companies that you may work with that would be willing to place a link to your website on their website.

There are other means of getting links to your site through newsletters and blogs. This user generated content, and potential links are invaluable, not only to generate links to your website, but also to increase visibility to potential customers. You need to contact these newsletters and blogs, introduce yourself, and solicit links to your site.

The current customer base is another valuable asset. These customers that come back to your store could be a large generator of links to your site. You need to engage your current customers to see if they have websites, and if so, if they would be willing to link to your website. You would then ask for references from these customers.

A valuable source of links can be found through your competitors. Create a list of websites linking to your competitors’ websites, and add them to your leads list.

Create a “Link to Us” section on your website to make the process of linking to your site simple. This section should include materials that webmasters can use to create better links to your site. These items include images, suggested link text, colors, and general instructions if people want to link to specific areas of your site. Having these items available makes it easier for webmasters to link to your site, and increase the odds of getting those precious links.