A site should contain more incoming than outgoing links. Due to search engine requirements, incoming links have more value in page rankings than reciprocal or outgoing links. Please see my article on one way linking versus reciprocal linking for more information on this topic.
To successfully obtain backwards or non-reciprocal direct links to your Web site you need to run an on-going campaign, just as you would for any product or service. We’ve identified 15 bullet points which we cover below. Not every point will apply to every Web site, and the emphasis on each bullet point may vary according to your situation. These include:
1) Get your site listed in the major human edited directories
2) Get your site listed in directories relevant to your particular product or service
3) Obtaining Links From Other Web Sites
4) Purchasing Ad Banners on Other Web Sites
5) Get Your Product or Service Reviewed by other Websites
6) Issue a Press Release
7) E-mail Lists
8) Newsgroup/forum Announcements
9) Publish Articles on Other Web Sites
10) Provide Quality Content on Your Own Site
11) Running On-Site Events
12) Conducting Direct e-Marketing Campaigns
13) Issuing an E-Newsletter
14) Integrating Your Traditional Marketing and Sales Programs
15) Measure your results
1. Get your site listed in the major human edited directories
Presently the two most important human edited directories are Yahoo and the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org). Despite the mighty rise of Google, the addition of a yearly $299 fee, and changes in the way they display their listings, a link to your site from Yahoo’s main directory can increase the standing of your site much more than a few links from an undistinguished unknown website.
The other well known directory, the Open Directory Project or DMOZ has no listing fee and is entirely human edited by volunteers. Not like Yahoo, whose editors are paid for their work DMOZ editors are all volunteers whom edit at their own pace. It is often difficult to get a listing if your site doesn’t offer unique content and is not considered a valuable resource to the internet community. If your site consists only of affiliate links, then the editors will reject your application. In addition the volunteer editors have been unable to keep pace with the amount of sites to be reviewed and they can take months to process your entry. Despite possibly taking months to get included into DMOZ the problems of inclusion here is well worth your effort, and you should by all means be persistent, without spamming the directory with multiple submissions. Inclusion in Yahoo and the Open Directory Project can mean the difference between your keywords coming up on the first page or page 10 in search results, especially in competitive categories.
2. Get your site listed in directories complimentary to your particular product or service
If you offer electronic repair equipment that would be helpful to electronic repair shops, for example, then do a search for electronic resource directories and you will find sites where you can add your URL. Did you write a novel? Then, find book directories, and apply to be listed. You will have to spend some time accustoming your self to what to look for, but once again persistence will definitely pay off. You will not only see improvement of your page rankings but listings in specific related industry directories to your company will bring you targeted traffic, particularly interested in what you have to offer. What we like to call a qualified lead.
3. Obtaining One Way Links From Other Web Sites
There are two types of links: 1) one-way links to your Web site, which is more valuable in your page rankings; and 2) two-way links where you provide a return link to the other Web site in return for a link to yours, which is less valuable than one way direct links.
In acquiring links, look for sites that have similar relevant content to your own site. Site owners look for resources that would be helpful to their site visitors to link to. It is advantageous if a site can link to your main page. However, requesting a link to a specific page that offers the resources a site owner desires is still beneficial.
Seek out partners for trading links including vendors, suppliers and providers of complimentary products.
Locate reciprocal link partners who have multiple sites. Ask for a link from one of their complimentary sites and in return you will link to their main site. This in essence will show a search engine that your incoming links are true in nature based on the public’s perceived quality of your site and not based on a shoulder tapping reciprocal linking campaign.
For more information and to view an example directory please visit: KosmosCentral.com.
4. Purchasing Ad Banners on Other Web Sites
If your marketing budget allows you the room to purchase add banners then by all means do so. The more links that appear on any given page becomes a way to stand out from your competition with advertising. You can sponsor another site through barter or direct payment. In either case, you can find appropriate sites to sponsor yourself or have another SEO company find them for you.
5. Get Your Product or Service Reviewed by other Websites
Are you a networking components manufacturer? Then offer a discount to high quality websites whose themes are similar to yours. If they write and publish a review, then you will get a link back to your site. In addition, you can publish their reviews on your own site, which will add a lot of weight to your own claims about the validity of your product or service. Keep your eye open for sites in your field and make your offer. In the process you will also build potentially important partnerships and alliances.
6. Issue a Press Release
A press release will allow you to reach prospects through publications that cover your topic of interest. A release will need to be coordinated with the launch of your new site (or it’s not news) and may be distributed by e-mail, newswire, fax or mail. The main keys to a successful press release are: 1) having content that is newsworthy; 2)targeting editors that are interested; 3) matching distribution method with editor preference; and 4) formatting the release properly for each method of distribution chosen.
7. E-mail Lists
E-mail lists are much like a newsgroups. The key difference is that messages go directly to a participant’s e-mail box rather than the participant going to the newsgroup to read the postings.
8. Newsgroup/Forum Announcements
Newsgroups also known as news forums are electronic bulletin boards where people with similar interests can communicate with whole communities of bulletin board postees. There are over 20,000 newsgroups on the Internet with millions of daily participants. If done right, postings to forum newsgroups can generate tremendous amounts of free advertising.
If your looking to post in a newsgroup, target those groups that cover topics related with your service or product. The first thing you need to determine is if the newsgroup accepts any postings. If so, monitor all postings and participant response. When you post, provide useful advice or information and not annoying advertisements for your product or service. Be helpful, specific and keep it short. You can end your helpful feedback with mentioning that your site has additional useful information on the topic you are posting. If possible, become a known participant by posting frequently with both advice and questions. And don’t forget to include your signature on every e-mail or posting. If you have any announcements be sure to post it to the “announcement newsgroups” which are designed for announcements. And, finally if there’s sufficient interest, you may even want to create your own forum newsgroup.
9. Publish articles on Other Web Sites
With millions of websites on the web, large percentages are very hungry for quality content. Since you have published your own website and have provided useful information to the public, this in turn makes you an “expert” in your field. Use your expertise to write simple, but useful articles in your field and forward them to other webmasters hungry for additional content. If your articles are published, they will in turn include a “resource box” giving credit to you with a link back to your site. The link will once again boost your Page Rank, but just as importantly, it will establish you as an authority in your field and will help “brand” your product or service. Don’t worry about writing to hundreds of webmasters individually to get your article published, go to www.yahoogroups.com, or do a keyword search on google and do a search for “Internet Articles Publishing” and you will be able to locate many groups enabling you to reach webmasters whom are looking for articles to publish.
10. Provide Quality Content on Your Own Site
The original focus behind the Page Rank rating system was to try to highlight the sites that are offering the most valuable content, and offering something unique to the Internet. If you publish an Internet version of your company brochure, no one is going to link to you unilaterally. However, if your site is filled with interesting articles, reports, data, free software and reference material then you will get links without even asking for them. By writing and publishing your own articles you can add quality content to your site, the same articles that you will offer to other sites, as well as by publishing the articles of others. Again, the publishing groups for articles at www.yahoo.com or sites such as www.articlecity.com will provide you with a plethora of information and useful material.
11. Running On-Site Events
Promoting events on your site is a strategically outstanding method of encouraging repeat traffic. Events are a good way to bring traffic back to a site once interest begins to fade. Tactics include: games, online interviews, contests/tournaments, chat sessions, and audio or video broadcasts.
12. Conducting Direct e-Marketing Campaign
Direct e-marketing on net is in its formative stages. You can send your message in e-mail or HTML format; solicited or unsolicited. We do not recommend using unsolicited e-mail as the receiver bears the cost.
13. Issuing an E-Newsletter
You can always ask site visitors to sign up for a newsletter, then distribute it by e-mail. An e-newsletter allows you to keep visitors up-to-date on site changes and new offerings. It also serves as a channel for delivering valuable information related to your products that can help convert prospects into customers.
14. Integrating Your Traditional Marketing and Sales Programs
Start by promoting your Web site address on business documents and correspondence, including: letterheads, flyers, and brochures. Encourage use of the web site for certain information, services, products, or programs if it advantageous to the business to offer these services online. Also offer incentives through traditional marketing that would lead potential customers to the web site.
15. Measuring Your Results
To measure the effectiveness of each point of your campaign, first determine where your traffic originates. Then measure what individuals do once they get to your site to determine if traffic generated from one source is more valuable than others. Note that this is different than measuring the effectiveness of the site itself. With data in hand, you can begin the process of fine-tuning your Web site marketing programs.
You must also keep track of your one way links and a great software application tool that makes managing links so much easier is provided by 123LinksManager. 123Linksmanger helps you identify unethical link partners that are hiding your links on their pages, validates links daily for reciprocation, has the ability to manage multiple domains and directories at once, manage one way, two way and three way link opportunities and more.