Word-of-mouth is truly the best advertising.
On the Internet word-of-mouth is called Linking. When someone puts a link from their web site to your web site, they, in effect, recommend you.
Linking is a great way to get traffic. In fact, it's just about the perfect way to get traffic. The cost is zero. Linking also helps with your search engine ranking.
Generally, the more sites that point people to your web site the better. Google in particular takes notice of the number of links to your web site. The quality of those sites also makes a difference. The better the search engine ranking of a web site that links to you, the more it benefits your own ranking.
In terms of search engine marketing, this is called Link Popularity. It's a measure of how many other web sites link to your site. When someone searches a relevant keyword, search engines factor in link popularity to determine which web sites appear as natural listings, and how high they show up in the pecking order.
Several ways to get links:
List Your Web Site in Directories
Start with local directories, such as your Chamber of Commerce and city directory. Some charge for listings, and some offer free listings. Also target city directories, yellow pages and community/state business directories. Get listed in your industry association directories. (Hint: A link in the Waynet membership directory is extremely valuable because Waynet is such a massive portal with excellent ranking.)
Find Link Partners
Offer to trade links with other web sites. I do. It's a win-win opportunity. But be choosy about the picking web sites that are reputable and offer quality content. Links with questionable web sites will reflect poorly on you.
Use Articles and Publicity
Write articles (like this one) or send out publicity announcements to online sources. Include your link at the end. If they run your story, you've got a link.
By the way, if you're a Waynet Business Member, you can submit all the "how to articles" (like this one) you wish at no charge, and get an active link back to your web site. Every article you submit is another free link!
Get Others to Want to Link to Your Web Site
How can you get others to want to link to you? It's simple. Create something of value for them or their customers. Ways to add quality content to your web site include:
Scratching an Itch in Your Niche. If you sell bird houses, your best customers and prospects have one thing in common. They have a interest in birds. They would be itching to read about birds and bird watching. Provide interesting stories and information on your web site.
Providing a Link Library. Display links that take visitors to other sites of interest in your niche. If other businesses aren't competitors and you are comfortable with their reputation, list them and/or link to them.
How-to-Articles & Books. Gather useful articles on your niche. Offer tips on selecting sources and buying products.
Reciprocal Offers. If you present free offers (such as coupons) for non-competing businesses in a special section of your web site, wouldn't those business want to link back to you? Example: if you sell computers, you might wish to trade links and even display reciprocal offers with a firm that repairs computers – assuming that you don't offer that service yourself.
Online Seminars. Sponsor free online chat sessions on your topic. Invite an expert to participate. Announce seminars to the press.
Glossary. What do the common words in your business mean? Explain them to visitors in layman's terms. Explain your different types of products and services.
News and Announcements. Announce new products or services; changes in ownership or management; new offices or locations; long term contracts you acquire; promotions or retirement of key employees.
Blogs. (Web logs) Create an ongoing online diary of useful information presented with your own unique perspective.
Would any of these ideas work on your web site?
The rule is simple. Create good content. Let others know about it. The link requests will come. Also, if you go out to solicit link trading partners, you will have a much stronger web site to dangle in front of them.
Richmond, IN 47374
WayNet Member: MarketingZoo.com
Member Website: http://www.marketingzoo.com/
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