Day Two coverage of the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose:Â The Popular Kids Have Good ContentÂ
Tuesday morning was the morning to learn about link building. As a linking specialist at TopRank, I knew I would learn a lot, and review what I already know, in this session by listening to Mike Grehan and Christine Churchill.
The topics we focused on this morning were ways to increase a website’s ranking, such as link requests, paid links and reputable links from authority sites.
However, the absolute basic thing you must remember before linking is that you need to have something to offer the readers. Mike Grehan asked us “Why should your site rank high?”
Is your site good? does it deserve to rank high on Google? if you have a non-user friendly site, but you deploy incredible link building tactics and SEO, your site will rank high. But you will annoy human visitors, which would ruin your company’s reputation and could decrease traffic and sales. So make sure you have something beneficial to offer first.
Remember, when someone links to you, their reputation goes with it. You have complete control over who you link to and why. You can be penalized for linking to a site with bad content and a non-user or non-search engine friendly design. Conversely, you gain benefits for linking to sites that are considered user friendly and have great content and are informative for readers. Before you go out and begin linking, you must make sure your site is “good”. You will then have a great site for search engines and users to crawl, and you have a better chance of getting linked to, which both increase your ranking and reputation.
If you can’t think of a good reason why someone should link to you, whether it be a blog, another site in your industry or a vertical directory, you should re-evaluate your website and figure out how to make it better. Give them a reason to link to you. Don’t just assume they will. Because when you assume… well, you know how it goes.
Once you have this good content and user-friendly design on your site, Christine Churchill emphasized research. Go out, take time and find the best links possible. For local businesses, get a link from the Chamber of Commerce. Find businesses in your vertical industry, begin business relationships with them that could turn into link relationships. These links will turn out to be more beneficial for both parties involved, so the time spent finding them is well worth it.
Christine also mentioned that links should come from a variety of sources. Don’t only link in blogs. Don’t only pay for links. Don’t only write optimized press releases. Make sure the links come from a variety of sources. This also works to increase the reputation of your site. When a lot of venues want to link to you, it looks like you are one popular site!
When your site looks good, they are like the popular crowd in school. Everyone wants to be their friend. When you have something great and beneficial to offer, who wouldn’t want to link to you? Because if your site rocks, the others in your linking network rock by association. Be popular. Be informative. Be user-friendly. The link requests you make will be effective and beneficial for you in return.