Top Ten Link Building Techniques

1. Link Baiting

The most powerful way to get one-way quality permanent links is link baiting.

Link bait is any original and interesting content, which encourage readers to link to. For example, if you think this post is useful and intersting enough, you will probably link to it from your site (or bookmark it, or stumble it, or tweet it…)

2. Guest Posting

Guest posting is one of the best ways to get backlinks.

You need to write an original, high quality article on a topic related to the subject of your site, with a link to your page. The link most times is added to your bio at the end of your post, and some times may be included inside the body of the article. Of course you want to use your targeted keyword as anchor text.

There are 2 kinds of guest posting:

  • “Free”: you get your link in exchange for your post itself.
  • Paid: you paid to the host site administrator to publish your post, or you ask them to write the post for you. The paid method is used most in high PR / high traffic sites.

3. Social Bookmarking

It’s important to make it easy for your visitors to social bookmark your website: that creates important links that the search engines really value.

There are plenty of free social bookmarking widgets available, such as the ones you see on this site.

4. Directory Submissions

You must not forget to submit your website to directories, that is an important method of link building.

Google and other advanced search engines on the internet often crawl the directory sites to display the most relevant information on their Search Engine Result Pages.

The most important directories are DMOZ and Yahoo Directory, but there are plenty of good directories out there.

You should submit to free directories and also to paid directories. Example of great directories are Submit Link.

5. Article Marketing

Article Marketing consists in posting articles containing links to your site in article directories.

There are many article directories on the Web, such as Ezine Articles, Go Articles and so on. Website owners then grab your articles and publish them on their sites.

This is a good way to spread your links, even though not so good as guest posting. The reason is that your article may end up being published on a bunch of websites, so your link will be inside duplicate content. That does not happen with guest posting, where your post will be published only once.

6. Forum Posting

Forum Posting is another good link building method.

Usually your link will be on your signature, or even in the body of the post. However, be sure to write relevant content on your posts, as spamming is not appreciated and most times removed from the forums.

Besides posting, on many forums you will get a link by simply filling in your profile.

7. Press Releases

Just like Article Marketing, Press Releases are good ways to get links.

There are several Press Relase services on the Web, many of them accept free submissions.

People are likely to link to you if the press release is relevant, interesting or pertinent.

8. Paid Reviews

Paid Reviews are an excellent link building method.

You just paid a website to write and publish a review of your product or site, including a link to it (usually with your keyword as anchor text).

You can find good review services at ReviewMe and Sponsored Reviews.

9. Paid Content

Another good link building method.

It works like paid guest posting, where you paid the host website to write an article including your link.

10. Paid Link Ads

Paid ads are also an option in link building, as long as the text link or banner ad is not a no-follow one.

There are advertising companies ot there offering this service, but I think the best way is to find sites which offer private advertising (cheaper because there is no middle-man).

You can find private advertising opportunities directly on websites, such as W3C Compliant, or on marketplaces.

Monetizing Your Blog: Hot Tips

Ok, you have launched your Blog, you have made it content rich writing useful information and guesting high quality posts, you have done great SEO work and now you have a good amount of traffic from the SERPs.

Now it’s time to monetize your Blog!

You may ask: How much traffic should I have to get started monetizing my blog?

Good question! Well, to start earning a few bucks you should have at least 1000 visits/month. However, to “really” make money from your blog you’d better have at least 10,000 visits/month.

Which monetization techinques should you use? Which ones work better?

Different monetization techniques work better for different types of blog. I suggest you start using a bit of each of techniques described below, evaluate the results after a few months and then adjust the proportion you use each one accordingly.

The Monetization Techinques:

Private Advertising – Selling private advertising is one of the top ways to monetize your blog. You’ll need to create a good advertising page, with information about your advertisement packages and also showing your ranking and traffic stats.

Also, it’s important to have all advertisers sign up on a subscription payment system (I think the best one is PayPal), so that they automatically get billed for their advert every month.

To increase your chances of finding advertisers, I strongly suggest you offer your ad-spaces for sale on SitePoint Marketplace.

Affiliate Programs – Affiliate links are good because you can earn by promoting the products and tools you like, related to the content of your blog. If you ever lack blog post ideas, you can review a product or service you use often with your affiliate link and collect commissions. There are many affiliate programs out there; among the best ones I can cite E-junkie, Amazon and ClickBank

Advertising Programs – Using PayPerClick programs inside your blog posts can generate an extra revenue. The most used is Google Adsense

Sponsored Reviews – Reviewing websites can also be a great way to boost earnings as you can decide how often you want to do a review. A lot of the time you can sell reviews directly through your advertising page but to boost sales, I recommend offering reviews on ReviewMe and Sponsored Reviews.

Typically private ad sales bring in the most revenue so presenting your advertising details is very important. Don’t forget to get testimonials from your advertisers, as well as include screen shots of stats and ad locations.

Good luck monetizing your blog!

SEO Factors You Should Not Ignore!

There are a huge number of different factors that need to be addressed in order to successfully optimise your website for your chosen keywords within the search engines. The majority of these factors are well-known and are almost always monitored, but there are also additional, lesser known elements that you can address in order to enhance your exposure.

1. Dashes within domain names are not SEO-friendly…

In my place of work, we have conducted a number of experiments with our websites to determine once and for all whether dashes have a negative impact upon search engine positioning. Our findings showed that dashes within keyword-focused domains are significantly less powerful. One of our websites, www.basketball-equipment-shop.co.uk had been live for over 12 months and was nowhere to be seen for the keyword ‘Basketball Equipment’ despite being well optimised and having a large number of backlinks. We then redirected all of the pages to a new domain – www.basketballequipmentshop.co.uk – suddenly, within a few days it started to appear in the top 10, with just two backlinks to the new domain. We have carried out this experiment with numerous other websites and the results are always the same.

2. URL Structure…

Again, having conducted a number of experiments, we have concluded that dashes are considerably more effective than underscores as word-separators within page name URL’s. We found that websites were appearing within the search results much faster when we used dashes, and having used actinic for years, it was a very valuable discovery!

3. Internal Page Links…

By linking from internal pages to other pages within your website, you’re improving their credibility and also helping to get more pages cached by the search engines. The more pages of your website that are picked up, the better pyramid your site has.
A website’s pyramid (number of pages and sections of a website) is a huge factor of optimisation and can have a substantial impact upon positioning.

By addressing each of these elements of SEO, you can improve and sustain the positioning of your website, helping your site to make more money!

This article was written by Paul Rogers – Marketing and Web Development Manager of Etoys Zone Trampolines, Oxfordshire-based retailers of wooden sledges and 12ft trampolines.

Checking Out the Competition

Any good SEO campaign will begin with:-

  • Keyword research
  • On page analysis
  • Competitor analysis

Arguably the most overlooked element of these early SEO campaign stages is the competitor analysis.

What often surprises businesses when beginning a search engine optimisation campaign is this competitor analysis. For a start, it’s often the case that the companies you might traditionally consider your competition are not competing with you in SEO terms. The companies who are competing with you for search engine rankings could be completely different companies and some you have never even previously heard of. For the purposes of this, we’ll consider your competition to be the ten websites currently ranking top ten in Google for your main keyword(s).

But just what should you find out about your competitors before you begin?

Their Websites

Have a look at their websites. How are they using the keywords on which you will be competing with them? You should not be looking at this with a view to replicating, but to improving upon. You should also note the pagerank of their websites and any other key data.

Quantity of Links

You can use free tools such as Yahoo site explorer, or a number of premium tools available, to look at the number of links your competitors have from other sites. This can be a great indicator of how much and the quality of SEO work your competition is doing and should give you a good idea of what you will need to do to match and ultimately beat them in the search engine stakes.

Link Building Methods

Visit some of the sites linking to your competitors and have a look at the methods they are using to acquire these links. While you should look in the very least to match their links in terms of quality and quantity, you should also use this as an opportunity to identify things they are not doing that you can do to give you the upper hand.

Social Media

While you are analysing the competition, it’s worth taking a look at how they are using social media and how or if they are integrating this with their search engine optimisation campaigns. Again this could present an opportunity for you to identify something they are not doing.

It’s important to stress that competitor is less about finding ways to copy your competition and more about identifying potential strategies that could give you the upper hand. The information about their activity, both ongoing and previous, will be vital before you can really plan an effective SEO strategy.

Stacey CavanaghAbout the author:
This post is a contribution by Stacey Cavanagh of UK SEO and Digital Marketing Agency, Tecmark.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords refer to the terms of less popularity or competition but which you can make use of to start ranking for and to quickly generate traffic and sales. The use of carefully-chosen specific keywords shows a deeper desire to buy on the part of the customer and this advantageously leads to higher sales conversions which is the objective. People who look for specific information are more apt to become buyers.

The long tail in keyword research is primarily an expanded form of a central, generic, and high-volume keyword phrase to create a number of combinations and permutations of the keywords and their related or relevant phrase which when taken individually can be capable of generating only a couple of hits per month but when considered collectively, can get thousands of high-quality visitors to the site.

The long tail keywords generated for the domain come from the current search engine marketing campaigns. You may ask why is there a need to aim for hundreds or thousands of keywords which generate small traffic only. It is simply because of the less competition for it so the possibility of you to rank on the first page of Google for long tail keywords is not remote. If you aim for lots of long tail keywords, you can get lots of easy traffic. It is hard to rank highly for highly competitive keywords but it is easy to rank for long tail keywords.

Another advantage for using long tail keywords is that site visitors convert overwhelmingly to sales and ad clicks because they know precisely what they are looking for with optimism that you can provide such need or want. This then translates into an increase in conversions and sales.

It is to your best interest to have a few pages sending you large amount of less targeted traffic or a large number of pages with each sending you small amount of highly targeted traffic. A long tail keyword phrase can be an instrument for driving significant levels of website traffic. A thorough keyword research is very much needed especially in launching a new website. Take into consideration the stiff competition you have to face in the marketplace with all the network effects working against you. Thus, to benefit immensely and achieve a more profitable bottom line, you have to utilize long tail keywords in your content approach for easier rankings, higher and faster sales conversions, and more pages indexed in Google.

10 Myths about Backlinks

  1. You should aim for high PageRank Links: Myth.

    Of course you want links for high PR pages, but low PR pages also count. In fact, it will look more natural for Google if you have backlinks from a range of PR pages.

  2. Links that aren’t relevant don’t count – Your backlinks have to be “relevant” or theme-related to your website: Myth.

    Links from pages with content related to yours are better, sure, but that doesn’t mean links from non-related won’t count.

  3. Links that aren’t indexed don’t count: Myth.

    Google crawls a new page, decides the page isn’t worth indexing but still follows the links on it and credits anchor text accordingly.

  4. Link Buyers Get Punished: Myth.

    Every time you get a new backlink you spend money: either you spend your own time writing an article, submitting to directories, posting on Forums, or if you pay someone else to write your content (link bait). I don’t think Google is going to check each and every site to see if it’s buying links; in fact I’ve heard of sites actively buying links, were reported to Google and nothing was ever done.

  5. Google actively checks IP’s: Myth.

    They may check it upon a manual review but not on a bulk basis.

  6. You have to vary your anchor text: Myth.

    Google will never punish you if your anchor text is always the same.

  7. If you build links fast, you will be penalized by Google: Myth.

    Of course if you use an automated link building method and build thousands of links per day it may get Google’s attention… However, nothing will happen if you build a bunch of links every day.

  8. If you link is not on a PAGE with PR, it won’t count: Myth.

    Link juice will come from the PR and authority of the domain, even if the page itself is PR: n/a.

  9. If you don’t see your links in a “Backlink Checker” tool, Google hasn’t seen them either: Myth.

    Google “see” your links and credits them much sooner than you cca see them in backlink checker toos. What you will probably see is your keywords getting higher in the SERPs.

  10. Google “knows” about and has devalued links from Social Bookmarks, Web 2.0 properties: Myth.

    Google credits the links for their value, either they are from “normal” websites, social networks, blogs, directories or forums.