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Linking: What You Need To Know

Links, Links and More Links!

If there’s one term you’re sure to hear when dealing with search engine optimization it’s “links”. Links are essentially the backbone and foundation that search engine optimization was built on.

Over the years search engine optimization strategies have grown to include many different types of links.

Many new Cal Coast Web Design clients often have questions as to what linking is, what type of links we try and obtain, and what benefit links are to them and their websites. This post explains in depth the different types of links, the benefits of linking, and why linking is so important to your website…and to your visitors!

What is Linking (or Link Popularity) and Why Is It Important to SEO and The Success of My Website Marketing?:

Essentially links are used to make your website more attractive to search engines. When you have high quality links pointing or directing traffic to your website search engines will find your website more often than say another website offering the same service. Try to think of each quality link as a point for your website. In any competition you want to score as many points as possible.

Though you may see links as points for you and your website, you might be under the impression that as long as you have a high number of links/points you’ll be fine. This is a common misconception and one that you need to be made aware of. In years past the amount of links your website had pointing to it where important, however these days it is much more important and relevant to have a smaller number of quality links pointing at your website than it is to have a large number of links originating from lesser known or less popular websites, directing traffic to your website.

Linking in Layman’s Terms:

Here’s the analogy we like to use here at Cal Coast…

Its very much like when you are in high school. If you are not so popular but a popular kid befriends you, suddenly, you become more popular with all the kids in school.

Your site is the unpopular kid (that’s why you need SEO), the sites we link to are poplar kids. Because we have a quality site (popular kid) linking to us. It tells the search engines )other kids) that you must be quality too. Linking to your site is important but linking with keywords is much more effective. Often time our company name or domain name does not reflect what our site is about. Linking with your keywords validates that is what you are about. Why else would it be on another site?

2 Primary Reasons Why Linking Is So Important:

    1. Getting other websites to place links to your website on their site increases your link popularity. Link popularity is a term search engines use to describe how many links out on the internet are redirecting traffic to your website. The term is also used by search engines to describe the of quality of links that are directing traffic to your website.Again, links of a higher quality make your website look all the more attractive to search engines which helps your site get indexed. In layman’s terms this means that you want popular websites to link back to your website.

      Much like people, websites are judged by the company they keep, or who they associate with. If successful/popular websites are linking back to yours it makes your website look great in the eyes of search engines. As with anything in life quality trumps quantity and links are no exception!

  1. When dealing with reciprocal linking, the links on your site as well as your affiliates provide the visitors of those websites with invaluable information related to the products and services on those sites. Websites that provide their visitors with additional resources become popular quickly and often receive repeat visitors.Example: If you’re an electrician with a website, it would be smart to reciprocate links with websites that deal with other housing and even construction topics. In a scenario such as this, links to plumbing, roofing, carpeting, or even general construction websites are a fantastic idea. A visitor may arrive at your website with the need for more than just an electrician and by providing them with these links you’re making it easy for them to find what they need. Many businesses thrive on referrals from other businesses. Reciprocal linking does just that, refers business both ways.

Linking Ideas To Start With:

Now onto examples! What is a “quality link”? Quality links are in essence, links found on popular websites that direct traffic to one of the pages on your website. The major search
engines see any and all links pointing to your website. When they originate from popular websites you are given credit which helps boost your search engine positioning. On the contrary, when links directing traffic to your website originate on lesser known websites or sites that aren’t doing well within search engines, your website will receive no credit for these links. Quality over quantity is the linking philosophy that Cal Coast Web Design has adopted
in order to help maximize your success online!

Though you’ve hired Cal Coast Web Design to handle your search engine optimization it never hurts, actually, it only helps to get involved with linking yourself. You know your industry connections and resources BEST. Those with the most successful websites will tell you that they were and remain proactive with their websites. Being proactive with your website means researching quality links and sending reciprocal links requests to either those websites you are interested in or us here at Cal Coast. There are countless websites that are related to yours and are of quality information so it’s nearly impossible to find them all. Examples of excellent link partners are…

    • Chambers – Are you part of your city’s local chamber of commerce? You should be. Businesses that are an active part of the community gain more leads and respect in the search engines. National and Community Associations like NAR
    • Other Groups & Associations Pertaining To Your Industry
    • Networking Groups With Websites Online – Are you part of any networking groups. Do they have an online business directory? Search engines love these links!!!! BBB – Are you part of the Better Business Bureau? Another great place for a quality link back.
    • Sponsor of Events – Do you sponsor any events each year? A community egg hunt? Local toy drive? Often times this info is posted on a community website. Why not have a link too?
    • Local Sites – Do you have any friends or family locally with an online presence? Do you know of anyone with a website or a blog that would be willing to post your link. We would be happy to provide you with a template email to send them.
    • Manufacturer Web Sites – Links to sites where their product is available can be helpful to purchase immediately. Do you have any manufactures that would like to you?
    • Companies You Do Business With – Its probably safe to assume you do business with websites and business that are part of a similar industry. What businesses do you do business with that could link to you?
    • Press Releases – Have you submitted any in the past? Do you have any to be submitted?
    • Competition’s Links – Who’s linking to your competition? Might as well try and get them to link to you too. Its helping them, or they wouldn’t be your competition.
  • Award Site – Have you been honored or awarded in some way?

With us scouring the internet for quality links and you sending us suggestions for links there are two heads working for your website instead of one!

Different Types of Links:

Another question Cal Coast clients often ask is, “Are there different types of links?” Yes, there are actually several different types of links. These are listed below.

    • Reciprocal Link: A reciprocal link is established when a website puts a link to your website somewhere on their site and you place a link to their site somewhere on yours. Reciprocal links are often established via email request. Generally speaking if you are the party initiating the request you will be required to add a link to this other site before they will place your link on their site.
    • One Way Link: One way links are links that direct traffic to your website but are not reciprocated by the host site. Cal Coast Web Design will submit your website to various search engine directories in order to establish one way links. In addition to directories Cal Coast Web Design will also submit questions and reply to questions in Yahoo Answers as well as engage in conversations using links to your website in various forums that relate to your business.
    • Local Links: Local links are links that either you or Cal Coast Web Design establish with websites that do business within your local area. Search engines will give you credit for these links because your website as well as those you link to all do business in the same local area. Local links should be reciprocal in nature and will also provide local residents with a way to find your website while browsing through another local businesses website. Other examples of local links include your local Better Business Bureau and if you happen to sponsor any local events chances are that event has a website. If this is the case make
      sure you ask for a link back to your website from within that content! With the exception of One Way Links all reciprocal links are content or area related.
  • ExampleA real estate agent with a website will typically have reciprocal links established with websites that offer some type of home assistance such as movers, roofers, plumbers, and sites that offer moving materials.

Blogging For Links:

Aside from the types of links mentioned above you will also want to be aware that blogging plays an important role in regards to your success within the search engines. In addition to establishing a healthy links portfolio Cal Coast Web Design will also create blogs for you.

Blogs much like links, provide people and search engines with a way to find a way your website. When Cal Coast Web Design creates blogs for you and your website we do so anonymously so that your name and personal information is never tied to such content. Essentially Cal Coast Web Design searches for blogs that contain information that relates to your website and the services you offer.

Once a blog is found that contains information relevant to your website a member of our staff will read the blog and then leave comments on this blog for the purpose of saturating the internet with your keywords and leaving a link back to your website. Blogs are very popular these days and are a regular part of the search engine optimization you will receive from Cal Coast Web Design!

What You Can Do To Enhance Your Link Popularity?:

As a client of Cal Coast Web Design we dedicate a specific amount of time each month to maintaining and growing your link popularity. Each month our Links Manager goes on the hunt for popular websites that relate to the industry in which you function and request that those sites reciprocate links with your website. There are things that you can do however to help build your link popularity on your own.

  1. The first thing we recommend doing is downloading the Google Toolbar (its free!). This tool bar allows its users to view the page rank a particular website has received from Google. A high page rank indicates that a website is highly popular which is what you want to be sure of when asking another site to reciprocate links. Once installed find websites that you’re interested in trading links with.

    When you arrive at a website that you’d like to consider linking to you, be sure to look near the top of your browser for the websites page rank (see above). As a rule of thumb, you generally do not want to exchange links with websites that have a ranking lower than 4, as they are not very popular websites. Linking with site that have low page rankings does little for your website. Remember….quality is more important that quantity.

Please be sure to pick up the phone and contact a Cal Coast rep if you know of any possibilities form the list above. No need to do any work. You let us know who or what and we do the rest of the work. If you d0nt want personal relationship disrupted by us, we can send you a template email to utilize yourself.

Please don’t put this off. Linking is a HUGE component of your SEO and can mean the difference between page 1 and 2 of the search engines which can mean the difference in lots of leads and sales too!