A recent study, which used web searches in 75 different languages to sample the Web, determined that there were over 11.5 billion web pages in the publicly indexable web as of the end of January 2005.* And you thought writing your marketing copy was tough? The competition to bring people to your site can seem incredibly daunting. Consider the fact that Google posted record advertising incomes of almost ten and a half billion dollars in 2006.**
So what is a consistently effective way to drive traffic to your website for the longerm?
The answer: backlinks.
Generating backlinks to your website is a highly effective way to build traffic. Backlinks are inbound links to your website. Search engines use the number of backlinks to a web page as one of the indicators for how popular that page is on the Internet. In this article, I’ll review five ways to generate backlinks to your website. The first category of backlinks—Pointers—are the type of backlink I consider superficial, but necessary, in the longterm battle for web traffic. These pointers are usually simple hyperlinks with your domain name or company name associated with them. The second type—Positioners—are links associated with unique content specifically focused on positioning you or your business as the expert in a specific area of expertise.
Quick note: I do not include blogs in this article because while they do generate backlinks—they should be included in the domain of customer relationship management and corporate communications and is a platform of communication of its own. Blogs will be a vehicle for distributing your press-releases and articles as well as other corporate communications and will generate backlinks. But seeing blogs for the purpose of backlinks is missing out on the larger picture.
5 Strategies to Generate Backlinks to Your Website
Type 1: Pointers
1. Viral Marketing
Promote your website by placing ideas or content within online communities with the hope that they will spread virally. This includes the use of video on websites such as YouTube, community sites such as MySpace, blogging using tools such as Blogger.com, news websites with emphasis on user votes for relevance on sites such as Digg, or discussion groups specific to your target prospect. You can find potential discussion groups on Yahoo Groups or Orkut.
2. Link Exchange
A Link Exchange can either be a large group that is organized to provide its members with backlinks (often called a web ring) or simply you searching for sites that have complimentary service offerings and asking them to place a link to your website in exchange for you placing a link on your site to their site.
3. Social Bookmarking
Social Bookmarking is a way for Internet users to store, classify, share, and search Internet bookmarks. This is a great way to build backlinks to your website that can increase the popularity and importance of your page resulting in higher search rankings. I recommend integrating AddThis to your website.
Type 2: Positioners
4. Free Press Release Distribution
Press Release Distribution can be a very quick and easy way to generate links to your website. There are many sites that offer free service as a means to collect ad revenue and you should take advantage of them. You can use a service such as Guru.com to hire a professional to create your press release or you can try writing it yourself. If you choose to write the press release yourself, I recommend going to PRWeb and finding a press release that is similar to what you’ll need. This doesn’t necessarily mean a competing product but if you are selling a sports energy drink then you may want to research press releases for new commercial offerings for beverages.
Here is a list of free press release sites:
Other Free Press Release Sites
5. Distributing Articles
Distributing an article written by you and on a topic related directly to your website can both help generate backlinks to your site and help you become an established expert in that particular topic. Most article directories that you will submit your article to will only require a minimum of 500 words. I suggest trying to take the time to write your own articles. Creating your own piece of work only fuels the desire to make the efforts necessary to get people to your website.
As stated previously, you can hire a professional through Guru.com to write your article costing you somewhere between $50 and $150 depending on the quality of professional you hire. If you choose this route, make sure you go through the article to make sure that article conveys your unique identity. There’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to write your article but make sure that it has “you” embedded within the content and it conveys the concepts according to your unique perspective.
Either way, whether you hire someone to write your article or write one yourself, I highly recommend hiring an editor to review your article for errors.
Here is a list of article directories you can submit your article to:
Recommended paid services:
Free do-it-yourself sites
Use the five strategies for longterm results. Don’t get caught up in worrying about overnight success. Keep writing content and continue to build your network. In the marketing game, slow and steady wins the race. As long as you keep moving and taking actions—no matter how small they may seem—you will see results.
Review your social media optimization strategy. How often can you distribute articles, press releases, and blog entries? Create your strategy and start executing today.