It’s no secret that the popularity of your blog is directly related to how many websites link to your content. Google and other search engines equate the amount of links to your website to the quality of it’s content. It’s interesting to note that your blog can have the most original and focused content in the world, but if nobody is linking to your site, you’re not going to rank very high in search results. And as you would imagine, the opposite is quite possible.
So how do you do it? How do you get people to link to your site especially if that person’s site is potentially a competitor of yours? The answer somewhat eludes most webmasters and every site’s situation is different. The truth is that some site owners overlook this important fact. With all this focus on search engine optimization, original content, creating e-books, posting updates to social media sites and advertising, it’s hard to pay attention to every detail.
Well you can start paying attention now because this information is probably the most important part of getting traffic to your site(s). Before I go into the details of how to get it, let’s look at the different types of traffic that’s floating around the Internet.
Targeted traffic is usually from advertising streams. As an example, if you purchase Google AdWords, you’re essentially buying keywords that are related to the content of your site and the ads will show up on other sites that are simliar to yours. If someone on that site likes your ad, they’ll click on it and come to your site. Other forms of targeted traffic are from email campaigns that send out advertisements to people who have signed up for email alerts for specific information. Today, search engines are making attempts to return search results that are targeted to each user, but this is still only one piece of the “ranking” pie.
As the name implies, this kind of traffic is from people that simply type your domain into their web browser directly to come to your site. This traffic is the most difficult to obtain from the start unless you own a fairly generic domain name. Think about your own Internet usage. Have you ever wanted to lookup a topic such as cell phones and just typed in cellphones.com? Type in traffic for your site will come with time as people start remembering your site.
Search engine traffic
You’ll start to notice as you build your site and keep adding content to it that people will just start showing up. Search engines are always adding new content by sending out their spiders to locate information on the Internet to catalog it in their databases. Also, as you start posting content, you might end up writing about something that doesn’t have a lot of coverage on the Internet and this will dramatically increase traffic to your site.
There are many other places your site will start receiving traffic from. This traffic is not worth mentioning because it’s not only a small amount overall, but it’s also not the type of traffic you want. There are sites all over the Internet that make attempts to link to every site possible. Some even get more organized by sorting these links into categories. These sites are sometimes called link farms and are frowned upon by search engines. If you ever see offers on the Internet the purchase links on these sites with promises to add your site to “hundreds of targeted websites”, you want to avoid them. They can actually cause negative effects to your hard work.
Find those links
All this traffic is wrapped around the concept of getting links and now it’s time to learn the basics about how to get people to link to your site. If done right (and ethically), this process might be the most time consuming (or not). One way to do this is to let the fates decide: simply post your content and as people find it, let them link to it on their own. The second way is to go looking for the links.
The best way to do this is to just ask people to link to your site. Go around searching for sites that share similarities to your own and find out if the owner would be willing to link to your site. Usually this means he/she will want you to link back to them as well.
This is a surefire way to get links to your site. But you need to know that webmasters will not link to your site if you don’t have original content or if your site looks like there’s not much substance to it. Also, they will not want you to link to them because bad sites can cause negative light to shine on good sites. Each webmaster might have varying rules for their link to be displayed. Link trading can be a time-consuming process, but it can prove very valuable to your site’s performance.
A good tip for your site is to create a links page close to your home page and accessible from it as well. My advice is to make a link like mine, ledfrog.com/links. This will ensure that all your web links will be clearly visible form your site and webmasters love this.
Many websites are now offering link placement offers where you can pay a webmaster for a link on their site. The costs vary greatly based on the popularity of the site and where the link is located. Most websites will tell you the factual details of this placement and maybe even an estimated traffic count so you can value your dollar as much as possible. There’s no shame in buying links and in time, you won’t have to pay for them because eventually you’ll be the one charging!
The most obvious way to get traffic is to buy ads that offer your site’s link on countless other related websites across the Internet. This might be a more viable option to those of you that operate businesses online, but anyone can buy ads; if you’re willing to pay for them. Essentially you pay a small fee every time someone clicks on your ad.
This one is more about publishing suplemental content. Your site will already have everything you’ve added to it, but every now and then you should consider creating something that people can download and pass on to their friends such as an e-book or maybe even a consolidation of a few of your posts. Be sure to place links to your site in these documents to ensure that no matter where it ends up online, people will always know where it came from. Also, give permission to other sites to use your content in lieu of posting a link to your site.
Be VERY careful with this one considering the amount of spam that is going around the Internet these days. I would suggest only emailing those that have signed up to your site and only email periodically. You don’t want to flood them with content that they can easily get by going to your site. Try and stay away from purchasing email lists.
This is just a basic covering of ways to get links to your site. As times change, I will undoubtedly be updating this section.
H4KZP9WWCWRQLast updated: February 27, 2010