Website marketing guide
for small businesses and start-ups

How to get links to your website

As we said on the previous page, gaining links from reputable websites to your own website is one of the best ways to help your site rank in the Google search listings.

Directories

A simple method to gain links is to submit your website to online directories. There are many to choose from so you need to be selective, industry specific directories can often provide a fairly good quality link back to your website because it is in a related field.

A good quality trusted directory is the Yahoo Directory which you have to pay for but it can be worth it as it is one of the oldest and most well respected directories.

When submitting your website to directories try to use anchor text that matches the keywords and phrases that you have decided to target. Some directories don't allow it but if they do, make use of it.

Your website's content

If your website provides information that other people find useful it may attract links back to it. Other websites may link to your website because it is a good resource or might be useful to their website visitors. Content that is original, provides a unique take on a subject and is useful, often attracts links.

It is a good idea to try to think that every time you make a piece of content for your site you make it as high quality and as original and unique as you can. Websites that are good at attracting links are those that very often provide something of value to their site visitors.

A good example of content that generates links is a blog.

What is a blog?

Blog is short for weblog which is an online commentary or diary that is updated regularly. It can be a social commentary, description of events, personal thoughts, or anything the writer wants it to be.

A blog is often a good way to easily create content on your website. You can update a blog as often as you like and the more interesting and original the content you write, the more likely your website is to get noticed and linked to.

Businesses are increasingly using blogs as a method of promotion on the internet. Blog entries can highlight product releases, new company developments, staff events or whatever is topical at a particular time.

Business blogs are generally written in a more conversational way to other business content, a blog engages readers more and gives a more human feel to a business.

Keeping your blog up-to-date

The advantages of writing a blog are that because of the ease of updating it you can write about new trends in your industry and keep your website visitors up to date with industry news.

If you are in an industry where other people write about topical industry issues online, using your blog you could participate in these conversations. You can do this by commenting on other blogs and then joining a conversation by writing about the subject on your blog.

Making your blog stand out from the crowd

There are various tactics you could use to make your content stand out from the crowd and give it a different angle. Create some interesting content, use videos or pictures, this can be effective if you are in a market where websites are particularly boring. Being different often gets links.

If you write something controversial this can also make your website stand out. Just be careful not to be too controversial, it isn't worth being sued!

Although this might create publicity and links it is not recommended. A simple blog can be added to your website using www.wordpress.org, you can even make your whole website a blog which you can update as often as you like. Other platforms for blogging are www.moveabletype.com, www.typepad.com and www.blogger.com.

In general, blogs are an excellent way of promoting your business online and giving your product or service more visibility on the internet.

Blog post titles

Something which goes hand in hand with making the content on your blog stand out is to make sure you write catchy snappy titles. A good title can make more people read what you have written and even make more people link to your article.

The internet is becoming increasingly competitive and a strong title can be the difference between an article being popular or not.

This is a great explanation of why titles are so important and how to write great headlines.

Using contacts to get links

An excellent way to get links back to your website is to focus on your website's online "community". This means other websites that are focused on your industry and link between one another because they are talking about similar topics.

If you can develop relationships and get these sites to link to you, you may be one step ahead of some of your other competitors.

Have a look at other websites that are in your industry and see if you could create some content that they might want to link to. You may find that a particular website might really want to link to a guide that you have written or some news about the industry that you have uncovered.

If you have developed business relationships with other companies or individuals who work in your industry you could ask them to link to your website if they have their own site.

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