Link exchanging, yes or no?

When looking to generate “inbound links” to your website, some of the easiest to get are ones where your website links to a website who is linking to you; a reciprocal link.  To do this generally requires some sort of communication between the website owners and then an agreement to link to one another.
Exchange links!
Since it is difficult to obtain most links from coveted and trustworthy sites, it is easy to get carried away exchanging links with other new or unestablished sites just because of the comparative ease of obtaining the links in link exchanges.

However, be warned, link exchanges are much less effective now than they used to be in the past and they have been known to cancel each other out. A savvy link-exchange campaign can give you one of the best boosts when your site is still new just because many of the other methods of obtaining links are just too tough for new sites to pull off.
If you do use link building as a way of boosting your websites’ SEO credibility, only do exchanges with websites in your market/sector that are reputable and trustworthy. Refrain from interlinking with other unestablished sites because more often than not you will just end up in bad link neighbourhoods which can actually cause you SEO damage instead of benefit.

Like any sort of online marketing activity involving links to your website, my advice is to seek help from someone professional who has experience of running these types of campaigns and use a combination of initiatives to give you the right balance.


Build quality, inbound links

This might sound obvious, but by continuously building links into your site your rank in Google will be infinitely improved. However, be very aware of using black hat link building as this is a sure fire way to get your website black listed so, to make your links as successful as possible, your link creation should look natural to create the appearance that you earned these links.

Try and make the links that come into your site look natural and in Bath Marketing Consultancy’s opinion, avoid reciprocal links (a situation where you link to a site that also links to you) as that looks unnatural to Google and these links tend to cancel each other out.

Strong links really help SEO.

When discussing link building into your site, there is also the practice of asking for links. It is a common (but not attractive) SEO practice and is necessary to some degree. What you do is identify and then email a few hundred respectable and highly reputable sites in your niche and politely ask if they would link to you. Depending on the quality of your site you are likely to have a c5% success rate. This rate will be significantly lower if you have a new, recently launched, or a somewhat non-professional looking site.

However, if the sites you email are reputable, the very few links you will get will go a very long way in helping you grow trust in the eyes of search engines. Often, a few great links is better than thousands of low-quality links and if the quality of your site and product is high people will take notice and be more willing to link to you.

What are links?

(If you are reading this from my Twitter post, well done, this is what link building is all about!)

Basically, a link is a word, phrase or image that people can click on in order to be taken to your website. The more genuine links you have coming into your site, the better, especially if they are one way links. But why should other sites link to you? Perhaps you have great content that their visitors would find of interest or you host a great  video, you are offering some sort of give away or even a free report. Either way, the people most likely to link to you will not be competitors, but more likely businesses that compliment your business in some way. For example, a site about fitness might be linked to a site dedicated to sports or nutrition. If you find a site that links to your competitors, ask the site owner to link to you.

You can also create links yourself – for example in a Blog like this or a directory or maybe even online press release sites. BUT be very careful of
Black Hat link building as this will have an adverse effect. For the same reason avoid buying links.

If you need some help with this side of search engine marketing, please get in touch with me via my website…

Blogs & how to use one

Do you blog? As you probably know, a blog is an online site in diary form. The most typical blog is one that has articles that are posted periodically with the newest appearing at the top of the page; above the previous one. There are also static pages like the about us or profile pages that provide information about the site owner. A blog can also link to other blogs and/or websites, display a calendar of events & many other features. In fact, blogs are so versatile that they sometime replace actual websites.

There are millions of blogs out there in numerous formats and maintaining a blog requires considerable work and effort. However, if the content is relevant and interesting to read, blogs can rapidly become new business tools as well as a great PR tool for the owner.

I use my blog as a way of demonstrating my market (or marketing!) knowledge; a sort of reputation management tool that I hope helps my readers. I have installed analytics to my blog so I know where readers come from and how long they spend on the blog. I have also linked up both my blogs for link building purposes.

However you use your blog, here are some functions that it can perform:

1.keep customers up to date with your latest offerings establish a dialogue with customers, especially if you allow customers to leave comments
3.provide a platform for you to inform people of developments within your business – although a “news” section on your website can also perform this function
4.raise your profile as an expert in your field
5.list other sites with which you are associated – Twitter, Linkedin etc can even bring in revenue by allowing adverts to appear on it or by asking people to subscribe to it

As you have probably gathered, I love blogs, but don’t start one unless you can maintain it. If need be, enlist the help of someone who can help you write content and someone to help you optimise and link it. Every little helps!!