Link Building Your Way to a Popular Site
You may have a hot-looking website, but it may not get many visitors because no one can find it. You know a lot goes into getting people to your site, and you know the importance of people finding your site in the search rankings. If people don’t see your site on the first couple of pages of search results, do you think they’ll take the time to find it? So, what do you do? Well, you’ve got to find some way to show the search engines that the people searching will find your information valuable. So, let’s take a look at one example: Google, the largest search engine in the world.
How much do you think you could benefit from showing up on the first couple of pages in a Google search result? If you sell something on your site that a lot of other sites have, the results can be astronomical. Well, by building reciprocal links, you’ll start getting yourself into Google’s listings.
Now, here’s the secret to getting into Google’s free listings: You have to first get hundreds, if not thousands of other websites to link to yours. If Google sees you have lots of other sites linking to your site, they consider that a good thing. You see, think of it as sort of a popularity contest; if someone links to you, it counts as a vote for your site. If one of the more popular websites which have lots of people linking to them also links to you, that vote carries even more weight than some Joe-Schmoe website that nobody links to.
There you have it in a nutshell. If you can get lots of sites to link to yours, Google will rank you higher in their results list. So, really, you get a two-fold benefit: Not only will you get more traffic from Google, but you’ll also get more traffic from the other spots on the Web linking to your site.
But, here’s the most important thing to remember: You have more to think about than just the number or the popularity of those sites that link to you. No, you also have to worry about the text that those sites use to link to you.
Let me put that another way because you’ve got to make sure you understand this. This is perhaps the most important part of this entire report. If you find any of this following information unclear, please read this part again.
Some people find this a little difficult to grasp, but I’ll try my best to explain it clearly. So, here it goes…
The text that other sites use to link to your site is called anchor text. You know – the blue underlined text that you usually click on when you see a link.
You must get the other sites linking to your site to use your desired keywords in the anchor text.
If they use the incorrect text to use as the link, your site will still rank poorly in Google, even if you have thousands of sites that link to you. What do I mean by “incorrect text?”
Let me put it this way: If your anchor text (you know, the blue underlined text) doesn’t contain your keywords that people might search for, then you’ll still rank poorly. Ninety-nine percent of all web designers and even the so-called “web gurus” miss this important detail.
Let’s say you have a site about dogs and cats. Let me give you a couple examples of anchor text to help clarify what I mean:
Examples of Bad Anchor Text:
- Click here to see more articles about dogs and cats
- View our photo gallery
- Read more about dogs and cats
Examples of Good Anchor Text:
- Click here to see more dog articles and cat articles
- View our gallery of dog photos and cat photos
- Read more about dogs and cats
Do you see the big difference? The second group – the ones with good anchor text – uses the keywords that people are searching for as the link itself. The bad anchor text examples use words like “click here” and “photo gallery” as the link text.
Think about this: When you see a link and it says “dog photos,” you know that if you click on that link then the following page will likely have photos of dogs. Google knows this, too, and, therefore, casts a vote in favor of the receiving site for the keyword phrase contained in the anchor text.
Now, think about this: If the link pointing to your site just says “click here,” then Google doesn’t know that the other site is casting a vote for your “dog photos.” If the text pointing to your site says “click here,” then your site doesn’t get boosted at all for the term “dog photos.” In fact, your site will actually rank better for the term “click here,” which is obviously a waste because you want people to find you when they search for dog related terms, not the phrase “click here.”
Assuming you understand the importance of anchor text, you may now wonder how on earth you’re supposed to get sites to link to your site. It’s not difficult to do, but it takes a lot of legwork. You’ll need to look on the Web and find other sites that seem willing to trade links and contact them. Send them an e-mail and ask them if they would like to trade links. Offer to give them a link to their site, on your links page. Think of it like, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.”
Since this can take a long time and can require you to contact tens of thousands of sites, many of our clients have chosen to take advantage of Red Rocket’s link building services. We have developed monthly packages that can make this time-consuming task affordable for anyone. Ask your sales representative how you can have 1500 reciprocal links within the next year.
If you’d like to find out how many websites currently link to your site, you can go to linkpopularity.com. It’s a great way to monitor your linking status, so you know how much legwork you still have ahead of you.
In order to see the actual anchor text that other sites are using to link to your site, you can visit http://www.webconfs.com/anchor-text-analysis.php. This site will actually show you the sites that link to you and the anchor text that they have used to link to your site. Keep your fingers crossed and hope that they have used good anchor text.
To monitor Google’s opinion of your site, go to Google and download the Google toolbar, an amazing tool that gets installed into your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser and shows the Google Page Rank for every site you visit – including your competitors’ sites. You can immediately see on a scale of 1 to 10 if Google likes a site or not. Those sites with higher page ranks obviously rank higher in their search results pages. Most well-designed sites that have a decent amount of reciprocal links can achieve a ranking of 4 or 5. Only the biggest, most popular sites maintain rankings of 7 or higher. Even Yahoo!, the biggest site on the Web, only has a page rank of 9.
When you’re ready to take the next step and improve your site in the search rankings and, ultimately, bring more customers to your products or services, Red Rocket can help. Our Web experts have the skill to bring your website to the front of the pack.