Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Link Bait:

“I Want You to Want ME!”

In-bound links of the non-reciprocal kind continue to fascinate SEO and SEM professionals. Many site owners, newbies and long-timers, have followed the axiomatic tactics for link building – from hosted content to outright begging. (PLEASE link to my site.) “Desperation does not a connection build.” I think Calvin Coolidge said that or maybe I read it on a webmaster blog.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you checked your Alexa data and discovered that a couple of higher ranking sites linked to your site, asking nothing in return? Wouldn’t it be nice to attract inbound links without spending hours of each day tweaking, trying to find that perfect combination of keywords and content density?

It takes a lot for a higher ranked site to link to a lower ranked site. The owner of the higher ranked site may actually slip in search engine rankings, unless search engines recognize the value and quality of your site.

1. Your site can not look home-made. Professional and appropriate to the site topic.

Just like Mom said, “People judge you by your looks.” So, if you have an attractive site with all the latest in site features, Flash movies, transparent mouseover flyouts and an animated banner, all in appropriate colors and fonts, you at least look the part.

Yours will be a reflection on any site linking in so you have to look…at least as good as the quality competition in your market segment.

2. Free content. Come and get it!

Can you write? Even a little, if it’s in your area of expertise?

We’ve mentioned content sydicators often in the Website Source blog and, indeed, these sydicators are extremely useful in building in-bound links. But wait. You can also post articles, newsletters, industry information and other content, free and downloadable for the asking, from your own site.

Site owners need to fill pages and though syndicated content won’t win any friends among traveling Googlebots, it will keep a site fresh for return visitors so other site owners will be glad to post your musings on metaphysics in the metadata age (well, some will).

To take best advantage of these give-aways, embed text links back to your site. Don’t go overboard. A couple over a 600-word piece is about tops. Also include an “About the Author” biography, short – no more than three lines even if you are the most vibrant character you know – with another back link.

Syndicated content is great. But when you syndicate through goarticles or helium, you’re creating site popularity for goarticles and helium, not for your site. If you can post a couple of short 600-word pieces a week on the area of your expertise, you’ll have a library of more than 700 articles and blog posts free for download in your archives.

Vary your topics and include content for all ranges of expertise – from rookies to authorities. Don’t forget to add FREE CONTENT to your HTML keyword and description tags for the bots.

Advertise your content give-away on dmoz.org, SEOmoz.org, your website and through links created through other guerilla channels like Facebook and other sites that survive on user-generated content.

3. Get your free gizmos.

There’s plenty of free stuff online. Counters, trackers, free press release software, data feeds, calculators and other useful programs. You can pick up rights free digital gizmos at freesticky.com. Other sites giving it away are send2press, allheadlinenews and freeware.

These freebies should be relevant to the topic of your site and promoted though blogs and other viral marketing outlets like Facebook. If you give it away, people will hook into your freebie gizmos for use on their own sites, each time creating a link back to your site. Now, site owners come to you. Your links begging days are over. (Whew!)

4. Build authority.

Post on your own blog. Be controversial. Be provocative. Incite a web riot. It’s so cool. Your blog should lead to long threads of pro and con opinions. Topicality should have a long shelf life.

If you post on a blog about a news blip in last night’s broadcast, it’s got a 24-36 hour shelf life, unless it’s about Brittney Spears and then it’s got a shelf life of approximately a millennium (at least so far) so show your authority with posts that’ll still have a readership 36 months down the road. Man, content is dated quickly webwise.

5. Post insightful, authoritative, proprietary content on site.

Sole source. That’s what this content is called because it’s available from a single source – your website.

This content should be informational, authoritative, accurate and 100% reliable. Let’s say you’re an optometrist with a couple of brick and mortar outlets. Great, and congrats.

Use your expertise in eye care to create informative content: Choosing An Eye Care Professional; Time for Another Eye Exam; Don’t Forget Eyesight Health Month. If you develop quality content for download, supplemented by copyrighted content available only on your site, site owners within your area of expertise will appreciate the free content and visitors who reach your site via non-reciprocals will appreciate the sole source content.

Keep it hype free and make it printer friendly.

Think of these steps as viral links building. It works in precisely the same manner as viral or word of web marketing. If your site offers something useful to other webmasters free, you’ve made a webbud who looks upon you with favor. If you also provide great, informational content for consumers and end users, sites will link into yours without any links begging.

Provide benefits to site owners and their visitors and your site becomes a self-propagating links magnet. And connectivity is one of the four pillars of site success describe in a previous post.

Connect up the easy way. Take the high road. The others will follow your lead. The result? A dynamic website with ever-changing content, free give-aways and other useful stuff – printable coupons, printable articles, gizmos and gadgets.

Come and get it.

No comments: