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Linking Your Website

One of the best things you can do on your website is to link pages to each other within the site and with other sites. Linking is second only to search engines as a way to get traffic to ones site and its free.

Types of Linking

  1. Internal Linking

    One major search engine company will purge pages that you have indexed. One month you'll have 100 pages in the indexes, and the next month it purges all but three or four of your web pages. Now you either have to scramble and resubmit the indexed pages with links to all your other pages.

    To get around this, cross link your web site (internal linking) where every single page has links to all your other pages. Then, even if only one page remains in the index, when the spider comes crawling to update, all your other pages will be found again, automatically.

    If the engine is a spider it will crawl and add your other pages to its index. Being cross linked gives your pages a greater chance of being catalogued and having your pages "stick" in the index. Some search engines even prefer this method of "finding" your pages rather than having you announce them to their submission areas.

    When you are designing your own site, it's a great idea to be sure that you understand that people will be book marking and linking to any and every page that you've got. Thus, your navigation and overall design must allow visitors to move around freely on your site regardless of which page they land upon.

    This can be accomplished by having the main navigation appearing on every page. Within the body of your content, also have links to other pages within your site.

  2. Reciprocal Links (External Links)

    Reciprocal links are links with other sites, which are generally related to the theme of your web site. The concept is simple: you link to the site, and that sites' webmaster returns the favour and links back to your site. For some reason or another you always receive a lot more traffic from other sites, then you give out.

    This method of traffic building is very important and its free, its simply a matter of contacting the right webmasters and getting the right links. However a full blown 'link-hunt' can be time consuming but the benefits it can bring are huge.

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Why Cross Linking Is Important

  1. Highly targeted visitors

    The visitors that come from related web sites are highly targeted. You have a much better chance of selling them your product or service, because they have come to your site through a link on a related web site. They will be interested in your sites theme, otherwise they wouldn't click through if they weren't interested. So these are prime prospects for your product or service and best of all you don't have to pay for a single one.

  2. Better search engine rankings

    Some major search engines (like Google) are using the number of links to a site as an important factor in establishing a site's "relevancy", "link popularity" or "link density". They all have slightly different meanings, but what they all mean is that the links leading to and from your web site, are being analyzed, assessed, evaluated and then ranked, to determine where your site should come up in search results. The more links a site has to more valuable it must be.

  3. Repeat traffic

    Reciprocal links will assist in drawing repeat traffic back to your web site. If you offer a high-quality list of relevant links, visitors will return often because they know that they can quickly find what they're looking for.

  4. Added Value For Your Visitors

    A high-quality links directory benefits your visitors by saving them from searching the web.

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Methods of Linking

Proactive

You actively search out web sites that would complement your own, and send a note to the owner asking to swap links.

Passive

With this method you wait for others to approach or link to you. This passive approach gives you an obvious time advantage. Some ways to encourage passive links include:

  • Tell Visitors how to link to you

    Put a link on your site that says, "How to Link to Us". Provide the text, banners, buttons, and HTML to make it as easy as possible for someone to think to you.

  • Offer a content-rich site

    You'll be pleasantly surprised at how many web sites link to you just because they like what you have to offer.

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Legalities of Linking

Almost all web sites have a page of links to "favorite", "featured" or "special" places to visit. This is almost never done with permission, nor does it need to be.

Only HTML-style pages are acceptable for cross-linking. Linking to other types of media files (e.g. graphics, zip files, sound files) is called bandwidth stealing and is highly unethical.

One way to think of linking is to associate it with the "fair use" laws. These laws which allow people to include short quotes from published and copyrighted works in their own materials. This is not illegal or unethical - in fact it is absolutely necessary. It would be difficult for a university student to write a term paper if he could not quote authors, or how impossible it would be for a critic to do his job if he could not include a few lines from the work he was writing about.

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Guidelines When Linking

  • Keep your links simple

    Fair use allows small quotes, and as long as you keep things short you should be fine.

  • Know What Kind of Web sites Will Compliment Yours

    Look for web sites that compliments yours but does not directly compete with you. This is actually a very time-consuming task. It does not mean blasting out requests for swapping links to every site you see. A web site full of links with little content doesn't "make sense" because what benefit is it to you or your visitors? Link to sites that are of interest to or help your visitors. You are adding value to your own web site in this manner.

  • Get permission where possible or feasible

    Request a Link with web site's Webmaster. Keep in mind that web site owners may get several link requests every day. Make your request stand out by personalizing your request. Include the site owner's name. Comment on something you've seen on their web site. This shows that you have actually visited the site and taken the time and effort to look around.

  • No control over content of links

    Include a section of your own which explains to your visitors that you have no control over external links. You think they might be of interest, but you don't have any responsibility for their content.

  • Link only to HTML and text style pages

    Do not link to multimedia files (images, sounds and videos). Linking to these types of media files is called bandwidth stealing and is highly unethical.

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Other Things You Can Do to Increase Linking

  1. Writing Articles

    Write regular articles or tips and submit them to article listing directories. Get them published in other ezines. Get them posted on other web sites.

    Your articles always contain your web site url in their 'resource box'. So with them listed on high traffic directories, they can help you ranked better in the search engines too.

    Similarly, thousands of ezine publishers hungry for content may select your articles for publication in their ezines, or posting on their own sites. Your articles can spread virally this way, through your single action of posting to the directories!

    Some wellness-related directories to submit your article to are:

    Canadian:
    The Passionate Soul
    Work Smart Live Smart
    Found Health.com
    Nutrition and Health Directory
    Others:
    Self-Growth.com
    Animal Wellness Magazine
    Health E-biz
    Crescent Life

    1st in Wellness

    Ziyara
    Healing Well.com

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  2. Use Of The Forums

    Search the engines for forums related to your business' targeted markets. Join these forums and participate actively!

    Most discussion forums allow you to include your signature file with your posting. In your signature file, you should add your url with the prefix 'http://'.

    Every time you post, you get your url published in the forums. Besides attracting fellow participants to your web site, your posts get archived AND indexed by the search engines! This site has a list of the major forums dedicated to different categories from internet marketing to general business. You will drive more traffic to your web site every time you participate in the forums.

    Check out Entrepreneur Web, a resource of different forums.

  3. Make Use Of Testimonials

    Whenever you have a positive experience with a product or service, voice your thoughts! Write an email to the webmaster and tell them how much you enjoy using their products. Tell them to publish your feedback as a testimonial on their web sites.

    All webmasters value testimonials as it adds credibility and enhance their product or service. More often than not, they would not hesitate to post your testimonial on their sites. All you've to do is request that a link back to your web site be included!

  4. Linking Tools

    There are many software and tools available to enhance your linking Strategy.

    • Internet Marketing Robots - such as Zeus (www.Cyber-Robotics.com) searches the internet for specific reciprocal linking partners relevant to your website, in less time it takes to eat your dinner!
    • Link Exchanges - will provide find huge pools of ready webmasters for link exchanges, such as www.LinkLeads.com or www.LinkPartners.com.

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