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
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
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.
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.
Why Cross Linking Is Important
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.
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
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.
Added Value For Your Visitors
A high-quality links directory benefits your visitors by saving them
from searching the web.
Methods of Linking
You actively search out web sites that would complement your own, and
send a note to the owner asking to swap links.
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.
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.
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
Other Things You Can Do to Increase Linking
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:
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.
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!
There are many software and tools available to enhance your linking
- 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