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How To Get Ranked Higher In The Search Engines 

Hi, it's Warren again with part 5 of "The Insider Secrets To Web Success".

Todays secret will help you get ranked higher in the search engines so that searchers can actually find your site. It could make the difference between being on page 1 or page 30 in the search engine results.

Use Incoming Links To Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

The search engines have a problem. Out of all the thousands or tens of thousands of websites that  could fit someone's search, which one deserves to be number one on the search engine results page (SERP). Which sites deserve to be on the first page?

There could be dozens or hundreds that use the right keywords and are beautifully optimized for the search engines. The search engines want the most valuable pages first because like any other business you have to give the customer what they want or they will go somewhere else. (At the moment Google is the best at giving searchers what they want - relevant pages, and that is why Google dominates.)

So the search engines use a whole host of criteria to decide which pages deserve the coveted front page on their SERPS. One of the most important criteria is incoming links, often called backlinks.

Incoming links are links to your website from other websites. The search engines see these as a vote of confidence for your website, and the more quality votes you get the better your ranking.

Having no backlinks can doom your website to obscurity, because you never get high enough in the search engines for any of your prospective clients to see your site, and you're losing sales again.

You Need Quality Links

Quantity isn't all there is to it. Some backlinks are worth more than others, sometimes an awful lot more. A one way backlink from an authority site, a site the search engines already recognize as important, will do much more for your site than swapping  backlinks (called reciprocal linking) with a lowly rated site with dozens of links of the page that links to your site.

Is A Personal Reference From A Drunk Good For Your Credibility?

Linking to spammy websites can actually damage your reputation with the search engines and give you a lower ranking. Think of incoming links as a personal reference when you're going for a new job. A reference from the state manager of your current employer is worth a lot more than a reference from your drunken drinking buddy at the local hotel. Getting a reference from a drunk isn't going to say much good about you.

How do you get quality backlinks?

Valuable Content

Notice how valuable content keeps cropping up as part of a successful website stategy?

One of the most important things you need to do is have lots of quailty information on your site. Then you'll find some other websites will link to your site just because it is a good resource for their visitors. You can't rely on that as your only linking strategy though because it is slow and uncertain.

Swap Links

You can swap links with other quality websites. Email the website owner asking for a link but make it a personal email showing that you have actually visited their site. Spamming website owners will get you into trouble fast. Once again lots of quailty information will help you get reciprocal links.

Only link to related sites. If you're in a car panel beating business you might link to a radiator repairer but you wouldn't link to a weight loss site.

How do you find sites to link to?

You can brainstorm some related niches and go looking in the search engines. That's slow and largely unproductive though.

You can look at competitors websites, see who they link to and approach those websites for a reciprocal link.

You can find sites during your normal day to day web surfing and working. Keep a note of suitable websites.

One of the best ways though is to...

Join A Quality Link Exchange Program

There are programs that you can join that put you in touch with other webmasters that want reciprocal links. You can then check their sites out and approach the ones that look best from your point of view.

I've joined a couple that weren't that good. The other sites were mainly spammy, not the sort you really want to link to. Most of the sites I did link to actually deleted the link to my site after a while, so I was linking to them but they weren't linking to me.

So if you do join a program keep a list of who you link to and where they link back from so you can check that they keep the link live.

The only program I recommend is SiteSells Value Exchange which has generally good quality sites in it. It's free and well worth joining. You will find that not every site you approach will want to link back to you, and a lot of emails will go unanswered. Like anything it's perserverence, and as your site improves and gets a better Google page rank it gets easier to get link exchanges.

Submit Articles To Article Directories.

You can write articles and submit them to an article directory such as EzineArticles. Make sure it is a quality article providing useful information. At the bottom of the article you get to put a resource box, which is where you plug your website and get live links back to it.

If your article is good enough, other website owners will put it on their websites complete with your resource box, giving you more one way incoming links.

Of course there are the "bad guys" out there who use your article without giving you a link back which really annoys the heck out of me, but that's life. It's still worth using article directories particularly when your site is new and you need links to get the ball rolling.

Article directories can take a while to process your article and get it live though, because they are inundated with submissions.  There are a couple that you can pay a few doolars for an expidited submisiion, and others like EzineArticles will give you some priority after you get a few good articles up.

Use Web 2.0 Sites Like Sqidoo and Hub pages

It's the same with web 2.0 sites such as Squiddoo or Hub pages. You can write an article and post it on their sites getting backlinks to your site. Once again make sure you write quality articles.

The good thing about these sites is that your article goes live immediately. That means if you've just gone live with your website you can get links back straight away. As well as helping your page rank it means that the search engines will be able to find and index your website quickly. You won't have to wait month just to get indexed by Google.

Be aware of "duplicate content" when you're submitting to sites like squidoo and Hb pages. Write unique articles for each of them, even if ithey're both about the same thing.

Local Business Directories

If you're a small business try getting links through your local business directory, or chamber of commerce website. Try swapping links with non competing websites in your local area or in other cities.

Niche Directories

You can submit your website to directories in your niche as well. With some directories you have to pay for the link.

Backlinking Tips

  • The anchor text is important, and that is the actual text that is linked to your site. "click here" is wasting your link. The anchor text should contain one of your keywords such as "Blacktown locksmith", or "Blacktown home security service", so that you will get better page ranking for that keyword.
  • You shouldn't use the same anchor text in every incoming link. Vary it a bit.
  • Have some links to your home page and some to your internal pages.
  • Get links over a period of time rather than getting a lot in one day. It looks more natural to the search engines and is better for your rankings.
  • Don't do reciprocal linking with spammy low quality sites or sites with hundreds of links on their pages. It could actually lower your search engine rankings.
  • A backlink from a relevant content page is a lot better than a link from a dedicated links page.

Get More Info With This Free E-Book

I can only touch on the subject of linking in this short email, so if you want to know more about this important subject download Sitesell's free e-book, "Make Your Links Work". You can sign up for their link exchange program from the same page if you already have a website. just scroll down their page to find the links to the e-book and Value Exchange program.

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