Establishing Link Popularity and Increasing Exposure

Online marketing is fast becoming everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a common myth that one can easily earn high profits working from home. Not everyone who enters into business on the Internet succeeds. Just building a website isn’t enough to make money online. There are a lot of online business tactics you need to know and follow.

Online Business is Crucial

For any online business to flourish, link popularity is a major factor to consider. So what is link popularity? Most Internet users come to know about a particular site through search engines. Based on various algorithms, search engines give a ranking to the sites indexed. The better the ranking, the more popular your site is.

The keywords in your website play a crucial role in determining the ranking of your website. The more common your keyword is, the more you come down in the ranking list. Does this mean that websites with common keywords never flourish in business?

Not necessarily!

By applying certain strategies, your website can achieve a very good ranking even with common keywords. But remember, link popularity or web promotion is something that cannot be achieved overnight.

One way of achieving link popularity is by linking to different sites. Link sharing is a major feature of online business. It is through the links placed on web pages that people come to know of other sites. People, when surfing through a particular site, often click on the links on that page to gain additional information.

When your link is placed on another site, it is more likely that the visitors of that site will also visit your site. This increases the number of hits on your site. But keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that linking with all the sites you come across can add popularity to your site.

Search engines give a lot of weight to the links. While the links from quality websites can give you good sales and traffic, a bad link can spoil your whole business. The quality of the sites you link to matters the most. To take advantage of people who work to build their link popularity, some sites are made just to link to different pages. These websites are nothing but long lists of links. Don’t ever think of linking to such a site as this will do more harm to your link popularity than good.

FFA sites, or free for all sites, will list a website for no charge. While listing here may be useful for promoting your website, the emails of FFA sites are often sold to spamming companies, and there’s a possibility that your inbox may fill up with junk mail. Hence, be careful as to which email ID you give on such sites. Also, some search engines demote the sites that are listed in a number of such link farms. Beware of such sites.

There are also paid listing sites. Some websites list your website under the popular categories for a certain fee per year. The popularity you can gain through this again depends on the popularity of the paid listing site. Thus, you should not rely heavily on such sites.

PPC, or Pay Per Click, is another common way of gaining popularity. Here, the advertiser is charged for every click a visitor makes. The charge depends on the keywords. The more common the keyword is, the higher you need to pay. Examples of PPC are Google Adwords and Yahoo Site Map.

This, of course, increases the hits for the website, but at a very high cost. Unfortunately, this works only for those willing to spend huge amounts on search engines, rather than invest time to improve the website through search engine optimization techniques.

One way to promote your website is through reciprocal links and link sharing. Spend time looking for relevant sites. The best idea would be to link to sites that can provide information related to your site. Suppose your site sells electronic equipment. You can link to sites that provide accessories. This can be a great help for the visitors to your site.

A reciprocal link to such sites is like providing mutual benefits for each site. Your site can help it gain good traffic and, in turn, you gain traffic from that site. This is a win-win strategy for both.

To gain good links, you first need to do some research. You can start with any search engine. Enter keywords that are in some way related to your website. Select sites that rank well and assess them.

A site’s ranking can be determined by downloading the Google toolbar. The Google toolbar automatically shows the page ranking of every page you visit. Choose a site with a page rank of 4 or more.

Go through the details of the product they offer; go over the content, user-friendliness, and also the look of the site. If you find the website impressive, check the links available on that page. If you find it an appropriate site, you can move ahead.

Once you have selected a few sites you can link to, all you need to do is add a link to their website on your own page. Many websites may not link to you unless they find a link to their page on your website. You can then mail the webmaster and tell them that you really appreciate their site and would like to have a link on their page.

You must also inform them that you’ve already added a link to their website on your page and provide them with the address, so that they can personally check it.

Make your website’s appearance neat and impressive. Have good content that clearly explains the purpose of your website. Any online business tycoon would like to establish links with you, if they find your website inspiring and useful for their visitors. They need to be assured that a link to your website will benefit their business.

Keep checking the targeted websites to see if they have added a link to your page. Wait for a few days and if you still find no link, you can send another request and wait some more. If you still find no link to your website, you can remove the link to their site as you’ll be unnecessarily directing traffic to that site.

Keep checking the ranking of your website regularly to see if the popularity of your link has grown.

Another way of gaining link popularity is by listing in popular directories. Directories like Open Directory Project, Yahoo, and Looksmart will list both  commercial and non-commercial websites. While Yahoo and Looksmart charge a nominal fee for commercial websites, Open Directory Project hosts listings for free. To get listed in these large directories, you need to follow up properly until you find your website listed.

Does writing interest you? Well, your hobby can help expose your website. You can write informative articles on your favorite topics and submit them to article directories. There are a number of article directories, like Ezine and Goarticles, where you can submit your article.

Such article directories let you add a link to your website. Many of those who read your article are likely to click the link provided. Hence, the number of hits to your site increases, thereby increasing the traffic.

Mailing lists can also help you enhance the visibility of your site. You can collect a list of email addresses and send them email about the product you offer with a link to your website. You can ask the visitors to leave their name and email address, assuring them that you’ll neither spam them nor sell their emails to third parties.

You can create a database of email addresses of your visitors. Keep sending them the important updates and newsletters about your website. This ensures that they keep visiting your website.

Website promotion and ranking is not a one time job. You cannot just optimize the site once and forget about it. Your website will not keep making money for you unless you provide it with the required attention. You may have achieved a top ranking now, but the ranking may not be the same when you check it the next month.

This is because there is enormous competition in online business and a number of sites work every day to keep their ranking high. So monitor the page ranking regularly and work to maintain your site’s popularity.

Also, check the active links on your link page regularly. You can identify if any sites you have linked to are penalized. In such cases, the next step you should take is removing the link from your site, or else there is a possibility that search engines will recognize your website as a bad one.

Keep visiting the website links to your site. Check to make sure that your link has not been removed from their site. If removed, contact the webmaster of the site and find out why it has been eliminated. This will help you figure out what you can do to gain more links. 

The link to a website is often deleted when the content is found to be no longer useful for their visitors. Therefore, keep your website’s content fresh and updated. You can also keep in touch with the linking sites as this helps to build a permanent relationship with them. It’s the trust and confidence that you gain from those sites that helps in the long run.

Never get tempted to go for "Get Rich Quick" schemes. If they worked as well as their proponents claimed, why do so many people both online and offline work so hard to establish their positions in particular niches? 

The effort you invest today will provide you with healthy returns later.

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