Building An Effective Web Presence - Step 7 - Improve Your Website's Link Popularity

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Over the past six months we identified steps one through six in the process of building an effective web presence:   1) Define your ideal client; 2) Identify specific goals; 3) Create a call to action; 4) Give customers what they expect;  5) Be a better communicator; and 6) Get found.

The seventh step is: 
Improve your website’s link popularity (this helps your organic search engine rankings).

First let’s define “link popularity.”

The definition of link popularity is the number of links pointing to your site as indexed by a given search engine. This is not necessarily a complete count of ALL links to your site, but instead how many links the search engine gives the site credit for when calculating SERP (Search Engine Results Page) placement. These inbound links are also referred to as “citations.”

By most accounts, there are more than 200 factors used by Google in determining your ranking.  Link popularity is just one factor and it is calculated by the number of citations (or inbound links) to your website.

There are two types of citations:  structured and unstructured.  Structured citations are are from known directories and trusted by major search engines.  A good example of a structured citation would be a link to your website from http://www.DMOZ.com or Yahoo’s Directory. Unstructured citations are links to your website from other regular websites, like the local Chamber of Commerce or from another local business. Ideally, you should have a nice combination of both structured and unstructured citations to your site.

Some tips to build your link popularity:

  1. Find out how many inbound links you have now.  Go to Google.com and in the search box, enter “links: [your website address]”.  For example, if you wanted to see how many links we have to the MSW Interactive Designs website, you would enter – “links:mswinteractivedesigns.com”.   There are about 1700 inbound links to our website.
  2. Purchase online advertising from authority sites that includes a link to your website. Locally, you can do this with the Chamber, CVB, as well as several others. If you serve the wedding market, you can also get listed with a link on www.LakeOzarkWeddingGuide.com.
  3. Exchange links with other businesses in your network. A nice way to do this is to add a “Resources” page to your website and link to other businesses that you trust. In return, ask them to link back to your website from theirs.
  4. Avoid Link Farms and massive link exchange services. The links obtained from these sites and services tend be low quality and ignored by Google. Not sure if it’s a link farm or not? Use this test … ask yourself, “would I be doing this (linking there) if search engines didn't exist?"
  5. Request that those linking to you use keyword rich anchor text in the link. For example, we prefer when people link us they use “Website Design and Hosting” instead of “MSW Interactive Designs” as the actual words that are linked to our website.

In summary, it is important to improve your website’s link popularity. The more relevant, quality, third party sources that link to your website, the better your link popularity will be.  Over time, improved link popularity will positively impact your website’s organic search engine rankings.  

Sandy Waggett, Owner
MSW Interactive Designs LLC ~ We put the web to work for you!

Sandy@MSWInteractiveDesigns.com

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