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Home / Promotion / Link Building

Link Building

The success of your website in gaining high visibility in search engines and in receiving large numbers of relevant visitors is heavily influenced by the incoming links to your site from other 3rd party websites. When assessing the importance of your site, which directly affects your rankings, the search engines look closely at your incoming links. Equally real visitors can follow links from 3rd party sites to yours and end up doing business with you as a result.

Link Building is an essential element in the development of your website traffic. It needs to be planned in advance and have clear goals both with regard to the quality and quantity of links negotiated and the results in rankings and traffic that result from the links. Also the titles and descriptions used in your links need to be carefully written to maximise their effectiveness.

1.0 Step One - Traffic Measurement

We cannot assess the success of our link building campaigns without measuring the results. There are several packages around that claim to meet this need but most are inadequate. We have in depth knowledge of the well known HitsLink package and use it for all the projects we undertake because we know it works.

Hitslink tells you how many visitors you get, where they come from, what they searched for and which pages they viewed. It looks at specific actions on the site, such as entering an enquiry or placing an order, and tracks the visitors who bought or enquired right back to their origin. Some links cost very little and others can be expensive so the ability to trace results back to a specific link is a key decision making aid when deciding where to invest.

As long as we work with you on link building we will continually update your HitsLink account to more accurately reflect the activities taking place on your site. You will be able to see what visitors are generated by specific links and what actions those visitors took when on the site.

2.0 Step Two - General Directories

There are several large online directories such as Open Directory (aka Google Directory), Yahoo! Directory and MSN Small Business Directory that can provide valuable incoming links both in terms of boosting search engine rankings and attracting visitors in their own right. There are many smaller directories which can be highly effective too, such as GoGuides, Linkopedia and BigAll, although these are more beneficial in boosting search engine results than in bringing relevant visitors. If your primary market is the UK then directories such as Applegate, KellySearch and Yell can work well too.

Some of these are entirely free; some offer a free basic entry with an enhanced entry option you can pay for; some are subject to a small fee ($10 or so) and others can cost several hundred pounds a year. You will receive a list of recommendations along with costs that will enable you to match expenditure with your budgets. We will submit your site to the selected directories ensuring that titles and descriptions support your target search keywords and attract relevant visitors.

3.0 Step Three - Local Directories

Some web based businesses operate nationally or internationally but most service businesses have a regional or local bias in the business they seek. Over the past year or so the number of local directories has increased dramatically and best use of these resources can have two benefits. Firstly inclusion of your site in these can boost your rankings in the general search engines for phrases including your locality. Secondly they can bring local traffic looking for local services which will often be the easiest business for you to gain through your website.

As with general directories there is a wide range of local directories. Some are free, many charge for entry, some charge a little, others a lot. Our experience enables us to recommend a strategy specific to your business which can be implemented at the pace you choose with results measured by HitsLink. We will submit your site to the selected directories ensuring that titles and descriptions support your target search keywords and attract relevant visitors.

4.0 Step Four - Market Specific Directories

Many markets are now served by directories and other search resources that are specific to that market. These cover financial services, business services, travel, manufacturing, in fact there are few markets without a range of options. If someone visits your site from a link on a site specific to your activity then there is a strong likelihood they will be a potential buyer of your product or service. But equally if Google finds that link it will reinforce your ranking for keywords in that market sector in the search engine results.

Cost and quality can be very variable so we carefully assess the available options and make recommendations accordingly.

5.0 Step Five - Links to Individual Sites

An important element of link building strategy is to negotiate incoming links from other website owners. This can be time consuming and frustrating but when successful these links can bring the best results of all. In many cases the links will need to be reciprocal, i.e. you will need to add an outgoing link from your site to the 3rd party's. This may dictate some modification to your website to accommodate these links in a usable and logical structure.

These links can take many forms, typical examples include:

Same business, different location: an estate agent in London swapping links with an estate agent in Birmingham. They don't compete in each other's area so can pass visitors to their mutual benefit.

Different business, same location: an estate agent in London swapping links with a local letting agent. They don't compete but complement each other and target similar visitors.

User group or fan club: a site selling Jaguar car parts might get a link from a Jaguar Owners Club or a site selling CD's might get a link from a group's fan club.

Whatever form these take NetSecrets will contact the 3rd party on your behalf, provide the link title and description and implement any reciprocal links on your site.

6.0 Things To Avoid

There is a class of directory in existence called a "link farm" or "free for all directory". These exist purely to mislead search engines into thinking you have more links than you really do. They can be detected by search engines and at best will do nothing for you, at worst they will penalise your rankings and so should be avoided.

There are some website owners who send bulk emails to thousands of potential link partners. This technique is similar to the link farm approach and you should avoid it and its users.

Some of the best known directories are the most expensive and offer relatively poor value for money. It is best not to sign up for these without discussing your options with NetSecrets first.

Avoid impatience! Link building is a steady, methodical process that will pay dividends over an extended period. If your site has 2 links today and 200 tomorrow that can trigger an alarm in the search engines that could nullify all the good work. It is important that your link building appears "natural", especially to Google.

7.0 What Does It Cost?

There are 3 elements to the cost. Firstly NetSecrets charge a one-off fee for researching the potential links for your site, creating a plan, setting up HitsLink and writing and refining the titles and descriptions for the links. Secondly we charge a monthly management fee for testing and measuring the results and running the campaign. Thirdly there are 3rd party costs that you, the client, pay direct to those resources that make a charge for linking to you. These costs will mostly have been identified in advance but new opportunities will emerge during the campaign.

HitsLink costs £100 per annum for smaller sites and from £20 per month for high traffic sites with multiple web addresses.

8.0 Other Services

There are other important services NetSecrets offer to augment the PPC activities and further increase your site's visibility. These include:

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO): This is the process of working on the structure and content of your web site so that it is more likely to be found in the "natural" listings of the leading search engines for keywords relevant to its content.

Site Submission: is a service that works hand-in-glove with SEO and aims to get search engines to index more of your pages more quickly so that the improvements made with SEO get results sooner.

Pay-per-Click Campaigns: These are online adverts where you are charged "by the click". Best known is Google Adwords, the small ads down the right side of the page on Google. If prepared by amateurs these make lots of money for Google and nothing for the site owner. In expert hands, as with NetSecrets, they can generate significant traffic at a low cost.
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