Getting Noticed

Web marketing offers a chance to give your creativity muscles a workout. This fairly new medium for advertising has not only opened the door to hundreds of thousands of new businesses, but also countless marketing opportunities. Getting the most out of advertising is a major objective of any business. The ultimate goal is to get visitors to the site and convert them to buyers. This article observes a very important method to the first part of that equation. The objective is simple, but sorting through the many techniques can be burdensome.

Creating inbound links is one of my favorite methods of marketing sites online. An inbound link is a link from an internet website that links to the site being promoted. The benefits from this form of advertising are drawn in an indirect manner. I never expect to see many visitors to a site from these links, but the attention paid by search engines is crucial. Different search engines rank sites using different methods; however the most popular search sites place a heavy emphasis on how many sites link to another. To put it simply, try to get as many sites as possible to link to your site.

It is easy to get carried away with this technique. Many people will scour the web looking for guestbooks or link swap sites to get a domain linked. Here are some tips to selecting a site to link with.

1. This is the most important tip: The links should come from sites that have relative content to the site being marketed. A site selling software would not want links from a pet food site. Instead, a software site would want links from software developer or programming sites because they are on the same topic.

2. Make sure the site is not a "link farm" where the only purpose is to link to other sites instead of providing its own information. Search engines have been known to penalize these sites and sites affiliated with them. Be careful.

3. Make sure the site is a quality site. Here is an easy test: Do you like the site or would you use the site? If the answer is no, then there is no reason to have a link from the site.

Banner ads, the virtual billboards of the internet. Although sometimes effective, for the most part this form of online advertising is ignored. I recommend avoiding these types of advertisements for driving traffic. Another downside of the banner ad is that it is a graphic. Stay away from linking using images altogether. The best links are text links. The reason for this is search engines read the text (often called anchor text) and consider it relevant to the page it is linked. For example, if your site is about computers, you would want your anchor text to say something relevant about computers.

How do I get inbound links? Good question. Simple answer- ask. Getting inbound links is a matter of contacting the webmaster of a site and asking politely. Most websites have a "Contact Us" page, start there. Offer a link on your site in return. Be prepared to send out a lot of these requests because many people will not respond. It is a lot of work, but the end result will be worth it.

These are just a few tips for improving your search engine rankings through inbound links, and probably the most effective. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for your business.

Written by Josh Kryzak of Site Revision, Inc.