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Increasing Links To Your Web Site

By Roger Willcocks

Having people link to your web site is a very useful and powerful mechanism for increasing your sites popularity. There are two basic reasons for this, firstly and the reason most people think to do it, is because the more relevant links to your site, the more important Google thinks it is. The other, and probably better reason is that, if you have relevant links to your site, you are going to get more interested visitors. In fact, you carry this out well enough, you wouldn't actually need to depend on the search engines at all. The constant, and consistant supply of targeted visitors can easily supply all your needs. Even better, because the supply is spread over a large number of sites, you are essentially unaffected by the appearance or disappearance of individual sites, or changes to the way search engines evaluate content.

How to increase links to your web site

In essence, there are three basic ways to increase the number of links to your web site. As with everything, you have a choice between spending time and spending money. The simplest and quickest way is to buy links. An example of this is banner or text advertising on web sites. Small web sites in special niches may offer the opportunity to buy advertising for as little as 10 or 20 dollars per year. Other common methods include Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on web sites, traffic exchange programs where you can buy visitors, or search engines. Adwords in particular can be a good way to get people to your site, although it does little to build your long term popularity. If you'd like more information on Adwords, you can do some reading at MasteringAdwords. And there are a number of excellent email courses on how to use AdWords for a range of things from product sales to product design ideas, and planning for search engine optimisation available from Perry Marshall. Meanwhile, lets go on with something more relevant. The problem with these is that as soon as you stop spending, you lose the links and the visitors, and you've got no guarantee of results.

The next method also cost money, but only AFTER you've earned it, which is definitely a better way to spend money. That method is to establish an affiliate program for your web site. This probably works best if you have a product to sell that earns you revenue, but you can also apply it to registrations, etc if you wanted to. This requires some up front investment in affilate software, and you need to find software that fits your systems, and your web server.

A common system used by many major internet businesses is called 1ShoppingCart, and integrates both affiliate management and credit card processing into a shopping cart system. It does however cost around US$700 per year.

An affilate program has the advantage of being self sustaining, and only costs you when sales are made.

The final method of acquiring links to your site is to find web sites that share a common set of visitors to you, and offering to exchange links with them. If carry out a steady program of doing this, even if each site only sends you one visitor each day you can build up several hundred sites that do that, and ensure a steady stream of interested visitors. The major problem is that this costs TIME, and lots of it. You need to find similar sites in the search engines, find out how to contact the site owner make arrangements, and build up a directory of links to them, a very manual process. Fortunately, there are few programs available that can assist in the process. Working on the principal that similar sites link to each other, they take a starting list of a few sites, plus some keywords that apply to the sorts of sites you want to find, and they go out, acting like your own personal search engine, tracking down sites that are likely to be of interest to you. For each site, they record a summary, a rating of 'appropriateness' and any email addresses they have found on the site.

The first and oldest application is Zeus, from Cyber Robotics. This software was built up by an experienced business man, who has focused his attention on the idea of networking. In all business, it's a matter of knowing people, and that's the process his software has made into an automated system.

The other market leading application is called Arelis, more expensive than Zeus, but some people find it more appropriate to the way they work, so I can recommend trying them both out and seeing which you find easier to use.

Some other articles on linking that you might find interesting are:

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