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The Three Little e-Pigs ArticleHow Popular is YOUR Website?

By Deirdre Cavener, MCP
President of Kiss Marketing, Inc.

Yes, popularity still counts. When someone mentions that word the first thing that I think about is the popular people in my high school.  I still remember their names but will not bore you with those details.  Do you remember the popular people from your high school?  When we were young, many of us wanted to be one of the popular kids, and many of you might have been. Well, we are all grown up, but popularity is still important - especially for your website.

 

Assumption: You have a professionally designed website that has been created to reach YOUR two target markets … the customer and the search engines. The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complete, visual branding is done, an easy navigational structure is in place, a call to action has been implemented, and usability testing is done.

 

Backlinks are VOTES for YOUR Website’s Popularity

 

Backlinks determine your websites digital reputation and are one of the main building blocks of your SEO strategy. 

 

A backlink is a one-way (not reciprocal) inbound link from another website to a page on your website.  Backlinks are currently one of the most important factors in determining your site’s placement for a specific keyword phrase on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

 

Backlinks are also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, inward links.

 

Not every backlink holds the same amount of credibility.  Let me revert back to the high school days to get my point across.  Let’s say you are a 9th grader.  If one of the most poplar seniors tells their friends you are really cool, that makes a much bigger difference than 10 of your 9th grade peers saying the same thing.  The search engines are designed the same way.  You want to get quality links from authoritative websites.  Quality is much more important than quantity in regards to securing top placement on the SERPs.  Ride on the coattails of successful websites and you will gain ground.

 

Did You Know?

“Google makes 300 to 400 changes to their search engine algorithm every year.” -  Matt Cutts, Google Software Engineer

 

What are the characteristics of an Authoritative Website?  

 

  • High Traffic

  • Longevity – older is better!

  • Have a Page Rank of 4 – 10

Grades Still Count

 

Visit Website Grader and enter a website address to check whether they should be considered for your backlink strategy.  The algorithm uses over 50 different variables to grade a website’s overall marketing effectiveness.  Grading is done just like in high school and you want sites that receive an A to link to your website.

 

Anchors Away

 

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.

 

Not Optimized: www.KissMarketing.com

Optimized: Internet Marketing Agency

 

Both hyperlinks go to the home page of the site, but the optimized link is infused with search engine fuel (i.e. keywords).

 

Semantics are important in regard to backlinks and with all good SEO strategies it must start with keyword research (what you think people are searching for and what they are actually searching for are two very different things).  SEO is ˝ marketing and ˝ science and you have to think outside the box (the human brain is much more powerful than a piece of software).

 

Each page of your website should have a backlink strategy. If you offer an array of products and services each page has the potential for top search engine placement.

 

Building Backlinks

 

  • Membership Sites – Local Websites, Chamber of Commerce Sites, Networking Group Websites, etc.

  • Article Marketing

  • Blog Commenting

  • Forum Posting

  • Social Networking - MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many others.  Google treats these sites the same as any other website.

Not all Links Pass Credibility (It’s in the code)

 

The NoFollow link attribute (rel=”nofollow”) was created by Google to help deter the enormous amounts of spam in their index. The attribute was designed as a way for websites to link to other websites without passing their page rank (referral).  This doesn’t hurt a website in any way; it simply says not to pass any credibility to the linked site.  One of the biggest users of the nofollow tag is Wikipedia.  Links from Wikipedia do NOT help your website gain credibility and search engine ranking.

 

In conclusion, do your keyword research, determine authoritative websites, write articles for digital publications, join membership sites, and build long-lasting digital relationships and your business will flourish.

 

SEO is not something that is done once; it must be maintained over the lifetime of your business.  SEO is the fertilizer for your business and must be applied often for optimal growth.

 

Note: Once you get them to your website you must convert your users to customers.  You can lead a customer to a website, but you can’t make them call or buy!

 

Backlink Puffery

Get thousands of backlinks overnight!  (This will only penalize you in Google, MSN, and Yahoo.) Remember, backlinks fertilize your
website, and nothing grows overnight.

Author: Deirdre Cavener, President & CEO, Kiss Marketing, Inc.

Search Engine Optimzation

© 2009 All Rights Reserved - Don't even think about reproducing this article without written permission from Deirdre Cavener and Kiss Marketing, Inc.

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