|What's the oldest form of promotion? Word of Mouth! This method of sharing recommendations and advice is equally important for the promotion of websites. Websites recommend each other by links between sites which lead users from one site to the next.
It is vital that when your target group uses search engines to look for websites like yours, they find your site. But what about users who haven't visited a search engine yet? The more other sites which link to your site, the more opportunities for people to find you.
Further, search engines keep track of how many sites link to yours. The greater the number of links to you, the higher your ranking in many major search engines.
QUALITY PLUS QUANTITY
However, the same rules of Word-of-Mouth promotion still apply: not all recommendations are equal. Just as a recommendation from a trusted friend often means more than advice from a stranger, links from some sites can mean more to your ranking than others. A link to your site from a website that consists of nothing but links to other sites will not do much to guide users to your site, or improve your ranking in search engines.
So how do you go about getting sites to link to you? And how do you know who to approach?
PICKING THE RIGHT LINK
Let's start with the second question, because the answer is easier: Surf the web! Look around for other sites with shared interests. Look for informational sites about your industry. For instance, if you have a website about a restaurant, look for sites that include information and reviews of local resturants.
Now, how to get those links:
- Ask. Write an email requesting that their site link to theirs. You should be able to find an appropriate email address to send to somewhere on their site. Do not send a form email -- write one personally. Describe your site, and what benefit it might offer users to their site. Look at their site, and try and find a section where a link to your site might fit.
Things to include:
- The name of their site
- A description of your site
- Why your site might be of use to their vistors
- An offer to return the favor by providing a link back to their site
- Advise. Write articles about subjects related to your site's content. Include a link to your website for further information. Submit these articles to informational sites of similar content.
- Promote. Write press releases about your site, and how great it is. Include a link to your website, and submit the press release to informational sites of similar content.