WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

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All you need to know about inbound links

Written by Sarah Gleeson on July 11th, 2014.      0 comments

Link building is hard work, when done right. You don't want to resort to creating spam links. It is about continual updates, to keep content fresh and share worthy. 

Inbound links, also called back links, are valuable for any website. These are the links that come to your website from a different website. For example, if your business was a sports shop, a local rugby club website may link to your website to show their members where to buy their uniform. 

Why are they important?

Inbound links act as a direct pathway to your website. This means that a whole new audience can now find your website with ease. The amount of visitors that come through that link, depends on how much traffic the initial source receives.   

Another benefit of inbound links is that they serve to increase your SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is how well your website displays in a search engines unpaid results. To get more traffic, it is better to appear in the first page of results, as close to the top as possible. 

The more inbound links your website has, the more likely that your website will rank higher in search engines. This is because the inbound links are effectively telling the search engine that your website is trustworthy. Search engines (like Google) take this into account when ranking websites. 

However, not all inbound links are weighted the same. So it is not wise to create a bunch of spam websites to link to your website. 

Inbound links from other trustworthy websites are weighed much higher than inbound links from low ranked websites. For instance, an inbound link from Kings Plant Barn will be weighted higher than a small garden shop website whose website has not had any new content for years. 

Natural linking

It is important to ensure any inbound link seems natural. This means that the link should ideally be used as part of a sentence. This can easily be done with the use of a hyperlink. E.g. "Anthony’s Sports Shoes in Albany has a fantastic range of rugby shoes fit for any age this winter."

By placing a link within a sentence, customers are more likely to click on it. People are less likely to click on a link if it is just a URL, let alone a URL that they have to copy and paste into their browser. 

How to get inbound links

Since inbound links come from other websites, it can seem difficult to know how to get them. The best trick to get inbound links, is to have great content that people want to share with their audience. From there, you want to ensure people can find your content easily. This means, placing your content where your target audience is. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow for immediate sharing, as well as related forums. Another fantastic idea, is to add your content to your email marketing and newsletters. 

Here are my top 5 ways to get inbound links:

  1. Create a blog 

    This is a great resource for getting original content out infront of people. What does your audience want to know about? What are problems they might be facing? Create blogs centered around their needs, this will not only ensure people come back to read your articles, but they are more likely to share your link to likeminded people. Make sure you send out your blogs to your customer database, or on social media to ensure more people see them. 

  2. Guest blog

    Guest blogging is where you create content for another website. This means that you able to talk directely to another websites' audience. Not only that, but you can direct the audience to your website for more information. For instance, a landscaping company could write up a blog for a gardening website, on the top new trends for utilising space. 

  3. Write case studies

    Case studies are a fantastic opportunity to promote your business without a heavy sales pitch. Find a client of yours who is happy to talk about their experience with your product or service. Any case study that makes your client or customer's business look good, will be sure to be shared by them too. Make sure you put your case studies on your website and on social media platforms too!

  4. PR

    Is your organisation doing something fantastic in the community? Why not write into your local newspaper with a story! Online articles best for SEO, but even a paper only version means that you get more brand awareness. Most newspapers have great SEO because of their rich content, so having them link their online articles to your website is sure to result in a heavy weighted link. 

  5. Create informative or fun videos

    Vidoes are one of the top shared types of content. Does your company have an upbeat personality? If so, create a video about your product/service, or team. If your business has more of a serious personality, why not create an informative video? Bunnings Warehouse creates fantastic DIY videos that are a huge hit with DIY rookies. 

Take home message:

Create new fresh content whenever possible. Post your own articles on social media platforms and in relevant forums. But resist spamming people, only post what you think is valuable and relevant to your audience.  



Want help
 

Link to more than just your home

Written by Casey Hartigan on June 5th, 2012.      0 comments

It is important for Search Engine Optimisation that you have incoming links to your website from other webpages on the internet. Links give the search engine important information about your website, so the placement of the link matters.

As we have discussed before, links are like recommendations from other websites. If these inbound links arrive at many different pages on your website you will tell the search engine that many different sites believe that your entire website is full of worthwhile content.

If, however, all your inbound links always arrive at your homepage, the search engine will be under the impression that your website is shallow, with little to offer, or that your links were generated by automation rather than the value of your site.

Read more about how Google works

Get your Website Optimised with a Free Zeald Website Audit

 

Submit your website to directories to build inbound links

Written by Hamish Braddick on November 12th, 2010.      0 comments

Directories can have a serious impact on the results that you achieve in the crawler-based search engines.  Submitting to the directories is a good idea – but they can take a substantial amount of time to list you. So start early!

One of the most important things that you must prepare before submitting yourself to a directory is an objective description of your website.  Directories will frown upon any description that seems promotional in nature and will reject your listing.  Make sure you prepare an objective, well-written description of your website before you start.

Some of the key directories to list in are:

If you are a New Zealand-only business then submit your site to New Zealand-based directories.

Find more directories relevant to your business

Search for relevant and quality directory websites using Google. Type in the following search string. 'Directory:[keyword describing my website theme]'.  You will need to choose a very generic keyword.  For example a website selling meat to a New Zealand market could try the following searches to find relevant directories. “New Zealand” “Meat” “Butcher” “Recipes”

Keep track of your inbound links

Keep track of your list in a spreadsheet and constantly add to it. Signup for Google Alerts and then Google will notify you when they have found a new website linking to your website.

 

Generate Traffic by Building Links that Endorse you

Written by David Kelly on April 1st, 2010.      0 comments

Links are the Internet’s form of ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. When someone links to your website they are, in a sense, endorsing your website. Building a big network of links that link back to your website can be an extremely powerful way of generating large amounts of traffic. Listed below is the strategy we follow for building a large network of links:

  1. Research Possible Websites
    The first thing you need to do is research the possible linking websites. Think about your target customer and where they are likely to visit. Try to find places that are a hive of activity (lots of traffic!). Use the search engines to locate different websites and don’t forget the New Zealand search engines:
    Also, use a tool like Alexa (www.alexa.com) to analyse each website and to check out how much traffic each of them is getting.
     
  2. Prepare a List
    Based on your research; prepare a short-list of websites that you would like to approach. Don’t be afraid to approach people for a link. Be courageous! You have nothing to lose. Make sure the websites that you list are complimentary and not competitive.
     
  3. Prepare your Email
    Use an email template that has been prepared specifically for approaching websites for a link. We have provided an example email template for this purpose on the following page.

    Make sure your email focuses on ‘what’s in it for them’ (Remember, WIIFM)! They need to see what the upside is. Why should they go to the effort? Your website should offer something for their customers.
     
  4. Follow-up
    Make sure you follow-up, because persistence does pay. Follow-up at weekly intervals and be prepared to follow-up many times if necessary.

Link Request Template

Hi [Target's Name],


My name is [Insert Name] from [Insert Business Name]. I was recently browsing the Web and came across your website ([Insert Website URL here]). [Say something positive about their website here].


We have a website that [insert what your website does here].


I was hoping that you might consider linking to us and would like to invite you to review our website for the same purpose here [insert website address].


I believe that linking to each other’s website would have a number of mutual benefits:

- we can help increase each other’s website traffic

- we can help increase each other’s search engines rank (search engines currently put a lot of emphasis on links between websites).


If you believe that a link to our website would be appropriate, then please add it at your discretion- perhaps I could suggest the following link and description:

[Your site name and URL] - [Your site description]


Please let me know if you would like to proceed and I will set up a link on our website too.


Thank you for taking the time to consider this. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.


With regards

---

[Insert email signature here]

Topics: Link building
 

Reciprocal links that endorse you

Written by David Kelly on November 12th, 2008.      0 comments

Links are the Internet’s form of ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. When someone links to your website they are, in a sense, endorsing your website.

Links are currently the most important component that a search engine uses to rank a website.  Search engines assess and measure the quantity and quality of inbound links to help them judge the quality and poularity of a website.

Incoming links (links to your web page from another website), are highly valued by search engines as a ranking factor, as they are difficult for a Webmaster to control and manipulate the ‘results’. Because of this they are considered by the search engines to be genuine indicators as to the true nature of the content of your website.  There are four key things that a search engine considers when assessing your incoming links:
  • Quality - Search engines place a lot of emphasis on good quality websites linking to yours (if they’re all ‘deemed’ relevant to what yours is about). Obviously a good amount of quality websites linking to yours is going to increase your traffic.
  • Relevancy - How relevant is the website that is linking to your website?  Is its content in some way relevant to your website’s content?  Is it in a similar subject space, but slightly different?  Is it targeting similar keywords and about similar subjects?
  • Link Text - The text that is used within the link that is linked to your website is also very important (especially to Google).  Try to include your keywords or phrases into the text that is linking to your site.  Also think about the text that surrounds the area ‘linked-to’ on your site.
  • Trust - Are the websites that link to yours trustworthy? Websites such as government sites, large media sites such as CNN or BBC et
If good search engine rankings are a crucial part of your website promotion then it is well worth spending time and effort on increasing the number of links to your website.  The best way to do this is to set up a great website that attracts the interest of other website operators.

Building a large network of quality links from authority sites that link back to your site is an extremely powerful way of generating good traffic and improving your search engine ranking. Here are some ideas for building and managing a large network of quality links:


Measure your link building efforts

Before you start you need to establish a baseline and measure the success of your efforts. Some methods will be more effective than others and you want to know which ones work best for you and how to tune them. The metrics you want to measure include:

Inbound links. How popular is your website?  Do you have a lot of people with links to your site?  Are these sites trusted? You can check your link popularity with each of the search engines by going to: tools.marketleap.com/publinkpop or, www.linkpopularity.com

Or you can check your link popularity directly with the search engines themselves:

Yahoo: http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com Enter your website address IE. "www.zeald.com"
Google: Visit www.google.com Enter the website address with "link:" at the beginning. IE. "link:www.zeald.com"

Be sure to also check who these people are that are linking your site. Understand that one quality backlink is worth a handful of normal, standard backlinks.

Please note: Google will nearly always under report the number of inbound links. Google provide a more accurate report for the number of inbound links through your Webmaster tools account.

Build Reciprocal links

Build up a list of target websites that you would like to receive links from and then send an email or letter to their Webmaster or owner.  A template for this email is provided on the following page.

Expect a low response rate to these emails.  Many Webmasters are very busy and sometimes they are just not concerned with their search engine rankings.  However, the results that you can achieve from the extra links to your website can still make the effort worthwhile.
  1. Research Possible Websites
    The first thing you need to do is research the possible linking websites. Think about your target customer and where they are likely to visit. Try to find places that are a hive of activity (lots of traffic!) and places that are known and trusted. Use the search engines to locate different websites and don’t forget the New Zealand search engines: Also, use a tool like Alexa (www.alexa.com) to analyse each website and to check out how much traffic each of them is getting.
  2. Prepare a List
    Based on your research; prepare a short-list of websites that you would like to approach. Don’t be afraid to approach people for a link. Be courageous! You have nothing to lose. Make sure the websites that you list are complimentary and not competitive.
  3. Prepare your Email
    Use an email template that has been prepared specifically for approaching websites for a link. We have provided an example email template for this purpose on the following page.
    Make sure your email focuses on ‘what’s in it for them’ (Remember, WIIFM)! They need to see what the upside is. Why should they go to the effort? Your website should offer something for their customers.
  4. Follow-up
    Make sure you follow-up, because persistence does pay. Follow-up at weekly intervals and be prepared to follow-up many times if necessary.

Link Request Template

Hi [Target's Name],
My name is [Insert Name] from [Insert Business Name]. I was recently browsing the Web and came across your website ([Insert Website URL here]). [Say something positive about their website here].
We have a website that [insert what your website does here].
I was hoping that you might consider linking to us and would like to invite you to review our website for the same purpose here [insert website address].
I believe that linking to each other’s website would have a number of mutual benefits:
- we can help increase each other’s website traffic
- we can help increase each other’s search engines rank (search engines currently put a lot of emphasis on links between websites).
If you believe that a link to our website would be appropriate, then please add it at your discretion- perhaps I could suggest the following link and description:
[Your site name and URL] - [Your site description]
Please let me know if you would like to proceed and I will set up a link on our website too.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With regards
[Insert email signature here]

 

The Importance of Links in Search Engine Ranking

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Links are currently the single most important component that a search engine uses to rank a website. Incoming links (links to your web page from another website), are highly valued by search engines, as they are difficult for a Webmaster to control and manipulate the ‘results’. Because of this they are considered by the search engines to be genuine indicators as to the true nature of the content of your website. There are three key things that a search engine considers when assessing your incoming links:

 

Popularity

How popular is your website? Do you have a lot of people with links to your site? You can check your link popularity by going to:

http://tools.marketleap.com/publinkpop/  or

http://www.linkpopularity.com

 

Relevancy

How relevant is the website that is linking to your website? Is its content in some way relevant to your website’s content? Is it in a similar subject space, but slightly different? Is it targeting similar keywords and about similar subjects?

 

Link Text

The text that is used within the link that is linked to your website is also very important (especially to Google). Try to include your keywords or phrases into the text that is linking to your site. Also think about the text that surrounds the area ‘linked-to’ on your site.


Search engines place a lot of emphasis on high numbers of websites linking to yours (if they’re all ‘deemed’ relevant to what yours is about).


If search engine optimisation is a crucial part of your website promotion then it is well worth spending time and effort on increasing the number of links to your website. The best way to do this is to set up a great website that attracts the interest of other website operators.


Build up a list of target websites that you would like to receive links from and then send an email or letter to their Webmaster or owner. A template for this email is provided below.


Expect a low response rate to these emails. Many Webmasters are very busy and sometimes they are just not concerned with their search engine rankings. However, the results that you can achieve from the extra links to your website can still make the effort worthwhile.

 

Link exchange template


Hi [Target's Name],

My name is [Insert Name] from [Insert Business Name]. I am currently in the process of working on the search engine rankings for our website and I noticed your website.

We have a website that [insert what your website does here].

I was hoping that you might consider linking to us and would like to invite you to review our website here [insert website address].

Many of the search engines currently place a lot of emphasis on link popularity, and since we both cater to a similar target market, but are not competitors, I believe that we can help each other to gain a better search engine rank by linking to each other’s website.

If you decide that a link to our website is appropriate and worthwhile, then please link to us. Perhaps the following link and description might assist you:
[Your site name and address] - [Your site description].

Please let me know if you would like to proceed and I will set up a link to your website from ours.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this. If you have any further questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With regards,
---
[Insert email signature here]

 
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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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