Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Inbound Link Strategy

"I WANT to be #1 on Google!" - Today's Website Owner

In an era of creating content to be optimized for search engines, it's important to focus on developing an inbound link strategy that will help propagate your website to the top of Google's search results. Yes, having a credible website link to your website is a starting point, but it's only half the battle.

Lets say, for the sake of Cinco De Mayo, you open a Mexican restaurant in your neighborhood. You name the restaurant, El Tiburón, and create a website to market your food to the community.

Now, is your website going to magically appear in local search engine results for "local Mexican food"? No.

Strategically, you invite some food local critics for free appetizers and margaritas with the goal of having them write a favorable review on their website, blog or social media site. You impress them with enchiladas and tacos that would motivate Frida Kahlo to paint a masterpiece.

Olé! Now, you are on the right track.

Right?

No. The critics created links to the name of your restaurant, "El Tiburón." For example, one reviewer wrote, "Visit El Tiburón for the best Mexican food in Southern California." It is good that an inbound link was created to your website. However your restaurant lost the SEO benefits, because how many users naturally search for the term "El Tiburón"? And if they do search that term, are they expecting to see website for a Mexican restaurant?

If the reviewer writes "Visit El Tiburón for the best Southern California Mexican food" or "Visit El Tiburón restaurant for the best local Mexican food" then your website is better optimized for search engines. The key terms "Southern California Mexican food" and "El Tiburón restaurant" are linked in on and are more relevant to a user's search habits.

Now, your website will start to position on these key terms and you can celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a full restaurant.



7 Steps for a Successful Inbound Link Strategy:

1) Create a list of key terms your website desires to position on and check to see how your website currently ranks on these terms.

2) Check the search trends of these key terms to find how many users search them on a monthly basis.

3) Create a list of potential blogs and websites that relate to your website and you would want to have your website featured on.

4) Check the page rank of the blogs and websites to determine what sites are best to contact (a page rank of 4 or higher is a good starting point).

5) Invite the website owners for a free product trial or to write a review about your brand on their website.

6) Give them a list of 1-2 key terms that you would like them to link in on, when they write a review about your brand.

7) Monitor your position on the key terms once a month to see the placement in search engine rankings (initially, it can take a few months to gain position on key terms).


1 comment:

Graeme Benstead said...

Great advice,
Can we have some examples of tools you might use for identifying search trends and the like? :)