Strategic Linking

Strategic linking is more than just getting as many links coming into your website as possible. This can be a good start, but the “quality” of those links matter. It also matters what the “anchor text” of the link says.

Your incoming links do two basic things for you. First, they bring direct traffic from the sites where they are located. Second, they help optimize your website and get it found more often in the search engines.

Strategic Linking For Direct Traffic

Anywhere you put a link up, there is a chance that people will click on it and visit your site. Of course the odds are increased if there is more traffic where that link is, so you want to get your links on high-traffic sites and pages as much as possible. For example, when you submit your promotional articles to article directories, you want to start with those that are well used. When you exchange links, you want to do so with high-traffic sites if possible.

There is more than just traffic in this equation, however. You also want to get the right kind of traffic. A link to your website on chess won’t get clicked much if it is on a site about boating, right? Strategic linking means putting your links on sites or pages with a closely related theme.

For this reason (and others) articles are a great marketing tool for your website. An article on making money at home is probably going to be read by people who are likely to click through to your site on home business opportunities. This targeted traffic is exactly what you need to make money with your site. This is one reason why links from the author’s resource box in your articles are some of the best links you can have.

Strategic Linking And Optimization

Links also optimize your website. If nobody were to click on the links you put out there, the links would still help you increase your exposure in the search engines – meaning you’ll get more traffic from them. What do you do to get the most “optimization” value from your links? Try the following:

1. Have a good keyword in the “anchor text.” This is the language of the actual link. It is used by search engines to decide which sites to display in the results pages. With article submissions, be sure to also have the full URL displayed as well, so those who use your article won’t mess up the link. For example, you could have the keyword “strategic linking” used as your link, but then also show the full URL (starting with http://). Of course, if the keyword is in your URL, you are already one step ahead of the competition.

2. Have links from more important pages. If you don’t have a Google Toolbar on your browser, you may want to get one and start checking out the “PageRank” (Google’s trademarked proprietary system for ranking web sites) of the web sites you put links on. Submit articles to web sites with a PageRank of 4 or higher, and exchange links with higher-ranked sites as well.

3. Slow down – maybe. There is some evidence that the search engines are downgrading the value of links when they occur too quickly. Perhaps their search algorithms assume that software or “tricks” are involved. They may consider a more “natural” or slower growth of incoming links to be indicative of a higher quality site. If you have several web sites, then, you are possibly better off rotating your link-building work between them, so the links to any one site are added more slowly.

There are links that are more likely to bring direct targeted traffic and links that optimize your website – which should you try for? Why not try for some of each type? Both are valuable, and you can often get both advantages in one link. Finally, there is one other key element to strategic linking: where the links go or “point to.“ Your homepage isn’t always the best option – but that is a topic for another article.

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