Build your site’s link value
Link Value is the perceived value another site will derive from
linking to you. The more value they see, the more likely they will be to link.
basic level, the most immediate value most sites see is a reciprocal link. “You
link to me and I’ll link to you.” But such exchanges rarely bring significant
business benefit to either party.
Much more productive are one-way links, “I’ll link to you because I think your
site is useful and attractive to my audience.” Such links do not come easily
and involve hard work and effort. But they can bring enormous returns in
increased traffic, qualified prospects and sales revenue.
To persuade other sites to give you a one-way link you need to maximize your
link value. The more value they see the more likely they are to link. To create
value and compelling reasons for other sites to link to you, you’ve got to
consider link value from three perspectives:
The value you offer the linking website. Perhaps you offer complementary products
or services: perhaps the information you publish may help them close a sale or
perhaps they want to be seen as a knowledgeable source.
The value that you offer their audience – the people that
will follow the link to arrive at your website. They will be interested
in what you have to offer and will already have expectations based on the link
they followed. Will you be able to fulfil those expectations?
The value that the additional traffic brings to your
business. There’s no point in generating incoming links and traffic if
you can’t convert the people who arrive at your site.
Sites that offer great link value
Let’s look at a few examples that deliver value from all three of these
publishes an interactive office planner. This planner is a useful resource for http://www.gilgordon.com who provide
resources for tele-workers and people who work in
virtual offices: the audience gets an excellent free tool with which to plan
their office space: IKEA benefits from the sales of the furniture, users of the
software will undoubtedly be tempted to buy.
are online conversion rate specialists. They offer
free content in terms of reports and articles, but the most attractive is the
free WeWe calculator. The essence of Bryan
Eisenberg’s message is that if you are to increase your conversion rates, you
must talk in your customer’s language and address their problems, not about yourself using self-centered ‘we
are’ speak. The WeWE calculator allows you to do just
that – enter your name and URL and you’ll get a free report by return. Many
online marketing sites link to FutureNowInc.com, their audiences get a free
analysis and FutureNowInc.com gather prospects.
The Online Visual Thesaurus, http://www.visualthesaurus.com/online/index.html
from Plumb Design is a really cool no-cost tool. Just enter a word in the
search box and the visual thesaurus will create an interactive map of the word
and it’s associations. The tool is an interactive
feature that advertising, marketing, writing and academic sites would be happy
to link to: the audience gets immediate help with their writing and Plumb
Design benefit from sales of the full-featured CD-ROM or download at $29.95.
So how do you add link value to your site?
Here are four steps you can take to improve the link value of your site:
(i) Make sure that
your site is customer-centric and tell people exactly what you do. Be clear,
simple and direct and avoid “we are ...” corporate speak. This alone will make
your website stand out from many of your competitors and thus make your site
more attractive to link to.
(ii) Many websites underestimate the value of content they already have:
this can often be re-purposed to increase your link value. Review the content
that you already have both online and offline. Can you collate or re-package
this into special reports or guides. A paint manufacturer for example could
draw all its information on ‘External Decorating’ into a single guide. Such
repackaging makes the best use of existing material and won’t cost a lot to do.
The secret is to make reports address a specific customer need.
(iii) Create a range of fresh material that addresses customer needs in
the form of articles, hints and tips, special reports. This material should be
carefully aligned with your target audiences – you should have link worthy
material for each of your important target markets.
(iv) Create attention-grabbing, interactive
functions or micro sites on the lines of the examples we gave earlier. To carry
these off effectively takes a reasonable investment in time and money but the
long-term rewards in increased profile and increased traffic to your site will
be well worth it.
By understanding and building the link value of your site, you’ll find that the
success rates of your linking requests will increase and that other sites will
link to you without being asked.
That will really bring value to your business.
McGaffin provides link building services to
established and newly launched websites. He is the author of the highly
acclaimed 'Linking Matters Report', which can be downloaded for free at http://www.linkingmatters.com.
Article reproduced with Ken McGaffin’s permission.