Photo credit by Scott Christian
It’s no secret that ranking highly in Google is THE best way to run a successful online business. In fact, I am going to go so far as to say that without ranking highly, you will struggle. The key to ranking highly is also no secret – just browse various resources and you will hear all kinds of things about posting on “do follow” blogs and creating “Squidoo lenses”. To the less discerning web user, this might as well be a foreign language.
So, I am going to explain this in PLAIN ENGLISH for all to understand.
Let’s say for example that you have a website selling novelty hats. You may wish to rank highly for the search phrase “funny hats”. In order to do this, your website must have a substantial amount of backlinks containing that anchor text. Backlinks refer to links that point from other websites to your own, and anchor text is your keyword (in this case, “funny hats”). The link may be to your top level (home page) or a deep link (inner page). Either way, you must ensure that the text “funny hats” appears at least 3 or 4 times on this page for it to rank well.
Keeping up? If not, re-read that last paragraph. It can be difficult to grasp but the concept is actually simple. This sort of linking does occur naturally (i.e. without you building these links yourself) when a website cites your website as a trustworthy resource and places a link from their site to yours.
This is ultimately the best way to rank highly for a keyword. The next question is how you achieve this? Again this is a relatively simple concept but the execution can be some what trickier. Take a look at this no-nonsense list of link building techniques, complete with a full explanation:
1. Write articles. Writing keyword-rich articles and publishing them on article directories is arguably the most effective way to rank for your chosen keywords. Write a 500 word article on your subject and carefully slot in your keywords, then link them to pages on your website. Easy!
2. Directory submission. Post your links in link directories. This is actually considered an obsolete technique by many webmasters, but I personally find it can help build a nice foundation of generic links to your website. There is a down side though - expect to spend many hours on this for little return.
3. Create Word docs and PDF’s. Mock up a “catalogue” of your products and embed links into the pages. Upload these pages to another server and make sure Google knows about it – it loves crawling these types of files and will follow the links right through to your own website.
4. Take a breather. Relax for a few hours – link building is extremely tiring and can be incredibly boring!
5. Write a blog. Accompany your website with a blog. Within this blog, link to pages on your website with your chosen anchor text. Google will match this blog up with your website and class it as extra, original content, giving you authority.
There are plenty of other ways of building backlinks in order to soar the rankings for your chosen keywords. I have simply listed the ones that I personally have found to be the most effective. You will find that is right for you by experimenting with different techniques but I must insist you never discount article submission – this method is worth it’s weight in gold.