Is it possible to increase your traffic by 560% in 10 Days? Yes. Read on to discover the exact methods I used to do exactly that for this site.
Link Building is one of the oldest but most abused marketing techniques on the web. As a result, it was the main target of Google’s recent Penguin update.
So how do you get valuable inbound links to your website without falling foul of Google?
First, make sure you’re basing your strategy on current information. There’s a lot of out-of-date advice around that encourages publishers and bloggers to pursue strategies that at best are time wasters and at worst actually harmful to rankings.
Golden Rule: Don’t Automate
Run a mile from any kind of offer that promises thousands of links to your site for a few (or more) dollars. Automated backlink services like this are bad news.
Most of the losers in recent changes to Google’s ranking algorithm were sites with “unnatural” patterns of inbound links. In other words, automated systems adding links to shady networks that exist only to artificially boost site rankings. These are now considered “bad neighborhoods” by Google and you need to avoid them.
More than ever, link placements that encourage real visitors to visit your site are the ones search engines like too. Here are some safe and effective ways to link-build.
Leaving intelligent, insightful comments on blogs in your site niche can bring in a surprising number of visitors. For the most success, focus on popular blogs with a good amount of traffic. You can estimate traffic levels by the number of comments and likes the posts have or by looking up the site in a public analytics tool like Compete.com or Quantcast.
Most bloggers will allow a link in a blog comment if it directly relates to the subject of the blog post or answers a question posed by another commenter. You’ll also be able to use a name and url as a link. Using a “Your Name at Your Site” format is fine for most bloggers and it allows you to be both personal and work in some site branding at the same time.
Don’t use keywords as your name – it looks spammy and many webmasters won’t publish the comment. If you’d like to use keywords within your comment name, take a look at the CommentLuv plugin for WordPress.
The Truth About “Do Follow” and “No Follow” Links
Many sites set a nofollow attribute to links in comments and forum posts – an anti-spam measure that asks search engines not to follow the link in case it’s a junk site. This is why you’ll still hear the well-intentioned, but wrong advice to only post on sites that don’t use nofollow.
The reality is that search engines do follow these links and they count as a link back to your site. If you use Google Webmaster Tools to track your inbound links (see below) you’ll see nofollow links listed after a few days.
Of all the methods on this list, guest posting takes the most amount of time to do, but along with blog commenting it’s the most effective.
Find blogs you can write for by searching for phrases like “write for us” and “guest posts” along with the type of site you’re interested in. For example, to track down internet marketing sites that accept guest posts you’d search for internet marketing “write for us”.
Once you’ve found a blog to write for, make sure you read the writing guidelines carefully and follow them to the letter.
Read through the archives. Your aim is to come up with an idea that fits in with the site content but hasn’t been covered before. That’s often quite a challenge on an established blog, but it’s essential if you want to be published.
Depending on the size of the site, you may or may not get a big influx of visitors from the link in your author bio. But that’s ok. The real benefit is in the SEO boost you’ll get from having several such links on busy, respected sites in your niche.
A signature link in popular forum related to your site subject can be a substantial traffic builder.
As with blog commenting, your posts and replies need to be well thought out and add something to the discussion. Don’t just pop up in a thread to crowbar in a link to your site. That’s cheesy and will get you banned in no time.
Once you’ve made 20 – 30 useful forum posts on a busy forum you should start to see a regular flow of traffic in your analytics / stats program as people who like your answers check out the link in your forum signature. I’ve been using this technique for Genius Startup with great success.
Social Networking Sites
Links on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. will give you a fairly quick SEO boost so make sure you’re using well positioned social network buttons for all the main networks.
Don’t forget to investigate specialist social networks. They may bring in lower numbers of visitors but the visitors will be more receptive to your content and ads, affiliate offers or products.
There are networks based around cars, education, fashion, languages, health, art and just about any other subject you can think of. Here’s my list of niche social network sites, there’s also a big list on great list of traffikd.com. Set up a profile and get connecting.
The days of a link in the Yahoo or Dmoz directory bringing in substantial traffic and having any meaningful impact on search results is over. Once two of the most important places to be listed, they are now a waste of time – and in the case of Yahoo – money too.
Instead of general web directories, try a couple of the most visited or visible directory sites for your niche, or a local directory if your site has a geographical focus. A few links like that should help your link building efforts, but not as much as the other tactics on this list.
Many of the article directories that used to be a good bet for a quick search engine boost have been hit badly this year as Google makes changes to its ranking criteria to weed out lower quality sites.
Like guest blog posts, the idea behind article submissions is to create links within the content and in your author bio.
Before submitting material to an article directory, take a look over their most recently published items. If the English is wonky, or the content appears so stuffed with keywords that it no longer makes much sense, you’re looking at a low quality site that most likely has been downgraded by Google or will be soon.
Another reason to recommend Squidoo and Hubpages is that they share revenue with their contributors. Quality posts that rank well on these sites can generate extra income through AdSense and Amazon affiliate profit sharing, as well as provide you with good quality backlinks.
While an unfashionable dead tree press release is unlikely to bring in much traffic and certainly won’t help in the search engines, many marketing sites allow you to include links within your online press release.
There’s an art to writing a press release and a good one will make readers click through to your site to find out more. You’ll need something news worthy or innovative for this to work.
Focus on new features you’re offering and what the benefit is to users. Are you better or cheaper than competing sites? Are you running a special offer, giveaway or contest? Special reports and whitepapers can also work well.
The trick is to write just enough to entice the reader to visit your site for more. Don’t tell the whole story in your press release or there will be no reason for anyone to go to your website.
Checking Your ProgressThe easiest way to keep track of inbound links to your site is to use Google Webmaster Tools.
Adding your site is free but it can take anything from a few days to a week for data to start appearing, especially if your site is new or has low traffic.
The graph on the right shows the 560% increase in search results impressions for Genius Startup that occurred about 10 days after intensively using these methods.