How To Get Backlinks To Your Site

traffic lightEveryone knows or soon learns that a major part of search engine optimization involves getting backlinks to your website.  There are a number of different ways to get backlinks to your site.  Remember that links are not counted equally though.  Some links are more beneficial than others.  Some links will deliver a lot of raw traffic to your website.  Other links will deliver traffic indirectly by increasing your web page’s rank in the organic search results.  Here are a few ways to get those different kinds of links.

How To Get Social Links That Deliver Raw Traffic To Your Site

As the name implies, social links are links that come from social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Faves, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious, etc.  There are hundreds of different popular websites that are capable of delivering social traffic.  You can create these links yourself simply by creating an account at any of those websites.  Then you publish a bookmark including a snippet of text about the page you are linking to.

The problem with social links is that they usually do not deliver much traffic unless you have a number of other people who pay attention to what you link to.  We call these people our followers.  If you have a lot of followers, then obviously, you will get more visitors to the pages that you link to.

How To Get Links That Deliver SEO Benefits

There are some links that do not directly deliver a lot of traffic to your website, but do in fact help to get your web pages to rank higher in the search results.  As your page moves higher in the search results, you end up getting more traffic from the search engines.  So those links do deliver traffic.  They just do it in an indirect manner.

Some of these links are ones that you can build yourself.  Others are links that you have to actually earn.  You can build links yourself by joining a forum within your own niche.  Most forums allow you to create a link to your website on your profile page.  If this is a normal link that does not use the rel=”nofollow” code, then the link will count and help push up your rankings.  A lot of people do these links wrong though.  It does not do you much good at all to just create a profile link on forums that you do not participate in.  You actually need to participate in that forum for the link to really provide any substantial benefit.  By participating in various threads on that forum, your profile page will acquire some backlinks for itself.  Those backlinks to your profile page are what gives your profile link its value.  Without any of these links, you could have hundreds of these profiles at various forums that provide no ranking benefit at all.

Another way that you can build links to help with search engine optimization is to use article marketing.  The way that you use article marketing is to write a number of articles that educate people about some aspect of your industry.  Then in the footer or resource box of the article, you can link back to your website taking credit for providing that information.  Some places may allow you to link out from within the main article itself which is even better.

How To Earn Links To Your Site

The other way you can get links to your website is to actually earn them.  You earn links by developing relationships within your niche or industry.  As you get to know other people and share your knowledge or insights with them you will become known as an expert in your field.  Obviously this works better when you actually know what you are talking about.  As more people come to realize that you know what you are talking about, these other industry experts will share some of your knowledge by linking to the better more informative public knowledge that you have put online.  They willingly link to your website and to your other content online because you are respected amongst your peers.  These are the hardest links to earn, but they are also the most powerful ones.

Once you are well known, you will have ample opportunity to contribute to more popular websites within your own industry.  As compensation for your contribution it is very common for websites to link back to the contributors’ websites.  These are the kinds of links that search engines absolutely love.

Do You Really Need A Business Plan For A Work From Home Business

Small Business AdminstrationMost people who launch their own business from home skip the whole business plan thing.  I understand.  Heck, even most of the traditional brick and mortar business launches do so without a well prepared business plan.  So do you really need one?  The answer in all cases is yes.  Here is why.

People think that a business plan is for people who need to borrow money from a bank to start their business.   This is true.  But, that is not the real reason why an entrepreneur should bother with one.  The real reason that you should take the time to prepare a well thought out business plan is because it forces you to clarify your plans.  That clarity will save you a ton of headaches.  You will avoid a bunch of problems because you discovered those problems when you were in the process of writing the business plan.

There are a lot of little details about your business that you probably have not thought of.  By forcing yourself to write everything down, those things will come to your attention.  This is by far the biggest benefit of writing the plan out in advance.

Let me tell you something else that should hit home with you.  If you are not willing to make the effort necessary to write a decent business plan, then I don’t believe you have what it takes to actually run a successful business.  Running a successful business takes discipline.  You will have to do things that you do not like doing and do not want to do.  This is the nature of the game.

Having a written plan is also a sign that you are well organized.  I can assure you that if you are not well organized you will most certainly not enjoy running your business.  That lack of organization will come back to bite you in a big way.  I guarantee it.

Do yourself a favor and write the business plan.  Prove it to yourself that you do have what it takes.  If you are really committed to running your own business then start doing what you know you should be doing.  Write the plan.

Visit The Small Business Administration website for more help starting your business.

Can You Publish One Article More Than Once At Different Websites?

newspaper articleA lot of people use article marketing to promote their business.   Anyone who has done it though knows that you have to write a lot of articles to get any real results. That is of course unless your articles are published at the most popular websites in your industry.  In that case, you can write a lot less of them.  Assuming that you don’t have access to publishing at the best websites in your industry, then you are going to have to write a whole bunch of articles.  As a result, many people want to republish the same article at a bunch of different websites instead of writing a new article for each one.  Can you do this and will it work?

For all the talk about the search engines like Google not liking duplicate content listen to this.  They will index and keep indexed a number of copies of the same article.   The key to getting them to keep those identical articles indexed is to get some other links pointing to each of those articles no matter where they are published.  Those links will help keep the articles active.

Some people like to use article spinners to randomize each article and keep it unique.  This method does work for making the articles unique.  That is what has made the article services that publish these articles so popular.  There are a number of problems with these article spinning and distribution services.  For starters, most people do not know how to or don’t take the time to spin the articles properly so that you can’t tell that they have been spun.  As a result, when the reader reads your article they will be turned off by the lousy grammar.  They are likely to click away instead of clicking on your link.   Even if they do click on your link they aren’t going to trust whatever comes next.

Another problem with those article distribution services is that the vast majority of the websites that your articles will get posted to are really low value spam websites.   Do you really want to get a bunch of links from spam websites to yours?  Those links do not count for much at all.  Go ahead and try it.  You will see what I mean.

A Better Way To Publish More Content With Less Work

You are better off choosing to publish at only the best places that you can find.  If a place is picky about the quality of your articles then that is a good thing.  That means they should be picky with everybody.  There will be a lot less spam on those sites.  The articles will actually be readable by a human.  Readers will not have the same level of skepticism as they would if they saw articles with a bunch of lousy grammar.  So pick a dozen or so higher quality places that will accept your articles.

Publish the article first at the pickiest of the places you are going to publish at.  Make your first choice an article directory like  Spend time on the article so that it actually delivers value to the reader, gets your point across and gets them to click through to your destination website.

Once that article has been published, take that original article and modify it.  Add one additional paragraph to it that has completely unique content.  Reword some of the original way that you wrote the article.  Then you can republish it at the next place.

The Truth About Article Marketing

If you intend to get results with article marketing then you had better plan on generating a lot of articles for whatever topic you are talking about.  Yes it is better if each article is 100 percent unique.  It does not absolutely have to be though.  You can make a page somewhat unique just by adding an additional paragraph and rewriting a little bit of the other material.  The important thing is that you keep your material readable and of decent quality.  Then only publish that material at a place that does not allow blatant spam.  Don’t associate yourself with the spam sites.

How Much Do Links Really Matter For Website Ranking

linksYou have probably heard that a website needs links.  Those links are supposed to help your website rank higher in the search results on Google and the other search engines.  You have heard correctly.  That is absolutely true.  But how much do they really matter?

When it comes to website rankings everything is relative.  Everything depends on the competition you are up against.   Links are no different.  If you are trying to get a page ranked for a specific keyword, then how much links matter is totally dependent upon what kind of competition you are up against.  It also matters what kind of page you are trying to get ranked.

If your page is mostly text and lots of it, then your links might not matter as much.  You can probably get good ranking just by getting your title right and a few other on-page characteristics.  If however your page is just a few photographs and not much text, then you might have to rely on the power of links to get your page to rank better.  Everything is relative.

The amount of links you need also depends on how large your website is.  If your website is only ten pages or less then it is very likely that you will only need a couple of links and a sitemap to ensure that a search engine like Google actually indexes all of the pages on your website.  If you have a large website with hundreds of pages then you are going to need to get more PageRank to your website in the forms of either more links or higher PageRank links.  Otherwise it is unlikely that you will get all those pages to get in and stay in Google’s index.

Most people deal with smaller websites though.  So, let’s stick with them.

For small sites it is more important that you get your on-page activities right first.  Focus on them first and worry about links later.  It is more important that you get your page title right as well as get as much text content on that page as possible.  Make sure that the text is relevant to your topic.  Don’t just add text for the sake of adding it.  Make sure it describes the material more thoroughly.    The more you get on that page the better.  You shouldn’t worry about going overboard unless your text gets to several thousand words.  The thing to keep in mind is what your visitors would want.  People think that visitors want to keep everything short, but this is simply not always the case.

Add images that help to get whatever point across on the page that you are trying to get across.  Visitors and search engines both like images.  Once you have all of the on-page stuff right it will make the link acquisition process that much easier.  You won’t need as many links to get the ranking you are looking for.

Link power can make up for weakness in other areas of search engine optimization.  It is not smart to rely on that though.  You would have to go way overkill with links to be able to force a page to rank higher in the search engines.  Always focus on the on-page stuff first.  Do the best job you possibly can and you will cut your linking work at least in half.

When it comes to links you want quality not quantity.  If you are running a website that is trying to sell in a heavily competitive market, then you are going to need large numbers of high quality links.  If you are trying to sell your products and services in your local city or town then you are likely going to only need a few powerful links to get the job done.

Powerful links are links that come from high quality places.  They come from nonprofit organizations.  They come from other legitimate businesses.  They come from government websites.  They come from the most popular business directories that list other businesses similar to yours.  You will not need that many links if you get the right ones.

You should always get your on-page SEO right first so that you know the rest will have to be done with links.  Once the on-page SEO is almost perfect, you can quit worrying about it.  Then you just focus on either adding more pages to your website and/or getting better places to link to the pages you want to get ranked.

Why Does Everyone Think That SEO Is So Important

searching the internetSearch engine optimization is thought of as being one of the most effective if not the most effective methods of promoting a website.  What makes people think that though?  Why would someone assume that this is the best way to promote a website?

There are a number of reasons why search engine optimization is thought to be the most important method for promoting a website.   Some years ago, some traffic figures were released that explained what people’s habits were really like when they were searching online.  It was discovered that around forty percent of people click on the very first natural search result on a search engine.  Basically that meant that about four out of every ten people clicked on the very first free listing in Google.  Imagine how much opportunity there is to make money if your business website was listed at the very top of Google for a search word that people used often when they were ready to make a purchase.

The traffic that comes in after you have achieved a good ranking is free traffic.  That traffic comes in day after day after day so long as your ranking stays high up there.  That means that your search engine optimization costs are likely to be a onetime investment that will pay off again and again and again.  It is not really a onetime cost.  You will have to do some things to maintain that kind of ranking.  For the most part though the majority of the cost and effort is done up front.

The other incredibly important benefit of search engine optimization is that it is capable of delivering customers who are ready to make a purchase.  If someone is searching using the phrase “buy cheap Christmas ornaments online” there is a really good chance that they are looking to buy some Christmas ornaments.  Think about how this applies to your business.  There is real money in getting a page on your website to rank well for the right phrases.

Social media is all the rage right now.  People are using their social media accounts to build up their popularity and generate traffic to their website.  However, this kind of traffic does not buy like SEO traffic does.  With SEO traffic you will get large percentages of visitors who become customers.  With social media traffic it is much less.  Social media traffic takes constant work too.  You have to maintain a constant presence and respond to the needs of people in your social circle.  If you ignore them for a few months you will start losing friends.  SEO doesn’t care.  You can stop SEO efforts for a few months if you want.  Then just pick up where you left off when you are ready to.

Paid traffic is also excellent quality traffic if you are targeting the right keywords.  The problem is that it is a variable cost that goes up and down according to market forces.  Don’t get me wrong, paid traffic can be and often is very worthwhile.  So can social media.  If done well though, SEO is the king.

How Hard Is It To Build An Online Business From Scratch Into Something That Generates Enough Money For You To Live On

clockBuilding an online business into a self sustaining highly profitable business enterprise is a major challenge.  An awful lot of people attempt to do it and fail.  I don’t know exact figures, but I would guess that the failure rate is way higher among online business ventures than it is among traditional retail operations in the real world.

People have this misconception about the internet.  They think the internet is like some kind of big shopping mall that millions of people wander around in.  This is simply not the case.  People who think this way assume that if they just get a commercial website up and running that some people will buy from them.  This is also not the case.  It is not a numbers game like that.  You can’t just build it and they will come.  It doesn’t work that way.

In order for you to actually build a viable business enterprise that makes enough money for you to brag about it will take an awful lot of effort on your part.  You have to build a website that actually looks professional enough to gain the visitors’ trust.  You have to get people to come to the website by marketing the heck out of it.  You have to spread the word around like a crazed lunatic.

You could shortcut the process by paying for advertising from somewhere like the Google Adwords program.  You will get customers.  However, it will likely cost you more in advertising than it pays you back in profits.  That will change as you learn how to maximize your efficiency with an advertising program like Adwords.  At the start though, you might be running at a loss.

Most people who launch these online businesses don’t have the kind of startup capital to invest in paid advertising like that.  They have to go the cheap route of promoting the website by themselves.  This is why I say that you have to promote it like a raving fan or crazed lunatic.  You have to spend a great deal of time and mental capital at getting people to come to your website one by one.  Eventually, if the website is good enough, you will get some sales.  Slowly over time you will build a customer base and the business could be profitable.

It will be profitable but not exactly lucrative.  You will still be spending a great deal of time getting those customers in your door one at a time.  At some point things will begin to gain momentum.  You will come across the right advertising opportunity.  You will get popular with the right circle of people.  Something great will happen that will take your business up another notch.

That will be way down the road though.  It isn’t going to happen in the first few months.  In fact, I bet it won’t happen in the first year.  This is why so many people give up on their internet business.  It takes a lot longer than that to learn what the heck you are doing.  You have to fail enough times to learn not to make the same mistakes.  But, you must persevere.  You must be willing to work your butt off that first year without making any real headway.  At some point after that if you keep chugging along, you will catch your break.

It could be years later before that business is profitable enough for you to live on.