If you have a website or plan on building one soon then SEO is going to become a part of your vocabulary. SEO stands for search-engine optimization and it boils down to making your website search-engine friendly.
Aside from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and other social bookmarking sites you’ll still want to attract free organic search traffic to your website. Especially if you aren’t very active on social media sites.
This isn’t a long-winded article on which search-engine to optimize for and cater to. It’s the “quick and dirty” version giving you some great tips to guide you where your time should be spent promoting your website or blog.
If you aren’t going to pay for traffic by way of Google Adwords or other methods then roll up your sleeves and get ready to work on some backlinking strategy.
Backlinks, in the context here, are clickable text links with your keywords, domain name, or phrases used as the anchor text. Whoa, boring and heavy at the same time.
To give an example, if you’re blogging about quilting tips for baby boomers then you’d want other websites linking to your site with relevant phrases or words like, “quilting tips,” “quilting tips for baby boomers,” or even, “quilting for seniors.”
Say you have a dental practice in Topeka, Kansas. One of the easiest ways to gain some traction in Google search (for regional businesses) is to target local keywords. So you’d write articles on your site or submit them to article directories and use text like, “for more information about a great family dentist in Topeka, Kansas you should visit TopekaDentistry.com.”
The underlined words would be hyperlinked; see how you hyperlink the words you want search-engines to associate with your site? (yes, you’d have to be the owner of that domain name that I mentioned.)
Where To Promote
What you say about your own website within the pages of your articles, About page, and so forth matters. But it matters less than what other websites are saying about your site.
So to tie into the last section on backlinking, you need to make sure that you’re creating backlinks to your site on relevant and authoritative websites.
Let’s take a step back. You have your website set up and it looks amazing. All the buttons are clickable and go where you want them, the pictures or portfolio is breath-taking, your contact form works and everything is blue skies and green fields.
You spent all week writing several articles on your site and nobody knows you even exist. Now what?
Start working on finding new places to promote your site! Great places to start getting the word out about your new website are:
- relevant forums in your industry
- authoritative websites and blogs in your industry
- video sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo (video is a great tool to leverage)
- website directories
- article directories
- your social media platforms
A mix of interaction in all-of-the-above will greatly improve your search-engine ranking. One caveat: don’t enter a community simply for the extra “link juice” you get by slapping everyone over the head with your URL. Always, always add value wherever you go.
Joining a forum? Share your thoughts, engage in conversations, selflessly help someone out by answering a question or concern.
Leaving a comment on another blog in your industry? Expand on the article that you’re commenting on; reply to another person’s comment, or simply share your insight.
This is human business; you can’t simply show up at a site and plug your website. It’s like showing up at someone’s holiday party shouting: “hey, come check out my party down the street it’s amazing!” Then running out the door thinking a horde of people will follow.
People will dislike you.
Don’t do it.
Website Promotion Criteria
If you’re in the dog training industry, it makes more sense for you to be seen in doggy training or dog toy websites and forums than a site about FOREX trading.
It doesn’t hurt to be seen somewhere irrelevant; it’s just that not all backlinks are created equally. Invest your time promoting on sites that are relevant to yours.
Sites you use to for marketing your business or blog should be of an authoritative nature. That is, they should have a solid PR rank or “page rank” in SEO terminology. For example, a brand new site would either have an “n/a” PR or perhaps “0.” Whereas a site like Facebook (the second most trafficked site in the world) carries a PR of 10; extremely trusted.
The higher the PR number the better and I will elaborate more on this in future articles (e.g. how to determine a site’s PR, tools to use, etc).
Go Promote Your Website
So get out there and leave thoughtful, well-written comments on other articles and sites with high PR.
Remember to leave a link back to your site where allowed even from within your industry’s forums (and in your profile in the forum). Then keep checking back here at jonalford.com to find out where to post articles in directories to help spread your message and get some backlink lovin’.
Time is precious so invest it, don’t simply spend it, in marketing efforts with the highest positive impact.