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Site owners all have a purpose in mind when creating their site. Whether the goal is for profit, awareness, or just plain old fun, they all have one thing in common: achieving their goals. They all need traffic. A site needs viewers and users to accomplish any goal. So, suppose you're new on the market and possibly facing a lot of competition for readership. In that case, you're going to need a strategy.
One strategy site owners around the world have turned to is Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a technique used to increase awareness of your site through search engines such as Google. Search engines are the table of contents of the internet. So naturally, if you created a site full of information about healthy eating, you would hope that someone searching for this topic will come across your brand new site that you have worked so hard on. But a huge problem for new websites is that no one will know they exist if they aren't ranked high enough. That's where the SEO strategy comes into place.
A key element to your SEO strategy is developing site links. Internal and External links are both forms of linking URLs within the content. The difference between the two is that internal linking is used to navigate readers and users around your site. While they do aid in spreading ranking power around your website, they help users navigate your website pages and develop a site's page hierarchy. External linking is where the major SEO juice is. External links are links from an outside domain pointing back at your site or vice versa. Search engines recognize these links as higher popularity votes as they are harder to manipulate by site owners.
Google uses algorithms to calculate your popularity and relevancy. To increase your site's ranking, get as many external links as possible. The more third parties that are linking to you, the more popular and trustworthy you appear. If you seem more popular, then Google assumes your content is more relevant than others on the same particular subject. Adding anchor text to external links is another great way to provide relevancy to your link.
There are a couple of techniques to getting external links. The most straightforward approach is a natural link back. Generating engaging and timely content is the best way to get a genuine link back. Having a corporate blog (like this one) tying back to your site with helpful information related to your client's interests is a great way to accumulate external links. If your content is informative or interesting, other site owners will be more likely to share your site with their site users, too. If your readers like your work, they will share it. While socially shared links aren't treated the same as an external link, it is still recognizable and could lead to more traffic. Having a post go viral through social media could do wonders for a site's ranking.
There are also directories available of sites that will offer linkbacks, but be cautious of easily obtained links and risks. Of course, users can also reach out to the site they are trying to link to. Explaining that the site linking could be beneficial for both parties involved could be all it takes to establish that partnership for some.
Whichever tactic is used, obtaining external links and streamlining your site with internal links will produce SEO juice and increase your site's rankings. With higher rankings, your site will yield more traffic and achieve higher goals. So don't' waste your time and efforts producing fresh content for that great site without getting a little juice first!
Written by Elizabeth White / July 15, 2013