Teaching Examples

Become a link magnet, get more site visits
September 24, 2006, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If people link to you, more visitors will come to your site. This applies to news Web sites, blogs, business sites, and everything in between. So, how do you encourage links to your stuff?

Here are some great tips, attributed to their original sources — most of which are on Brian Clark’s list (“How to attract links and increase Web traffic“). Each blurb is pretty much a direct quote. The five categories are mine.

1. Be Scrupulous in Basic Quality Issues

Make your content easy to understand so that many people can comprehend and spread your message. It’s all about accessibility (from SEO Book.com).

Titles should be short, snappy and attention-grabbing — think about how you skim through your RSS reader every day, and bear that in mind when writing titles. Preferably, titles should contain keywords related to your topic — that should come naturally. If you have to jam them in there, it’s either a bad title, bad copy, or you’re a lunatic (from Nick Wilson at Performancing).

Put some effort in to minimize grammatical or spelling errors, especially if you need authoritative people such as librarians to link to your site (from SEO Book.com).

If you make a mistake out of haste or misjudgment, apologize quickly and publicly. Do not simply delete the offending post. Do not entrench yourself in a losing position. Better to admit you were wrong quickly and make amends, than to dig the hole of your own grave (from “The Art of Blog,” at SEO Black Hat).

2. Create Some Irresistible Content

Utilizing geographic data and a map API system (example), you can create a very cool tool on your site that combines the two in a graphical, fun-to-use and highly linkable way. Even sites in the most boring of sectors can employ this strategy by mapping things like their own industry’s stats from Census data or concentrations of relevant physical locations (from SEOmoz Blog).

Write a “How to …” … Walk your readers through a process that teaches them how to achieve a goal they might have and they’re more likely to want to bookmark it. … I see a number of titles [in del.icio.us] that indicate that the links will teach or guide readers through a particular issue. Often the titles use the actual words “how to” in them. Others use “Guide to,” “Tips to” or “Tutorial,” etc. On the flip side of the “how to” I also regularly see “how not to” type articles or articles that talk about “common mistakes” that people make (from ProBlogger).

Build a “101 list.” These get Dugg all the time, and often become “authority documents.” People can’t resist linking to these … (from SEO Book.com).

Create “10 easy tips to help you [insert topic here]” articles. Again, these are exceptionally easy to link to (from SEO Book.com).

“Write about a never-ending parade of different topics so you don’t bore your readers. / Write about only one thing, in ever-deepening detail, so you become definitive. / Write about obscure stuff that appeals to an obsessed minority. / Don’t be boring. / Write stuff that people want to read and share” (from Seth Godin).

3. Make Yourself Respectable

Have an easily accessible privacy policy and “About” section so your site seems more trustworthy. Including a picture of yourself may also help build your authority [or it might hurt — some people look untrustworthy in their photos]; from SEO Book.com.

When making blog posts, always cite the source with a link, and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name (from Online Marketing Blog).

Identify authoritative blogs, Web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll (What is a Blogroll? Why Would I Want One?); from Online Marketing Blog.

Send readers away to other great posts [and sites] liberally, and they will return more fervently and more frequently than if you try to hoard them. In blogging, the tightest grasp is with an open fist (from “The Art of Blog,” at SEO Black Hat).

Get to know other bloggers. Comment (intelligently) on their … blogs. Link to your favorites regularly. Find out where bloggers hang out. There are conventions for real-world rubbing shoulders, and there are forums for virtual hobnobbing (from Chris Garrett at Performancing).

Validate and 508 your site. This (indirect) method makes your site more trustworthy and linkable, especially from governmental sites or design-oriented communities. There are even a few authoritative directories of standards-compliant sites (from SEO Book.com).

4. Classify, Title, Tag and Keyword Your Content

Research keywords and develop a glossary using — Keyword DiscoveryWordTrackerSitePointSEOBook Keyword Research (from Online Marketing Blog).

Optimize the blog with template optimization (RSS subscription options, social bookmark links, HTML code, unique title tags (explained here), URLs, Sitemap); add helper plugins specific to WordPress or Movable Type; create keyword-rich categories (reference your keyword glossary); from Online Marketing Blog.

Given that tags are important and that WordPress categories translate into Technorati Tags, it follows that you should chose your WordPress category names very carefully (from “WordPress Categories, Technorati Tags and Search Engine Optimisation,” at Tom Raftery’s blog).

5. Know and Use the Essential Blog Technicalities

Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality (trackbacks explained); from Online Marketing Blog.

Create a Feedburner account and enable feed tracking (from Online Marketing Blog).

Set up a Google account for Sitemap, validate and prep for future submission (from Online Marketing Blog).

Encourage the mashup (what are mashups? or mashups explained briefly). In a world of co-creation, it pays to be more open about letting others use your content (within reason). YouTube’s idea of providing code to cut and paste so you can embed videos from their site has fueled their growth. Syndicating your content through RSS also makes it easy for others to create mashups that can drive traffic or augment your content (from Influential Interactive Marketing).

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