Optimizing your site? Don’t forget to back-link

As integrated marketers, we all understand how important Search Engine Optimization is for any company’s web success. Efficient use of this platform helps to build online traffic flow and can lead to enhanced brand awareness and even sales. There are many thoughts on how to best optimize your site. One tactic that has gained momentum is cross-linking or back-linking.

Link building is defined by internet marketing services provider Cemper.com as “the process of getting links to a website from other websites to build its popularity and ultimately improve the site’s rankings in the organic search results with the major search engines.” Sounds pretty basic, right?

Not so much. The concept is pretty straightforward, but execution is another beast entirely. Most commonly, techniques for link building include establishing contact and relationships with trusted industry partners to introduce reciprocal linking to and from each party’s respective website. This requires creating cross-links or back-links between the two websites to ensure mutual traffic. It’s the age-old premise of I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

By doing this, the linking websites help to increase each other’s “link popularity.” This was introduced by the major search engines to provide a certain level of impartiality in organic search results. The premise is simple: The more links you have directed to your site from other respected industry sources, the better your search ranking should be. So, on today’s web, in order to gain the site traffic you need to succeed, effective link building is essential.

And the key to making that happen? Unique content. As Paul Leach of PGL Internet Services says, “The best and easiest way to encourage good quality links from top websites is to have interesting and informative content on your site that is going to help drive traffic to their site.” Other traffic-increasing tactics can include the creation of blogs, forums, content directories and archives. But the most important factor in getting partner sites to link to you is ensuring the content you publish provides value to your audience in a timely manner.

In the end, it’s right back to the basics. Content is still king!

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