How To Increase Your Web Site Popularity Through One-Way Incoming Links
One of the best ways to get free website traffic, as we all know, is links from other sites which help improve your site’s link popularity. Nothing new there…however now that Google and friends are cracking down on reciprocal link exchanges and de-valuing links from non-relevant sites, it’s become vitally important to get 1-way INCOMING links from sites that are related to your niche.
For example, a travel site would benefit from a incoming-link from a holiday home rental company or an airline or car hire place, but there would be NO benefit from getting an incoming link from an online casino service or one of those ubiquitous Viagra sales sites we all love to receive spam email from (not!)… 🙂
Here’s what I suggested to one of my client’s (who runs a luxury accommodation site) as a way for him to get quality incoming one-way links:
Ideally, it’s MUCH better to have a one-way link coming into your site, rather than having to reciprocate the link and give them one back. HOWEVER, this is getting VERY difficult to achieve.
Essentially, you are asking a possible competitor to give you a link to your website, when they would much rather the searcher just found them instead. Recipricol links are also starting to lose their value in terms of link popularity. A one-way link from a RELATED site is better than 5-10 2-way links from most sites.
So, I believe that in order for you to get as many incoming one-way links as possible, you need to give website owners a REASON to be prepared to give you that link for free. I believe the best way to achieve this is to go back to something I suggested in an email recently:
As a way to differentiate yourself from all the other sites out there offering similar content/services to yours, you need to value-add so that it is compelling for site visitors to make their bookings through your site in preference to anyone else’s – even the actual accommodation place site itself.
As I suggested, one way is to offer a package of discount vouchers for guests staying at each place for all the local tourist attractions, and offer them as a free giveaway to anyone making a booking through you. The more discounts or specials you offer, the more attractive it will be for someone wanting to make a booking through you.
Perhaps on occasions, you might even persuade some companies to offer free giveaways as an incentive to get tourists to visit their premises (free wine samples or free food samples, etc.)
However, rather than call them up and just ask for discounts for possible clients, why not approach them with a view to offering to give them FREE advertising to your clients, in exchange for a link from their website (designed the way we specify, and preferably placed in a vaguely decent spot on their site).
So, an example might make this clearer…
Let’s say you have an accommodation spot in Sydney. You contact all the related businesses in that region that offer something that may be of value to a visitor to the area. Say, a winery, a restaurant, a car hire place, a movie cinema, a chemist/pharmacy, etc.
Explain to them that you would like to offer them free advertising for clients you refer to their business while they are holidaying in Sydney, in exchange for a link on their website back to your site. Tell them you will put their details in a PDF document and anytime someone makes a booking for an accommodation spot in the area, you will email them a free copy of the document (sort of like a digital voucher system) and they can print it out and bring it with them for use while in the area.
In fact, if the truth be known, you could probably even put a link to the PDF on your site so ANYONE can download it. Make them have to fill in a small form to get it (name & email address) and then add their name to your (upcoming) 🙂 email newsletter. That way, even if you don’t make a sale so far as a booking goes, at least you have a good incentive for people to give you their email address in exchange for downloading the vouchers for the location they are interested in.
Sell it to them on the basis that it WILL give them FREE advertising. They don’t even have to offer any specials (although if they do, that’s obviously a bonus for you and the client), and all you ask for in return is a one-way link back to your website.
I’m not sure what sort of success rate you would have getting this, but I would be surprised if it was less than 1 in 10, perhaps even 1 in 5 businesses being prepared to say yes. And, you have a WHOLE country of accommodation hotspots you can call over the next 6-12 months and put this proposition to, with a view to getting ongoing increasing one-way links to your site from relevant businesses.
Oh, a small but important point. Get them to provide the text &/or graphics content that goes in your voucher. Saves you some time & money. I would assume that many of these places already have some form of brochures & advertising, etc – just get them to email you the image in a usable format.
If you have to spend time designing the look and content of each ad, it will chew up your time, so if they see the value of doing this, just explain that you will NEED them to email you their voucher entry (perhaps specify the size and format, etc), and you just drop it into a word doc (for example) and turn that into a pdf when you have filled it up.
Also, you will no doubt have some places being concerned that they are going to be in your voucher “book” with their competitors, which may (in their minds) devalue it for them, so offer them exclusivity if they come up with a great special offer for your clients. Rather than making them pay for exclusivity upfront, get them to pay for it when someone redeems the voucher, which is good for you AND them.
I believe this will be the best way for you to secure one-way links from related websites, without having to spend large sums of money. Once your page rank increases (for both your home page AND individual internal pages), you will find your site showing up higher in the organic searches across the board, which is the ultimate goal anyway.
There you have it. Any business (not just accommodation) can take this idea, mould it to their specifics, and be generating great incoming links from relevant sites in days.
As a last suggestion, if you want to speed up the process, contact prospective link partners by direct mail. That way, you can get in touch with 10-100 of them in a very short period of time, and only deal with the ones who see the value in what you are offering.
All the best with your link building campaign, and remember that success on the internet takes time and dedication. You won’t get miracle results in 1 week, so be persistent.