Why links to your website are important

I’m sitting in Melbourne airport with an hour to kill before my flight to Sydney so I thought I’d share some thoughts on why links to your website are important.

Links are important for two reasons.

  1. It provides another way for someone to find your site
  2. Google use links to your site as a way to determine if your site is good (or not) which therefore affects how high you rank in Google search results

#1 is obvious –links from another website is a way to drive traffic to your site.

#2 is also easy to explain. Google’s mission is to provide the most relevant website at the top of a search result and recommend the best website for the search keywords used.

i.e. “custom t shirt”

Relevance is determined by a number of factors with content being the primary (and possible only depending who you ask) factor. Your website must contain the keywords searched (in this case “custom t shirt”) therefore ensure the keywords you expect your customers to use are scattered frequently throughout your site. Also use different variants of the keyword.

i.e.:

  • custom tshirt
  • custom tee shirt
  • custom t-shirt
  • custom t shirt

So relevance is about content but how does Google know if the website is good? Let’s say two websites have equal content and equal relevance to the searched keyword. Google can’t trust the site owner (as they are biased) and they certainly can’t physically look at every website so Google needs to use some measurable factors to determine if the website is good.

This is where links play a major role.

In summary Google makes the assumption that if lots of websites link to your website then your website must be good. The more links the better you website must be. Coupled with the fact that your website contains lots of content related to the searched keyword Google can make the safe assumption that your website offers value to the searcher therefore your site will rank higher in the search result. Google calls this your PageRank, named after Google co-founder Larry Page. A PageRank varies from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest (i.e. Google.com has a page rank of 10).

So how can you get links?

Firstly use your website address EVERYWHERE. Some examples are:

  • Posting in forums such as Embroidery Startup.com and Tshirtforums.com
  • Posting in blogs. List of blogs here.
  • Facebook fan pages
  • Press releases (don’t be scared to send press releases. You never know you might get published!)
  • Directories including online phone directories such as Printer Listings
  • Advertising such as links or banners

When posting your link in forums and blogs ensure you respect the forum or blog rules. It’s a thin line between a subtle signature containing your website link and deliberate spam that will get you banned and tarnish your brand.

Not all links are equal

In the eyes of Google not all links are of equal value. If a popular and highly ranked website links to your site, Google gives a higher value to that link.

Finding out your PageRank

You check the PageRank of your site at http://www.prchecker.info.

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