One of the most important things you can do to raise your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site is to convince other websites to link to yours. It’s free, of course, and very easy, but doing it properly does take some time and effort.
I recommend a couple of ways to find websites which might be willing to link to you.
One way is to do a simple search to find websites with information about the same subject as your site, or closely related information. If you have a website about flowers, for instance, you can use search terms such as “gardens”, “gardening”, “flowers”, “plants”, and “seedlings” to find sites which may be interested in linking to yours.
Or, you can take another route. Just identify a related site which is already highly popular, and find the websites which link to it. You can do that with a search in Google or http://alltheweb.com for “link:” (without the quotation marks) and the complete URL of the website. For example, link:
http://www.college-scholarships.com (and don’t forget the colon after the word “link”).
Once you’ve identified the websites most likely to link to yours, visit them, obtain the email addresses of their webmasters, and send an email requesting a link. To be effective, your email must:
1. be brief, well written, and polite. Always use “please” and “thank you”.
2. describe your site in no more than 25-30 words. The description of your site must be interesting and explain why the webmaster’s visitors will find it helpful or enjoyable. The less hype the better.
3. offer the webmaster something in return. For example:
a. a link on your site.
b. information about how to submit their website to 300,000+ search engines, directories, and links pages for free. When they agree to link to you, send them to: http://www.college-scholarships.com/free_search_engine_submission.htm.
Contact an average of at least ten webmasters a day, more if you have the time. With just a ten percent success rate, that will net you a minimum of thirty new links a month.
If you follow this advice, you should experience an almost immediate, albeit modest, increase in visitors to your website. However, the biggest benefit of a good linking campaign, higher search engine rankings, will take a bit longer. There is no magic formula, and there are lots of variables, but your search engine ranking could improve in as little as a few weeks, and should continue to improve as time goes on and more sites link to you as both a direct result of your efforts and webmasters seeing your links on other sites.
Keep at it and, all things being equal, you can obtain the kind of search engine rankings that can transform your website from a hobby (as my wife originally referred to my first site) to a site which can pay your children’s full college costs and more, as that same site now does for us.