SEM: Make the Right Connections
When we talk about the World Wide Web, it’s easy to use the metaphor that has become part of its name: a web of pages connected together. That metaphor focuses more on the links between the pages than the pages themselves. When we start thinking about building traffic to Web sites, it’s often easy to also focus more on the links than those pages. That may be a mistake.
The Web is filled with links, and with many opportunities to link to others and have them link to your site. Before you start asking Web site owners for links, or building material you hope they will link to, you want to ask yourself:
• How might links to and from other sites fit into the marketing plan for my site?
• How do links to and from those pages provide value to my visitors and the site itself?
We know search engines value links, and gaining links from popular pages can make search engines believe your site is an important one—worth ranking higher than other pages when it’s relevant for a query a searcher performs.
It also can feel great to have your site rank well for your selected keywords in the major search engines and to have impressive traffic visiting your Web site. The metrics that really matter, however, involve meeting the objectives for your online efforts. Those could be selling products or services, generating leads, building brand, or educating a consumer base. You don’t want to just build traffic to your site, but rather you want to attract visitors who will help you meet the objectives you have for your site.
Web Links as Business Partners
When thinking about links, first focus on pages—both yours and those you might like to link to your site.
What is it about your Web site that would make people want to link to it? What informational needs does it fulfill? What tasks does it help an individual accomplish? Why would another site want to entrust its visitors to you? Those questions are the same regardless of whether you run an e-commerce site, affiliate pages or a blog.