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Link Building Question from A Reader

Written by George Manty  · August 10, 2006

Dale of The Dessert Cafe asked a question on my website promotion book blog, that I thought I would answer over here, since the purpose of that blog is primarily to reproduce most of my book.

Dale asked:

I have been doing a lot of work trying to get links, one way and recip., I just can’t keep up, I get some than I loose some. What really hurts is when I loose my google links, it really hurts my ranking when people search for my key words. This has hurt my sales. What to do?

I don’t really have the time to do a complete SEO analysis of your site for free, but here is my short answer:

An initial look at your site tells me that you need to get lots of quality links to get decent Search Engine traffic to your site. Unfortunately, storefront ecommerce sites are not the easiest type of site to get natural links to, which means you will probably need to continue link building for the life of the site.

If you can afford it, hire a professional link building company. And don’t go cheap on this, cheap will likely get you junk links. Go with a respected link builder like Andy Hagans. This way you won’t have to worry about the link building as much and can be sure that you are getting quality links to your site.

If you can’t afford to hire someone, then you are going to have to do it yourself. Most people searching for desserts are probably searching for dessert recipes. You might need to create some free dessert recipes or better yet create free dessert recipe blog to help draw more traffic to your dessert store. Personally, I would recommend the blog option. A blog can be a great tool for promoting your business. If you are interested in blogging I higly recommend you start reading Pro Blogger, and Performancing. If you are the type of person who prefers to learn via a course then I recommend taking the six figure blogging course by Darren Rowse and Andy Wibbels.

In the online store business you need to find a way to make your site unique. You need it to stand out like a Purple Cow. Creating a blog might do that. But also think of other ideas like giving free cooking advice, or hiring someone to creating a dessert baking video game or quiz, create a cake that really stands out (providing these are your cakes and you aren’t drop shipping them), having free monthly giveaways for people who make purchases, etc. You have to stand out from the crowd to get free natural links to your site.

Use Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). PPC advertising is an easy way to get traffic to your site. However, you need to have a good product that has a high conversion rate for this to work. If your conversion rate is low you need to find out why that is (it probably is because your landing pages are NOT doing a good job of selling your customers, or there aren’t really that many people that would want your product).

Note: PPC is not useful if when your products are priced low.

For a detailed look at PPC I recommend checking out this free PPC ebook by clicking here.

Ultimately, the best ways to get long term traffic to your website are to build relationships, and make your site unique.

I already talked about making your site unique, so I will just quickly talk about what I mean by “build relationships”. Creating relationships, through forums, mailing lists, partnering with other business owners in your field and so forth, will skyrocket the amount of traffic you get to your site. However, relationships take time to build. If you become part of the community you are targeting, it will become much easier to get traffic to your site. The sites I have had the quickest results with, were highly tied to a community I was already heavily involved in.

Anyone else have suggestions for Dale?

PS. The links that Google shows is not accurate picture of the links that Google counts for your site. Google plainly states that their link command only shows a small sample of the links that they know about. It is much better to use Yahoo’s linkdomain command or MSNs Link command. I would not rely on Google’s link command to analyze your link building success.

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One Response to “Link Building Question from A Reader”

  1. gmanty on August 10th, 2006 10:31 am

    You also need to maintain a customer list. Research shows that it is five times easier to sell to someone who has already bought from you.

    Also, with a customer list or newsletter you don’t have to worry as much about your Search Rankings tanking.