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17 06 09

From the Google Webmaster Central blog:

Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance.

Inbound links are very important for building your site’s credibility, but how do you get them?  Before you go joining some spam-centric link exchange scheme, let me share with you a great way to get high quality inbound links. 

Write for them.

Bloggers are always (always) on the lookout for high quality content.  For a busy solopreneur or small business owner, finding new and fresh content to maintain a blog can be a real challenge.  If you can provide relevant and timely content for their blogs, they’ll gladly provide a link back to your website or blog.

Where do you find the opportunities to write for other bloggers?  There are several content exchange sites.  I personally like Blogger Linkup.  It’s straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to remember (an email is sent to you each morning with the latest opportunities).

When you write for other blogs, keep a few things in mind.

  • Only write for blogs that are relevant to your target audience. For example, if you target men in their 50s, then it’s probably not a good idea to post on a work-at-home mom site.
  • Try to write about something that is relevant to your target audience. Again, if you’re not aiming to reach your ideal client or customer, then your time would be better spent doing something else.
  • Find a way to provide helpful and meaningful content. If you can provide something that really helps the blogger (by really helping his/her readers), then you may get an invitation to post to that person’s site again.
  • Don’t save your best stuff for your own site. Use that content to capture the attention of new readers.  If you don’t make an impression (and how better to do that than with high quality content?), then they won’t make the effort to visit your site.
  • Remember that it’s not just about the traffic; it’s also about the links. Although it might be tempting to try to only write for established sites with large amounts of readers and traffic, don’t ignore the little guys (who might be big guys very soon – WebWorkerDaily, for instance, started just three years ago and is a very prominent blog today).  You’ll benefit from “growing up with them,” and you’ll get the inbound links.

Write for outside blogs on a regular basis.  With each new post, you get a new inbound link that’s both relevant and focused.  Keep at it and watch your page-rank steadily increase.  Good luck with your writing!

RESOURCE BOX:  Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com.  You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.

3 06 09

Spend the day at the beach if you want, go on a vacation, or take an extra long lunch break with your kids at the park! It’s no secret that working from home gives entrepreneurs the freedom to choose their own hours, avoid commuting each day, and have the potential to make more income than a “9 to 5” job. But one of the greatest risks with operating an online business is that your income can greatly fluctuate, especially if you are unfamiliar with search engine optimization. When there’s not enough time or expertise to market your business online, outsourcing is the very best option! Contracting out SEO experts brings you the best of both worlds:

  • No training to worry about which keeps you doing what you do best
  • High-quality services that are guaranteed to promote your business

First, let’s look at one major expense of running an online business: search engine optimization. You may all of the motivation in the world to learn what you can about good SEO and how to get your site to the top of the search engine rankings. But managing this takes you away from running your business. However, with outsourcing you eliminate the learning curve involved in getting up to speed with link building, social networking, and keyword optimization. Your team of qualified SEO people can handle it efficiently, effectively, and with the best results because that’s what they’re good at! Look for providers that have had years of experience (and the positive feedback to prove it) so you’re sure they provide superior services to their clients.

The next advantage to outsourcing is that you can choose exactly the services you need to build your traffic. Take, for example, an online store with 3 employees: the owner, his wife, and a stock person. The owner of this company may be an expert at establishing vendor relations and controlling the financial aspects of the business, while his wife handles customer service and their stock person packs and ships the products out. But how about marketing their business online? With an online-based outsourcing service, SEO professionals are standing by to provide these valuable services. People like SEO marketing experts, social media professionals, and webmasters can be hired “by-the-project” or on an on-going basis.

When an SEO professional is needed to get more exposure for your Web site, why not outsource? You’ll gain the best reward for running an online business… more traffic to your site and more sales! With outsourcing, no matter what type of SEO improvements you need, you can hire the same quality services without having to hire your employees in-house. Now, your business can be even more profitable from home while outsourced SEO specialists are working hard for you from the comfort of their homes!

About the author: Nicole Munoz is the owner of Start Ranking Now. She is an SEO Outsourcing, Link Building, and Social Media Expert. She also conducts SEO training in San Diego to other entrepreneurs and Internet marketing professionals.