Linking your web site|
Search engines use links as one of the criteria for ranking your web
site. They look at how many sites with the same type of content as your site
are linked to your web site. This counts for outside web sites (external
links) as well as for other pages on your own web site (internal links) but more
weight is given to outside web sites who link to you because you cannot
create these links yourself. It is up to the webmaster from the other site to
create the link to your web site.
You should, therefore, make a list of
any professional organizations to which you belong who might provide a link to
your web site as a courtesy. Contact the webmaster of each (or update your
profile online if you are able) to get your web link added to their site.
Once your web site is up you may begin to receive email requests for
"reciprocal" links. The message will say something like "I noticed our sites
have similar interests and I'd like to exchange links with you. Our web sites
will get higher placement in the search engines if we do this."
First of all, these other sites are usually of no value to you because the
"similar" interests are usually either nothing like your site or would be in
direct competition with your site. Why would I want to provide a link from
my site to my competitor?
Second, you have invested a good amount of time, money and resources into the
development of your web site. You will probably be counting "hits" to track how
many people are visiting your site, with the objective of bringing more and
more. Why, then, would you want to bring someone to your web site only to send
them off to other web sites you are linking to?
When your site is a Resource
primary purpose of your site is to be a resource for your visitors you
might choose to provide links to other sites that provide more in-depth
information on a topic or product. Keep in mind that you want to do
the best job you can in providing the information on your site first, so that
visitors begin to think of you as the first stop on any information search.
Membership organizations provide links to their members' web sites because
they then become the first stop for visitors looking to find services. A realtor
might provide links to partner services such as mortgage brokers and to local
chambers of commerce, schools, etc. This type of linking increases your
credibility and your reputation as the web site to visit because you provide the
What is it worth?
My rule of thumb is never link to another web site unless you get a direct
benefit from the link. That benefit might be credibility, reputation,
commission from a sale, or even making yourself feel good, as in the case where
you link to a friend's web site. Only you can decide if it's worthwhile to send
your visitor away from your site, knowing he or she may never find their way
back to you. How many web sites have you bookmarked to return to later, and
never visited again?
The Bottom Line
Once you have brought visitors to your web site, you want to keep them
there as long as possible.
Web sites hosted with Trinity Web Consulting, Inc. on TierraNet provide
detailed site statistics including where your visitors are coming from and how
many pages they are looking at while they visit. For information on site
statistics for your site, please contact us.