Website linking strategies require attention if you are trying to increase your visibility on the internet. They are often misunderstood so some clarification is needed.
There are two types of linking strategies, internal and external. Internal links are the navigation links that allow users to navigate through your site. They are also the live links to your site map, articles and tables that are within your site. The often neglected internal links are picked up by search engines (as are external links) and will help to increase your visibility.
External links are of two kinds. They are the links from your site to other sites and they are also the links leading back to your website from other sites. Links from your site to other sites are not so important. What is important is having links to your website on other sites. This is what drives traffic to your site. Link popularity is critical because it gives searchers different ways of getting to your site. It is like having several “back doors” to your web pages instead of relying just on your URL and business name to get people to your site. Having your URL on other websites also gives search engines different ways of indexing you, thus increasing your visibility.
The quality of these links is more important than the quantity. When selecting sites to which you want to be linked, choose ones that not only get lots of traffic, but are credible sites. The stronger these “backlinks” to your site are, the better your site will look to indexing bots.
One way to increase your link popularity is to put your site on reputable search engine and business directories. Another is to have organizations or associations that are related to your business link to you. Many associations have member lists that are live links so think about joining associations to get traffic. Does your large national supplier have live links to distributors on their website? How about your local chamber or tourist bureau? Organizations like these generally get lots of traffic so if you were listed on their websites, it could increase your traffic. As an aside, most chamber websites have business directories but not all have live links to member businesses. If your chamber does not provide live links, suggest it to them.
Here is the link to a free online link popularity checker so you can see which websites Google, Bing and Yahoo are picking up as backlinks to your site.