Many times your site will get backlinks without you asking for them. This article doesn’t go into those kinds of links. Instead, we focus on the links you can control and specifically request.

Additionally, this article doesn’t go into backlinks from paid advertising like Google ads. Those kinds of links often don’t carry much value in the eyes of search engines.

A solid backlink has three components.

By “solid,” I’m referring to a backlink that not only brings you traffic from someone clicking it but also brings the added value of enhancing your search engine rankings.

The three components are:

1. Choose good places to put links
2. Make it scrumptious for search engines
3. Make it irresistible to prospects

1. Choose a good place.

There are a limitless number of web sites you can get linked from. They can range from general web site directories to coaching organization web sites to individual blogs.

Here are the main things to consider:

First, put your link in front of your target audience. Request backlinks from web sites that have the same target audience as you.

Next, choose web sites that are credible.

When credible web sites link to you, search engines will recognize it. They will give your site more “worth” and higher rankings.

For example, a link from a “quick and easy to set up” web page at myspace.com won’t be as valuable as a link from the home page of the “well established” msn.com.

Thirdly, place your link on web sites that get a lot of traffic as opposed to web sites that get very little traffic.

BUT … keep in mind that web sites with low traffic can be valuable if their audience is the same is yours.

Finally, choose web sites that display your link prominently.

Take a look at where your link will be positioned on the page. A link at the top of an easy-to-view web page is better than a link at the bottom of a long-and-busy page.

It’s better because it will get more clicks and search engines give more “kudos” to links towards the top of a page than at the bottom, generally speaking.

2. Make it scrumptious for search engines

How?

First, use simple text links when you can.

Simple text links are the most commonly used links on the Web, and are characterized by underlined text in a different color (usually blue) than surrounding text.

Text links are good because:

• They are very easy for search engines to find and follow. This makes it easy for search engines to put into their database.
• It’s easy for search engines to identify the keywords to associate with this link. This helps your rankings for those keywords.

Other links like image links, Java-Script links, Flash links, or dynamic links are less ideal because they are tough to follow and are often associated with S-PAM-mers.

Next, put your main keywords in your text link. Putting your web site’s keywords in your text link will boost your web site’s ranking for those keywords.

Lastly, you will often be allowed a description with your link to further explain your web site. This description text is also a good place to put your keywords.

3. Make it irresistible to prospects

So far we have discussed how to please the search engine. But if we can’t make the link attractive to the people who see it, we are missing out on good traffic.

Here’ are some tips to maximize clicks on your backlink:

• Get the main benefit or main problem you solve into the text around the link in readable sentences.
• Offer something fr*ee to motivate people to click your link. This can be an article, report, assessment, newsletter, ebook, etc.
• Keep it simple, direct and easy to read. Don’t jam keywords around the link.
• If your backlink will be on a page with other competing coaches, then be sure to emphasis how your services are different to make you stand out.

An example.

Here’s a listing of executive coaches from DMOZ:
dmoz.org/Business/Management/Consulting/Executive_Coaching/
On this page you will see links and descriptions.

This directory is good because it has text links and you can also provide a keyword rich description to help your rankings.

Also notice how this page is long with a lot of listings. It can look like a big blur.

About the only motivation to click is a fr*ee consultation. How about a fr*ee article specifically discussing something interesting that one could download right away?

Let’s wrap up …

Keep in mind these three keys …. choose a good place, make it scrumptious to search engines, and make it irresistible to visitors. Doing so will make your backlinks solid anchors that drive potential clients to your site.

Now you know why backlinks are good and how to write one.

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