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Connecting Your Business with Inbound Link Campaigns

Links from other websites to yours (inbound links) not only yield visits from prequalified prospects but also enhance your search engine ranking. Google, in particular, factors the quantity and quality of inbound links into search engine results. Good link campaigns are time consuming but valuable for every website seeking new business. They're critical for B2B companies, which usually derive more traffic from Google than they do from other search engines.

When you request an inbound link, you may have to offer a return link, also known as a reciprocal link. Try to offer reciprocal links only to sites that have a Google PageRank of 5 or higher. To see the PageRank while you browse, download and install Google Toolbar.

Some websites might charge for links. If they charge what seems like a lot of money, shift them to your paid-advertising category. In addition to finding links from search engines, you can obtain free and often nonreciprocal links from these sources:

  • Industry-based business directories

  • Yellow pages and map sites

  • Local business directories

  • Colleagues

  • Trade associations

  • Other organizations you belong to or sponsor

  • Suppliers, including your web development company and host

  • Distributors, clients, customers, or affiliates (ask!)

  • Award sites such as the Webbys

  • Sites to which you contribute content

  • Sites such as MyContentBuilder or ISnare for content distribution, or search for e-zine directories such as Zinos.com Author signup or Zinebook.

  • Sites that list you as an expert (for example, PRLeads.com or Profnet PRNewswire)

  • Meta indexes (sites with master lists of directories)

  • Related, but not directly competing, businesses

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