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Give and You Shall Receive – Linking to Other Club Websites

Aug 30

Written by:
8/30/2011 1:59 PM  RssIcon

We develop a lot of websites for a lot of different kinds of clubs, all over the United States.  We’re like proud parents when we’ve worked with a club’s designated webmaster or a group of folks from a club and their new website is finally launched.  It’s an exciting time and we strive to create a website where all of the club members are proud of their club’s presence on Web. 

We’ve found that people with the like-minded predominant passion of our clubs will often search club websites looking for other groups (same like-minded passion) in a particular area.  Thus, we encourage all of our clubs to have some sort of links page that showcases sister clubs, not only for the camaraderie that it creates but also because it’s beneficial for the search ability (search engine optimization) for both sites.

Here’s an overview about links and why your site needs them.

Why are links to my club’s site important?

In the simplest terms, search engines view a link to your web site like a vote: If another site links to yours, it must think your site is valuable. Each link to your website contributes a little bit of value in the search engine's algorithm, which can help boost your site's ranking in search results.
Now, they may be robots, but search engines do know the difference between real links and links created simply to make another site look good. (In other words, it does not pay to ask a friend to fill their unrelated web page with dozens of links to your site.) Search engines also keep a virtual eye on the relevance of the links: Does the linking site have a common theme with yours? Is it a popular site itself? Quality links make a difference.

How important are reciprocal links?

Reciprocal links are links with other sites which are generally related to the theme of your website. The concept is simple, you link to a site and that site’s webmaster returns the favor by linking back to your site.

This method of traffic building is very important and it's free, it's simply a matter of contacting the right webmasters and getting the right links.

It's worth mentioning that it is very unlikely that once your link is on someone’s site that it will be taken down. This means that once a link is added, chances are it'll be sending you free visitors for its lifetime.  It’s important to know where your reciprocal links reside, so that you can update your information with that webmaster when needed (change in contact information, email address, URL, etc.).

Reciprocal linking is one of our favorite forms of marketing for our clubs.  It's ideal for sites just starting out, as you can see the visitors within a matter of days after contacting the webmasters for links.

Outgoing links influence web site visitors

The websites to which you link help your website visitors to put your club into a larger context. If you link to high quality sites with useful and up-to-date content, web surfers will associate your web site with these high quality sites.  Conversely, if your links are taking your visitors to outdated websites or dead links, this too will reflect on your club.

Links add value to your website.  They show your visitors that you have additional information to share and that you are a valuable and trusted member of your like-minded community.

Give and you shall receive

You do not lose visitors by offering links to other pages. Links to other pages will bring you more traffic to your site. All visitors will leave your web site sooner or later. No matter how great your web site is, no one will stay on your web site forever. The question is what web surfers do when they leave your site, and will they come back to your site as a trusted source of information.

If you don't have outgoing links or if you hide your links, then you send your visitors back to search engines (which give you nothing in return). If you offer your website visitors links, you can direct your departing visitors to other websites that will send you reciprocal visitors in return.

Carefully chosen links to outside resources can improve the experience of visitors who come to your website.
Give and you shall receive.

This is true for many aspects of life and it also works for website promotion.


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