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Search Engine Optimisation: Targeted Link Development

As Google and Bing battle to win the hearts of millions of searchers every single day, it can be difficult for businesses to know how to create and maintain a website that these search engines can find and that visitors will use. The mysterious algorithms used by the engines to determine which sites rank high for a search term and which do not are ever-changing, so how can an organization possibly keep up?

Just like hiring an accountant to handle finances, it is often necessary to bring in an expert for what is known as search engine optimization, or SEO. Search engine optimization refers to the process of effectively altering web page code and content, as well as internal and inbound linking to site pages, to appeal to search engines for targeted keyword phrases relevant to the pages on any given site. Simply put, SEO improves a website’s chances of being “seen” by search engines.

On-page SEO addresses the actual content on the pages, as well as back-end code such as title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags and other elements that users do not see but that search engines pay attention to when they look for sites relevant to a given search query. On-page optimization is the foundation for getting seen by the search engines, but it is only a minor part of the big picture when it comes to those algorithms mentioned earlier.

Today, link popularity, or a measure of the quantity and quality of sites that link to a site, plays a vital role in determining a site’s ranking for a given search query. Search engines consider how “popular” a site is based on the quality and quantity of other sites that link to a site. Link Development, then, is the process of strategically building links to a site in relation to keyword phrases relevant to a site or page.

“Link popularity is one of the most important elements in an effective SEO strategy,” said Sean Bolton, CEO and co-founder of Lead to Conversion, an SEO and link development firm in Cleveland, Ohio. “Targeted link development can make the difference between a #12 ranking and a top five or even #1 position.”

Links can come from any number of sources online, and depending on the site for which links are being developed, these difference sources can carry different weight in the eyes of the search engines. Lead to Conversion evaluates several areas when implementing a link development campaign, including paid and unpaid directories, social bookmarking sites, industry-related sites, or just external sites that provide relevant content.

In the case of Lead to Conversion, which specializes in developing links for niche websites, there can also be unique needs and markets served by a client, so very specific linking may be necessary, such as Spanish SEO.

Ultimately, it comes down to link popularity, which can be compared to popularity among people. An individual can tell others how popular he is, and some people may believe him. But, when 100 or 1,000 other people also claim that individual is something special, then people start to really believe. It is like a popularity contest online. The goal is to get as many other sites out there to tell the search engines how popular your site is; and the more relevant the popularity, the better.

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