With the abundance of easy-to-use website design and ecommerce tools available to Internet users, there’s never been a better time to start up a web-based business. And, because so many of these tools are available for free (blog platforms, etc…) the barrier to entry is practically nothing.
Web-based entrepreneurs also benefit from the Internet’s incredible reach. Unlike land-based businesses, they can easily do business with customers from across the globe without incurring any additional costs. But that low barrier-to-entry should not be confused for easy money.
Where the Customers Are
While starting a web-based business is considerably easier than starting up a land-based business, they two businesses share one very important trait, they need customers.
In fact, drawing customers may actually be easier for a brick-and-mortar business. These businesses can at least put up signs and fliers to attract attention from a passerby, that’s not quite so easy to do on the Internet where you’re competing with, literally, millions of other websites.
So how can websites draw that steady stream of readers and turn them into customers? The first step is by building a network of links going to and from your site to other, high quality websites.
Links are one of the factors that Google weighs quite heavily when determining your site’s page ranking. And, as you probably know, the sites that pull the top one or two rankings on Google search results pages draw more than 60% of all the traffic for their specific keywords.
The challenge with links isn’t just getting and giving them; it’s getting and giving them to the kinds of websites that Google really respects.
Not so very long ago, Google was more interested in the quantity of links going to and from a website rather than the quality. That led many webmasters to link back and forth to anyone who would have them. Some companies charged for this service and were able to provide hundreds of links at a time.
Not surprisingly, Google came down on this practice pretty hard and now punishes sites that utilize these services. The company, correctly, called these paid link networks, “inorganic,” and have done everything they can to stop it.
Nowadays, links are more valuable than ever, and much tougher to come by. Gone are they days when they could just be bought, today’s links must be earned.
One of the best ways of building the kind of organic link networks that Google favors is by offering your writing services to other websites and blog through guest blogging arrangements. The links generated by guest blogging are considered high quality and organic by Google.
If you’re not comfortable building relationships with other bloggers on your own, you might want to look at hiring a guest blogging service. These companies do all the heavy lifting it takes to get your content (and links) placed on high quality blogs.
A solid network of good quality links going to and from your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can come up with. So don’t let the simplicity of building a website fool you, there’s a lot more to Internet marketing and business than that.
Joe Cordava blogs about SEO and Internet marketing. he has experimented with many traffic building techniques.
Image source: smartphotostock.com