You can only do so much on your web pages and site to improve your position in the search engines through on page search engine optimization. Once you’ve completed these on page tasks, it is time to see what you can do off page to not only help yourself in the search engines but to generate traffic from other outside sources.

Generate Inbound Links

There are many ways you can get one way links into your site.

Buy a link on a high ranking site in your category – Some webmasters do this for new sites but I don’t recommend it. Why would you want to spend several hundred dollars to get a single backlink from a PR7 or higher website that will go away as soon as you quit paying that webmaster? If the search engines figure out you are trying to get artificial links in this manner, you’ll be doing more harm than good.

Submit your website to niche directories – Don’t forget that there are smaller search engine and directories out there that are targeted at specific themes and industries. Many of these niche directories have a PR4 – PR7 and some do not require reciprocal links to them.

Reciprocal links – These used to be very good but some webmasters started creating link farms where they were exchanging links with anyone and everyone regardless of whether the site might provide value to their visitors. If you choose to use this method, make sure you aren’t exchanging links with a site that has been banned. (Google will have the PR section of their toolbar grayed out on banned sites.) Associating your site with a banned one gives the impression you approve of their tactics and you might be banned or penalized because of the link. Only exchange links with webmasters that are offering additional value to your visitors. Example: Your theme might be marketing so links you accept should only be from sites that are in some way related to marketing.

Forum Posts – Asking and answering questions in forums that are themed to your business is a great way to brand yourself as an expert. Taking the time to do this in forums that allow URL’s in your signature or in your profile which gets displayed with each post you make also gives you valuable inbound links that will last as long as the forum does.

Banner Advertising – The click-thru rate on banner ads aren’t as high as they used to be and some of the methods hardly seem worth the effort unless you leave your link bare (don’t use a tracking link) then this low quality advertising turns into an inbound link for your website. Since many of the places you can place banner ads let you choose the category of site your banner will be shown on, you are able to pick sites that will help you.

Blog Comments – Blogs are extremely popular and you can find blogs on almost any niche topic you can think of. Many of these blogs have rankings of PR5 or higher and allow you to leave comments with your URL in your signature or profile. As with forum posts, commenting in blogs that don’t allow you to leave links back to your website does nothing to help you in your business. Do not comment on a blog post unless you can make a valid observation or in some other way show you’ve read the post and understand it. Your comments whether on topic or not will reflect on you so make sure they reflect well.

Write Articles – Article writing takes time and a certain amount of writing skill but the results can be a real boost to your business and to people seeing you as an expert in your field as your article volume increases. Submit your first article to the article directory at www.ezinearticles.com and you might get it picked up by a few dozen websites. If you write other articles and mass submit them to other article directories at about 1 article per week for the first directory and one article per week for mass submission, you’ll see the number of inbound links and traffic steadily increase.

I’ve listed just a few ways you can create inbound links and traffic to your website. They each require a certain amount of work, some writing and learning the proper etiquette for each method but I think you’ll find the results you achieve are worth the effort.

Off Page Optimization and Traffic Generation

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