Pumping Up Web Traffic

Having the right hyperlinks can drive customers to your site

laptop-with-mobile-phone

The hyperlink is still the lifeblood of the Web. When you see some interesting content on the Web, chances are you’re going to pass the link on to others you think will enjoy it as much as you. And passing it on can be done these days via e-mail, instant message, blog, social site, e-book, and so on. It’s how search engines guide us to content we want or need when we type a certain word or phrase into them. It’s also why businesses spend a great deal of time and money attempting to get links to their site at the top of search results pages.

But all links are not created equal. A link from a highly respected site could improve your site’s credibility, but might not drive as much quality traffic as a link from a lesser known blog site. Or a link on a page with a high number of other links may diminish the importance of your link. So it’s important to figure out a way to increase the number of links that will drive worthy traffic your way. Here are a few easy ways that can help you build productive links:

  • Create Good Content
    Nothing drives interest more than interesting content. There’s a ton of content on the Web, and it’s growing exponentially as tools make it easier and faster to pump it out. But that doesn’t mean it’s any good. There’s probably more junk on the Web than in the average person’s inbox, which is truly saying something. So it’s important to focus on creating compelling, captivating content because it will really rise to the top–even on the Web. This also applies to video, audio, and other creative forms in addition to traditional HTML, Portable Document Format (PDF), and PowerPoint.
  • Choose Names and Tags Carefully
    Even before you write a blog post, spend some time coming up with a title that will make people want to at least read the first paragraph. The importance of a good title can’t be overstated because it might be the only thing people see before making a decision to check it out. And if the title doesn’t pique their interest, the chances of them reading any further are diminished–which in turn means that they certainly won’t pass the link around, boosting your Web traffic. In addition to coming up with a thought-provoking title, take time to tag it with appropriate keywords. This also increases the likelihood of reaching the right audience online.
  • Link to Respectable Sites
    When someone links to your site it’s like they are vouching for you. They are putting their hard earned credibility on the line for you just with the simple act of adding that link. And you probably have a few ideas of who you’d love to have link to you, because you may have learned something from them by reading their blog or using their product. Why not link to the sites that you respect and appreciate?

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ACROSS THE WEB
  • Rlegerwood

    This is great. Provides effective solutions.

    • Favort2

      Great information. I’m definitely going to check out Grasshopper. I wanted a phone system that would allow me to have an 800 number and make a small business look big. Awesome information. Thanks

  • http://mybrowneyedview.com/ msladydeborah

    Great information. 

  • Jerome Espy

    This is great information. It is so easy to set yourself up now days. It doesn’t need to take a fortune or tons of time to get going and get going strong.

  • Nicole Wright

    Good information..

  • walstonja

    Awesome, I got the information, now i have some work to do to improve!
    Thanks

  • Idris

    Phone, computer and online presence, very important. Thanks for these very useful information.

  • Nlewis1

    I was looking for a website like basecamp! This is great!

  • http://twitter.com/Eugenewjr2 Eugene Witherspoon

    I like the idea of grasshopper.com.  A phone and a computer is your life line in business.

  • Mrazq1

    Top Notch information! I took notes, so that I could research more. Thanks!!

  • Mr. Chike

    Great information! Thanks for the tips on setting up, as I’m starting another company this year! 

  • Veronica Young

    GREAT TIPS!!! Particularly relevant for today’s digital age! 

    Veronica

  • http://twitter.com/ATLPartyRental HeavenlyPartyRentals

    Great Article!!! Happy Tuesday Folks!!

  • TGPNorth

    Intelligent and savvy businessman with excellent advice!  Thanks James!!

  • Prprtys

    Good information !  Especially about hiring a web designer instead of trying the do-it yourself websites.

  • Cjsparks04

    The SBU tips have been priceless. I love the simple approach of the advisors for what can seem like monumental task. The steps are measures we can start applying today. I am headed over to grasshopper.com now

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L4DMC43NUOJUM6CZ2ZSFXORNBI David

    Great ideas! 

  • Nettiespillbox

    Thank you so much for the information. There’s a lot of technology available that I didn’t know anything about but would be very helpful for my business. I like iMeet.

  • Igattabe

    I loved the information given today! I am learning so much through this Small Business University!

  • Angelica

    Great information! especially for people who aren’t tech savvy

  • Cherry

    I love the great tips! overwhelming but so needed!

  • Lindsay

    Base Camp seems like a really neat tool for small businesses.  Great tips.  Thanks for sharing!

  • Fuzzy Spritz

    Wow! Lots of great information – thanks!!

  • Bscott2u

    Another great lesson

  • Daks. J

    Thank you for your comments. There are lots of companies which sell domains for a cheaper price plus they have more functions if it is hosted in their servers. I like bluehost.com

  • Samissia

    the Basecamp tool is sorely needed for Small business owner, for organization and time management when you’re predominantly the staff.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JHSEZ3ZQBAN4WQGUYVT6Z7W644 Love

    Thank you for the great tips, I took notes.

  • Carlos Hines

    great tips

  • That Hunt Girl

    Wow! I feel like Rip Van Winkle….Thanks for the wake-up, great ideas and info.

    • Lachelledfarmer

      wow! very insightful and informative. this gives consolidated information in one place! great to know….this provides what I’ll need in just a few strokes of a keypad! thanks!

  • Donetodaybeautifultomorrow

    thanks for the tips, grasshopper sounds like a great investment

  • Rhonda U.

    Awesome tips! Thank you Mr. James!!

  • Kristina

    I just became familiar with Basecamp recently at my job.  I am also going to check out grasshopper.com as well. I am learning so much here at the small business university, thank you Black Enterprise!

  • http://www.VeronicaBlakely.com/ Veronica Blakely

    Now that was news I could use.  I had not heard of either of these online services, but I will definitely start using them.

  • Pushkin49

    Great lesson,great information,ready to go take on the world.

  • http://www.blacklegendseries.com/ Merletta J. Martin

    Great, Thank you

  • immaguest

    These are some really good tools. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701318451 Anjela Childs

    I love basecamp!

  • Natasha

    Love this…great info and I have actually used some of these tools

  • ELAINE JACKSON

    So do you recommend iMeet to replace go to meeting?
    I am looking for more affordable and still dependable platform to host webinars.
    Send replies to elainejackson999@gmail:disqus.com
    http://www.holisticPMC.com

  • Stylediva916

    Can’t wait to try some of these out…Thanks for the tips.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ransford-U-Mollison/1271383346 Ransford U Mollison

    Wow!  Grasshopper, imeet.  Love it, never herd of them. Good thinhg I’m taking this course.

    • Tracey

       Absolutely agree.. Never heard of them either. Great information!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heidi-Burks/1459308198 Heidi Burks

    Great advice

  • Moremi Robinson

    Great advice.. 

  • Mitzi

    I was thinking to getting an additional phone, so glad that I found out about Grasshopper!

  • Gary McAbee

    Basecamp is really efficient. Grasshopper sounds like a winner. Should have known that someone created a site like this already. Thanks for the advice.

  • http://twitter.com/AdmitGuru84 Angela

    This was awesome! I have the computer and the website. The phone was the hinky part of my marketing strategy. Thanks for this one!
    angela

  • http://twitter.com/AdmitGuru84 Angela

    So helpful was this workshop! Thanks more than you know.

  • Michael Walker

    One thing I notice, is when people call themselves opening up for business, they use gmail as an email source and Vista Print for cards. To me, this says, “YOU ARE NOT REALLY OPEN FOR BUSINESS or are NOT SERIOUS ABOUT IT! You have not put any finances into start up capital (free GENERIC {might I add} cards, free email) If you are using free e-mail, probably means you also do not have a website set up, which as the instructor reiterated, a web-site says you are open and serious to take on new customers. Godaddy offers e-mail service along with web hosting for a very economical price (that is IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS) Regarding a phone answering service, some people may take the same stance as I take about e-mail and the cards, I use a google voice to cut down on monthly overhead expenditures. But from what I learned from this course, at $10 a month, $120 a year, which I spend more on dinner for two, more than once or twice a year, to give my business a more professional image, I’ll be switching really soon. I’ll keep my google voice number open for a year or so just in case someone whom I’ve given out 400 to 500 business cards to decides to call me for services. But, Vista Print, Gmail – (which I do have a gmail address, which includes my professional credential, not my business name) and its more for social/professional (At my age and professional image I’d like to project,I can’t have an e-mail address that says datdogESQ@gmail.com) – are a CHEAP, CHURLISH WAYS TO SAY I’M A SERIOUS ENTREPRENEUR. And any CFO will tell you, Working Capital of your business is driven by expenditures/liabilities/payables high, receivables low. In other words, you have to purchase something (Cost Of Good Sold) to sell, and hopefully you can purchase it on credit so that by the time you sell it, is the same time you’ll need to turn around and pay the creditor off, plus have a profit gross margin left over. In short, there is not way around it, you need to spend a little bread to make bread. When it comes to IMAGE and BRANDING and ADVERTISING, YOU NEED TO SPEND AS MUCH AS FEASIBLY POSSIBLE! Vista Print and Gmail DOES NOTHING FOR YOUR BRAND PROMOTIONS, but says you have a HOPE and a PRAYER that this idea, which you think is so brilliant WILL MAKE YOU MONEY SO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND ANY OF YOUR OWN!

    • Tina E. Events LLC

      I have gmail but i paid a little to have my company name as my email that has: @companyname .com address not the standard: @gmail.com  is that okay Mikey Walker? =) be honest

    • Princess Hearne

      There are some states contributing to the economic development of new and small businesses by offering free website services through Intuit; you would have to pay for upgrade services; but it is a great deal!!!!

    • Brandi E.

       I totally disagree that using vistaprint means you are not serious about your business. It’s a great way to start promoting your business on a budget. Unfortunately everyone does not have the capital to just spend spend spend at the start. I do believe that you should upload your own logo so that your card is not generic and doesn’t look like another business. There are highly successful businesses out here that started out with vistaprint cards (and may still be using them) and/or who have had a gmail email address. Let’s limit the condescending advice out of this workshop and leave the positive advice to the experts. I wish you must success in your business endeavors! I hope this message finds you doing well.

      • http://twitter.com/AtlAssetBuilder URBAN A$$ET BUILDERS

        Good Day!  I agree with you about it being “a great way to start promoting your business on a budget” as this is what some of us have to do due to a lack of funding for startup entrepreneurs (but that’s another conversation.  
          
        I’m thinking he meant the free VistaPrint cards with their advertisement on the back of your free card.  I made the mistake of not paying the $1.99 to take it off.  I just finished up a business planning class at the Urban League (a great class I might add), and they had experts as facilitators.  They made the very same argument as Mr. Walker about the free business cards, email (your biz name @gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.).  One of the facilitators works in government contracting, and she says they won’t even look at you with this type of setup because they don’t consider you a serious business.  Image is everything, even when we have to fake it to make it. 

        Great points from all.
        Peace & Blessings Everyone!

      • Erica D.

        Great reply Brandi. However, in my opinion, I believe the poster was talking more about using the free business cards and not paying a little bit more to not have Vista Print on the back. To me, it does seem a little bit unprofessional and first impressions are everything in today’s society. For me, I would hesitate to do business with someone who uses the free cards. It’s all in the details and how you want to be perceived. Spend a few extra dollars and upgrade. :)

    • BreeNR

      Def appreciate the post as I was about to get print vista business cards and I do have a google voice number as well. I had the website and email right at least, but I agree that it is worth investing in materials that communicate who you are as a business and business owner. This has been one of my fav lessons thus far! Love the insight… keep it coming!

    • Dramsey

      I agree. Although, I’ll say some comments are a little condescending…but hopefully not meant that way. But lets face it…some “business owners” need  to step it up and put out a more professional image. I think that’s the main message from Mr. Walker’s comments. I’m a start up graphic and web designer and I can’t tell you the clients I’ve worked with who don’t have a business card or have a poorly designed card (images not sized properly or out of focus). I’ve had a client who needs a logo for her company for jewelry she makes. I asked for photos to see what style of jewelry it is so I can try to make a logo that fits the image of her products…. and I get images of jewelry taken around a bathroom sink and and on her arm taken in her car…and out of focus. I mean REALLY! We have to do a better job at putting a professional image and good first impression out in public. I know that you DO have to spend a little money to make money. And there are economical ways to start a business without everyone knowing you have no money. It just takes a little extra time and effort and maybe a few extra dollars (which you’d probably blow on something insignificant anyways – why not spend/invest it wisely!).

  • Sandra Butler

    Develop a web domain your’e letting people know you’re in business…..

  • Guest

    I really like the advice given in this video. I’m definitely looking into Grasshopper – great solution, sound advice. Keep it coming!

  • Jorge

    great, you make me think in other subjects. I would like to know why emails send to smuinfo@blackenterprise.com are rejected?

  • Dlhoops3

    Great session. Eager to see the next.

  • Kevinamosproducer

    Great info!!

  • Bcrauls

    Wow!  Another problem has been resolved and I know how to work efficiently with business partner out-of-state.  Thank you so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500905412 Jay ‘Komplikated’ Veal

    WHAT IS GRASSHOPPER? MY BUSINESS IS It’s Not Complicated Tutoring http://www.inctutoring.com and I’d like to do another change with maybe a phone service.

  • Tracey

    Great Information Mr. Andrews!

  • Askmysecretary

    THIS WAS MY FAVORITE THUS FAR! I love knowing those little tips that can help you market, expand and present in the best light. This was great info

  • Sunnybits

    Wow. All I can say.

  • http://www.blacklegendseries.com/ Merletta J. Martin

    Thank you I didn’t know about grasshopper now that I know I like it
    Like the info I am getting thanks BE  

  • MNSair

    very use able tips for small business.

  • http://twitter.com/lovelyone105 Charisse Johnson

    I learned some good stuff!

  • UfP

    Amazing Tips! Thank James for the encouraging boost!! 

  • SJ

    Disappointed.  I thought he would include technology (software) that can improve small business efficiencies under topics such as record keeping, inventory management and accounting services. This was too basic.

    • O’Shawn

      Hey, I just found about a really good accounting service thats free and you dont have to take a crash course on like quickbooks. Its called outwrite. Check it out.

  • Askmysecretary

    I agree with much stated. As a consumer when I see someone do not invest in their business, my attitude become why should I invest with them. As a business owner, I also strive to remember I have to sell me first then my product/service. So, its worth it to me to invest a little more into what I believe in

  • Erica D.

    I use Evoice for my business phone. Very good company and very good service. Unless I have an actual office, I will never get a landline for a business phone.

    Great information!

  • http://www.heavensdisciples.com/ Rodney Burutsa

    Grasshopper sounds like a pretty cool service. I’m going to save that information for when my company is at that level. I set up a social network for project management and I use Google Apps for document collaboration.

  • M. Gaither

    Thanks for the brief version of the technology basics, must haves and suggestions.
    After listening to this session I realize I am on track w/upgrading my hardware and the website.

  • Bluelicious Delights

    Thanks a lot this lesson was very informative. God bless you.

  • Bluelicious Delights

    Thanks this was really informative. God bless you.

  • project management plan

    This is very interesting, You’re an overly skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and sit up for seeking more of your great post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  • http://www.eulicakimbercpa.com/ Eulica Kimber, CPA

    Very good info! Basecamp and Grasshopper are exactly what I need.  Thanks so much. 

  • Lisa

    The resources offered in this segment are great and can be used by a myraid of businesses. Love information presented in that fashion. Full of info for the lenght of time.

  • Marcella Johnson

    I am just starting my business with “very” limited income, but I have a registered domain name with a professional business email address, and I paid nothing for it. It was free for the first year from 1&1 Web Hosting. I’ve used them before and they are very good and have terrific tech support 

    I believe domain registration is now 99 cents for the first year, and they have a score of other specials going on for web sites and eshops.

    http://www.1and1.com/?linkOrigin=AboutUs&linkId=hd.nav.home

    I was using my cell phone for business calls, but that’s not really working, so I’m researching Grasshopper as I make this post. 

    Much prosperity with your businesses. 

  • Allen

    Being in the IT support business I have many of these tools available. Without any tech your business might as well not start

  • http://twitter.com/wlmediallc WLM

    Great information. I can not stress how important the business naming process is when start your business. 

  • Kimberly

    I think if you use VistaPrint’s TEMPLATE services, you definitely look amateurish. I got stung with that when early on in my writing career, I got my biz cards from VistaPrint. When I went to exchange cards with another writer, we used the EXACT same business card template/picture which only contained different fonts/colors/contact information. It was embarrassing, and I immediately began working on a logo to make myself unique. While I’m not crazy about my logo (still working on that) it is a unique presence in the writing/editing market.
     
    I think if you have a logo or use your own unique graphic images, utilizing VistaPrint and similar inexpensive printing sources can be beneficial and cost effective. But when you use a printer’s picture/template you stand a good chance of getting the same product that a bunch of other people who want to succeed in the same field as you use, and it’s not a good look.
     
    I have used RingCentral.com as my business telephone provider for about three years, which offers all of the same services and benefits as Grasshopper.com, but I recently paid for a year in advance (for the first time EVER, figures, right?) so when this year is up I will compare pricing and services between these two companies & see if I can keep my phone number if I switch over.
     
    Great video! Loving this University so far!

    • O’Shawn

      Everyone’s looking to save a buck these days. Its time to buckle down and be more savvy economically. I agree about using vistaprint to download your logo. I just trademarked mine and i think ill keep using vista print just use my logo. Ive just also discovered that as a business person you have to learn to be savvy. Business is up and down sometimes on every end, so being savvy, knowing when to work with nothing to something is a special quality. Our ancestors were that way…food for thought:)

  • tony harrison

    love every thing you said and yes it is very important to use and understand the tech.

  • Eldrick Vance

    Microsoft’s office 365 is a great tool for entrepreneurs and small – medium businesses. You can harness the power of SharePoint, Office Web Apps and Exchange email.  I use it to securely get docs to clients and to manage projects. Plus you can get a free website. The cost is about $6/month per employee but people outside of your company (extranet users) can also access information you need to share.

  • DreamsKept

    Someone mentioned the company “outwrite” for help with accounting for your business, well it actually spelled “outright”…hopefully those that needed to know figured that out.

  • Shay Atkins

    I had not heard of Grasshopper.com, this is a great tool, thanks for the heads up!

  • Lucubrate75

    I wasn’t able to buy dot com someone had it and wanted to sell it for $1,000 so I settle for a dot co, I like it. I like that imeet, http://lucubrate.co I’m open for business.

  • http://twitter.com/SmoothheadTony tony harrison

    love the info and im on it thanks

  • http://www.webdezinz.com/ lowster11

    Thanks for the info :)

  • Phoebe

    Thank you.

  • http://www.webdezinz.com/ Christopher

    thanks.

  • Sandra Butler

    a computer is the nexus of your business keep it simple…

  • Donna

    Wow, this video was on point!

  • Zurriane

    This is a very good piece. outstanding information.  Thank you.  Mobile Social Media and Text Message Marketing is the best move for most businesses and brands. 97% open rank with about 85% opened in the first 60 minutes. Take a look at http://www.izigg.com/zsuccess great tool. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Antonio-Jones/659291571 Antonio Jones

    I never knew about iMeet. Nice, I think I will be looking more into that for sure.

  • Bobby

    Good general information.

  • Tettcommunitydevelopment

    LOVED this section!! The information was much needed!! I will be looking into grasshopper.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/slbunton Steph Bunton

    WOW!! This was really helpful!!

  • http://twitter.com/soyoungco Sonya YYoung&Company

    Great Technology tips and resource site for small business start ups.

  • Artiste1

    The information is very helpful can wait to try it out.

    Thanks

  • Wizzdom

    Great information….I’m taking notes

  • KSM Properties LLC

    thumps up!!!!!

  • Devonne

    Very informative, I will check out Grasshopper and imeet!

  • POA

    Great info, thanks.

  • Michael125

    Thanks for the advice. I currently have a website and I’m attempting to keep it updated.

  • http://twitter.com/J5acDesigns J5ac Designs

    Awesome tips