I have to admit–I’m hooked on Website Grader by HubSpot (www.websitegrader.com). The information I get on optimizing my website is pretty cool. I had never configured a 301 redirect (so if someone types careerdesigncoach.com instead of www.careerdesigncoach.com, they end up on my website and not get an error message) until I submitted my website for a grade. For a free website, the advice you receive on optimizing your website is pretty fantastic!
One of the items they grade are your linking domains to your website. I learned the importance of this in my certification as an Online Identity Strategist. Part of Google’s algorithm for ranking your site (this algorithm or secret sauce changes, so I’m not sure how much weight it is given), is to assess how many inbound links you have for your website.
So, what’s an inbound link? Well, there are many different ways to have inbound links, but probably the most common and easiest way for you to make an inbound link is to create it for yourself. How? Let’s take a look:
1) Go to Technorati and search on blogs in your area of expertise.
2) Once you’ve come up with a list, look for high-ranking blogs. I recently heard a speaker say that he looks for an authority ranking of 65 or higher.
3) Set up RSS feeds for these blogs, add them to your Google Reader, or subscribe to them via email.
4) When you see a blog post where you can add value and show your thought leadership, leave a comment on their post. When you leave a comment, most blogs will ask for your name and website address.
5) Voila! You’ve just created an inbound link to your website.
Additionally, your blog comment will be indexed as a Google result, so when someone searches on your name, they will see your comment as part of your Google results. Leaving comments on other blogs has become part of my communications strategy. Not only does it create the inbound link to my website, but more importantly, it helps me to connect with other bloggers. When someone leaves a comment on my blog post, I will click on their website to learn more about them. How about you–do you learn more about the people commenting on your blog by clicking through to their website?