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Old 22nd June 2006, 12:48 PM   #1
oberhand
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Default link building for local businesses

Let's say there is a web site for a fitness center/gym in Pheonix Arizona (coincidentally where I am living ) that has a web site. How do I find stites to link to them? Don't the links have to be relevent? If so how can I find "local" sites that may be candidates?

thanks for any help
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Old 23rd June 2006, 10:09 PM   #2
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Fitness is big business when you think vertically. Shoes, clothes, suppliments, etc. Ad Pheonix to that and I bet you will find all sorts of relevant businesses that will trade links.

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Old 24th June 2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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My first route is never trading links.

One alternative option... this 'store' has suppliers which they promote products for. These suppliers have websites which often reference (or should) those that carry their products. Most companies don't get links from the most obvious places first, their peers and associates within their industry. A handful of those will outweigh 100 recips.

There are many other routes. Create some 'link bait' .... something of value that would inspire others to link to your site. For example and just talking in basic/general tems, if your site has the authoritative guide to fitness in your area ... perhaps the local chamber of commerce would reference it online as a good resource.

Don't try to do it based on 'trading links'. The goal is to get others to link to the site. Simply start with providing a reason.

If you are providing seo as a service to the fitness shop do not get into 'trading' links with your clients domains, you will be linking out to bad neighborhoods and this likely may negatively impact their exposure in the search enignes. Seriously, becareful when working on other clients sites and trading links. You are responsible.

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Old 26th June 2006, 03:17 PM   #4
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Yes: create a blog, devise link bait, engage in viral marketing, submit press releases, write articles, etc. Create a well-rounded strategic marketing plan to get you website out there, to attract visitors, and to get those one-way links.

At the same time, a carefully managed reciprocal linking program can still be valuable. The key is to trade links only with high quality, relevant, and topical sites. Approach each potential link as you would a potential business partner. Is this someone you would do business with if dollars were involved?

After Google's Jagger update and Big Daddy infrastructure replacement there has been a general observation that reciprocal links have decreased in value and a growing disdain for reciprocal links. However, as the dust settles, it is becoming clear that relevant, topical reciprocal links between sites of good quality are still valuable.

So where has this bad reputation come from? Chasing quantity over quality. While amassing links is still the surest way to get to the top of the rankings, the search engines are getting better and better at discerning the quality of links. Low quality reciprocal links are one of the early casualties, mostly because they are easy to identify. Of course it won't stop here. Evolution is in progress. In the future, many of those one-way links will loose their value too.

In the end the best approach is not to stop conducting any one method of on-site or off-site optimization. Nor is it best to try and do everything under then sun; you can't. The answer is to identify those methods you can do well--either yourself or through outsourcing, identify those you can reasonably afford, and to craft a well-rounded strategic marketing plan that emphasizes relevancy, topicality, and quality.

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Old 26th June 2006, 09:11 PM   #5
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Its hard to argue with that, but let me comment on this. Not to get nit picky but to emphasize what I said previously.

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At the same time, a carefully managed reciprocal linking program can still be valuable. The key is to trade links only with high quality, relevant, and topical sites.
I understand and agree with this in theory, but it seems a bit different in reality to me. If you setup a recip request page on your site, based on my experiences you get 1000+ more of junk for the one quality.... and the same seems to be true with requesting recips.... finding one quality is after 1000+ junk. Thus the reality to me based on the landscape of recips is just to avoid it all together. I can't understand recips being an approach for anyone based on the pile of junk requests that pile up in my in box daily. Its just a haven for spam and nothing more at this point when it comes to recip. nothing more.

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Old 30th June 2006, 03:40 PM   #6
scribe
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Something no one's mentioned...

Fitness clubs are always looking for new members.

...perhaps offer a few of the Realtors in the area with active websites some promotion where their customers (actual buyers/sellers not just lookers) will get some sort of discount or free visitor passes. Or some lesser premium for lookers.

...same goes for B&B's and hotels/motels.

...any new housing/condo developments being built that don't have their own fitness facilities.

See if you can make some sort of giveaway/discount that while marketing you would also be of a benefit to the other website owner. If you are giving their customers something of value, you may not even need to fuss with reciprocal links.

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Old 30th June 2006, 03:55 PM   #7
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Take the time that you would use to develop an automated linking system and spend it checking out sites that are related, draft an email and use that method. It works and you end up with good relevant links that are themselves coming from good neighborhoods.

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Old 30th June 2006, 06:51 PM   #8
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I think it depends how much search marketing you are able to do, as opposed to how much SEO.

What's one of the local niches with the heaviest internet penetration (and thus highest chance of having a site, and a well indexed one at that)?

The answer is: Hotels.

Now think about it. People looking for local hotels are from out of town. They aren't a market for long memberships. But they may love a special offer from a local gym designed just for those on short stays who still don't want to miss their exercise. Could be a whole niche market there alone, but the real benefit is that this can easily be done as a loss-leader just to get the links and still end up paying off big.

If you think of other niches, things that the locale matters in, you'll find other such opportunities for some creative marketing to bring in huge amounts of both links and new business.

Scribe is right on the money with the realtors and B&B ideas too. Very similar principle. Spot the local niche and make the opportunity to target it.

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Old 30th June 2006, 11:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Knight
But they may love a special offer from a local gym designed just for those on short stays who still don't want to miss their exercise.
That's right on the money because when we went on our vacation this summer that's exactly what we were hoping to find.

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Old 3rd July 2006, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
If you setup a recip request page on your site, based on my experiences you get 1000+ more of junk for the one quality.... and the same seems to be true with requesting recips.... finding one quality is after 1000+ junk. Thus the reality to me based on the landscape of recips is just to avoid it all together.
Then don't set up a reciprocal page on your site!

Seriously, I don't think there's a rulebook anywhere that says just because you've traded links with somebody, they both have to be located on spammy "link partner" pages.

Trade links, sure, but place the outgoing links throughout your site (where ever they make sense in the context of your on-page content), and encourage your link partners to do the same.

So if you're going to trade links with an athletic shoe store, encourage them to place a link (for instance) on their page of cross-trainers, advising their customers that your fitness center is a wonderful place to get a great workout while wearing their spiffy new shoes. You create a link to the shoe store on a page of your site speaking to the importance of wearing appropriate footwear when working out, and recommending their store as a great place to get high-quality athletic shoes.

So what if you don't have a page on your site speaking to the importance of appropriate footwear? Create one! That's one more page of useful, informative content positioning you as the "fitness authority" in Phoenix, one more page that can be optimized and potentially rank well for several more target phrases, one more page that may help bring in additional customers.

Point is, if you think about why you're getting the links and try to make sure the links (and the content associated with them) are useful for your site visitors, you can have all sorts of valuable non-spammy "reciprocal" links without a "links page" in sight.

Of course, "link" is not synonymous with "reciprocal link." You'll want to make sure to not overlook all the obvious non-reciprocal link candidates (local Chamber of Commerce, professional associations the fitness club might belong to, any other civic clubs or organizations with which the club might be associated, etc.). See if they have an online "member directory" and if that directory potentially includes links -- then make sure the fitness club actually has a live link in the directory. You'd be amazed how many businesses overlook the really easy stuff like that.

--Torka

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