What’s more important? Looking good, or being healthy? Though some would probably say “looking good” without any hesitation, I think we can all agree that if we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that health is just a tad more important than beauty. But what people rarely stop to think about is this: If you focus on getting healthy by eating right and exercising, you’ll end up improving your looks. The latter is a by-product of the former. However, the opposite is not always true. If you start with the wrong priority, focusing on looks rather than health, then you might feel pressured to take short cuts that actually compromise your well-being. In other words, objective is everything. If you aren’t doing it for the right reason, you’re less likely to do it the right way.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? The same is true with the linking strategies we employ for Search Engine Optimization. Take a moment to stop and think about why you’re doing it in the first place. What is your primary objective? Is your end goal to improve your search rankings? Or is it to increase the amount of qualified traffic your site receives? Is it the rankings that matter more? Or is it the conversions that follow them? The answer should be obvious: Conversions are what count; high search rankings are just another means of getting them.
If you really think about it, links are not important because they improve your natural rankings; they’re important because they drive qualified traffic to your site. Try to forget about search engine optimization for a moment, and start thinking about what’s best for your business. If your goal is to increase conversions, then one of the first steps you take should involve building up a network of links with popular sites and directories thematically related to yours. By doing so, you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Not only will your conversions increase, but so will your natural search rankings.
If, on the other hand, high search rankings are all you can think about, then you’ll probably make some bad linking decisions. You’ll chase after links for the sake of having links, forgetting why the engines value them in the first place. But the engines are smarter than they used to be. They know what’s best for your business. The question is: Do you?