In the world of SEO, we spend hours, days and weeks trying to come up with ways to get links. And while links are the life blood of SEO, they are also ways in which traffic can funnel from one site to the other. They are the arteries of the Internet.
Unfortunately, getting links can prove difficult, especially when they are a newer company that doesn’t have the resources to create in depth link bait.
Considering most link bait fails, it can be incredibly difficult to get links to your site. And, without that link juice funneling from your home page to your content pages, how will you ever rank?
I understand your worries and I’m here to offer some guidance. As an SEO consultant, I have offered support to numerous companies including coupon websites. These are sites that have offers for products all over the place from Island Surf to Navteq (Google them, they have nothing in common). And I noticed something that was really interesting on many of these sites: not only do they provide the coupon link, they also tend to link to the company name.
In other words, not only is the company getting the potential business from the coupon code that is being propagated all over the web, but the company is also getting link juice. Since link juice, generally, funnels down from the home page to the deep pages (if it’s done correctly), getting all of these extra sites to link to you is obviously common sense.
But, what about those websites that aren’t coupon related? How do you go about getting links from them?
That’s the tricky part, but it isn’t impossible either. Known as horizontal link building, what you are effectively doing is expanding your link portfolio to all sorts of sites. Any link is a good link so long as it’s natural. And that’s what we’re looking to gain from this.
If you own a company where you’re going to give a coupon away, encourage your readers to link back to you. It’s the call to action on top of the coupon. The way to do that is, like I said above, to offer encouragement. People are, often times, willing to do something if they are just asked to.
Underneath the coupon code, include the code for a link to anywhere you want on your site (homepage or the coupon page). There are perks to doing either the homepage or the coupon page. If you link to the homepage, then the link juice will flow throughout all of your pages. However, if you link to the coupon page, you’ll be getting a link to a page that wouldn’t normally get many links.
But, let’s take it a step further. I can hear people saying, “Homepage is the way to go because if I like to my coupon page, what happens when I get rid of that coupon page?” I know, you’re afraid of losing all of the links you got.
Why not do a 301 redirect? A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect in the eyes of Google. And they pass anywhere from 90-99% of the original amount of link juice. Therefore, do a 301 redirect from the old coupon page to either your homepage or to the next level up.
Let’s say your site is domain.com. And you have a domain.com/coupons directory that lists all your coupons. So, your 25% off coupon is listed at domain.com/coupons/25-off-sale. All of these links are pointing to the /25-off-sale/ page, but when that page goes away, you can do a 301 redirect from there to /coupons.
Since most people looking for a 25% coupon are probably going to be interested in any coupon, you are funneling link juice into the coupon page. But, even if you don’t have a coupon page, you can always funnel it into your homepage. That’s better than nothing.
It doesn’t matter where the links are coming from because Google will see that they are natural links. And, this isn’t you buying the links either. If you were trading the coupon for the links, that would be highly unethical. But, since you are offering them the coupon regardless if they link back to you, then that’s perfectly acceptable. Google has no qualms with you making it easy for people to link to you, so long as you don’t cheat.
So, the next time you offer a coupon out, try and get some links from it too. You’ll gain more search engine traffic and that could result in more business.
Jay is an Internet marketing consultant who specializes in helping companies increase business by offering discounts and coupons.