When it comes to developing and marketing a successful web asset. One of the most difficult aspects is identifying the “Link Ability” of the site. Business owners want to know if the site will make them money. Will the investment result in expanded business and higher ROI? Link Ability is one of the most important elements that will determine a website’s opportunity for success.
One of the most difficult to assess, and almost always the last thing considered by web developers. When we make changes to an existing site, or are retained to redesign a website, you can bet Link Ability was the core cause of the revisions.
Honestly, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I don’t know everything. We can do all the competition comparison we want. We can try to identify what we believe works and what we believe doesn’t for a particular market. And we can even go so far as to do limited market testing. But, in the end, the prospect/visitors will determine whether they like your presentation or they don’t. So that If you don’t do full-blown market testing with focus groups, you’re just guessing with any web project based upon what has worked in the past, what has flopped in the past. And what you believe will work for the project today.
So, What Is Link Ability?
In its simplest form, it is the probability that someone will like a website enough to actually link to it. These links can be solicited (a standard technique for Internet marketing that makes other related website owners aware of a resource) or simply added by other website owners without anyone asking.
You say, “What does this have to do with prospect retention and conversion?” Well, the answer is everything! If your prospect sticks on arrival, if your prospect takes the action you want, and they do it month in and month out, you have a site that has “Link Ability.” It is a reason for people to both share (think natural social marketing) and link to your website.
Today, organic search engine rankings are usually a process of years of ongoing targeted marketing. Links age and mature, and new links must be acquired, and again age and mature. Document relevance plays a very important role combined with topical authority. Link churn plays a role and your website trust plays a role.
So many factors are at play algorithmically today. Link Ability is the one factor you have control over at the core development level. It is what determines how successful your Internet marketing campaign will be plus. It impacts the overall success of your site’s organic rankings and natural conversion rates.
What Makes a Site Linkable?
It certainly doesn’t have to mean “pretty”. Two of my favourite examples of successful sites include craigslist.org and plentyoffish.com. Their success really is as easy as 1-2-3.
Visually, both are far from being stunningly beautiful. Openly, I find them both quite unattractive. Yet month-in and month-out, these websites attract millions of visitors and plenty of links (to play on plentyoffish.com). The simplicity of their models should really be admired and give any website owner hope.
Keep in mind that achieving this type of success takes years and years of hard work, and for every “craigslist.org” that succeeds, tens of thousands have died a slow, and usually, financially painful death. You need to know what you’re doing and get really lucky (most probably, a lot of both). It’s why many site owners eventually hire an experienced professional.
What are the most important elements that each offers to make them so successful?
Each easily answers the age-old question that we all have when considering anything: “What’s in it for me!”
Whether it’s, “I’m going to feel good about myself for making this charitable donation” or “I’m going to look good in this dress,” with virtually every decision we make. It’s a subconscious mindset of what am I going to get out of it. In many instances, the bottom line answer for the consumer is “I am going to feel good!”
Regardless – and this is in my professional opinion the fundamental element to marketing, in a nutshell, comes to delivering the right answer to this question:
“I have a product/service; I have a target audience; how do I package my product or service so my target audience has an uncontrollable desire to take the action I need them to take?”
The Answer Revolves Around “Buy Me! Hire Me! Send Me Your Money!”
With craigslist.org, you can buy or sell virtually anything you’d like for free. Now granted, this approach has matured over time to certain areas requiring payment for posting. But for the typical consumer, it’s entirely free and you can certainly find what you’re looking for at a very good value.
With pof.com, the need for human interaction and intimacy comes to mind. As a species, we have evolved in a way that we have a natural need and desire to