you ever found yourself passing over chances for building links to your site
just because they are 'nofollow' links?
Time and again, we see people who have developed a case of tunnel vision - seeing only followed links as useful, and ignoring nofollow links altogether.
Come on, you know I'm right. I can hear your words echoing through the dark, narrow tunnel:
"I'm not going to waste my time creating links on sites with nofollow links, because it's not going to help my search engine rankings."
If you're unsure what I'm on about here, I'm going to turn my flashlight on for you...
Normally, a link from another site would help your search engine rankings. However, a link with the attribute ‘nofollow' doesn't.
Just because nofollow links don't hold much value in the way of SEO, doesn't mean they're not valuable in other ways.
Let's take a step back and consider the purpose of SEO: To get your site noticed, traffic to your page, and sales converted. Right?
If I were to ask you to tell me another technique you could use to get traffic, you'd probably say PPC, and you'd be right.
SEO and PPC are both very effective techniques, but let's not forget what they are - techniques for getting traffic to your site.
A nofollow link can ALSO give you traffic.
It is surprisingly easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you're so heavily focussed on moving up the SERPS. But yes, there are other ways of getting traffic to your site - ways that don't involve the search engines at all!
I think a lot of us operate under the belief that the search engines are the starting point for all traffic: As if Google is the center of the universe, and everything else is just spinning around it.
But here's a newsflash for you: A lot of people might not even visit a search engine in a given day.
Take me for instance. Outside of work hours, I'll hop online when I'm bored and browse the same sites every time. That means a visit to Facebook, Trade Me (a New Zealand equivalent of eBay), and Youtube. I can (and do) also get easily side-tracked by something that has caught my attention from these places.
Sure, it's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I don't think I'm the only one with these kinds of web habits...
So what does this mean? It means that if you only have eyes for the search engines, you're missing out on a huge torrent of traffic. While you're keeping your eyes peeled for the "followed" links, you're passing over the social media sites, forums and blogs that have targeted and enthusiastic readership.
If you place links where your target market is
likely to travel straight to your site, this single high traffic link could do
you a whole lot more good than 60 followed links that moved you from place 76
to 67 in the SERPs!
I'm not encouraging you here to throw your SEO campaign out the window. The rewards of a successful SEO campaign are likely to be long-lasting and fairly stable, and traffic from the search engines is likely to be pretty targeted.
Plus, there's likely to be a bit of work involved in finding appropriate sites with suitable (and responsive) traffic to target.
It's also likely that this sort of traffic will be "here today, gone tomorrow", thanks to the fast moving pace of social media. But the same could be said for PPC to some extent, and at least this is free!
So just make sure you're not losing sight of your real goal when you pass over that forum, blog or social media site with the nofollow links.
Take a few steps back, blink a few times, and see the entire picture.
Check out our Social Snoop tool for finding social media sites to target. Just be sure to ignore that "nofollow" indicator!