Archive for March 16th, 2011


5 Tips for Getting Some SEO Out of Your Space Ads

Do you pay to place space ads on various websites? Where do think your return on investment (ROI) is going to come from? If you sell a tangible product, you may be measuring the ad’s success against sales that can be attributed to visitors that clicked through the ad. If what you’re selling is a service or other intangible, maybe all you hope to gain from the ad is a lead. Either way, so far so good. All you have to do is attach a tracking code to the ad’s link and wait for the money (and data) to roll in.

Maybe all you want from a space ad is an increased brand awareness. That’s a little harder to quantify, but often the number of times your ad gets seen (impressions) is enough to justify the spend.

“Okay,” you say, “but I still want more from my ad budget.” Never fear! You can get the ROI you’re already after and at the same time derive the SEO benefit of a quality link. “How?” you ask? Just follow these five friendly tips.

  1. Check for Juice. If you’re looking for an SEO value, buy ads that pass link juice. How can you tell? Highlight an ad on the same page you want to put yours on, then view the source code. If the link has the line rel=”nofollow”, then the ads DO NOT PASS JUICE. You can still buy an ad, just don’t expect any SEO from it.
  2. Verify Value. Try to place your ads on pages that have a high Google PageRank™ (PR). Links from pages with high PR numbers are expected to count for more. You can find a page’s PR any number of ways. This site can tell you:
  3. Slip in a Keyword. Image ads and Flash ads are absolutely necessary to capture a visitor’s attention on content-crowded pages. But the downside is that search spiders can’t read images and Flash very well. The answer? Try to insert a single (ONLY ONE) simple text keyword phrase inside the ad link. Almost nobody does this, but it works! (See the “Free Backlink” image at the beginning of this post and check the “Free Backlinks Here” text under the image.)
  4. Aim Well. Unless you’re running a branding-only ad, point the ad directly to the best inside page on your site for the exact thing the ad is selling. This will improve the relevance of the backlink and should help get better link value. (Not to mention that doing so will generally also improve your conversion rate!)
  5. Let It Run. This linking strategy will only deliver value if you get a good placement and let it run. It takes the engines some time to find and score a backlink. Running an ad for a month is probably not long enough to gain backlink points. A year is better. Forever is best.

So there you have it. A way to buy a backlink that does not run afoul of Google’s “Never buy links” rule.