Want to know how people are finding your Web site? Sure, Google might send some traffic your way, but you might be surprised to learn which other Web sites link to yours.
How to Do It
There’s an easy, free way to find out who’s linking to your site. Enter your URL into Yahoo’s Site Explorer, and the tool generates a list of all your “inlinks”.
Another great way to see not only who is linking to your site, but also whether people are clicking those links is to look at your Web analytics program (if you have one installed). Google Analytics, for example, gives a detailed overview of traffic sources. If you click the “referring sites” link, you can see which URLs are directing traffic to your Web site.
Why Does It Matter?
The number of inlinks you have matters because these links are the core of the major search engine’s ranking algorithms. The theory is the more links there are to a particular site, the higher the quality those sites are likely to be. (Don’t get any ideas about tricking the system—the rest of the algorithms ensure you can’t).
Finding out how many sites link to your Web site can help you assess the current state of your search engine optimization strategy and help you measure success as you try to gain more inbound links.
By discovering which inbound links are performing best, you can:
- Gain qualified leads,
- Obtain contact information for the sites that refer a lot of traffic to your site,
- Broker more inbound links,
- Identify sites that cater to a similar demographic and try to get links there.
Yahoo’s Site Explorer and your analytics program are great ways to drive more traffic to your Web site.