Reader's seemed to like the real-life example that I gave on quality link building last week, so I decided to throw another one out there. This one talks about why you sometimes need to act fast to take advantage of "big time" incoming links. You know the ones I mean...when you score a front page listing on Digg, or when Yahoo! features you as an "expert" link next to a story or when the Washington Post gives you a little link loving.

That's what happened to me today at my hobby site, The Lactivist. I'd spoken with a reporter from the Washington Post a few weeks ago about a story she was doing on milk banking and sharing. I'd been keeping an eye out for the story to go live and was obviously hoping that I might get a link out of the deal.

They didn't disappoint.

Now why was I looking for that link? Well obviously I wanted the traffic and I wanted the "yippee!" feeling that comes with snagging a good reference from a well-read paper, but it goes beyond that. I needed to see when the link and story went live so that I could be ready for the traffic bump that ensued.

Often when we talk about "preparing" for a traffic rush, we're focusing on things like making sure your server can handle the load. Today, I want to talk about making sure that you welcome those new visitors in the proper manner.

As soon as I knew that link was live, I made a post to my blog welcoming the new readers. In it, included five links that quickly directed those new readers to the spots that I'd like them to visit. You can see the example here:

1.) Find out how and why the Lactivist got started.

2.) Learn about our current fundraiser for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio (yes the post says December, but we've extended it into January)

3.) Learn more about how you can become a milk donor.

4.) Wondering how I came up with all that extra milk? (27 donated gallons actually) Read about my experience with my first daughter and exclusively pumping.

5.) For you sentimental baby the birth story of my second child...the one who actually figured out how to nurse. ;)

You'll note that I didn't overwhelm them with a dozen choices, but I did give them enough choices so that people of all different interests will have something to check out. I gave them fast access to background on the site, I made a sales pitch based on something timely, I offered information related to the article and I gave two options to help them learn a little bit more about what they can expect to find if they become regular readers.

If I hadn't put that post up, some of the new visitors probably would have found their way around the site and might have become regular readers. But why take that chance? By giving them quick and easy options to get them invested in the site and it's information, I'm likely to pull a much higher level of return readers.

Are you ready to react quickly if you score a "big time link?" If you aren't, you might want to consider keeping a file somewhere that has quick access to some of your best posts or articles so that you can quickly throw something together if the need ever arises.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

January 16, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Don't Miss Opportunities - Act Quickly on Big Time Links