Testimonials Bring Links, Gain Search Engine Rank!  
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               by Mike Banks Valentine 

Standard, well-worn marketing techniques sometimes gain some polish when you rework them a bit. Everyone knows that happy customer testimonials are a valuable addition to your business marketing materials and your web site. Collect comments from those who have had a good experience with your product or service and share those successful relationships with your potential customers and clients by publishing them on your web site. Now take that marketing routine and turn it on it's head! Have you ever gone out of your way to OFFER testimonials to businesses online? There is a very fundamental difference to one aspect of the web as a marketing medium. That difference is the HYPERTEXT LINK. If you recieve marketing materials in the mail and see testimonials printed on them, you are likely to wonder who the people offering that glowing praise are and if they really had such a wonderful experience with the business they are praising. Here is the reason that OFFERING testimonials online can be of benefit to you. If you are quoted on a high-traffic web site as being very pleased with a product or service offered there, you will most likely be given a HYPERTEXT LINK to your web site. This is done as a courtesy from most businesses as a way to say "Thank You for your Compliment". It lends a sense of credibility to your comments because people have the option of visiting your site to see who you are or follow up with you on the comments in your testimonial. Many business owners struggle valiantly to establish links by visiting sites one by one and asking them if they will provide a link back to their site. The trick here is that you must find those sites that are 'complimentary' and not 'competitors' to your own business and convince them that their visitors would find your site valuable. When you offer testimonials, they can be from virtually any site you have done business with or whose product you've used. A link is a link is a link. You all know by now that links increase search engine rankings -- right? If you are a customer of an online product or service and you're truly pleased with them, why not send the webmaster a testimonial and tell them you'd be happy to have them publish your comments on their site? They will be pleased at your offer if your praise is short (one or two sentences) and highly complimentary of them. Include a hypertext link to your site or your e-mail in the note and tell them you'd be happy to have your comments published. Most sites have a page of happy customer testimonials and most offer a link back to your site or your e-mail so their potential clients can follow-up with you. Take a look at those businesses you patronize online and see if they offer those linkbacks. Then tell them how happy you are to do business with them and watch your traffic grow! -------------------------------------------------------- WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet e-tutorial online at: By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web! --------------------------------------------------------
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