If you've subscribed to an SEO newsletter for longer than a week, you're well aware that writing articles with tips and advice pertaining to your website's subject is a great way to generate links and traffic. But what if you can't write or are afraid to write? Well, if you can write software, you're still in luck! In this article I'll show you a trick that can still garner you hundreds of links and won't require you know the difference between adjectives and adverbs. I'll use my own little website as an example (I freely admit that I am neither a web designer nor a programmer). My wife and I own By Request DJ & Karaoke Company. Obviously, we specialize in weddings dances, school dances, company parties, and karaoke. We recently went through the process of converting all our CDs to compressed digital audio files which are played from a computer rather than hauling around thousands of CDs.
In the process of ripping and encoding our music, I found many tasks were very repetitive and time consuming. Since I know a smattering of Visual Basic, it was simple to write a utility to automate these tasks. I figured that if it was helpful to me, some other DJ might find it helpful to, so I called my utility MP3G to ZIP and made it available for download from my website. I also decided to submit it to a few freeware sites just so it was easier to find. What happened amazed me. Many of the links to my website from these freeware directories began showing up in Google.
Given the name of my company and the descriptions of my freeware apps, this helped boost my site for some very competitive keywords. I decided to submit my software to a few more directories, and that's when I found two very handy tools: PAD files and RoboSoft. A PAD file is a "Portable Application Description, and it helps authors provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a standard data format that will allow webmasters and program librarians to automate program listings." It takes the tedium out of submitting your software to hundreds of sites by enabling you to enter the URL to your software information rather than retyping all the information for every submission. It was created by the Association of Shareware Professionals (http://www.
asp-shareware.org/pad) and is a free utility. RoboSoft (http://rudenko.com/robosoft) is a semi-automated software submission utility that contains a list of known freeware and shareware directories that accept submissions.
It is only semi-autonomous because it won't push the buttons for you, but it will fill in the blanks. This still allows you to quickly enter your software's information to hundreds of websites. Websites who will all link back to your website and most often don't require a reciprocal link. The RoboSoft database currently lists 420 freeware and shareware directories. In the two months I have been using these tools I have seen my traffic jump from 800 unique visits per month to over 5000, and the link popularity of the page that has my two freeware apps has gone from 7 to 639 according to widexl.com.
While these are small numbers for someone like cnn.com, sprint.com, or even napster.com, they are huge for a small site like mine. Plus, they are beginning to get me links from my fellow DJs who have used and appreciated my tools. I'm certain that they will eventually lead to good things.
So, while it isn't a tactic that will make you number for "best website", it will get you a few more links. And it won't require you to submit any articles with tips about marketing your website.
Tim and Tammy Smith own By Request DJ & Karaoke Company (http://www.byrequest.dj) as well as F-M Brides and F-M Bridal.