When optimizing your website for search engines, something to focus on heavily is link building. Link building is the process of placing links to your website on other websites. Since links are the way that web crawlers from search engines discover and access websites, having a strong link profile helps enhance your online visibility and increase traffic. When it comes to link building, the best practices are clear and easy to follow. When working on your website’s link profile, here are some basic guidelines to follow that we’re referring to as The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building:
Obtain listings on quality online directories. While this is an easy source of inbound links, the value will depend on the quality of the directories that your website is on. In this case, as it often is with SEO, quality definitely comes before quantity. Focus on reputable directories and those with high traffic, and don’t forget about industry specific or niche directories.
- Make sure to have a variety of sources linking to your website. In addition to online directories, external links can be obtained from industry relevant websites, social media, blogs, news and press releases, etc. Don’t settle after earning a few links. Making this an ongoing effort will produce valuable results!
- Have keyword-rich anchor text. This is the clickable text that links to your website and it should contain keywords for which the linked page has been optimized. If possible, stay away from generic anchor text such as ‘click here’, as it is not descriptive and does not add much value for your website rankings in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).
- Verify and optimize your Google+ Business Page. Google gathers information about businesses and creates listings that you can claim and optimize. By taking ownership of your Google+ Business Page, you will have the opportunity to provide additional information, create image galleries and interact with reviewers.
- Be “social” on social media. Being present is only the beginning; in social media you must be active to remain relevant. Ideally, you should respond to everyone that reaches out to you through social media, and in a timely manner, too. However, not all channels are relevant to all businesses. Focus on those that make sense for yours.
- Engage in guest posting. If your website has a blog, this is an excellent tool for SEO! To make the most of it, go beyond posting high quality content that is generated internally and reach out to talented bloggers that can post as guests. Most likely, they will link to your website from their own blog to generate traffic.
- Publish news and press releases. Whenever there is a noteworthy occasion or development at your business, it is a great opportunity to increase visibility. By creating and submitting a press release to an online distribution service, a number of inbound links will be generated and made accessible to potential website visitors.
- Request attribution. When you have high quality content, it is possible that less inspired people will take it and post it on their website. This is not necessarily a negative situation; in fact, you can enhance your SEO by reaching out to these website administrators and requesting attribution with the corresponding inbound link.
- Benchmark. As in many other aspects of business, it is recommended that you compare and contrast your efforts against your competitors’. Identify the websites that are linking to your competitors. Contact them and request that they link to yours, too.
- Don’t break the rules! While it mi seem tempting to try “quick and easy” strategies to improve rankings, search engines will undoubtedly penalize websites that engage in practices such as link exchanges, link farms, low value links and excessive anchor text targeting. Sticking to best practices will always be a better strategy.
If you follow this list of link building basics, you can rest assured that your website’s link profile will become and remain strong. Plus, these high value strategies can be implemented with no financial investment. All you need to do is invest time and the positive results will soon be visible! Of course, we know that not everyone has extra time available. With that in mind, our Search Engine Optimization Team is happy to assist you. Call or email Global Reach's SEO experts today.