If you are a small businesses owner seeking to implement a marketing strategy, you’ve most likely been researching building a Website for your business. A website helps your business not only to get found via SEO tactics but’s it’s also a great way to integrate all your marketing efforts. For example:
- This is where you include your Facebook plug-in, so your customers that are on Facebook can find you.
- Do you Tweet? – Your website would also have a plug-in to twitter, so if your customers indeed do tweet, they can follow you and start engaging with you on this very conversational site.
- Content – This is a very important one for SEO and link building. Are you writing content that provides value to your community? Your website is where your blog would be.
- Seeking to connect with businesses on LinkedIn? This is where you would ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn via a LinkedIn icon.
- On Google+ or the next hot platform – You get the picture; a website is a central place that houses your brands online presence and it’s content as well.
So first of let’s define what Link Building is. Link Building is the process of encouraging and establishing relevant, inbound links to your website that will help your website rank higher with the major search engines while driving targeted referral traffic to your site. Search engines look at backlinks or inbound links as votes of confidence for the website they point to. As you can see, link building is very important for your website’s success. Did you know that inbound links account for up to 42% of a websites ability to rank on Google’s search engine results pages? Successful link building campaigns can substantially increase a website’s referral traffic. Link building can also increase the number of mentions on the internet for your brand.
There are two link building processes, via means of black hat SEO and white hat SEO. You want to avoid black hat SEO which would include:
- Link Farms – Any group of websites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group.
- Comment Spamming is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services with links on blogs, wikis, forums or other publicly accessible online discussion. If you can not add value to the conversation, do not do this!
- Paid Links is obvious. If you are practicing this be on the look out because search engines are making changes to the way they rank websites and if yours is caught conducting black hat tactics, your rank will suffer the consequences.
- Reciprocal Links/Three-way link exchange – A reciprocal link is when two parties agree to insert a link on each other’s website. Three-way link exchange is similar but with three parties involved.
Years of people conducting black hat SEO tactics have caused the search engines to make drastic changes to stop and punish those websites involved in such practices. New SEO of today includes producing content that adds value to your customer and community. It adds value but also solves problems that the community or your customer is facing. That content can be entertaining as well. Look at the success of sites like Youtube and the latest craze, Pinterest. So how do you implement proper Link Building?
- Content Marketing – By creating lots of high quality, viral, educational and entertaining content on a regular basis a website will have many more opportunities to capture inbound links. This is the most natural way to do link building and organic ways to increase and drive traffic to your website.
- Guest Blog Posts – By inviting others to guest post they will promote their original content to others in social media and on their website resulting in inbound links to the publishing blog. Also, by actively seeking out opportunities to guest post on other’s blogs a writer can include appropriate links back to their website.
- Press Releases – Free wires like PRLog.org and paid wires like Marketwire.com and PRWeb.com allow links to be included in press releases. These websites syndicate releases to hundreds of websites which publish the press release and the accompanying links.
- Presentations & Webinars – Submit presentations to SlideShare.net and include links in the slide deck. Also, host webinars for live blogcast, tweets and blog reviews.
- National Directories – Be sure to submit your websites URL to sites like dir.yahoo.com and dmoz.org.
- Badges, Widgets & Plug-Ins – Companies and brands can easily create a WordPress plugin, offer up badges to website visitors and create and share widgets using tools like WidgetBox.com
- Real Simple Syndication (RSS) – Links included in content that can be syndicated by RSS will turn into inbound links when other websites and blogs syndicate the content.
Bottom line is that it is imperative that you are producing content that adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your website again and again. Once you have created this content follow up by distributing to your social media platforms, your email opt-ins etc. But do you stop there? Your next step is to engage and be social. Your content education and solving problems for others start conversations and conversations lead to engagement which drives traffic and conversion to your website.
Based on your experience what additional practices, white or black hat, would you add to this blog? List them below and let’s get a conversation going to educate each other.