A common topic of discussion surrounding page and keyword rankings is how important building high quality, relevant links back to your website is to increasing your website’s overall value and relevance with popular search engines such as Google and Bing when visitors search for your brand or targeted keywords.
The basic rule of thumb is – quality backlinks = higher rankings as other sites are basically referring to your website and finding value in what you offer. Link building is often ignored by small businesses when building their online marketing strategy, however this is often due to a lack of understanding of what it is, or the lack of time and resources available to execute an effective link-building strategy.
At the same time the ways in which to go about building more natural links to your website is often a little overwhelming for those who feel they are ‘non-techies’ and/or would rather try to tackle link-building themselves rather than pay for their webmaster to handle the legwork.
It may seem difficult to build links these days, because with so many options it can be hard to know where to even start. So what are currently the best and easiest options for organic link building, for the non-web-developers out there?
You have a personal website, or a website for your small business:
Social Sharing Tools are your new best friend. Social media is extremely important, especially with search engines now using social media in ranking logarithms. In addition to link building, social media also offers increased brand visibility. Visitors are more inclined to share your work if there is the convenience of a social sharing tool. For your WordPress website, you may want to consider plugins like “Digg Digg” and “Tweet MEME”.
RSS Feeds are also a great way to increase your website’s exposure and visibility. Having an RSS feed means your website’s content is more likely to be shared on others’ websites. Look into creating an account with Google Feedburner to display your feeds to visitors.
Finally, include internal links to other content on your website. Make this a regular habit to encourage deeper and deeper linking within the site over time. For example, if you are writing a blog article about a chocolate chip cookie recipe, and you also sell baking sheets on your website, include a hyperlink in your blog post around the text mentioning this part of the baking process to the page that sells the product. If you bring up a past blog post in your article, offer a hyperlink to direct the visitor to the page the original blog post is on.
You have a blog:
The best practice for link building through blogs is being attentive to the topics and content your blogs cover. For instance, people love seeing blogs containing lists. Consider lists like “Top Ten Ways to Get into the Olympics”, “Top Five Summer Style Trends”, etc. The more appealing your blog post, the more likely people will share it, thus creating back links. Including the year in your list will help your post come up in searches specific to the year such as “Top 10 Documentaries in 2012”
Other ideas for shareable blog posts? Interesting and helpful “How To” posts are equally as enticing, or a blog post that focuses on de-bunking a popular myth. Controversial topics can also increase traffic, conversation and interaction on your website.
Another easy way to have your blog referenced on other sites is to lure people in with a bit of an ego boost. Pay attention to the top names in your industry, and feel free to blog great things about these people. This will increase your chance of an article being shared on their personal website, or among other industry professionals.
You have Facebook, Twitter, or a page on another popular social media platform such as Linked in, YouTube or Pinterest
Set up both a business and personal Facebook page. You should be communicating different messages to your friends vs. your customers / fans. It is important to ensure that you always share links to your website, fan page, etc. through various social accounts created.
Linked In is most likely to have connections that will actually be interested in reading your articles. Another useful tip? Claim your business listing on directory and mapping sites like Google Places, DMOZ.org, 411.ca and YellowPages.ca, and “Yelp”, as well as any reputable niche directories. This is simple and essential link building activity for small businesses.
• buy links from other websites
• stuff your blog posts and content with keywords, if they are not able to be worked in naturally we recommend brainstorming alternative ways to build out your website content
• approve every comment and pingback automatically. Be careful of the comments and pingbacks you approve on your blog, often they are just visitors or spambots attempting to obtain links through their comments