In essence, SEO (search engine optimisation) is two areas: keywords and links. Whilst most people who have a website have thought about keywords and most website designers will help include these in the important parts of your web pages, links are often an afterthought, if considered at all.
This can be good news for your businesses as if you haven’t bothered seeking out links then your competitors probably haven’t either. If you start getting the type of in-bound links that the search engines like, then your site will soon start to rise to the top of the search results, bringing you much more traffic and enquiries.
Why are links so important?
The search engines need to be viewed as a popularity contest. Just because your website says that you sell cheap widgets doesn’t mean Google believes it. You need other websites to point Google towards yours, with each link acting as a vote of confidence. This means that Google finds your site more often and pays more attention as other sites it trusts are telling it about yours.
Where should you get links from?
There are many different types of link and it is important to build a diverse link profile, so seek links from a wide range of sites. Here are a few of the more common areas:
1. Directories. Directories list and link to other websites. It is a good idea to request links from popular general directories, such as DMOZ and Hot Frog, as well as niche ones that specialise in listing sites from within your industry. Quality is key with directories, so if it looks like a site full of spammy listings then move on and find another.
2. Blogs. Commenting on other blogs is popular in the link building world as you can choose the text displayed in the link and the page on your site that it links to. Blog comments can also bring high quality traffic but you need to leave a valuable comment and not spam them with some meaningless drivel.
3. Link requests. Send an email to other websites asking them to link to yours. If it is someone you know, such as a supplier or friend, then they will probably not hesitate to help. If it’s an unknown website then you may need to provide a reason why they should, e.g. an interesting article or special offer they can link to.
How do you find these links?
There are numerous ways of finding links but we only have a few hundred words here to try and describe what can be a full time job. Have a play around with these search strings and vary the words to find an array of sites that are easy link targets (substituting the word ‘keyword’ for your keyword or keyphrase):
If you are looking for directories then try typing this into Google:
keyword “add URL”
keyword “submit site”
keyword “suggest website”
Want to find relevant blogs? Try these and see what comes up:
keyword “add comment”
keyword “powered by Wordpress”
The entire ranking algorithm that Google uses is based on the concept of link popularity, so focusing on this area can bring in huge improvements to your search engine rankings. By doing nothing but building links, we have helped many businesses reach very high Google rankings for very competitive keywords. It really does work, so best of luck!