- Building quality links to your website will improve its overall popularity in the eyes of the search engines, and improve your search engine visibility. But you're probably thinking what most people are thinking at this point, how do I get links pointing back to my site when I don't have control over other websites out there? The good news is that links come in different forms and can be generated from different tactics. First there are some easy ones. A very common way of generating links is to submit your website or business to different web directories.
But keep in mind that you're going to want to be extremely selective about the directories you submit to. What you don't want to do is click on one of those ads that says they'll submit your website to four billion search engines and directories for $1.99. There are lots of spammy directories out there, and very few are actually trustworthy. A good litmus test is whether or not the directory conducts some form of editorial process that reviews each link and only accepts relevant and trusted websites, themselves.
If a directory is willing to publish any link without any review, it's probably not a reliable directory. A good place to start is in the local business directories, where you can submit your information to the different search engines directly, and maintain and control your local profile. If you have industry-specific directories and listing services that are trusted and unique to your market, those are good places to go next. Another way of building links is to entice other websites to link to your content.
And the key factor here is that you need to have quality content that people are willing to link to. In a search engine's perfect world, someone reads a piece of content and says "wow, that content is so fantastic "that I have to link to it." And sometimes great content attracts links naturally, as a result of people discovering it and sharing it around. But there are other times when you may have to do a little outreach to get people to discover your content in the first place. Leveraging your social connections to share the fact that you've posted new content can get the word out.
And don't stop there, try to find other websites that you feel have that same audience as you. For example, there might be a professor at a university that's doing research in your field, and publishes their own blog about topics that are very relevant to yours. Reaching out to that professor, and letting them know that you have content that their own readers would find interesting and useful might just earn you a very relevant and very trustworthy link. And beyond generating links from other websites, these days it's crucial to gain links from social media sharing.
People are social beings. And we're very eager to share content that we find interesting with our friends, our families, and our colleagues. To search engines, this is a fantastic signal that tells them what content people are actually liking, and what real people are really interested in. So, use those sharing buttons on your content pages. And use your own social influence on the networks you participate in to get links to your content out there and passed around. Keep in mind that there are some very bad ways to build links. Too.
And you can be penalized for doing this the wrong way, so be careful. As a general rule, if it feels like you're trying to cheat the system, don't do it. Getting caught is something that will inevitably happen. And when it does, there are some very real consequences that are not easy to undo. Imagine trying to run your business without anyone ever finding you on a search engine. Another rule of thumb is that if it's too easy it's probably going to get you in trouble. So, don't fall prey to the companies that are out there offering to sell you 1,000 text links a month or post whatever you want them to on their blog for $20.00.
Don't trade links with perfect strangers that have absolutely no relevance to your business or your content. And don't put yourself on listings or directories that exist solely to get you more links. As with most things, common sense should keep you out of trouble. The web is constantly changing and evolving. And the search engines are too. While a lot has changed within search engines over the years, the importance of links has remained intact. And that's because quality and insightful content will always attract readers willing to share your content.
As long as your link-building tactics keep those key elements in mind, you'll always have an opportunity to build new, quality links.
- Define search engine optimization.
- Explore the fundamentals of reading search engine results pages.
- Examine the essentials of understanding keyword attributes.
- Break down the steps for optimizing the non-text components of a webpage.
- Recognize how search engines index context.
- Explore an overview of long-term content planning strategies and how they can help keep content on your site fresh.
- Define your website’s audience, topics, angle, and style when mapping out your long-term content.
- Identify the steps to take when building internal links within your website.
- Recognize how to analyze links in order to measure SEO effectiveness.
- Break down the necessary components for understanding local SEO.