Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of your website within the natural or organic search engine results (highlighted in red above on Google) for particular keywords or phrases.
Link building is an important part of SEO. It involves building links from other websites which point to your website. Search engines see links to your site as 'votes' for its quality, so the more you have, the better your search rankings should be.
Link building is limited only by your time and creativity, so you should be looking for long term strategies that will evolve into a continuing pattern of naturally-built links, rather than quick wins without longevity. Here are ten ideas:
- Add your website to online directories You can build links by submitting your site to website directories. Spread your directory submissions over a few months rather than using an automatic service - a sudden appearance of lots of new links may trigger a negative reaction from the search engines. You can find directories by using Google searches like this one.
- Create enticing content This is only limited only by your creativity and time. You need to ask yourself: 'what would make people tell others about this information I have created?' It could be a whitepaper, fresh content that isn’t just recycled news, a unique information resource or an infographic. People will link back to the great content you create.
- Create an offer for your product/service For example, can you offer a discounted product or service to a select group of people? You could offer them 15 per cent discount for writing an article about your product on their website. By doing this you create a hook. They want your product - and you have generated more publicity and links back to your website.
- Advertise more jobs How many job sites are there? How many free job sites? How many job sites specifically for your sector? Why not keep your company's job offerings open all the time? This will give you constant link growth - not only with links from job sites, but also from local websites if you ask them to publish articles regarding the job.
- Use video Would you like to rank for your industry with a video? Could you create a viral campaign that professionally screams and shouts about your services? Many would sites would in-turn link back to you.
- Run a questionnaire We all love being asked our opinion, especially if we believe we will benefit. What frustrates your customers, what makes them excited? Collate these ideas and create a survey using a free survey website. Next, ask people to leave their contact details and interview them on your website with the results of your findings. Then ask them to tell others about this survey on your website. Bingo - more links!
- Guest blogging How many blogs and news websites are there within your industry? You can get some idea by using Google's 'related' option. For instance, enter 'related:www.newscientist.com' to find sites similar to New Scientist. Contact sites you think are relevant and offer useful, unique content. Don’t sell your service - instead, sell your industry or sector and give the reader real value. Websites will reciprocate with a link back to your site.
- Offer testimonials Where did you get your business cards designed? Who designed your website? Who created your branding? Why not give them a testimonial without being asked for it, or offer to compile a case study from your viewpoint? Many companies struggle to do this themselves, so what better way to encourage them to place this on their website with a link to you?
- Join relevant organisations Does your company belong to any organisations? How much are yearly memberships with small organisations and would you consider joining them with the sole objective of gaining a link from their website?
- Help out charities If you do any work for free with local charities, why not request a link back from their website? Most will be happy to oblige.
I hope this post has helped you understand how to build links to your website. Be sure to give these ideas a try - once you start, you'll spot more and more opportunities.
Phil Yarrow is one of the Directors at PYC