In this post, we’ll highlight five easy and effective ways to build links back to your website (as well why your website needs a link building boost in general).
When we talk about SEO, it is a constantly changing process – the usability of the site and how people are using your site is what changes the rankings. At the end of the day, a computer decides who’s ranking in the search engines and computers still only speak in zero or one.
Let’s start with number one; citations. We talked a little bit about this in week one about ranking your website, and doing some things for your local search engine optimization. We talked about places that you can have a profile such as Facebook, Yelp, Citysearch, Google, Google My Business, those important places as well. In the industry, you’ll hear they’re called citations. All in all, this is a directory listing. Typically, this is going to involve your name, address, phone number and then a wealth of other information.
Now, the easiest way to build some links back to your website is to find any website out there that allow you to put a directory listing, as long as it looks like a decent directory. If you’re out there searching for directories like Facebook and Yelp, you’ll probably find decent places. The best way for you to build some citations which will provide a link back to your website, is to list your business.
If you’re looking for places for citations, we can even Google, “Add my business to this directory, add my listing,” things like that to help you find it. Once you go past those natural ones that you already know like Google, and Facebook, and Yelp, and Citysearch, and things like that.
2. BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS
Number two; business associations. I take this for granted that I think a lot of people would expect or would know that, “Hey this is a good thing and this should already exist for you,” but I’ve realized a lot of people don’t know. If you’re a member of a Chamber or any type of organization and networking organization, anything like that that has a website that allows you to put a directory listing on there, be sure your website is included.
If there’s not a specific place for say website URL or website listing, add it to the description. You may not be able to put the link into the description, but really try to get your link back to your website within those listings.
If the business association organization doesn’t provide that, ask them to, ask them to create a page on our website. Say, “Hey, can you put all of our members on this website? I’m going to be great to have our members add links to their website. You’re trying to help promote business? Can you please connect my website and connect me, and put a link back?”
Very easy way to get a link, that a lot of people I don’t think actually think about, and forget about. It’s definitely a good place. Typically those are going to be really good ranking websites. A lot of people are linking to the Chamber website which builds up its credibility. A link on its website, will actually build up some credibility for you as well.
3. EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS
Number three; existing relationships. In this one, I’m not expecting you to get awkward and weird with, “Hey, will you put a link on our website?” A lot of times you’ll find maybe vendors or partners, people you do business with, people you promote, people promote you, et cetera. You have existing relationships. That’s not necessarily a bad place to say, “Hey, if you’ve got a resource page or something like that, would you put a link to me?”
Actually was in a meeting today, and I know a couple of people that used to network together. They would go call on people, make sales calls together. I can almost guarantee, there was never a conversation of, “Hey, do you have a blog?” “Well, we have a blog.” “How about we just write a blog and link back and forth to each other?” It’ll help each other, each of you promote each other, it’ll also help your websites. Consider your existing relationships.
4. DONATIONS AND SPONSORSHIPS
Number four; donations and sponsorships. This one might be a little far-fetched for some, but if you’re a local business, say, ice-cream shop or something like that, you’re sponsoring the baseball team, you’re sponsoring the swim team, you’re giving donations to the PTA, things that are like that, ask for a link back to your website. If you’re going to be promoting the event, can you put links to the organizations?
A lot of times those people accepting the donations or sponsorships don’t think about that, and it’s not a problem. They have no problems. Like, “Hey, that’s a good idea. We should link to our sponsors websites.” They don’t think about that. You should offer up the conversation and say, “Hey, we’ve done a little few things. I would love for you to be able to throw a link on your website back to me. We just need your help for other local businesses, and we’d really appreciate it.” Many shapes from that donation.
Consider times when you donate or you sponsor something or there’s a sponsorship, be sure if you don’t already have the opportunity, they don’t say, “Hey, we’re going to put a link on your website.” Ask for it. The answer will always be no, if you don’t ask, so ask and see if they’ll have a link for you. Once again, a lot of times this are going to be very credible websites that can be good links back to your website.
5. JOBS AND CLASSIFIEDS
Number five. This was a very broad category because there’s a lot of ways that you can do this, but I’ll call it jobs and classifieds, et cetera. Let’s say your listing jobs on Indeed, in Facebook, in Monster, ZipRecruiter, all these things, and the list goes on, be sure to include a link back to your website in your description.
Most of the time, they’re going to have a URL for your website, but in some cases, you may be posting a job or something that doesn’t specifically say what’s your website URL, include it in the description if it allows you to include hyperlinks. Some of the sites are going to have some high credibility that would provide some good link juice back to your website.
Classifieds. If you list your business services, products, et cetera, like in Classifieds, Craigslist, things of that nature, it’s worth putting URL. I’m not going to say there’s a lot of credibility if you’re listing a whole bunch of Craigslist. I see like the Executive Suites they have listing, after listing, after listing in Craigslist. This’s not going to give you a huge boost. If you’re using maybe your local newspapers, local organizations, associations that provide classified listings, be sure to include a link back to your website.
All of those little links, they do build over time and builds a little bit credibility. So it’s definitely a reason for you to post those things. Top five, let me run back through them real quick. Citations, so any of your directories and profiles that you can list your name. Business associations that you belong to, any organizations, Chambers, et cetera, that you can have a directory listing. Get your link in that.
Number three; existing relationships. Anybody that you know, that you can possibly share a blog post, share a link back and forth, any of those things, existing relationships, take advantage of them. Number five, anytime you’re doing a donation or a sponsorship, ask for a link if you’re not already provided one. Then number five is jobs, classifieds, et cetera.
Anytime that you’re putting and listing out, it’s going to be driving traffic back to your website. For some purpose, some useful purpose, be sure to include a link. I promise you on why link building is important. We talked a little bit about it at the beginning of our video, but I want to dive a little bit further into it, so if you’re not familiar with why link building is important.
WHY LINK BUILDING IS IMPORTANT
As you’d look at SEO, a lot of times, I do hear people say, my site is SEOd. What does that mean? I have optimized the tags, I’ve optimized the page titles, I’ve optimized the images, so I’m SEOd, I’m good. I got all the SEO I need. That’s only a quarter of what you need in order to actually rank within the search engines. Link building is still a big reason why some websites rank.
There is the social media signals like we mentioned earlier, there are the usability of the site. Google has admitted that they’re starting to monitor how faster, or how long someone stays on your site. When they go back to the search engine, what they searched to see how relevant you are for that search term. At the end of the day, the real core to your off page SEO is link building.
It’s really hard for a computer to interpret a lot of things, but a computer can easily interpret that there’s 10 leaks from other popular websites to this site. Or there’s 100 links of other popular websites to this site, or to this page, or something like that. Link building is still a big core to your off-page. What I mean by link building is exactly what we were talking about; is links in other sites back to your site. Basically adding credibility.
I’ve used this example before. If I tell you right now, “Hey, you should read so and so book.” You go, “Okay, cool.” I made a recommendation, so it’s like one link back to site. If the president says, “Hey, you really should be reading this book.” He has a lot more credibility than I do. If he recommends it, probably a bunch of news and papers and everything else is going recommend, you end up with all these recommendations for this one book and you’re, “I probably should read that book.”
When they told you, “Yes maybe,” but when all these other people, including very important people say that you should read this book, it’s probably going to go on your book reading list. Link building actually works the same way. You want to build a lot of links from important websites. We can go into a long discussion, I am probably several weeks worth of courses to really understand link building. At the core, you want to build links on other sites that have credibility back to your site.
The five things that I told you about that you can go and easily create your own links, you’re typically targeting a pretty credible website as it is. Let’s say, the Chamber website, a BNI website, the PTA from your school, the school website, those things already have credibility. People are linking to them. They’re valuable websites. If you can get a link from a .edu or .gov website, those are usually pretty credible.
Without going into this masterclass about link building and the tears and everything else that you can do, I want to give you some things just like all the past How to series and in our fourth one, that’ll be coming up before the end of the month. I want to give you some things as you as a business owner can do yourself, and do easily without having a lot of expertise.
If you follow these five ways to build some links, you’ll be well on your way to creating some credibility. I can almost guarantee that if you have no links now, if you feel like nobody’s looking in my website and you go and you find one to two of each of these five links over the next week, you will see a difference in your search engine rankings. You’ll probably see a difference in the map listings as well. Link building is still extremely important. I think it going to be pretty important for quite a while.
It may not be the number one ranking factor, because there are hundreds of factors to how somebody ranks, but overall it’s still a really, really solid piece of your off page optimization and the process to make your website rank even better.
SEO can be hard to keep up with as it’s always changing. If you need some help with your Digital Marketing-SEO check out how we can help!