The world has gone digital, and the place of the internet in marketing cannot be overemphasized. In fact, any business that relies solely on the traditional method of advertising and marketing is bound to suffer when compared to the ones that use digital and traditional marketing methods.
As a growing business, one of the best ways to grow an online presence is through the use of social media, and also the use of websites. However, in this article, we will focus on the latter. Websites help businesses tell clients and potential clients about what they do, they also allow businesses discuss their mission statement, goals and aspirations. Also, for eCommerce business, websites can be used to place orders and hear the reviews of your clients. Whatever a business plans to achieve, having a website is a step in the right direction.
However, to be able to effectively drive traffic to your website, there has to be a basic to expert knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). One of the most important aspects of SEO is an understanding of link building for your website. In this article, we will discuss how to build links for your small business’ website.
To understand the concept of link building better, it is important that we see what Google thinks of link trades or swaps. Google doesn’t outrightly ban link trading, in fact one can say that the search engine doesn’t outrightly frown on the act, but there is a clause. Google believes link trades can negatively affect the ranking of a site when it is done excessively or for the purpose of cross-linking.
But what does Google consider excessive? Does it have to happen a number of times before it is termed excessive or the purpose of the link trading makes it excessive? Whatever it is, let’s find out what Google says.
According to Google, “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”
What Google terms excessive is not the number of times the request for a link trade is made, it is in fact the manner or purpose of the request. The sort of linking that Google frowns upon is the sort of linking website because it will be done in return by the other website owner, a kind of “link my website and I’ll link yours” agreement. It is not known yet how Google determines this pattern, but if this is repeated over a number of times, it is only natural that the algorithm will notice a patttern and report it.
There are also website owners who add links to website content for the single purpose of linking a website. Most times, these links bear no sort of connection to the content, and these are the sort of link trades that Google disapproves. Google believes in linking a website because it is absolutely necessary. For example, you are writing an article on sport gears, and a certain website offers the best deals on sneakers, linking this website shows it was done out of necessity, out of a need to give your visitors the best contents.
Unfortunately, a link exchange occurs for the main purpose of a returning favor. For example, a webpage owner says to you, “Could you link your article to this page on my website, I will do the same.” This isn’t done out of necessity, and it could have a huge effect on your website’s standing.
Now, I know what is on your mind; is there a way one can properly build links without violating the laid-down guidelines of Google? Of course there is. There is a way one can create a sequence of natural links through a series of marketing tips. As I mentioned earlier, Google supports only legitimate linking, a sort of linking present to make an article or product review even better.
Here are a few examples:
A therapist and a family counselor runs similar content on the importance of family time. A dietician and gym class instructor link to each other’s websites on the importance of healthy eating.
Now that we understand the proper way to build links, how can you begin the process:
- Guest Blogging: Guest blogging is easy, write a content for another website, and link them to yours. However, in doing this, you must create a highly engaging post, as creating something else will only chase potential visitors away from your website. The method of guest blogging is similar to co-marketing, which was the example mentioned above.
- Co-marketing: The concept of co-marketing is also an effective way to build links to your website. All you have to do is select an idea or concept or even product that you want to co-market with a similar brand, and begin the process of cross-promotion.
- Build Relationships: The place of relationships in business is as important as everything else. You need to have a great relationship with your clients, competitors and even employees. In the digital space, it is also important that you build relationships with other website owners through legitimate linking. This is because in the future, when the need for a link that concerns your content, you will come first to the mind of the website owner.
- Know about your competitors: No matter what it is you are doing in the cyber space, researching about your competitors will offer you countless opportunities. It will show you how it’s done, in different ways, and you can also copy the tactics that has been employed by your competition.
If you use these methods as suggested, it is bound to get you started on your path to link building for your website. It is important to always remember that these links represent your company’s digital presence in the online community. With this mindset, the other things will become easier.