Making Friends and Getting SEO Links
If you’ve started to research ways to be found by Google, Bing, and other search engines (also known as search engine optimization) then you’ve probably come across a concept known as “link building”.
Getting these backlinks is absolutely critical. Why? Because search engines are always looking for ways to ensure that the content you see on their front page is the absolute best on the internet—or at least the best content that’s relevant to the term you searched.
Backlinks come into play because search engines like Google have determined that they are a strong indicator of a site’s trustworthiness.
But before we start strategizing on how to build a strong backlink foundation for your website, we wanted to go back to the beginning and give you a more thorough explanation of what, exactly, constitutes a backlink.
What is a Backlink?
A backlink is a link to your website that comes from absolutely any other website besides your own. For instance, if you were operating a local restaurant in Burnsville, Minnesota, you might earn a backlink from a blogger who visited your restaurant and left a review of their experience on their website. If they place a link in their article that points back to your page, you have earned one backlink.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should be trying to figure out how to game the system and place links all over the internet. Some people, and even some SEO firms, think that the best way to build backlinks is to get them everywhere.
This simply isn’t true. Search engines are capable of seeing spam, and putting backlinks in the wrong places can do more harm than good. Just one link from a page with a good standing and high domain authority is worth ten times more than 1,000 links from sources that are not reputable.
This means, of course, that your focus should be on getting backlinks from reputable, trustworthy sources.
How Do You Get Backlinks for Your Small Business?
Here at FeedbackWrench, we talk a lot about online reputation and trustworthiness. We think trustworthiness should be a best practice for any business, but we also know how effective it is in terms of search engine optimization. This principle applies to link building as well. The first step in any link building strategy is to build relationships.
Are you a lawn care company in Lakeville? Maybe you know someone at an Eagan-based snow removal company. The snow-removal specialists are highly thought of and get great reviews. Since their customers love them, they constantly call and ask the company if they do lawn care in the summer.
Since they don’t, they refer their customers to your business. That’s great! However, there are a lot of potential customers out there who haven’t even heard of the snow removal company that’s referring you. All they know is to search “best lawn care company Lakeville mn” and try to find a great one.
However, with a backlink, the snow removal company can refer you to people who haven’t even heard of them! Why? Because Google sees what many people don’t. Since they are constantly crawling the internet, Google has already found the snow removal company and determined their online reputation. Google will then assume that if they are worthy of trust and linking to your website, you must be worthy of trust as well.
Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to get your business listed in reputable online business directories. If you have any relationships with professional bloggers or anyone in the media, you may have an opportunity to leverage these relationships as well!
That being said, it’s not a good idea to constantly use people without giving anything in return. The best way to earn backlinks is to share something of value. That is, after all, why search engines consider backlinks so important.
The content you publish should be valuable enough that people want to link to your pages. On the flip side of the coin, you could offer to populate a blogger’s website with content by guest blogging (or even just sharing a tidbit). This constitutes a fair trade. You offer the blogger content, and in turn, you get a backlink.
Backlinks are a powerful tool that should be used carefully. Abuse can lead to highly negative results. Here at FeedbackWrench, we want to help you to make the most of a backlink strategy that will set you up for success. Give us a call today, we’d be happy to buy you a coffee!