Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Missing Links in Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

Before Google Backlinks Ruled the WebBack before the dawn of Google, backlinks ruled the web. Through internet natural selection, the search engine evolved into the dominant species. Despite its authority, the search engine has yet to phase out backlinks; they are a crucial tool for small businesses.

A backlink is any link that is directed toward your website from another website

Background on Backlinks
A backlink is any link that is directed toward your website from another website. Examples:
  • A blogger raving about and linking to a newly discovered site
  • A link posted to Facebook or Twitter
Backlinks lost their corner office, but are still an important cog in Google’s grand scheme. The more quality backlinks your site has, the more popular Google considers it, improving your search engine rankings. Think of backlinking as a petition for Google to recognize your site. Quality links are the signatures.

Digitize Your Networking Efforts

Digitize Your Networking Efforts
You’re always in networking mode for your business. This means a steady stream of business cards flowing from your wallet. Backlinks are digital business cards leading back to your company.

Research and interact on popular blogs or forum sites relevant to your industry. Contact the blogger and let them know about your business and the quality, relevant content you can add to the conversation. This tactic can get the link train moving.

Be conservative in distributing your backlinks

Keep it Relevant
Like with their paper counterpart, be conservative in distributing your backlinks. You don’t pass your card to everyone in sight; you strike up conversations to see who might want your services.

When working the room that is the web, seek out blogs and forums related to what you offer. Like chatting it up with potential customers in person, you’re seeking quality business interactions, not a saturation bombing of your company information.

When playing the good cop, “quality” is Google’s favorite word. If you blindly unload a dumptruck of links (known as linkspam) on irrelevant sites, they send in the bad cop. This side of Google could slap your site with the “spam” label for snubbing their quality guidelines. Even if you’re sharing your link to a relevant site, don’t get carried away; over-linking can also incur Google’s wrath.

Well written, detailed content & Attractive photos, layouts and visuals

Lean Toward Natural Links
Actively backlinking your site is useful, but can become a crutch. These backlinks are lab-grown; focus on the organic equivalent. Cater to your visitors with your site content . This includes filling your site up with:
  • Well-written, detailed content
  • Attractive photos, layout and visuals
Work toward a site with a strong base of visitors. This will spur organic link-building through these dedicated traffic drivers. Web devotees post at every opportunity, EVERY day. Whether it’s to their own blog, Twitter, Facebook etc, if they like your content, the links will be there. 

Beware the Black Hat

Beware the Black Hat
At this point you might be saying, “This sounds time-consuming, I’m gonna farm it out.” Not a bad idea, but be careful.

Many SEO services offer backlinking, but some known as “black hats” will build yours with spam. Google’s spam bloodhounds will sniff out these links, blow them off the web and impose punishment on your site. 

Market, Market, Market!

Market, Market, Market!
In the end, you win with a good website. Refine and perfect your content marketing techniques, and with quality web content comes quality backlinks. Inject content into the web that demands interactivity and the backlinks, and improved Google rankings, will come.