Link building – or increasing the number of websites linking to your website – is a pursuit worth following if you want to increase Google rankings. That’s because the number of external website links can play an important role in how your small business ranks for your chosen keywords.
So, how to go about link building to increase Google rankings? Do a bit of research and you’ll quickly discover link building can be a complex task. There are so many do’s and don’ts that it’s easy to get bogged down and move on to something simpler, like sorting out your tax! But by keeping some simple things in mind there are ways that anyone can undertake link building.
Here are seven simple tips:
Stay away from black hat tactics
First and most importantly, don’t resort to black hat tactics to increase Google rankings. These are tactics that search engines frown upon and include sinister sounding phrases such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, webpage flooding and hidden links. Search engines such as Google are well versed in spotting these tactics and will penalise websites by dropping them from search results, which is something any small business should avoid.
You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours! Reciprocal linking simply means exchanging links with another website owner. It’s good to keep in mind – and this applies to many link building tactics – that quality is often more important than quantity when you’re trying to increase Google rankings. In reciprocal linking, primarily look to link with websites that are relevant to your website, are established (i.e. generally the older the website the better), are popular (e.g. have a good number of visitors, external links, good PageRank) and have a good reputation.
Links from blogs and forums
If you post comments on blogs and forums – particularly blogs that are relevant to your website – and include a link to your website in these comments you can start to pick up some handy external links. Make sure you follow some simple social media rules when doing so (e.g. make sure comments are relevant and add to the blog/forum discussion, don’t try to sell your services and products, etc) otherwise you risk the wrath of the other blog participants.
Start a Twitter or Facebook account for your business. Use LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Digg or one of the many social media sites.
Free content websites
If you enjoy writing articles that are relevant to your business, a good link building tactic can be to submit these articles to free content websites. These are websites that people can go to view and use articles (i.e. use them on their website, newsletter, etc.). If you’re a bricklayer, you could write an article on how to create a brick fence; if you’re an accountant, you could submit an article on tax tips. Always remember to include a link to your website in your bio to increase Google rankings.
There are hundreds of website directories where you can place information on your business and provide a link to your website. Google Places is one of the directories I recommend all small businesses to use and there are others that are worthwhile. Some aren’t, so don’t waste your time trying to get hundreds of links this way.
Who hasn’t heard of YouTube? Plus there are other video syndication websites worth trying. ‘How to videos’ are always popular, plus there might be other activities or events you can video that are relevant to your business. ‘Go viral’ and you could be on a link building winner!
If you do undertake a link building campaign an important thing to remember is that it should be ongoing. Make link building part of your weekly or monthly routine and it’s likely you will increase your Google rankings.