It’s been pretty well established that Google pays attention to the number (and quality) of links that point to your website, and uses that (in part – possibly a big part) to decide where your website should be placed in Google search results for your Keywords.
Quite simply: you want other people’s websites to link to your website. You can think of it like a “vote” for the awesomeness of your website. The more votes, the higher your Google rank!
But the wrong kind of votes could have negative repercussions for your ranking! If Google doesn’t approve of your links you could get demoted or removed from their listings.
What to do
Approach non-competitors in your industry and ask if they’ll link to you. Think about (if you have them)
Think about complimentary products or services: If you sell baby toys, think about approaching companies that sell baby clothes.
The key is to think about whether real people visiting those websites would find a link to your website relevant and useful.
Create things that people want to link to.
If you can write engaging and useful blog posts, articles, or ebooks that people can get excited about: they might link back to yours! Find industry-related blogs and websites and start commenting: don’t just link back to your own website (that looks like spamming!) but try and create a dialogue and relationship with whoever wrote the post: chances are that they’ll be curious about you and click through to your blog. If you’ve written engaging blog posts and articles they just might mention you!
Of course, if you don’t have time to write blog posts or articles: we can help!
What not to do
Don’t get unrelated websites to link to you. Would somebody looking at a website about a Chiropractor in Carlton really find a link to a Toy Store in Wagga useful and relevant? No. But if someone was looking at a Bed and Breakfast they may very well be interested in your Winery just down the road!
Don’t pay for links. The idea is to add links that will benefit the visitors to a website. If your link benefits their visitors (in a non-competitive way, of course!) then payment shouldn’t be required. Some SEO companies will offer you a certain number of ‘backlinks’ for a fee. But you won’t necessarily know who’s linking to you and remember: you’re the one that is going to suffer if Google removes your listing!
Don’t participate in link exchange schemes. Say you approach the Bed and Breakfast and ask them to link to your Winery website. They might ask that you link to them back – fair enough! Swapping links may very well benefit both of you. But a link exchange scheme is different: that’s where you link to a certain number of people and a certain number of people link back to you (usually for a fee). Google can spot these a mile away, don’t risk it!
The Golden Rule
You know, and I know, that what you really want is to appear higher in the Google search results: but when performing any Search Engine Optimisation you need to ask yourself the following question:
Is this useful for real people (not just Search Engines)? If Google changed its algorithm tomorrow, would you still be comfortable with what you’re doing?
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