Getting your site seen is one of the most challenging aspects of launching an online store for many business owners. Sometimes the best strategy to getting customers to your online store doesn’t have anything at all to do with what you put on your site – it’s what you put on other sites! So you need to know how to find links and get links.
When someone does a search on Google for something, in order to decide which pages should be displayed first, Google weighs several different factors. Keywords and links are two of the primary things considered. If someone trustworthy links to your website, Google sees this as a positive endorsement of your site and will bump you up rankings.
In the real world, if someone you trust sends you a recommendation, you’ll take note and remember that suggestion long after. Google and other search engines are always looking for recommendations for great new sites, so getting other sites that Google already trusts to recommend yours is one of the best ways to gain traction in SEO.
How do you go about getting others to link to your website? Here are 11 ways to get quality backlinks to your site to establish credibility that will help improve your SEO rankings.
1. Be an authority
There are online communities for every topic under the sun. Find a forum relevant to your industry, demographic, or locale and offer your expert opinion. Don’t link to your site on every post, but do make sure to include your website in your profile and, where relevant, link back to content on your site.
2. Get social!
LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and Tumblr are all social media sites where you can easily gain from adding links to your website. While Facebook and Twitter won’t help you as much for backlinks (Google skips most of their recommendations), if you provide good content they will still help you get your crucial keywords.
3. Link to others
Pay it forward and link to other websites. Don’t send traffic straight to your competitor’s website, but posting links to your supplier’s site, relevant reviews, a YouTube channel, or maybe just a noteworthy blog in your industry are all great links for others you can include.
4. Social Bookmarking
Sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon are excellent ways to get backlinks. Just submit links from your website and you’ll be added to the database. This works especially well for things like a blog, news stories, or events since it’s information you’ll be updating regularly.
5. Ask nicely
If you have a website, chances are you know someone else who has one too. WHERE RELEVANT, it’s ok to ask another site owner to list a link to your site somewhere on their page. Approach this option with much caution. Not only would the owner of the other website be doing you a big favour, if your link seems out of place on the site , it will do more harm than good to your search rankings. On the other hand, if your websites complement one another (say, a restaurant located next door to a museum) asking to be included on their site could be a natural and highly beneficial fit.
6. Consider Blogs
If you’re ambitious enough to start your own blog, it’s one of the best ways to regularly feed high-quality links to your site (and others!) If you’re not ready to kick off a blog of your own, commenting on others’ blogs can give you space to post links. Make sure you’re posting high quality content though – blog comments with irrelevant links will quickly be marked as spam and get your site in trouble. Another blog option is to write a guest post on someone else’s blog. If it’s someone you’ve established a relationship with online and you can offer a slice of your expert opinion, contact the blog owner and ask if they’d be interested in having you contribute.
7. Write Articles
Not interested in having your own blog? Write an article about something in your industry and post it to an online article database. Sites like Squidoo and Ezine are highly indexed so if you provide quality content it can definitely pay off.
8. Get registered
List your company in as many quality directories as you can! YellowPages and Yahoo Local are good places to start (although warning: you’ll probably be contacted about advertising). Shopseek is another one specifically for Australia. These sites work like online phonebooks, helping others find your business both online and offline. Also consider more specific directories that are just for your industry, expertise, or location.
9. Google Places
If Google is that cute guy at the dance you’re looking to impress, optimising your listing on Google Places is how to guarantee you know all the steps to his favourite song. It’s a top way to get Google – and prospective customers — to notice your website. Find out more about how to claim and optimise your Google Places listing here.
10. Think local
Does your city’s chamber of commerce have a business directory? What about offering a story about your business to feature on your local Rotary club’s website? Not only will this sort of partnership give your website valuable backlinks, it will also more strongly associate your business with the city where you’re located.
11. List your merch
If you have a product to sell, you absolutely ought to be listing your business (and you products!) on sites like Kaboodle and Google Shopping. Each and every product of yours that you list will link back to your website and help build credibility for your online store.
Building credibility for your website takes time and patience, but a little bit of work and creativity can go a long way!
For full-service SEO help, check out our SEO packages to see how we find links and get links for your business.