In your ever-evolving quest to improve your small business SEO, there is a seemingly never-ending list of strategies. One SEO strategy that has become clear just within the last few years is the leveraging of inbound links.
Inbound links are found on other websites that point their visitors to your website. Google has made it clear that this type of “recommendation” from other websites is important to their algorithm system. Thus, inbound links should be a major part of your small business SEO strategy.
However, not all inbound links are created equal. A link to your site from a small web page that gets 5 hits a week is low priority in Google’s eyes – but so is a inbound link from a large website that contains totally unrelated content and completely different keywords and terms. Especially since the last Panda update, who points to your website can make a tremendous difference in whether your website is categorized as first-page quality or spam.
A good inbound link should be:
- Relevant – Google’s automated ‘bots’ like to know that the website providing the inbound link is related to your industry and keywords.
- High traffic – A website with high traffic volumes will pull more weight with Google and thus rank your inbound link higher.
- High rank – A website with a high page rank in Google that links to your site will also be the most effective.
Finding and obtaining relevant inbound links may be easier than you think. Here are a few of the best methods to get your inbound link list growing:
Link Your Blog to Your Website
First of all, you should focus your small business SEO internally. If you have a small business website on one domain and a blog on another, that is a perfect opportunity for linking.
Your company blog should link to your small business website domain on the main page. Your blog is also a good place to slip that link in to each blog update or post you publish. Strategically use keyword anchor text to link back to your website to help you appear in the results for your top keywords.
Include Links On Your Social Media Profiles
Your social media accounts are another great way to improve your small business SEO with inbound links. Most social media sites allow you to create a profile page and include one or two links. Use them wisely. If you can, always include links to both your company website and your company blog.
Encourage Social Media Followers to Repost
Write and post occasional social media updates that include a link to your website or blog. Note that this shouldn’t be practiced on EVERY update, but that you can link back to your own sites whenever you publish relevant, useful, and interesting content. When you do, encourage your followers or fans to re-tweet or share with their friends so the links gets spread virally.
Many SEO experts believe that since the Panda update, the weight of social network sharing and backlinks has become more important than ever. Thus, backlinks and activity from the social networks could be boosting your SEO more than most other strategies.
Write Articles for Other Sites, But NOT Article Databases
Previously, writing articles for the directories was a prudent way to build backlinks. However, since the last Panda update, most all of the major directories have been stripped of their PageRank, and links pointing out of the article directories have been considered spam.
Consider instead taking the initiative to contact industry-relevant blogs and resources, and ask if you could have an opportunity to be a guest author. You can pitch ideas for articles and back up your expertise with your credentials. Writing articles is still a fantastic strategy for building backlinks, but you only want to be published in industry-relevant, high quality websites.
Many SEO link building strategies have changed since the Panda update, but with the growing weight of the social networks, link building is perhaps easier now than ever before.