Getting your website or brand ranked high enough in Google search results for someone to notice you,  contact you and approach your for business, is Bloody Hard work.  There is no guaranteed recipe on how to get your website on the first two pages of Google search results.

There are a number of guidelines you could follow to improve your site’s rankings. I am committed to write more articles on this subject, each of which will drill into more detail on how to do link building.  This article, however, will provide an overview of why link building is important and why doing it white hat  is the more sustainable way of improving your website/brand’s reputation.

Google uses a number of  variables to determine what your site should rank as, when a user types in a certain keyword into its search engine. One of these variables is the amount of links to your domain from other websites (others could be the age of your domain, Facebook likes and  Google+ endorsements).  It is hard to put an exact figure on the importance of links, in the algorithm that Google uses  to calculate the rank of your website, but it is definitely an important factor to take into account. In fact,  link building is an essential part of putting your business out there and really should be a part of your sales plan. Having someone putting a link to your website on their website is like voting for your website, and the more votes the better.

If you are in the cat business, it is better to have the RSPCA link to you then Jim Bob’s Cat Shed in Kalamazoo

 The higher the reputation of the website that is linking to you, the better it is.  For example if you are in the cat business, it is better to have the RSPCA link to you then Jim Bob’s Cat shed in Kalamazoo, because the RSPCA has a better online reputation when it comes to cats.

So what are all these overseas SEO experts going to offer me?

Well, links of course! And heaps of them. However, these are low quality links. “Sure”, I can hear you say, “but I am paying them enough”. Most of these unsolicited SEO ‘experts” deal in link quantity versus link quality.  There is a big chance that your website will get linked to from pr0n websites and other online caves of dubious reputation.  Link building this way (black hat)  can have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve and it could result in a drop in ranking, or even worse it might get you black listed in Google for being a cheat.  My advise, go white hat, build quality links, and point these quality links to quality content.  After all, back linking will not only result in higher Google ranking it should also help you generate more click through traffic. Let’s face it people are not looking for cats when they are browsing some dubious pr0n site (well maybe they are, but not really).

Market your website like you market you business;  address your potential audience and customers.

Before I continue and I will not go into it in too much detail; do your key word research. You should have actually done this before you started putting content onto your website. Why keyword research?  Well you need to have an understanding on what product you are going to sell and what people are going to use as search words in Google. Let’s say you are still in the cat business, are you aiming for people to find your pages when searching for ‘cat‘, ‘cat for sale’ or ‘pussy meow’ .  

pussy meow link building

Cat, cat for sale or pussy meow?

Another reason why keyword research is important, is because it will give you an insight into who your online competitors will be.  If for some reason you decided your main keyword will be ‘pussy meow Kalamazoo”, then it is easy to find your competitors, by hitting Google or any other search engine with that keyword.

Once you know your online competitors you can do research on how the obtained their ranking and who actually links to them. This knowledge can be extremely valuable to start a campaign to increase your website’s visibility.

Where to link?

Like I stated above, possibly you will not have to re-invent the wheel. By gathering proper intel on your online competitors, you might get a good insight on what to target.  Either way, generally speaking, back linking can be done on for instance:

  • Blogs (comments or submit an article)
  • Directories (can you submit your company listing)
  • Paid inks (can you buy an entry)
  • Forums (can you participate in a community)
  • Social media sites (Youtube,  Twitter,  Facebook, Google+)

Everything is allowed,  but there are rules! be respectful when back linking on forums and link back to relevant content. It is, 9 out of 10 times, not a good idea to link back to your landing page. Do not spam forums with links, as it might get you banned.

With paid links, well they might be good obtaining links from site with a substantial reputation, but they are only good as long as you pay for them.

What to take into account?

I will give some hints and tips, but will drill down into more detail in separate  posts.

  • Back links, make sure you use the key words or phrases to link back, do not  just add “click here”  with a URL.
  • Do not send back to the home page.  Link back to a specific site that is relevant to the keyword (deep linking).

Finally I would suggest to install a plugin like for instance SEOQuake, a free Chrome and Mozilla plugin, and play around with it. Find out as much as you can about your competitor’s webpage and find out who your competitors are. You might find that your online competitors are not your local “real” competitors.

Feel free to contact us here at Dogtel IT, to further discuss this topic.

Meanwhile, keep adding quality content to your website that people would want to read and link to.

Further reading:

A very good (and long) youtube post by opensourcemarketer that kicked me off writing this post:

SEO Quake for Chrome and Mozilla