There are many factors that can impact your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and rankings. Content frequency and “freshness”, age of your domain, and relevance are all determining elements of how your site ranks within the search engines at any given time. While these factors tend to fluctuate, one has remained surprisingly constant over the years: the value of inbound links to your website.
The Internet is a popularity contest in the eyes of the search engines. Inbound links are valuable links from other web pages to pages on your website. Every time someone links to your website from another page, you are acquiring a inbound link. Search engines count these links and use them to determine your site’s authority and relevance. The more inbound links you own from relevant and authoritative websites, the more authority your site is awarded from the search engines.
There are many types of link building in which you can engage in to better your SEO efforts, and each can have an impact on your site. Here are a few examples:
Directory links have gotten a negative reputation over the last few years as they are easy to manipulate, and spammers have created thousands of directories for the sole purpose of building more links to their sites. However, there are some directories that are still valuable and still relevant. Directory linking is an easy and effective way to build links for your business.
Examples: Business.com, BOTW.org, Yahoo Directory, Yelp.com
Whether your business serves a local area or the global market, gaining local links is extremely important. Claiming your Google MAPS real estate is crucial. Other ways to build local links can come local online directories, other local businesses, social media, and even your local Chamber of Commerce. These links will build relevance for your business in your own backyard.
Examples: Google Maps, YellowPages.com, Better Business Bureau (BBB.com)
Some of the best links you can obtain are those from within editorial content. Utilizing free and paid Press Release submission websites are a great way to create and publish articles that link back to your website. As a bonus, these articles can get picked up and recycled by other sites, thus creating new links. A great viral article can impact your websites search value tremendously.
Examples: PRWeb.com, EzineArticles.com, Buzzle.com, Xomba.com
Social Media is another way to build great links as well. Way back in 2010, Google started indexing Facebook content including links within posts and comment threads, which makes social media a great tool to build links for your business. You can also include a link to your website and/or blog within your profile.
Examples: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Just as links within editorial content are some of the best links to gain, links within blogs can be even better. Some popular blogs are indexed by search engines within seconds of new content posting, which means search engines could be awarding links to your site within minutes of posting. Spend time reading quality blogs in your industry and engage them with comments. The comments will usually allow you to include a link in the signature of the comment. Also, look into opportunities for guest posting on other blogs. You’ll probably be able to include a bio with the post, in which you can link to your website and/or blog.