One of the best ways to rise up the ranks on Google and other search engines is to have what are called inbound links. These are simply links to your website from other sites. Those other sites could be blogs, business directories or related business sites. It takes time to build up inbound links, but these tips will get you started.
Provide Shareable Content
One of the easiest strategies for getting other sites to link to yours is to provide great web or blog content that others will want to share. Write posts that really address your core audience’s concerns and share the posts yourself through social media. Make it easy for others to share by including a social sharing widget that allows readers to post your content to Facebook, Google +, Twitter and more.
Avoid self-promotional content, as it’s rarely shared. Research your competitors’ blogs to see what they’re writing about, and see what topics come up on Twitter for other ideas. Keep your posts between 400 and 600 words and break up the content with subheaders and bullet points for easier reading. Use images to draw readers in.
Ask for a Link
This strategy used to be more popular before Google cracked down on how it ranked websites, but it never hurts to ask another website owner for a reciprocal link (meaning you’ll post his link on your site and he’ll post yours). The key is finding strategic partners; it won’t do you any good to get a link on a website that has nothing to do with your industry. If you are a marketing consultant, for example, it could be beneficial to set up a Partners page and link to other service providers that focus on similar areas, like PR or social media. If these companies have similar Partners pages, that is where your link should be housed.
You can also ask for a link on the Blogroll of a related blog. Often, blog readers look for other blogs on similar subjects, so by partnering with a blogger who covers your industry, you may pick up new readers.
Get on Directories
Whether it’s a directory for a local business organization you’re a member of or an online industry directory, these are great places to increase your inbound links. There are many directories out there, but focus on those that are targeted to a geographical area or a particular industry, and that have good web traffic (you can go to Alexa to find out the popularity of the site). In addition to getting another site linking to your own, you can also introduce your company to other members of the directory, as well as anyone who’s searching for services like yours who stumbles onto the directory.
Remember: it takes time for inbound links to help you move up search results. Decide on your strategy and start your plan of attack. Work to build relationships with other website owners so that they’ll be more inclined to want to help you.
Looking for more tips on using online directories? Please attend our free webinar: How to Use Online Directories to Increase Your Web Presence, November 6, 2012, at 1 pm Eastern.
Photo: skedonk on Flickr