“There is only one thing that is more expensive than education in the long run: no education.”
– John F. Kennedy
Regardless of whether it is about expanding your own knowledge or the reach of your company, Kennedy is right, even more today than then. As the terms commerce and e-commerce increasingly suggest the same thing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to ignore the numerous potential sales and marketing channels. To stay successful, you have to move with the times.
Have you already set up a catchy brand name and a solid website with a suitable domain name? The beginning has been made, but don’t stop there. Just standing still is not a solution to surviving in the modern world of e-commerce. The next, crucial step is link building, an essential off-site technique for SEO ranking.
“Link building” means the integration of hyperlinks to your own page on other websites with the aim of increasing your own Google ranking. While link building is not an exact science, there are a few basic things to keep in mind regardless of the nature of your business.
What you need to know about backlinks, PageRank & Co.
A backlink is an inbound link from another website that points to your own website. Search engines rate every link. With the help of the backlinks, search engines can determine whether your website is relevant to the particular search. Backlinks are marked as follow and nofollow links. Follow links are indexed by Google and have an impact on PageRank, whereas nofollow links are ignored for this calculation. Their influence on the SEO ranking is rather small.
What Link Builders Should Avoid
To avoid excessive link spamming, most websites these days, including Wikipedia, only contain nofollow links. A popular black hat form of link building is to provide a large number of different websites with almost or completely identical articles and backlinks to your own website. However, compared to the last few years, many search engines have become smarter than some backlink spammers. As a result, posting and reposting the same article on different websites will almost guarantee a negative impact on the SEO ranking.
Even if you allow a page to post follow links, it is probably better not to. It’s only a matter of time before you are inundated with links from gambling or adult sites. The most popular search engines have already added algorithms that either completely ignore link spam or even go so far as to negatively affect page ranking.
Some website owners pay to be able to post links on other sites. This is also not a sensible solution to improve your own ranking. As a rule, search engines ignore pages that are simply linked to one another.
Blogs as backlink machines
Guest blogging on other websites whose topics match the content of your website is still the best link building method.
The keyword in guest blogging is relevance.
Link building is all about relationship building. It not only serves to increase the number of links, but also to increase the conversion rate. Spend some time locating good websites with relevant content and offer the owners guest blog posts for their site.
In return, you create a backlink to your own website. Google Blog Search and Google Alerts are great tools for finding trending blog sites that provide regular updates on new content, are well visited, and encourage readers to actively comment.
Write meaningful content
Only use your best content because you never really know who is going to see it.
Pay attention to the style of the website, but don’t lose your own voice either. Of course, you want to create links to your website, but stay authentic. Do not only include links that link to generic pages or homepages, but also to specific pages that provide additional and useful information on the topic. Build a reputation as a communicator by responding to every comment on your article.
EXTRA: Content Marketing: How do I find my story?
Finally, always remember to set goals and measure progress (tools like Google Analytics are, as I said, helpful in this). There is a saying that “trying is better than studying”. It is definitely better to try something than just read about it and stop. And it is the same with link building.