We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to best improve SERPs (search engine page ranks) for websites and improve overall SEO. Our immediate answer is that every page on the website should be optimized, incorporating the right long-tail keyword phrases – and each phrase used appropriately. That being said, on-page SEO is just the first step – in fact, this activity really only accounts for about 25% of your performance. The rest? Links!
Below are the top 5 ways to build links to your site and improve SERPs.
1. Directories – Submit your URL to any online and business directories that make sense for your business. Simply submitting your URL to these directories creates immediate links to your site and doesn’t require anybody’s help to get them. Did you know that Google, Bing, and Yahoo all have free directories? There are also site directories like Joe Ant and AboutUs.org that are great places for businesses to get found.
2. Optimize Your Content – Whether it’s a press release or an online article, incorporate the same keyword strategy employed on your website and tailor the content to your target audience. When distributing those items or posting via on-line sources, link the content to your website’s blog, online newsroom, or other frequently updated pages.
3. Use Your Network – Look for places to build relationships with credible online sources. For example, post comments on other blogs, making sure your remarks demonstrate thought leadership and link to your site. Also share content and include links to your website via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. When you’re viewed as a good source of information, links naturally follow.
4. Guest Blog – When you’ve built your network and are interacting regularly, explore opportunities to be a guest blogger on other sites. In those blogs, incorporate the same keyword strategy and link to your own site for more information. Guest bloggers are typically seen as authorities on a subject and encourage readers to seek out your content – thus creating more links!
5. Create Advanced Content – Move beyond blogs and website content. Do you have a great idea for a whitepaper? Can you create a download presentation to share? Do it, then offer it up for interested audiences.
Keep in mind that not all links are created equal. Directory links or links from Joe Public’s blog carry little weight with search engines. However, links from media, trade associations, powerful brands, education sites or government make you look interesting to search crawlers and they’ll want to get to know you!