Small business owners – particularly new small business owners who need to establish a customer base – can benefit from learning how to improve search engine optimization. This means making it easier for potential customers to find your business when they use online search bars.
Suppose, for example, that you run a boutique hat shop in Montreal. When someone arrives at Google’s home page and enters “fashionable hats” or “cool hat store in Montreal,” you want Google’s algorithms to search for your website and display it for the shopper to see.
Link building is a proven and effective SEO strategy. It can make your small business website appear more authoritative in the eyes of search engines.
Explaining Link Building
The benefits of link building include:
- An improved online reputation
- Competitive advantage over rivals
- Placement of your products or services in front of more potential customers
Link building is the process of getting other websites to embed hyperlinks to your website within their content. Hyperlinks are interactive text or objects which, when clicked on, send the user to another online destination.
In terms of your small business, the idea is to establish more and better inbound links to your website. When a high-quality website links to your website, it helps tell search engines that your content is valuable and relevant enough to place highly on its search rankings.
Examples of high quality websites include:
- Educational websites
- Government websites
- High-traffic sites
- Sites with strong content that lack spam features
Think Quality, Not Quantity
Larry Page, one of Google’s founders and creator of PageRank, emphasized the importance of inbound links as a ranking factor. Quality links are a de facto vote of confidence for whatever content the link references. When an article on Investopedia links to an article on Forbes, the Investopedia article is effectively touting the validity of Forbes as a resource.
Eventually, however, Google and the other search engines began confronting SEO manipulators who could, for instance, submit their website to a massive directory and get lots of backlinks in return.
Your business wants votes of confidence from other websites, but the quality of those votes matters more than the quantity. While search engines never reveal their full algorithms, search engines are increasingly more sophisticated at filtering out low-quality links.
Tactics for Link Building
New links – even high-quality links – do not immediately improve your search rankings. You need to work on them over time.
One tactic that may help is to hire an SEO agency. Some companies specialize in SEO improvement, and they deploy a team of professional link builders to help clients receive quality inbound hyperlinks.
If hiring an agency is too expensive or outside of your comfort zone, consider bringing in a talented freelancer or an SEO expert who can work on the task for you.