BY MARKET HARDWARE
In addition to basic onsite optimization tactics, "offsite link building" is proven to be the best way to build your Internet presence and drive more traffic to your website. For starters, any link to or from a credible website is an additional ‘credit’ in your favor — more evidence to search engines that your business is, in fact, real and reputable.
So, here are three questions to ask yourself when building links to and from your website:
1. DO YOU BELONG TO ANY ORGANIZATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS OTHER THAN AFA, OR DEAL WITH SPECIFIC VENDORS OR MANUFACTURERS?
Start there. On your website, list every affiliation or organization you belong to, as well as any vendors or manufacturers you deal with (AFA member Piedmont Fence Inc. offers a great example). Be sure that they’re not just listed as text, but also linked from your site (opening a new window – you don’t want to lose the user). Then, take it a step further by making sure any profile pages you have with these third parties list your website URL and link to you.
2. DO YOU KNOW OTHER LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS? (DO THEY REALLY LIKE YOU?)
Perfect! Link your website to theirs and arrange for them to link back to yours. One common example would be fence businesses that refer clients to businesses in complimentary industries, such as deck installers. Having credible local businesses linking to your site helps you build up your site’s local and Google-formula reputation.
3. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN INDUSTRY EXPERT WITH A PASSION FOR SHARING INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE? (THE KEY HERE IS THE ‘SHARING’ PART!)
Start an offsite blog, or pay someone to do this for you. Blogging not only gives you a chance to reach your customers on a more personal level, but it also gives you the chance to build links to your website from the blog. Write about topics your readers may be interested in, such as ‘repairing or replacing a fence: what’s best for you?’ Topics like this will demonstrate your industry expertise, show that you want to help others learn about best practices important in your field, and also drive traffic directly to your website.
Once you’ve built and consistently maintained an offsite blog, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to link back to your website and make yourself more reputable to search engines.
Search Engine Optimization does not need to be a complicated process. And ‘linking’ is one of several important and easy steps to getting a better ranking. Make sure you’re targeting the right search phrases, and building a solid network of links in and out of your website – then sit back and watch your search rankings improve over time.