SEO: Link Building for Small Businesses
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – In this post we’ll examine the criterion that Google uses to rank websites, and how smart link building will make websites popular and businesses more profitable.
There are approximately 200 points of criteria that Google uses to determine the ranking for any website, but these can be condensed into three basic categories: content, relevancy and popularity. All three are important, but it’s popularity that ultimately wins high ranking. And good links will win popularity.
“Link building is the cornerstone of any successful search engine optimization campaign,” says SEO expert Ali Husayni, CEO of Sinai Marketing. “No matter how great your website looks or how great its content, without links your website will not rank on Google.”
The formula itself is relatively simple: the more high quality websites link to your website, the more popular your website will become. And it’s important to know that not all links are created equal.
It’s no difficult feat for a small business to find or buy scores of cheap links, but that’s a flawed SEO strategy to be avoided. Google employs sophisticated anti-spam filters and algorithms that can quickly identify low quality, shady or “bad neighborhood” links, and will promptly penalize a site by dropping its ranking.
One problematic strategy is “reciprocal linking,” where businesses link back to each other. That can actually negate the value of a link and drop the site’s rankings. Some more examples of links to avoid can be found here.
The key is to create quality and relevant links. This is the very core of ecommerce SEO and Sinai Marketing’s niche. For more than nine years, Husayni has worked with Google platforms and is at the forefront in understanding the latest criterion that Google rewards.
Relationship building is critical to successful link building.
“Being engaged in or sponsoring any kind of community activity as a business owner can be a great advantage,” says Husayni, “if those organizations link back to your website or your services.” Likewise, building partnerships and relationships with other non-competitive businesses can be a good way to garner links to your site. Joining trade groups, belonging to the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce can also generate good links that will get high rankings.
Advertising with other websites is another good choice for quality link building, and also getting articles published about your business that link to your site. An important nuance in that regard is to ensure those links are properly optimized. It’s also advantageous for small businesses to instigate their own public relations and place releases and articles for publication. Think of it as the place where PR and SEO meet.
The company blog is an important PR vehicle in establishing your website as an authoritative source. The first step for any small business looking to employ a SEO campaign is to use its website as a publishing outlet, and that’s another essential service that top SEO company Sinai Marketing provides. “If they don’t already have a website, we build one and embed a WordPress blog for them,” says Husayni, “and we help them to keep that blog up to date.”
Listing your company in business directories and on Google + local pages is also a great way to advertise and establish links. It gives you another outlet to get the word out about your business and provides an opportunity to build your audience. Google + also presents an opportunity to set up authorship and create a personal profile, which is a service we provide for all Sinai Marketing clients.
SEO opportunities present themselves frequently, and we stay on top of all of them. If you’re a small business owner who handles your own Internet marketing, subscribe to the Sinai Marketing blog to stay abreast of the latest in SEO.