Your link profile is still one of the most important most daunting aspects of SEO. It is the aspect that people new to SEO have the most difficulty with understanding but is probably the most difficult, most expensive, and hardest part of SEO. The good news is that often by sitting down for an hour and focusing on the C’s I discuss below, a smaller business can be well on their way to generating the link profile to get them the beginning of a web presence.
In general, you will want to build links as part of your business and marketing process. Always keep in mind a potential link in any marketing aspect you do. The reason google values links is that it views them as a “virtual referral” that gives more credibility to your business. That stems from real world relationships. Therefore, just keep in mind your link profile when dealing with your “real world” relationships.
You could read up for hours about link building and having a diverse link profile and quality links but we are here to just get you started with that base coat that every business should have, so I re-visit the 3C’s and add a potential new one here.
- Current Relationships: Think about all of the relationships that your business and those within your business have online and make sure there is a link for them. Are you a member of an industry organization or a distributor for a certain brand. Make sure your link exists on their sites if they offer it. Write down all of these relationships and reach out to make sure they have included your link on their site.
- Community: Look within the community for relationships you have. This can also include business relationships from above like chamber memberships, but also includes community activities. Do you have employees that are part of a runners club or have you helped sponsor a local 5K or other type of event. Make sure you get google “credit” for these by getting a link on the event site or local organization site. If you are on the board or help with some other charity organization and they have profiles of their members, see if you can get your link on there. They all lend credibility to you and your organization.
- Competitors: Take a look at sites that link to your competitors. Sometimes, with this tactic you will need to have an SEO use a paid tool for you but can usually get lists of competitor links for pretty cheap or you can get a tool for a short period of time. See what good links your competitor has. If you are doing the same thing, it is likely you can also get these links. Maybe they are members of an organization you can join and you didn’t realize how valuable that link was. Maybe they are BBB accredited and you didn’t think to do that. You may see a lot of possibilities here and these tools will show you how strong each link is as well so you can prioritize.
- College: So this is a potential 4th C. Many universities have alumni profile pages. Look into this. A .edu link is a powerful vote of credibility for you. If your school offers profile pages like this, make sure you take advantage of them. They are great links to have. So much so that algorithm adjustments have been made just because people have tried to game the system by paying students to get .edu links. If it is a legitimate link from an .edu it is a great link to have.
Sit down and write all of these relationships down and then follow up and make sure you are getting credit for these links. For some businesses, along with good on page SEO, this can be enough to start to show up on the first page for some local based search terms. Then call me when you need more link stregth.