For search engines such as Google and Bing, that spend their time crawling the enormous megalopolis simply called “the web”, links can be described as streets located between pages. By using a rather sophisticated link analysis, search engines are able to determine how some pages are connected with each other and in what shape and form.
Since the end of the last century, engines have considered links as votes for both importance and popularity in the eyes of the demographics on the web. Also, search engines have perfected the way in which link data is used. Nowadays, Google and Bing make use of elaborate algorithms in order to conduct thorough evaluations of websites and pages based on this information.
And while SEO has to do with far more than just links, search professionals believe that link-related aspects play a significant part in the search engines’ algorithms. Links help search engines determine the popularity of a website or a page based on the reputation and number of pages linked to it. Still, the algorithm also takes into account other metrics such as trust, authority and spam. Almost in every case, websites that are considered trustworthy will provide links to other trustworthy sites, whereas spam sites are bound to receive not that many links from trustworthy sources.
Nowadays, since Google is starting to penalize each and every link-building method, small businesses with online channels struggle even more to gain momentum and create a solid and high-quality linking strategy. Thus, to put it in layman’s terms, the degree of creativity you show will determine the level of SEO success your business will register.
So what should small businesses do in this case and how will they be able to obtain trustworthy links for their sites?
The first thing you need to understand is that people require unique tools to facilitate their work or make their life a lot easier. And although some tools can be sold as you would sell a product, remember that there are quite a lot of smaller tools that could prove useful but they may not be converted into a business.
If you are looking to get the word out there about your company through press releases, avoid spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on PR distribution companies. Rather, consider using Facebook ads in order to target potential journalists you are trying to reach. Nowadays, press releases do not mean all that much if you are not Apple, Microsoft or Samsung. And getting the word out there to the journalists has become a lot harder.
But how do you know which journalists are you trying to reach? An extensive research is required. See which journalists usually touch upon subjects pertaining to your industry, see if they are on Facebook and find their profile IDs. Lastly, create Facebook ads and target the specific Facebook profiles of the journalists. This method is not only far more effective, but it will also save you a pretty penny.
Be on the lookout for local sponsorships. If you are the proud owner of a small business and you cater to a specific public that lives in a specific geographic area, a great way to benefit from some outstanding SEO impact is by means of backlinks from neighborhood or town organizations.
And this is extremely easy to do. For example, you could host or sponsor events. As a first step you could conduct a backlink analysis of the competition and determining which links were obtained through sponsorships, whether digital or local ones. After determining the best events for your company, the only thing you need to do is to allocate a corresponding budget.
Create a fun tool especially for linking. Business owners shouldn’t always be looking to create extremely useful tools or resources to earn links. In some cases, creating something that is fun will also bring links as well.
What Blue Fountain Media did to win 50 extra links can be considered a stroke of genius. They decided to install a playable version of Pac-Man on the website’s 404 page. And given the fact that visitors were taken by surprise, quite a lot of them enjoyed this idea so much that they decided to hyperlink to the site.
Determine which businesses are extinct. Yes, brand new businesses are created every day. Still, a lot of existing ones die as well. Believe it or not, quite a lot of websites still exist even though the industry they pertain to has been shut down for some time now. By analyzing their backlinks profiles, specialists are able to find a number of links from trustworthy websites that are linking to the defunct website. Thus, if your website has any outdated links, make sure to replace or eliminate them altogether.
Have you ever considered something as unique as transforming copyright violations into linking opportunities? Small companies that own their content, such as event organizers or photographers have a lot to lose if, let’s say, their photos or videos are uploaded to other websites without their permission.
Instead of telling them you are going to see them in court and trying to start a lawsuit, why not perceive the situation as an opportunity of having them link back to your site. This can easily be done by simply dragging with the help of your mouse your images from the folder to the Google search bar. By doing this simple thing you are able to see which sites use your images either with or without your permission.
Last but not least, barter services can be a great link-building opportunity. Based on your company’s industry, there surely are services within your field that you can provide to other websites in exchange for a link.