- Website Development: How search engine friendly your website is
- Web Content: The quality of your content, the keywords that you use in your content and how you use them
- Inbound Links: The number and quality of links from other websites to your website.
In a lot of respects you rely on working with the right person to get the web development part right.
The content is the part that you have complete control over. You can either learn the basics of SEO Copywriting yourself (this article on The Minimalist Guide to Incredibly Effective SEO Copywriting is a great place to start) or work with a SEO Copywriter.
Once your website is set up and your copy is sorted, next you need to build inbound links.
Why are inbound links important?
Having a lot of high quality links from other websites to your website shows search engines that your website is important.
In this interview, Matt Cutts from Google says
Google ranks sites based on popularity. If authoritative sites link to you, you must be good, and therefore you get to the top of the list.
Personally I also think that links count because they are hard to get, and if you put in time and energy to get them, you must be serious about your website being successful 🙂
When it comes to building links, how do you find the low hanging fruit?
The list below was inspired by a presentation by Jim Boykin of Internet Marketing Ninjas on Link Building Basics at the SMX Melbourne conference.
1. By asking
Ask your suppliers. Ask your business contacts. Ask the people that you know.
As long as they have a website (and particularly if they have a website that ranks well in search engines), ask if they will add a link to your website.
2. Through organisations and associations that you are a member of
Many organisations offer a member directory where you can list the details of your business plus a link to your website.
3. By searching online
Look for free directories that list local businesses. Google Places, True Local and Hot Frog are three good ones to start with.
Also check out your local council website. Many offer to list local businesses in an online directory.
4. By creating link bait
Link bait is high quality content that other website owners will be enticed to link to. Have a look at all the content you already have (particularly your offline content) and think about how you could use it, or re-purpose it, and share it on your website.
Here are some ideas for the type of content you can create:
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Informative articles
- Case Studies
- Survey results
- Recorded webinars
- Slide presentations.
Attract links to your content by:
- Making sure the quality is high
- Offering something unique that your readers and target audience will find interesting enough to share
- Letting as many people as possible know your content exists by sharing it content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, article sharing sites and wherever else you can think of.
5. By seeking out guest blogging opportunities
Guest blogging involves writing articles for someone else’s blog. As the author you can add your bio at the end of the article, along with a link to your website.
Build relationships with other bloggers in your niche via social media like Twitter and when the time is right, find out if they are interested in a guest blog from you.
Decide what your best options are and go for it
OK sure, so the first few suggestions might be hanging a bit lower than the final ones but I hope I’ve given you at least a few practical options that you can build into your online marketing plan.
Anything that you do to build links that involves adding new content to your website also helps to optimse it by:
- adding pages to your website (which makes it bigger and adds authority)
- adding more keywords
- giving search engines (and people) a reason to come back regularly.
Ideally, keywords should be used as the link text
Where possible, get people to use your keywords as the link text, rather than your your business name (if your business name is carefully chosen to include your keywords, then its win-win).
- In this article by Melinda of Click-Winning Content, who provides web copywriting services to small businesses.
- In this article by Melinda of Click-Winning Content.
And here’s my least favourite link text:
- Click here to read more in this article by Melinda of Click-Winning Content.
Until next time
P.S. Are you ready to take your website marketing to the next level?
Join the Website Boot Camp and get practical advice about what makes a great website, web copywriting, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress.
We’re talking truly practical tips that you’ll be able to use straight away. It’s all held live and online and will also be recorded for your viewing pleasure.
Melinda aka Mel is a Premier Google Partner, AdWords & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer and co-owner of Click-Winning Content. Mel provides results-driven services to Australian businesses and is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first. She also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets. Please connect at the links below.