SEO Link Building and Business Development

Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are constantly changing as we chase the SE’s latest algorithms and try to keep up with what Google wants from us.  As search engine marketers, we have to always be on top of the best practices and guidelines in order to properly serve our clients and ensure that the strategies used are sound.

The greatest part about SEO these days is that its less about repetitive activity (though that is still a big part of it) and more like business development (in my opinion).  SEO has become more and more natural and it all starts with adding real value to the web by creating a site with good content.  These days good content can and should come in the form of all kinds of media:  blogs, articles, video, podcasts, etc.  The SE’s are giving rankings to sites that really have that “wow” factor when it comes to valuable unique content.

All of the basic rules still apply and things like having good site structure/site maps, unique content, and solid link building strategies are the foundation of any good SEO effort.  The on-page portion is of course all about continually adding fresh content for your users (content that is relevant and hopefull educational).  The off-page portion has become the mosty important ongoing effort in the form of link building.

Link popularity is about building solid inbound links from relevant websites.  The more quality links you have the more “votes” of assurance Google will notice and the rankings will follow.  The days of link trading and link farms are over as we all know.  Follow those practices or any unnatural method for building links and you could find yourself sitting on the search engine sidelines for a long time.

Below are some initial steps to beginning your link building effort:

  • Build a healthy content rich website that adds value to your online community
  • Submit your site to all the top directories
  • Purchase key “paid” links
  • Always SEO optimize your press releases before sending

The rest of your link building effort is where it gets tricking and time consuming.  As stated above, the best link building strategies are natural and well planned.  Use some of the steps below to get started once you have completed the steps above:

  • Run Google searches using your targeted keywords
  • Find sites that are relevant and similar but not competing
  • Call or email the webmaster and formall request that they link to your site
  • Offer reasons and benefits (consider offering to link to them as well but don’t over do the “link trading”)
  • If you have other websites with related material or partner companies, make sure they are linking to your website
  • Use anchor text when setting up the links and try to have the link coming from the home page or other powerful pages on their website
  • Set up a blog and contribute to other people’s blogs – once you are a trusted source you can start throwing some links in as long as they are relevant and the page on your site you are linking to offers additonal value to the reader

The key to these efforts is that you simply have to commit the time to do it.  Google will usually only recognize a fraction of the links you build so make sure you are going after quality, not quantity.

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