Being a small business right now is tougher than it’s ever been. Business owners are looking for a leg up on the competition and one way they can do that is by expanding their online reach.
They say pandemics accelerate existing trends already in progress, which means more people than ever are going online to research products and services. The best way for your business to be found online is to make sure your website is as search engine friendly as possible (a.k.a. appeasing the Google gods)
One of the best ways to do that: Link building.
WHAT IS LINK BUILDING?
Simply put, link building is the process of acquiring links to your website from other websites.
A link placed on another website that directs to your website is called an “inbound link” and a link placed on your website directing to another website is called an “outbound link”.
Beware, not all inbound links are created equal. Different websites have different quality scores and some inbound links could even hurt your website depending on where it’s coming from. More on link building strategy below.
WHY IS LINK BUILDING IMPORTANT?
The most obvious benefit is the additional traffic your website will get from people clicking on the inbound links and coming to your website, but that’s not the biggest benefit.
Google uses links in two ways:
- They use them to find new websites while they are crawling existing websites.
- They use them to help determine how a website should be ranked in search results.
Let’s focus on that 2nd point.
Google keeps the specifics of their proprietary search ranking algorithm a secret (picture Fort Knox), but one thing most digital marketers agree on is how important it is for your website to have as many quality inbound links as possible.
The more quality inbound links you have the more likely it will be for your website to show high on Google search results when someone is searching for your product(s) or service(s).
Why? Quality inbound links = credibility.
Think of it like someone vouching for a restaurant. The more people you respect that recommend a restaurant the more likely it is that you will try it. Conversely, if no one is recommending it or only a few people you don’t respect are recommending it, you probably won’t pay it much attention.
When Google sees a high number of inbound links (a.k.a. recommendations) to your website (a.k.a. a restaurant) coming from many high-quality websites (a.k.a. people you respect) they think “this website must contain valuable information if all of these sites are sending people to it. Let’s show it to more people in search results because I’m betting they will also find it valuable.”
WHAT IS THE BEST LINK BUILDING STRATEGY?
The good news about link building is that if you have enough time and a decent understanding of how link building works, there is some you can do yourself right now.
Start with the easy stuff first:
No matter what your location or industry there is bound to be some directories you can get your business listed in. These aren’t always the highest quality links but they are inbound links you can acquire easily and they will not hurt your website.
2. Businesses or organizations you’re involved with.
These can be clients, suppliers, vendors, community organizations you support etc. Anyone with a quality website that in some way is affiliated with your business.
Approach them and ask if they’d be interested in a link swap where they add a link on their website directing to yours and you would do the same back to them.
Need help educating them on the importance of link building? Send them this article.
There are other more advanced methods of link building such as guest post blogging, paid niche link building etc., but those are usually best left up to professional digital marketers.
Most digital marketers agree that high-quality link building is one of the toughest parts of their job and requires an ongoing long-term effort to be successful. However, if they’re telling you there isn’t anything you can do on your own for link-building they’re not being truthful.
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.