Ok, welcome back & now that you understand what you need to do to fix your website, we need to focus on another really important aspect which is to make sure that Google starts to see your website appearing in a number of different places across the internet.
This is a process referred to as link building. As you about to discover, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. We are going to show you step by step how to master this important task and get good quality links to your website.
Before we jump in though, a question that often crops up is whether or not you should wait until you re-design your website before making all these changes. The answer is an unqualified no. These are changes that can not wait – they need to be made ASAP. Let’s focus on getting the traffic first & then you can look at the design & improving conversions.
Another really important point to understand is that link building is a gradual, ongoing process. It is not a big bang approach. The intention is not to get 5,000 links in a month & then relax & wait for the traffic. That’s unnatural & it would appear suspicious to Google. Just take your time, follow our step by step process & you will see the results soon enough.
Link Building – Like an Election
First up, a quick reminder of what Link Building is and why it’s important. In our book The Lazy Website Syndrome we explained that links are like votes in a popularity contest. Basically more links = more votes = higher ranking.
But…Has Been Abused
However, the system has been open to all sorts of abuse, so these days you need to be careful to ensure that the links that you build are of good quality and are genuine.
Google in particular has updated its algorithms in recent years to address this type of manipulation. The most important were the Panda & Penguin updates & this was done to preserve the integrity of their search results from underhand tactics.
Avoid Theses Tactics
I’ve just got a few examples of techniques that have well & truly been kicked into touch & you should definitely avoid these:
- Mass Automated Directory Submission
- Article Marketing
- Paid Links
- (Blind) Competitive Linking
- Forum Signature Spamming
- Link Wheels, etc..
To help you understand better, you should try to approach Link Building in the same way that you would when making friends. You don’t have to be friends with absolutely everyone you meet. You want to find out a little bit more about people first. They say that the people that you most closely associate yourself with, says a lot about your character and the same is true with the links you build online.
We want to make sure that you exercise a degree of discretion when choosing links
and we will show you how to do this.
Link Building Starts At Home
When we looked at keywords previously we said that it is like an open book exam. Well, that also applies to the links within your own website.
If you have a website with more than one page (& I sincerely hope that you do) then you will need to use links to enable people to navigate around from page to page. Well in the same way that humans need to know which link to click to get to a particular page, Google needs help as well.
So your starting point is to check EVERY link in your website & make sure that you are linking to all of your pages.
Also, you must take care to use your keywords as the “Anchor Text” for each link.
All that anchor text is the text that you click on when you link to another page. So instead of using the words “click here” to go to a page about red widgets, use the anchor text “red widgets” as the text that you would click on to go to that page.
Again, use the accompanying Workbook to help you & there is a detailed explanation & a form to help you organise your links.
The Perfect Link
Here is what the html looks like, but unless you have ambitions to be a web designer you don’t need to worry too much about this.
In this example here though you can see that we are linking to a page called:
& we are using the anchor text:
painting and decorating equipment
so that is the keyword phrase that we are using & that is why we use it as the anchor text as it is better than just say, “equipment” or “tools”. It is very specific & this helps google.
Off Page Techniques
Moving on, offering testimonials for your main suppliers is a great way to get links to your website. It is also very often over looked by most people so that is extra reason for you to do it.
When you sit down to think about it, it is actually quite surprising how many companies are involved in providing services – even to a small business.
In the workbook we have included a list of suppliers a typical business may use to give you some ideas to get you started.
You need to follow a step by step process for doing this & we have included this in the workbook as well as a form to keep a record of this.
You shouldn’t build your entire link building platform on this technique, but it is a very overlooked approach.
We show you the right way to maximise your chances of getting a great testimonial link. You just need to make sure that your testimonial is genuine & is tailored to that particular supplier – don’t just cut & paste a template testimonial for all suppliers.
Don’t just say “great service, great people, definitely recommend them” – make it specific to their service & give examples of the benefits to you.
As with all link building, slowly but surely is the order of the day & don’t hassle people to link to you. Just accept what they offer, but do keep track of them using the form in the workbook to keep you focused.
Next up we are going to look at Authority Directories.
Getting listed in directories is a pretty easy way to build some links back to your site. The thing is that as with many things in life, not all directories are created equal!
There are certain highly respected directories which are Authority Directories in Google’s eyes, so a link from these is definitely worth getting.
So far, so good.
The downside is that some of them are paid for, but they are definitely worth it if you have the budget. If you think about how much your time is worth, then it does make sense to spend some money on this. Link building does take time and links from these sites carry far more weight than many other websites that will link to you.
That said, you should not just submit to these and then put your feet up. You should ideally get links from a wide range of sites. If you only have links from high PR sites like these directories, then it can look a bit strange.
Basically, use these links as part of your overall link building strategy.
You will find a list of recommended Directories in your workbook so you can keep track of your submissions.
Now we move on to Local Directories.
More Local Directories
There are two types of local directories:
- National Directories that allow you to search on local suppliers
- Local directories that will only list suppliers in a specific geographic area (eg: within a county or city)
Whichever you choose, they are another easy win. Many of them will offer a free listing, although there may be some limitations. Have a browse through them to see the types of free listing that they offer to see if they allow you to link back to your website.
As stated above, there is no need to charge in like a bull in a china shop trying to get hundreds of links.
We have given you a list of National directories to get you started & there are a couple of forms to help you keep track of progress.
OK, on to Niche Directories & in most markets or industries there will be a number of tightly focused directories which specifically list companies related to that market or niche.
In this case this is the directory for adventure sports for the elderly. But seriously, there will usually be very tightly focused directories that you should look to get listed in.
Again, a listing here gives Google a clear indication of what it is that you do. The more signals Google picks up on, especially from authority websites in the industry, the more likely it is that your website will be presented in its search results pages.
Directories – A Word Of Caution
Again, a word of caution: As an expert in your field, we encourage you to use your discretion when selecting the directories to get listed in. Do they look credible? Are there features and articles by recognized experts? Is it what you would consider an ‘Industry Authority Website’ or is it a money making attempt to get a few business owners to pay for a link to their website?
The key question you need to ask yourself when assessing niche directories is: “As an expert, do I find this website to be useful and credible?” If the answer is anywhere between “no” and “I’m not sure” then we recommend that you move on.
Another key point to bear in mind is whether or not the Directory will accept listings from businesses not in your niche. If they don’t then this signifies that the directory has a high degree of integrity and should be considered. If they let anyone list their website in their listings then that is not a good sign.
As with Local Directories a quick search in Google will throw up some examples.
The final word on Niche Directories is that we recommend that you go for quality rather than quantity here.
Never overlook the power of local traffic and Google Places is a brilliant way to get targeted, focused local traffic. The important thing is that if you are a bricks and mortar business then Google Places gives you the opportunity to get a top listing quickly.
As mobile internet really takes off this is going to be an increasingly important area to focus on.
In your workbook we show you how to optimise your listing for the best results, but in summary make sure that you complete the following:
Optional Fields (email, URL, Descr. Categories)
Photos (you, premises, products, etc..)
Link to Social Media
Full Description (incl. keywords – naturally)
Promote your listing to your clients
You may actually notice that that the companies that appear at the top of the Google Places listings tend to have received a few reviews from customers, but…
Google Places – A Word of Caution
…again, a word of caution: If you feel tempted to get friends or family to post loads of reviews, this is likely to raise the alarm bells at Google. At worst your listing could be removed altogether.
As with all of our techniques we strongly encourage you to build things in a steady and NATURAL manner. If you jump from zero reviews to 300 in a week you are asking for trouble.
Link Building – Checklist
OK, so that is more than enough to get you started & there is a handy checklist in the Workbook to keep you focused.
Always bear in mind though that this is a steady process to be performed over time.
But also remember that the vast majority of your competitors won’t be doing this so you have a great opportunity here.
Next Up… The One Thing Your Competitors Are Frightened Of Doing (& Why you MUST Do This)
OK, so next up you’re going to learn a really powerful technique that is going to completely set you apart from the competition because they will just not do this.
So I’ll see you in the next video then.