Easy SEO Tips Part 2: Link Building

In last week’s blog post, I explored why SEO is important for virtually every rental business, and how  even the least tech-savvy among us can make real improvements by creating directory listings on sites including Google Places, Facebook and Yelp.

Let’s pause there for a moment, because the previous paragraph encompasses the topic of today’s post. Links — yes, those simple, unassuming words underlined in blue — are one of the most critical factors when it comes to boosting your SEO power. And just like creating directory listings, you don’t need to be technically-oriented to be successful in this endeavor. All you need is knowledge of your industry and of issues and topics that are relevant to your customers.

The SEO site Moz describes the importance of links best: If you think of the web as a city, search engines like Google use links as the streets between webpages. Google’s “brain” walks (or sprints) down these streets to teach itself how pages are related to each other and in what ways. Search engines have treated links as “votes” for popularity and indicators for trustworthiness. Sites like Wikipedia or the New York times always rank high in search results because so many people link to them, indicating they are authoritative sources. Thus growing your “link profile” is, according to Moz, “among the top tasks required for search ranking and traffic success.”

Here are two manageable steps to help you get started on your quest.

  1. Link Within Your Site

An internal link is one that points to another page on your website. Among the reasons why internal linking matters, it helps people navigate through your website and defines the architecture and hierarchy of your website for Google’s “spiders.” So how do you do this?

  • Don’t bother linking to your homepage or your contact us page. Focus on the pages that are deeper in your website, like product pages, blog posts or customer testimonials.
  • When you use links, use them wisely. Incorporate keywords that are relevant to the link as part of the hyperlink, and use natural language. If you want to link to a video on lawn care tips and techniques, create the hyperlink using those keywords; avoid using generic text, e.g., “watch video.”

 If you want to read more on this topic, the analytics vendor Kiss Metrics outlines “Seven Commandments of Internal Linking.”

  1. Get External Links

What is the most crucial component for SEO success, you are surely wondering? Many SEO genius-types believe that external links, where other sites link to yours, are the single most important source of ranking power. So, how do you go about link building, as it’s called? There are a number of tactics, though all depend on one thing: useful, interesting content.

  • If you have great content on your site, people will want to link to it on their own. And great content does not require a 60-page eBook, or an expensively produced video, or a high-resolution image. Of course, those things don’t hurt. But what matters is that you have content that your customers are interested in, that helps them decide what to forklift to rent or what tent will work best for their wedding. So if that’s a conversational blog post where you talk about your best forklift or a smartphone video of you showcasing your tents, what matters is that your customers (and potential customers) want to read or watch it. So, get out your great content, and get more exposure by emailing it to customers and posting it on social media. If the content is valuable, your customers will want to share it, and the Googles of the world will take notice.
  • If you have high-quality content, other sites will want to link to yours. The value of accumulating these links cannot be understated. If an authoritative site, say, Honda Power Equipment, RER Magazine, or even your local chamber of commerce, links to your site, then that is a golden ticket to higher SEO rankings. You can even reach out directly to site administrators, bloggers or any other influential person and ask them to link to your site. Here’s the catch: nobody wants to link to mediocre content, so make sure yours is worthy. Want to learn more? The site Shout has a list of 25 ways to get inbound links.

SEO Linkbuilding Backlinks

 

In short, the importance of using links on your site and, most importantly, getting others to link to you, is paramount. And it doesn’t even take a genius. In the next “Easy SEO” post, we’ll go through some pointers on creating content that will further help you on the road to SEO victory.

Written by Kate Miller, Marketing Manager at InTempo Software. Kate is SEO-Certified by the Direct Marketing Association and Inbound Marketing-Certified by HubSpot

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