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Link Building for Small Business SEO

One of the staples of great SEO is link building. Getting quality inbound links from other authoritative websites needs to be priority if you want to get the most out of your site. The key words here are ‘quality’ and ‘authoritative’. Link building does not mean buying links from link farms, nor does it mean to have unrelated links from unrelated sites, just to say that you have inbound links. There are two basic components of a good link, first is the structure of the link. This means that link has good anchor text and it is pointing to the correct page. The second, and more difficult component, is identifying what other sites or types of sites are considered related and authoritative. Good inbound links that come from popular and important websites matter, as well as links from websites that are local to your area and are related to your business. More recently, links shared socially are becoming more significant. If you recall, earlier we mentioned that quality content often gets referenced by other websites. Assuming those other websites are legitimate information sources, these are good websites to get inbound links. If you are able to guest blog on other industry sites, make sure that you get a link to your website. If you are referenced by a news source or other informative website, those are good inbound links. It is also important that your links stay fresh. Simply because you garnered some good links early on, their strength declines over time. Conversely, do not fall into the trap of buying links or using spam links. The search engines are smart enough to know you are linking to and from spam sites and they use this to determine how trustworthy your site is and you will be penalized. Be wary of people wanting swap links with you. This is very rarely a good idea.

There are additional inbound links that you can control yourself. As a business owner there are several places your name or business name are listed without even trying. Make sure that you review your information on websites such as these and add your website on as many as possible. Most small business owners are members of several local organizations and each of those have a member list, make sure your website is listed on those as well.

In conjunction with inbound links your profiles on these other websites offer citations for your business. Citations are mentions of your business on other authority or directory webpages, such as your local chamber of commerce or YP.com. These mentions and/or links are a critical component of both Bing and Google’s search ranking algorithms. These citations help the search engines verify your existence and offer a ‘proof of life’ to the search engines that you are a real business. Citations and links from websites like SuperPages.com, Switchboard.com and Kudzu.com will make the difference in your website’s success in the local search results.

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