For any small business, backlinks are a vital component of Search Engine Optimization. Backlinks are links that are found in other websites pointing to your own. When search engines find these links from a trustworthy site linking to your site they gain confidence in your page. In order to help your page rise in search engine results you will need to start linking your site to more authoritative and trusted sites. You will also need to have backlinks with more relevant context to your pages content.
Quality of backlinks counts more than quantity of backlinks. For example it is better to have 10 quality backlinks than 10,000 bad ones. From authoritative and trustworthy sites, the quality backlinks are basically an endorsement of your web content. Google will view a link as a quality link when the anchor text, content of the article and the page being linked to it has the same topic. Having that kind of link helps your position in search engine results.
The sites to pursue should be legitimate, non-spam sites within the same subject matter as your site. Quality content will always attract quality links. Writing interesting blogs that are also controversial, useful, funny, or current creates linkbait, which is content that others want to link to and share on their facebook pages, twitter streams, on their blogs, or other online forums. Search engines will see these links as endorsements of your content.
Offering something valuable in return will help you get quality links. By creating unique, valuable content that contains an anchor text or a link to your site and offering it to another site will help you gain a quality backlink. Offer writing guest blogs that are relevant to your business and in the post add a backlink to your site. Always do your research first. This will guarantee you know the site’s target audience. It may also be beneficial to offer guest posts on topics you know people are searching at any moment.
Link exchanges also known as reciprocal links are not worth your time. This can be described as having a friend link to your site and you linking to theirs. Google will think that you are trying to manipulate the system and it will not be considered a quality link. It is advisable that you stay away from link exchanges to ensure quality links to your site.
It is a great idea to get listed in online directories, especially the ones relevant to your business. The web has countless directories which will include a backlink to your site and list your business by one or more categories. It is important to look for human-edited directories because search engines are more likely to give links from those sites a bit more weight than the ones that allow you to add the listing yourself. The most valuable listings are from directories specific to your business. Not only will this get you potential SEO lift from your link, but your target customers are more likely to see it.
Buying links is not a bad thing, but be smart about it. Link building is time consuming. There are a lot of businesses out there that offer to do SEO work for you, but be careful. It would not be beneficial for your site if the SEO firm you choose gets backlinks from suspicious and spam sites because it can actually cause you to be penalized by search engines.