Search engines know that they can’t make judgements about quality of websites as well as humans can on some levels. Bing doesn’t know how beautiful your pictures are, Google can’t gauge the lyricism of your writing or the accuracy of your information. Because of this, the major search engines use links as part of their ranking systems. Each link given to your website by a human being is a vote of confidence, showing that your website is valuable. Links can also drive traffic to your website.
If your site is excellent and useful, people will give you links. Eventually, your company can expect to receive links naturally, as people link to your website in the course of communicating with their readers.
Eventually, your company can also expect to gain customers through sheer unrequested word of mouth. Are you willing to wait for that to take place, or are you doing a little bit of marketing?
Just so, a little bit of linkbuilding is wise. There are people who won’t see your site unless you tell them about it, even though they would happily give you a link if they knew you existed. There are sites that rely on your taking the initiative to share your information in the form of a link. There’s nothing wrong with communicating with these people.
Here are ten quick ways to add a backlink to your site, next time you take a coffee break.
- Update your site with some linkworthy content. Can you add a blog post, a news report, a photo of a new product, or an article from your last company newsletter? Great content may take you longer than a coffee break to create, but you might have some lying around the office, or that ten minutes might be long enough to let you shoot a suggestion off to your web content writer.
- Add an honest review at a review site. There are hundreds of review sites out there. You can’t review your own company, of course, but you might be able to review a product that you use in your business, an item that you sell, software you use, or even something you’ve chosen not to use. You can also go to review sites and identify people who post well written, sincere reviews, and send them a sample or invite them to try out your service. Requesting a review is something you can probably fit into your coffee break time.
- Make a social media profile. Having an inactive Twitter account is worse than having no Twitter account at all, but there are plenty of social media sites out there where you can build a profile, get a link, and leave the page, as you might make a directory page. Link to your website.
- Google your company. If you don’t keep up with your linkbuilding on a regular basis, there are probably some places where your company is listed without a link to your website. Correct a couple of those while you sip your caffeine delivery system of choice.
- Google your top customer question. Chances are good that someone in some forum or answer site has asked that question. Go be helpful and answer it. You may have to do that a few times before you get a chance to drop a link, but webmasters don’t grudge helpful people an occasional link, so watch for that chance to say, “You can find more information about this at…” and give a link to that useful page on the website.
- Check your competitors’ backlinks. Use a service like Blekko to check out backlinks. A search for “URL/inbound” will give you a look at a percentage of any websites inlinks — not all or even most, but more than Google or Bing will show you. Find a website that links to sites like yours but hasn’t yet linked to your site, and ask ‘em for that link.
- Think of your vendors or partners. If you sell products, the companies that make those products should have links to your website at their websites. Identify someone who doesn’t and ask for a link.
- Find citations and ask for a link. If someone has talked about you without linking to you, that’s a citation. It’s good for your site to have citations. However, it’s better to have links. Thank the webmaster for the citation and ask if they’d be willing to make it into a link.
- Look for lists. They may not be directories, but many websites have lists. Libraries may have a list of good sites for information on your subject, blogs may have lists of companies like yours or shops in your neighborhood — there are lots out there. Find one where you think you ought to be, and ask for inclusion on the list.
- Build a lens or hubpage. You can’t write a Wikipedia page for your own company, but Squidoo wants every company to have a lens. You get a link, too. This may take you more than one coffee break, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll finish.
Frankly, these things aren’t quick for everyone. We recently tried out several different linkbuilders for a few hours each, and we found that some people achieve only one or two quality links an hour, not the four or five we do. Part of that is experience and skills, part is having the right tools and the right databases. If these things take you longer than a coffee break, then you might be wiser to hire someone like us to do it for you. Contact Rosie at info@HadenInteractive.com to get started.