Another vital buzzword when it comes to driving traffic to your website is Backlinks. It is essential that you get to grips with these as they really can help make a step change in your visitor volumes.
A backlink is a link your website gets from another company's website. They create a hyperlink referring to your website URL. When a visitor to their website clicks on this link, they are taken directly to your website.
Its a simple form of referral from one website to another website's content.
Link building is important as Google uses the number of people linking to your website as an indicator of your business popularity.
The more popular you are, the more people who will naturally want to link to you and share your wonderful content. It is also a great indicator to google that you are highly relevant to your audience for the topic you are known for and talking about.
For example - take the BBC - a globally known, credible and popular news corporation. It's News website achieves literally hundreds and thousands of people linking (referring) to it's website address on an hourly basis.
Whether it is people linking to their latest news articles in Twitter or writing a thought led piece which references the latest interview conducted by the BBC. It is because they are constantly referred to (linked to) by others, that Google becomes aware that they are a popular source for many people globally. They are therefore considered, or "ranked" high in "authority".
You want your business to become known for being high in authority - an expert - for your particular topic don't you? Exactly. So planning out exactly how you will complete your link building, must become a key part of your online business building strategy this year.
Years ago there used to be pages of random links added to sites, long lists of other companies with no reference or reason, but now search engines have got wise to this, and each link needs to be natural and not forced or artificial.
The bottom line is the quality of the link is what matters, not the quantity.
A good example of a suitable link might be a wedding planner who links to a wedding venue, or vice-versa this is a natural link and valuable to the business and it's customers.
Growing your traffic volumes is vital to the lifeblood of any online business, as you need to keep expanding your unique, fresh visitors to grow sales. Traffic (visitors) is the online equivalent of footfall outside a physical shop.
All online businesses will have an element of existing repeat trade but if you are looking to expand your sales (and you should be), then you need to reach out to find new customers. You need to engage with them and bring those new potential customers to your website to learn more about you and hopefully buy your products and services.
This means reaching out via new channels, and someone else’s website could well have a captured audience in a similar target market - think bride and groom’s to be as a potential audience for the wedding venue example above. Someone, somewhere will already have your perfect audience coming to their website right now... you just have to find them.
This audience will be looking for more than one service, they may not be ready to buy what you are selling right now, but if your business pops up and saves them search - you will raise awareness of your offering, make initial contact and hopefully capture their email / contact details which is a great start.
When the time comes when they are ready to buy, the aim is that you are still top of mind.
Let’s start with some things you definitely should not be doing. Firstly purchasing backlinks is seen as bad practice, link exchange networks and random directories as mentioned above, where there are pages of links with little to no relevance, and selling backlinks. Avoid.
If you are suspected of one of these crimes, search engines will firstly de-index your website so your search results and website won’t be seen, and they can even penalise you by dropping you from being found altogether.
You want to build these links naturally, for example a great link would be where you might get recommended by a blogger in your industry. This would show natural popularity and a natural recommendation.
Being proactive is the best way to start:
Always remember that your linking partner need to be a reputable website.
Which brings us neatly onto the next point, quality. In your link building strategy Quality matters.
You need to make sure your backlinks are coming from and going to websites with a domain authority (DA) ranking (this is a signal for quality) equal to or higher than yours.
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz which is based on predicting how high a website will rank in the search engine results page (SERPs).
You can check your own ranking and other sites DA on moz.com for free. (And that is a good example of a gifted, relevant and natural backlink!)
Focusing on your linking building strategy will take time and research to be successful but it is an important method of growing traffic to your website. Ask yourself if this is a good use of your time working on building links or whether you can delegate this task to an agency or freelancer.
There are plenty of agencies out there that are experts at link building and will be able to help you get some valuable links and connect with influencers in your industry.
If using an agency investigate their reputation and ask questions to make sure they aren’t just going to buy links or use harmful practices that will impact the success of your website.
Clearly defining your link building strategy is an important step on the journey to online business success. If you want to drive more visitors to your website you must plan ahead and allocate resource to this activity.
Using an agency to help you craft your link building strategy is a good way to move this activity forward, without distracting your core team from sales tasks.
Start by setting targets for the number of links you will create each week. From our experience, we recommend building no more than 100 links per week as an absolute maximum - you want your link building to look naturally formed over time, not all in one great big lump!