The goal for small businesses trying to optimize their websites for search is to surface on Page 1 of the search results on Google and other search engines. To aid in that effort, small businesses should work to increase the number of inbound links to their websites—a key component of high search ranking and search engine optimization overall.
Here are four strategies owners can employ to increase their websites’ inbound links.
Whether it’s a local newspaper, a popular blog or a trade magazine, small business owners often receive requests to share their expertise with the media. Aside from the benefit of increased visibility for your business, being interviewed can lead to more inbound links to your website, says Dave Oremland, a Web marketing manager for various businesses, including the Professional Bartending School in Arlington, Va.
During the interview, ask reporters or editors if they will provide a link to your website once the article is published online.
2. Partner with local business organizations.
Small businesses should partner with local organizations to increase inbound links to the businesses’ websites. For example, asking the local Chamber of Commerce to link to your website gives your business credibility in the eyes of search engines—and consumers.
Organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce are considered authoritative on the Internet, and when they link back to your website, it can boost your search ranking, Oremland says. Authoritative websites are those that groups and individuals on the Web are writing about and linking to with great frequency, including NFIB of course.
3. Ask charities to provide links.
Charities are also authoritative, well-known entities. If small business owners sponsor a charity event, they should ask the charity to link back to their website as reciprocation for their sponsorship.
“Charities have great, authoritative websites that can convey an enormous amount of ‘link juice,’ or search engine ranking power,” Oremland says.
4. Work with customers and vendors.
If you know of customers who have their own websites, asking them to link to your site can be another way to increase inbound links. In addition to customers, you should consider asking vendors to link back to your site.
“If I’m selling somebody else’s products, they should want to link to me,” Oremland says.
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