Small business SEO link building requires a conservative approach for a number of reasons, but the most important reason is to protect your online assets for the long term. There are not a lot of principles, but we talk about here is very important.
- Be careful who you link to – avoid “bad neighborhoods”
- Be A Good Net Citizen – Don’t Spam
- Go slow
- Keep visitors and customers in mind
- Don’t Buy Links
- Start a campaign that you can maintain
- Stay Away from Link Building Schemes
Be Careful When Link Building
You can’t control the links coming into your site, but you can control every link that links out. Don’t link to bad neighborhoods. Bad neighborhoods are porn sites, gambling sites, drug sites, malicious software sites and so on. It’s easy for Google and the other search engines to identify links to these sites and penalize you for them. Link to sites that you check out. If you’re not sure, don’t link. The best links go to trusted sites that are useful for your readers and customers.
Be A Good Net Citizen
I hate spam. I hate spam comments on my blogs. If I comment on a blog, it’s because I have something I want to add to the conversation. “Great post. Keep up the good work,” is not a good comment and spammers use this type of comment to build backlinks to their sites. Remember who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. Again, I’m assuming that you have a real business that you want to grow and protect.
Go Slow With Your Link Building
Go slow with link building. Sending 1,000 links to a new site is not natural and you can’t maintain it. Find a few blogs to comment on each week. Set up an RSS reader to follow those blogs and comment when you have something to add. Write one or two articles per week for syndication. Do a few guest blog posts each month. Keep doing this and your link building will be natural, not just appear natural.
Keep Visitors and Customers in Mind When Linking
If you link from within your content, those links should go to a page that is relevant to both the current content and the anchor link text. You’ve seen examples of automated linking where when someone is talking about apples, there’s a link to an Apple computer related site. Wrong! This is worst case, but you get the idea. If you’re linking to other content within your site, make it as relevant as possible.
Don’t Buy Links
If you buy links and get caught, you are likely to lose your rankings. Your site could even be banned. Buying links to promote your site is against search engine terms of service. There are hundreds of people that will tell you that you need to buy links. My advice to small business and local business owners is – don’t do it and make sure your SEO firm isn’t doing it.
Start A Link Building Campaign You Can Maintain
It’s much better if you start building 10 links per week and stay with that pace than starting with 1,000 links and then doing nothing. There are a number of reasons, but two are very important. First, you need to maintain the program over time to get the best results. Building 1,000 links and walking away will have limited benefit compared 10 links a week for a year. Second, somewhere buried in the search engine algorithms is a freshness factor. If you’re site is receiving no new links, you lose points and your rankings could fall. Start with what you can maintain.
Stay Away From Link Building Schemes
Small business SEO is different. You don’t need thousands of links in most cases. You need a few hundred high quality links. Link building schemes are generally going to give you lower quality and less relevant links than you can build yourself. They also increase your risk. Why? If Google uncovers and decides to downgrade a link scheme, and all your links are from those sources, you will fall like a rock in the rankings. If you absolutely must participate in any kind of link scheme, make sure it’s less than 20% of all your links. These principles are tailored to small business SEO. If you were building a site to compete with SEO giants, the advice would be different. You need to realize that small business link building is not complex, but takes time and effort. You are building for the long term and must always measure risk when building links.
Link Building Series
Link Building Basics – Part 1
The basics of link structure including HTML code, anchor text and dofollow and nofollow taqs. Link Building Principles – Part 2 Basic principles that must be followed when building links for small business SEO.
Small Business Link Building Principles – Part 2
Link building principles that must be followed when building links for small business SEO.