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Google routinely updates its search algorithms, which determine the order in which sites appear for any given search term or phrase. It’s important to understand the latest criteria being used by the algorithms if you want to increase the odds that your business will appear in the number-one position for relevant search terms, and of course, as a business owner, that’s the dream!
It doesn’t have to be a far-fetched or even a far-off dream, though. Here are some tips to help you build links and climb the ranks of Google based on the algorithms currently in use.
One of the easiest ways to build links to your site is to simply ask people you know to add a link on their own website, blog or social media pages. No, don’t spam strangers asking for links, and don’t ask your friends to mention your site 50 times each. Google penalizes spam links, and you won’t be seriously considered for that coveted top-spot in the search rankings. However, it’s definitely okay to approach people you don’t know about linking to your site if you see that they’ve already mentioned you. Maybe they wrote a blog post and mentioned your company but didn’t provide a link. Send them a friendly e-mail asking if they would link to your site as well.
Make it Meaningful
Google is all about quality links. Therefore, you want to make sure any content you post—either for your site or for someone else’s—actually provides value and that the link is connected to meaningful search terms. Don’t try to hide a link in words like “the,” for example. Google sees this as deceitful, and your company may suffer in the rankings as a result.
This tip piggy-backs off of “Make it Meaningful,” but it’s so important that it deserves special mention. Make an effort to guest blog for other websites. You should focus on providing meaningful content in your industry and on promoting yourself as a thought leader. Blog owners and Google would rather you didn’t spend the whole time talking about your business or linking to your website in every other sentence. Rather, make sure that if you do mention your company or website, it’s completely appropriate in the given context. If you do this well, you’ll have a greater chance of appearing on more prominent blogs as a guest contributor in the future, so give it your best shot.
Use Business Directories
This might seem a little old-fashioned for those of us who haven’t touched a phone book in years, but business directories are still alive and well online. If you provide a niche service, make sure your site appears in the appropriate business directory. Look for sites related to your business that have a “resources” page, and contact the owner about being included on the page. Be ready to return the favor by providing a link on your own site as well.
Use Social Media
Whenever you post new content on your site, post it on social media. If you have new content or news that is a really big deal, make the extra effort to post it to sites your business may not have made a priority in its marketing plan, like Reddit, LinkedIn groups, StumbleUpon, etc. Consider posting the same pieces twice a day to make sure they reach people in various time zones. Also make sure that you have various social media “share” buttons prominently displayed around your content.Of course, if this is all Greek to you and you’d rather spend your time elsewhere, you can hire companies to do the work for you.