Search engine optimisation (SEO) can broadly be split into two categories – onsite and offsite optimisation.
Onsite optimisation is the making of changes to your own website so that it appears more relevant to your targeted keywords in the eyes of search engines.
Offsite optimisation refers to the process of increasing the number and quality of links pointing to your website, ie, backlinks. In the eyes of search engines, links to your website are a vote of confidence that the content on your website is worth viewing. The more ‘votes’ (links) you have back to your website, the more deserving it is of high search engine ranking positions.
Offsite optimisation is the area of SEO that I am most frequently asked about. This blog post is designed to give businesses tips on how they can improve the number of links they have pointing to their website and in turn improve their search engine ranking positions.
There is a quality aspect to incoming links; not all links are equal, however, that is beyond the scope of this post, but please do feel free to drop me a line for information on this.
So here are 7 simple ways of increasing the number of backlinks to your website:
#1 – Social Profiles – Most social networking websites include a space to promote your own website. Popular websites with this feature include LinkedIn and Twitter. E.g. http://twitter.com/distinctly_digi
#2 – Trade Associations – If your business is regulated by an industry body or trade association, they will often have an area on their website to promote its members. Make sure your business is listed along with a link to your website. E.g. UK Web Design Association
#3 – Authorised Stockist Lists – If your business resells products on behalf of another company, ensure you are listed as an ‘Authorised Stockist’ on the supplier website. E.g Franck Muller Watches
#4 – Website Directories – Although often considered an out-dated practice, website directories are still worth targeting. Websites such as Qype, Yelp and FreeIndex all have free listing options and are known to enhance Google Maps listings in particular.
#5 – Guest Blogging – Yes, exactly like this! Identify business associates or authoritative websites in your industry that have a blog and approach them about writing a piece of content for them. Most will only be too happy to oblige – just make sure you place a link at the bottom of the piece in the author summary (see below!).
#6 – Article Directories – Similar to guest blogging, article directories allow you to exchange content in return for a link. Article directories were targeted in recent Google algorithm changes, so it’s likely that they carry less importance than they did before but are still worth getting. Popular sites include Ezine Articles and Squidoo.
#7 – Sponsorship/Charitable donations – Many businesses are associated with a local charity or make one off donations to multiple charities. Simply ask to have your links placed on the charities website by way of thank you and you’ve got yourself another backlink!
Hopefully all the above will give you a helping hand to improve your offsite optimisation. It can be a daunting task so I advise you set aside a small amount of time each week to solely focus on improving the number of links pointing to your website and you will soon increase the number of visitors reaching your website.
This blog post was written by Tom Shurville, Director of Hertfordshire SEO Agency, Distinctly Digital.