When trying to improve the search ranking of your website pages keep in mind that Google looks at two major types of influences: off-page and on-page factors. While it’s easier and faster to change on-page factors by posting great content, adding appropriate tags, etc., the off-page factors are more powerful.
The primary off-page factor is links to your domain and individual pages from other sites. Twenty years ago the great insight of Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin was that links to a domain and page are a sort of vote by the Internet for the quality of that site. The more quality sites that link to you, the more likely you are to have high search ranking. Google doesn’t publish its algorithm but, based on their experience, people who work in search engine optimization believe that external links are still the most important factor in Google’s search ranking.
How do you get external links?
- Blog a lot, publish white papers, and create other valuable content; promote it via email and social media (organic and paid); and wait for people to link to it on your site. If your content is good enough, and you keep creating and promoting it, over time that will result in lots of links.
- Undertake a concerted guest blogging campaign on sites that are important in your industry; it’s believed that Google puts more importance on links from other sites within an industry than links from random sites. In the author description for your guest post you should get a link back to your site. Bingo!
- Reach out to websites that already mention your company but don’t provide a link. Use Google to search for your company and then visit each page that mentions you and see if there is a link. If there isn’t a link reach out to the webmaster or blogger and politely request one; the more recent the mention of you the more likely it is that you’ll be able to get a link.
Building links is slow, and SEO is a marathon, but in the long run it’s the most useful thing you can do to improve your site’s search ranking.