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SEO 101: Get Links

Rank Higher With Good Links to Your Website

If you want your website to rank higher, you need good backlinks.

There. That's it. SEO in a nutshell.

"What is a Backlink?"

A backlink is a link from another website to your website.

It can point to any page on your website. Backlinks are usually to the home page of your website but they don't have to all go there - in fact, they shouldn't. The home page is just like any other page on your website. It's not special. Sure, it'll have more links pointing to it naturally and every inside page points to it but it's really not that special at all.

"What About Google Panda or Penguin or Porcupine or Whatever?"

Yes, Google does updates to ther algorithm (the way they rank websites) but from what everyone sees, you need backlinks that have power (or what we call "link juice").

Why Links Remain Critical to SEO Success (searchenginewatch.com)

With all the "link building is dead!" and "link building isn't dying or dead!" posts out there, coupled with the fear that many people seem to have where link building is concerned, it's natural to wonder about who's right. We all have our skewed perspectives too, and it would be ridiculous to try and pretend that, as a person who specializes in link building, I'd ever say that links are an endangered species.

[...]

No matter what anyone says, without high-quality links, you can't perform at an optimal level organically (at least not for long) and you can't weather algorithmic updates that crush sites with weaker profiles.

[...]

Secondly, look at these three facts:

  • Google's PageRank is based on links. If the importance of links is going to lessen, they're going to have to rewrite the algorithm. If they wanted to do that they'd have done it already.
  • Spiders use links to crawl the web just like humans use them to navigate.
  • Links are a natural way we tell someone about something. When you're writing and want to mention an example, isn't it more natural to give the example site a link than to allude to the URL and say "hey you, go see if you can figure out what this URL that I reference actually is and look it up yourself!"?

Now as you'll notice, I didn't say anything about link quality there either. Spiders can obviously crawl a bad link just like they can a good link. People with awful or totally irrelevant sites can naturally link to you.

This is a good article. She goes on to explain how Google still looks for quality content and websites that are important.

I've seen pages with very little content that frankly doesn't seem that great rank really well / have good PageRank. If you get links from other websites / web pages that have high PageRank and are relevant, your website / web page will rank higher. It's just that simple. This can be done with a few, really great links or with a lot (and I mean a LOT) of PR1 (PageRank 1) pages. You do not want links from PR0 pages unless it's under a domain that ranks really well - which means the home page has high PR and authority.

People ask what SEO is and there it is in a nutshell. That's the whole SEO secret right there. There's not really that much to it. The part that is maybe more difficult is getting the backlinks that you need. That's where we come in. You need a link profile that looks good - one that looks natural with varied and natural link text (anchor text).

"What About Website Content?"

What we've always preached is that content is king. That's still true. You do want your website to pass a manual Google inspection. This means you should have good, original content on your website that is (wait for it...) "bookmark worthy." This will help with ranking well with the right terms.

This is also how you get links to your website that aren't to your home page. Blog posts and other pages with awesome content on them will get links naturally. This is really what Google and other search engines want to see - these natural links to great, great content. They want to see links from web pages and a lot of social media links, too.

Website Set Up

Of course, to take advatage of good backlinks, your website has to be set up in such a way that all the pages are found and that the most link juice gets to the most important pages without sending too much of it out. If you have a good website developer (like Webstix), then they (we) take care of this for you. They know how to do it. This is referred to as "on-site SEO" (or "on-page SEO") and it's very important.

Targeted Traffic

Choosing the right keywords to focus on will get you targeted traffic. That's the traffic you want. Garbage traffic doesn't help you at all. You want people that are in "search mode" and are looking for something. Give them what they're looking for. Answer a question they have or solve a problem they have. You then become the authority - by publishing content.

"I Have to Publish Content?"

This may seem strange that small businesses have to be in the business of publishing content but that's where things are at. It's online marketing today. If you sell tools or dresses or garbage compactors, you now need to include publishing content into your business marketing plan if you want to survive today.

The SEO Formula

For the cheap seats, and to sum it up, here's the basic SEO formula if you want your website to rank well:

Backlinks (High PR + Relevant) + Original Content + On-Site SEO = High Rankings

Conclusion

Again, SEO is easy but doing the work isn't. Getting good backlinks is kind of what might be considered to be "grunt work." It's tedious. If it's not done right, then you just wasted a ton of time and you might have even hurt your rankings. This is why people have experts do it - like Webstix. Contact us to learn more.

-Tony

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