A lot of digital marketing companies offer their clients a basic SEO package. Usually, it’s an added service after a website development project to jumpstart your online presence. This typically includes things like submitting your website to search engines, adding your business to online directories like Yelp, and maybe adding a few keywords to your web pages. This type of low-level SEO campaign lacks something crucial, and you will most likely end up not really showing up on the first page for any meaningful keywords.
To get real results with your SEO strategy, you need a complete backlink building campaign, among other things. Backlinks are the number 1 ranking factor on Google and other popular search engines. It has been statistically proven that websites on the first page of search engines have more and/or stronger backlinks than websites who do not. Do you ever wonder why websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Homeadvisor, and Zocdoc consistently show up at the top of Google? It’s because these websites have extremely powerful backlink portfolios. This power carries over to any web page on their site. So, if someone were to make a local search like “Top roofers in Queens NY” then a Yelp page with a top 10 list for Queens would show up. Backlinks and SEO are crucial to directory websites like the ones aforementioned, as they frequently sell new customer inquiries for services to actual business owners. Think about it… Angie’s List and Homeadvisor gets leads from search by ranking at the top, and then sell them off to local contractors.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are links from other websites on the Internet. A link is like this one, here. Kevindhimitri.com is my website as a NYC SEO consultant, and that link takes you to my home page. This is called an internal link because I am linking within my website, from my blog post to my home page.
A link from say, my Facebook page, going to my website, is an external link. External hyperlinks count more than internal links. Your goal with a SEO campaign should be to have numerous high quality external links built to your website. These links can be coming from social media sites, Web 2.0 sites, business directories, industry directories, chamber of commerce, local sponsorships, forums, etc. There are many ways to go about finding link sources. A skilled SEO specialist should have a regular list of link building strategies to utilize for themselves and their clients.
Like I said before, backlinks are the top ranking factor. We can see that holds true by looking at the top ranking businesses and websites in your industry and area, and analyzing their backlink portfolios. This is how competitive research is done in local SEO. By analyzing your competitors’ links, you can see where they are getting their links from, and how they are doing their anchor texts. This data is very valuable, as we can basically build the same links by reaching out to that website owner, submitting your site for admission, or offering something of value to get that link.