For whatever reason, some people seem to think that SEO is dying or going out of style. Fortunately, for small business owners around the world, SEO is alive and well.
Just take a look at this recent Moz study. Not only are backlinks still working, but they had one of the most notable associations with high rankings as compared to all ranking factors.
Translation: SEO strategies are more than just relevant. They can be pretty effective when implemented correctly.
But what does “implemented correctly” mean? Especially in the constantly changing digital landscape of today’s social currency consumer.
Fortunately, the study gave us one key takeaway: Backlinks are more important than ever. Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. The average consumer values social proof above everything else.
If a consumer’s friends are willing to give your product/service a shot, so will the consumer. Without buy-in from a community, your business won’t have the support to grow. That’s why social media marketing has become such an important part of our digital marketing strategy.
But social proof goes beyond a consumer’s close circle of friends. Google (and other search engines) want a consumer to be exposed to the most resourceful, trustworthy website that address their question.
There are obviously a variety of factors that play into a search engine’s algorithm that places the best websites on the front page. Still, assuming that you’re handling every other aspect of your SEO strategy, it seems that putting effort into your backlinks is the key to standing out.
You’re Not In This Alone
If you’re fine-tuning your backlinks selection, asking for advice is a great place to start. Getting the feedback of other seasoned professionals (or just getting a fresh perspective) might be all you need to supercharge your SEO strategy altogether.
Beyond that, take the time to find forums and get involved in online communities. Remember that, at the end of the day, there are thousands of business owners throughout the world that have struggled with the same issues you’re dealing with now. Pick their brains, ask for feedback and advice and get involved in these communities. Who knows? You might even learn a thing or two.
Spread Your Wings
Making an effort to have your voice heard is a major step in any business, but it’s basically a necessity in the world of content marketing. When everyone has a voice, it’s harder to stand out in the crowd. The more you’re willing to interact with everyone else in your industry, the easier it becomes to build backlinks.
Figure out who the most influential bloggers are in your industry (or who you’d love to work with) and reach out to them. Don’t ask them for anything at first, just develop a relationship with them. You’d be amazed at how many opportunities stem from the mutual admiration society. The more you network and collaborate (yes, that means guest blogs, particularly on larger sites), the more you’ll eventually build backlinks.
Don’t Be Shy: Get Social
We already touched on the subject of how important social media is in the digital marketing industry, but it’s of particular importance when you’re making an effort to build backlinks. The first order of business is to integrate your social media and content marketing strategies by sharing those blog posts on those social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
You may think that no one uses it, but take the time to update your Google+ profile. Create a link in your introduction area that takes people back to your site. It won’t cost you anything except a few minutes and you never know who’s going to be led back to your site.
The days of building backlinks by linking to spam sites are over (good riddance).
Now, we have a world that values websites that have their finger on the pulse of their respective industry. Make yourself an authority by association, become a part of the community and invite people into your site. Do that, and you’ll be amazed at how effective SEO can be.