Focus on Web Presence Optimization – Not Backlinks

SEO backlinksIs Obsessing over Backlinks Wasting Your Time and Money?

Getting backlinks, inbound links, linkpop, link juice – whatever you call it – they all mean the same: the more links you have to your web pages, the higher Google and other search engines tend to rank your site. Besides the proper use of key words in your content, creating links to your site is the major focus of most search engine optimization (SEO) efforts for websites.  The idea is your site gains in credibility and authority when others not only visit your pages, but link to them. It also gains visitors from the linking sites, as well.

There’s a lot of truth in this approach, particularly when popular, well-regarded sites link up with yours. It’s like an expert or Oprah endorsement, sending fans your way.

But how many small businesses have Oprah clicking to their sites? Most of the time, you’re just happy to get increasingly more people in your own area finding your business on the web and liking what they see.

But what about your competitors who’ve hired SEO experts to get hundreds of links pointing to their sites?

You Have Two Options

Option1: Traditional Search Engine Optimization Backlinks

Go hire an SEO company to plaster links to your site all over the Internet. Some of those links will be useful to people looking for your services, such as relevant web directories. Many other links, such as multiple submissions of the same content to obscure article directories will not. So what if you’ve got 500 backlinks. No one will find them. No one will read them. Google just looks at them as duplicate content of little or no value. What’s more, Google’s Panda and Penguin updates will probably penalize your site for low-value or irrelevant backlinks

Option 2: Web Presence Optimization

Stop Obsessing over SEO and optimize your entire web presence instead. Here are some ways to stand out of the crowd.

Add Keywords to Page Titles and Content

Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and Google Analytics to find the keywords people are most likely to search for your products and services. Incorporate these in your page titles and content.

Go Local

Set up Google Places site even if you don’t have a website of  your own, or verify what Google has already created site you. Add to your Google Places site information, photos and videos of interest to prospective customers. Watch for ratings from Google users or those posted on ratings sites, such as Yelp, and respond accordingly.

Get on Google+

Add Google+ to the mix and you will have a Google+ Local, all your pages fully indexed for search. Reviews for your company will also end up in people’s Google+ feeds.

Go Mobile

Nowadays people are using their cell phones and other mobile devices, to research and call businesses. If your site doesn’t render easily on their screens, they will call another instead.

Create Value

Make sure, too, your website creates value for customers and motivates them to want to do business with you. Share helpful tips and ideas. Create informative videos and/or newsletters. Write a blog. Contribute to other people’s blogs with insightful comments or become a guest blogger for other’s sites. Invite more established bloggers to contribute posts on your site.

Go Social

Use social media tools effectively. LinkedIn, for example, can drive qualified leads to your website, as long as you take the time to use the many features it offers, including a LinkedIn company page. Participate in groups, start your own group and make the most of your professional profile.

Engage more people with a Facebook business fan page that rewards them for “Liking” your business with special content, deals, contests and, education about your products or services.

Get onto Twitter to let others know what your business offers and share in the discussions. Acknowledge any mentions, and if there is an adverse comment, deal with them as you would any unhappy customer.

Brand all your media consistently and be committed to updating your followers regularly.

Focus on Your Customer

By focusing on creating value rather than links, you will discover that you will get increasingly more customers. You will also have meaningful backlinks from people who care about your business and all the extras you provide. What’s more Google will notice.

How is your web presence?

What are you doing to optimize your web presence?  Why not share your experience in a comment below.

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Marilyn Kay, CCP, is the founder of Triskele Consulting. She is an award-winning corporate communicator, with over 30 years of experience. She is also an accomplished web professional, who has launched and managed corporate internets and intranets since 1998. In 2010 she earned certification as a business and life coach. Her coaching skills enable her to really listen and help you better articulate needs and the measurable outcomes you wish to achieve.?

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1 comments
Nicholas Dureault
Nicholas Dureault

I'm actually a little disappointed to hear this conversation.  While I agree in principle with building presence, the strength of the backlink can't be ignored for helping to build search engine presence.  I'll give you an example, I'm about to create a backlink through this commenting system and when the search engines pick it up they will see my site and the anchor text as an authority information.  Here it goes... <a href="www.eim-solution.com">Social Media Toronto</a>... that's it.

 

The point I hope I'm making is that you can contribute to a site in a meaningful manner and get something back in return - and I believe as long as your adding value to the site through a comment or new story, then a link is just a small thing to ask for.