With the continued growth of Internet use as the world population grows more technical in nature, every business needs to have a web presence. Online marketing, simply put, is a requirement in 2017.
But it’s not sufficient simply to “show up” with digital marketing activities. You need a website that drives both traffic and conversions. You could pay for that traffic, but there’s a better answer: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What is SEO?
If SEO is so important, it raises the logical next question: what is SEO anyway?
For many, the question may appear to be quite obsolete. Some may even find it primitive and ridiculous, because SEO has been a popular strategy used to drive website traffic for years.
In its most basic form, SEO is everything you do to get ranked on search engines. First you build and optimize content, and then you work hard to build up what we refer to as Domain Authority (DA).
Domain Authority and the Psychology of Online Visitors
Why is DA so important for ranking on major search engines?
These days, most people use the internet for finding solutions of almost all their problems. Most of them start with searching to find those solutions.
How do you decide which websites might house those solutions you’re seeking on the internet?
If you’re like most of us, you start out by searching for keywords, phrases, or complete questions. When the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) serves up, most of us click one of the highest ranked listings on the SERP.
If that result fails to fill your needs, you will move down to the next entry and try again. Some of use will click through to all the results on the first page, but hardly anyone continues on to the second, third, or subsequent pages.
Instead, they try searching for other keywords, essentially starting all over again. So you need to be toward the top of the first page of results if you want those precious clicks.
How do Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines select the domains to rank above others? Simple: they pick the websites with the highest domain authorities.
Domain authority has been hypothesized to carry between 30% and 60% of overall ranking weight. And how do you increase domain authority? Link Building. Get the right links from the right websites, and your DA will go up. This will rank you for more keywords, and eventually drive increased organic traffic.
Significance of Link Building for SEO
After all of the Google Penguin upheaval, where they worked diligently to clean up link building and manipulation, many webmasters are afraid of link building. Some may even refer to it as obsolete. But their fear is not merited.
As we mentioned above, off-page SEO (link building, for all practical purposes) represents a significant component of success with organic traffic and SEO as a whole.
Let others fear link building, while you build your content inventory and domain authority. Together, these will help you outperform competitors as your website and link profile grow.
Importance of Rich and High-Quality Content
Yes, rich and high-quality content is crucial to helping rank you for a wider assortment of keywords. Backlinks not only serve to drive increased DA, but they also play a key role in getting new content indexed in the first place.
If you have more backlinks to boost your content, your website will generate more organic traffic. But not all links are of the same quality – you need to ensure your links come from high DA websites and are relevant – i.e. it makes sense for them to link from their page to yours based on relevance between the subject matter of the content on both domains.
Post Links for Better Results
For better results, it is essential to post the links on credible directories rather than posting on random blogs or unvetted SEO spam directories (of which there are still dozens that could hinder your progress). Focus on sites that Google and other search engines will consider relevant to your subject matter, and make sure they are authoritative as well.
And whatever you understood about SEO in the past, don’t even think of trying to fool or trick the search engines into ranking you via automated means (e.g. link building tools that just post link spam all over the web). The search engines recognize the difference between junky blog comments, guest book entries, or other spammy links, as compared to contextual links in relevant content on reputable websites.
Keyword Research and Link Building
While many may say that keywords are dead and keyword research is obsolete, that’s nowhere near true. Keywords still matter a great deal for ranking on search engines and being found organically.
There are several tools on the market that are great for keyword research. If you employ the services of an SEO expert, they should have access to these tools, and can help you identify the right keyword strategy for your own domain. Check out my SEO Blueprint Guide to learn more about the tools and analyses you’ll need at your disposal for picking good keywords.
Outsource Link Building Tasks
So now you understand how important link-building is. But there’s more – it’s very difficult to do properly, if you want to drive your own domain authority up.
Link Building is not a one-time project that you can complete and walk away from. It is a continuous process that requires ongoing focus and attention.
It’s also important for you to realize that link building is very time-consuming, when done properly. There are no shortcuts or automation tricks you can employ for responsible, white hat link building. It requires, time, effort, and sweat equity.
This is why most smart business owners outsource link building to an SEO Expert. Any good SEO agency, consultant, or freelancer will offer off page SEO support. It pays to hire an expert on your behalf, because they will do more than you can and faster, and you’ll see results sooner.
But don’t just buy the cheapest SEO support you can find. That may open you up to some shady link building practices (on their part, which is the only way to make this whole thing cheaper). Hire an expert with a reputation for doing this the right way, and you’ll be glad you did. Even if it costs more to do so.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
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