Successful inbound marketing requires that your website can be found online. No matter how good your website is, it’s valueless without traffic. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) becomes important – it comprises a set of techniques and activities that increase the visibility of your website.
Website traffic is the top of the marketing funnel – without a lot of traffic, you will have trouble making a lot of sales. SEO is concerned with non-paid (also known as organic) search, as opposed to paid placement programs such as Google’s AdWords.
Let’s begin by concentrating on off-page SEO – things that you do to increase website visibility that don’t affect website content. Off-page SEO is accomplished through an inbound (or backlink) link strategy. The key is to get authoritative websites to link to yours. In the parlance of the industry, high-ranked websites spill link juice onto your site by linking to it.
As you increase the number of inbound links from authoritative sites, you receive a higher rank from search engines, lifting you to the holy ground known as a Page One result. The top of Page One is the first place ranking – if you can get that slot, you are virtually assured of high traffic volume.
There are a number of things you can do to advance your link-building strategy:
- Create compelling content that provides high-quality information that is educational and/or entertaining. When you have something interesting to say, other websites will link to yours.
- Make sure your website is submitted to online directories, such as Technorati. These directories link to your website.
- Submit guest blogs to other websites in exchange for a link back to your website.
- Buy link packages – original articles containing a backlink to your site, posted on authoritative websites.
Not all link packages are the same. You need to have your links originate from domains with a Page Rank (PR) of at least four. Page Rank is how Google measures the authority of a website. Good providers offer packages with Page Ranks ranging from PR4 to PR6.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to boost your website visibility using backlinks. If you have the time and the talent to create a compelling daily blog posting, you may be able to garner backlinks slowly over time. To accelerate the process, use a high-quality paid-link service to boost your website towards Page One.
In our second part we will be turning our attention to On-Page techniques where we look at how you can optimize your site’s pages in order to benefit from better search engine rankings. Using both of these on-page and off-page methods will together help your site perform better in Google.