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Word of mouth is the cheapest, most effective form of advertising. Thanks to the Internet, you can now ‘spread the word’ about your business without actually saying a word, simply by encouraging other websites to link to your business website.
Link building works by combining word of mouth, networking and calling in favours.
It's all about trust
The idea behind link building is that the person posting the link obviously trusts the business in question to deliver quality products and services or he wouldn’t recommend it to his own customers.
It’s like having a friend tell you they got great service from a particular business. You’re going to trust first hand information from someone you know far more than anything you read in an ad, no matter how clever or compelling it is.
That ‘trust’ factor is what impresses the search engines. They consider every one of those links to be an endorsement of your business. So the more links you have, the better your website search engine ranking will be.
Goes both ways
Link building is not a one way street. The best way to encourage someone to link to your website is by offering to link back to their site.
Use your networking skills, talk to other business owners, particularly those whose businesses complement yours. You already share a similar customer base, why not help each other out? If you operate a hardware store, for example, your website could exchange links with a contractor. Or a piano teacher could trade links with a music store.
As with every other aspect of your website, the goal is to improve your bottom line by increasing the number of customers who buy the products and services you are selling.
Every business that links to your website exposes your company to more potential customers.
One thing to keep in mind: while search engines do like to see lots of sites linking to your website, they also consider the quality and relevance of those links. According to Google's Webmaster Tools Help, the best way to gain relevant links is by creating unique, relevant content for your web pages; content that will generate interest and gain in popularity on the Internet. Just exchanging links with lots of people, purely for the sake of improving your search engine ranking might actually harm your reputation with the search engines.
Where do you start?
Creating a Facebook business profile page is probably one of the best ways to generate leads and links for your business. The average Facebook user has 130 friends. Every time someone ‘likes’ your Facebook page, they are agreeing to advertise for you because from that point on, your status updates will appear in their newsfeed for all of their friends to read.
Plus, the search engines love Facebook! Links from a Facebook page are considered to be of the highest quality, mainly because Facebook pages have the potential to be seen by so many people.
Ads on Facebook that link to your business website are another great tool. They can be targeted very specifically to appear on the home pages of people who are most likely to be interested in your products and services. In other words, only people who are likely to be interested in your business will see your facebook ad.
INM will set you up with a Facebook business page that is branded to your main website. We can also put you on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ or whatever social media networks you prefer. Facebook and Twitter feeds can be linked to each other so whenever you update your Facebook status, your Twitter feed automatically updates.
After that, link building is all about the leg work. Ask people in your network of friends, family and business associates to exchange links with you, especially if your businesses complement each other. Remind them that links are good for their website, too.
Your business only appears in the newsfeeds when you post something new, so take the time to make regular updates to your Facebook and other social networking sites, at least a couple of times a month.