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SEO And Link Building Basics For Small Businesses - Critical Now More Than Ever

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the process where one can improve the quality, value and visibility of a website to increase its overall ranking in search engines.

This is not just a practice nor a method, but a full-fledged industry, because its effects on businesses and brands are quite powerful.

Through SEO you can draw thousands of relevant visitors towards your website. The traffic can result in effective brand awareness and sales conversions. More targeted users’ means more people that are receptive to buying your products and services.

In today's era, there are so many businesses with no physical stores, small home-based businesses can compete directly with established big-budget brands. It is possible to bring in a consistent and steady cash flow without the manpower or infrastructure of big business.

SEO makes it that possible for anyone to thrive on Google as long as you do the needed optimisation work on your website.

SEO Trends
Over the years, there have been many attempts to game the system with over-the-top SEO practices. Ironically, some did trend for a time such as keyword stuffing, excessive backlinking, link exchange, guest posting and crazy commenting.

It became quantity over quality. It was honestly ridiculous. It’s not that people were lazy; in fact most digital teams back then were working day and night producing bulk work and links, flooding the Internet with useless spam.

But Google's algorithm over time has managed to catch on and with every update have been very stringent on SEO ranking factors.

Now that SEO has evolved, there is less of the clutter, and a more targeted and reasonable approach to SEO. Not that some have moved on, some still cling to their old hat, black hat SEO techniques. Going that route will do no favours for your website.

Revisiting PageRank
Pagerank has been around for a decade, and no, it is not dead. Maybe just pushed aside as a major criteria as it once was. It is no longer the centre of an effective SEO strategy. There has not been an update on this metric for years, in fact, if you start talking about PageRank now, some SEO specialists might start thinking you're a dinosaur. A relic of the earlier times when PR+ rank ruled. It didn’t help when Google retired the PageRank display Toolbar in 2016.

Let’s backtrack a bit on what PageRank is. For the uninitiated, PageRank simply aims to measure a value of a link, and how much link juice you've amassed on your website pages. However, as Google has evolved, a lot of other ranking factors came into the forefront and became a priority in their algorithms. Page rank alone is not as important as it once was, Google now utilizes over 200 separate signals to rank websites.

To name a few: Domain age, keyword density, real-world brick and mortar location, Google Sandbox, Google Dance. And that’s just 5 signals. If you checked out all the factors, you'd be completely overwhelmed on what you should do and look out for within your SEO strategy.

Why Link Building Still Matters Today
Link Building is a basic part of SEO, though no longer the superstar it once was. It’s still a core part of the SEO process. Link Building is plain and simple- a great strategy for enhancing your website. Just fixing broken internal links alone can vastly improve your website.

When it comes down to it, there are three areas to focus your SEO efforts on:

Internal links. These are links on your website that link to other pages on your website. These are different from inbound links which are the backlinks from external websites that link back to your domain.

The context on how you link your internal pages together determines the link strength and flow of your website. This is something you can control, unlike external links which can be a hit or miss when it comes to link context. You can strategically link newly created pages to high-ranking pages within your site. These are like creating veins where site traffic can either trickle or flow seamlessly between pages.

External links. These links send users outside of your site. Linking to different sites is pointing readers to relevant links of good value. They enhance the browsing experience of your site because you send users out to where they can get more authoritative or complimentary information beyond your website.

Choosing not to externally link to other sites is like telling Google you’re not playing nice or don’t intend to be part of the digital neighbourhood. It only makes your world smaller and lessens the chances of your website in getting more link juice.

Backlinks. This is where the bulk of the link juice comes from. This is when other websites decide to link to your page enhancing the perceived authority of your site in the process. This helps boost your rankings and helps users discover your brand.

Of course, it’s ideal to receive back links from high-ranking websites, but relevance plays an important role as well. It’s much better to get a link from a site with a low-to-mid page rank that’s related to your industry than from a high-ranking website that has nothing to do with your industry or the context of your page. Topic relevance matters with Google.

Getting a backlink from let’s say a popular gourmet cooking website may not be worth much link juice when it links to your bathroom plumbing fixtures website. How you manage to connect the two based on relevancy and context will determine if the backlink works in your favour.

SEO Backlinks Explained
Backlinks help your pages get found and read by new users. Get more out of your link building initiatives with a trusted SEO backlink building service. If you need your SEO to centre on link building or link-less alternatives, feel free to consult with us.

When it comes to digital marketing and SEO services in NZ, 1768Degrees.com is a web development agency and link building specialist that provides local SEO services across Auckland, Whangarei and New Zealand.

Connect with more websites relevant to your niche. Contact us today.

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