SEO Tip 2: What are Backlinks and Why are They Important?

How to get free listings on online directoriesBacklinks, also called inbound links, are incoming links to your website or web page, from another website or web page.

Google and other search engines use the number of backlinks your website has from high-ranking websites as an important factor for determining your website’s search engine ranking, popularity and importance.

How to build good backlinks to your website?

The fastest ways to build backlinks to your website is to take advantage of free basic listings in high-ranking online directories, such as Merchant Circle, LinkedIn, Manta, Yellow Pages and Yelp.  Since each listing is like a mini website for your business, you should optimize it like a website, using keywords in the description, and alt text in your images.  And make sure you enter the entire URL of your domain–including the http://, otherwise the link won’t be active!

How to start? 

First, do a search for your business name, to see where you are already listed.  Unless you’re a brand new business, chances are you’re already listed in a number of directories–you just need to claim your free listings!

Claiming your listings isn’t just important for the optimization of your website–it’s a big part of protecting your brand, as well as getting your website ranked higher in searches. Bypass directories that charge a fee or ask for a reciprocal link.

Before you submit your website to any directory, however, make sure you’ve done everything you can to make it a quality website, with lots of good content and keywords related to what your website is about.  Directories can reject poor quality websites.

It’s also important to claim and thoroughly optimize your free business listings in Google Places Map, Bing Local Listings and Yahoo! Local, as these listings generally show up first in a search.

Ready to start or learn more?  Contact us for a free list of 50 high-ranking directories, or to schedule a free 1-hour private consultation to learn how to add your business to these and other directories.


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