A few days ago Matt Cutts released a video with the answer to the question “what happens when one page has two links to the same URL.” Yesterday I was in a client meeting explaining how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed and how old fashioned link building SEO techniques could hurt your website. So I thought I would write today’s blog all about links!

The Old Way

There were a lot of ways in the past that you could get backlinks to your website, most of these are listed below

  • Article Marketing
  • Resource Pages
  • Affiliate or Network Links
  • Blog and Content Networks
  • Directories
  • Forum / Blog Commenting (the “auto-commenting” variety)

Now though, most of these techniques will not provide any backlink value to you, and as a consequence your website will not reach page 1 of Google if you concentrate on these as your main SEO activity. In fact, some of them will see you well on the way to a Google penalty.

However, we know from a video posted at the start of the year, that a strong backlink profile is still a really important factor in Google’s algorithm for putting quality search results at the top of their page:

So what can you do to get backlinks to your website that are deemed important.

The New Way

I’ll use Matt Cutts again, to explain the new way of marketing online. He states, in your mind, change SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, to Search Experience Optimisation. I agree with this statement.

So the new way for you should simply start with the question:

“What can you do, to improve the experience, of a visitor finding and exploring your website?”

Let me give you an example:

Typically, these days users will find information in a variety of places, and it will come as no surprise to you that most of these places are what is referred to as Web 2.0, or what you and I know as Social Media sites. From a personal experience, if I want to know how ‘to-do’ something, I hop onto YouTube. I know that I will find a video that shows me the answer to my question.

So the website owner that has created that video has improved the ‘finding’ experience for me by answering my question. Now as a web surfer, I will go and check out the website of the video owner. In my mind if they have answered one question, their business may be important to me and might be able to help in other ways.

In going to their website, if the page loads quickly and I find an up-to-date website with plenty of good quality resources on it that will help me, I will either sign up to receive their blogs, or newsletter. They have ticked the boxes to providing me with a great user experience.

If, on the other hand, the website clearly doesn’t demonstrate any quality then I will bounce straight off of it, and that website owner will have lost the chance to collect my details.

Turn SEO on its head

So what I’m saying is, don’t think about building a link for a links sake, think about it from a user experience and make sure your link has been placed for a reason. As an example, if your business is still a business that people will find on Yell.com then get yourself a link there – but only if you genuinely believe your visitors are going to Yell to find you. Otherwise, you are placing a link there for a links sake, and that is a waste of time.

In my mind the best way to improve the user experience is to provide answers to questions, using a blog, video, podcast – or all three! Get these placed on the social media sites, and your links will build naturally along the way.

Answers to questions are typically evergreen content (content that remains true for a long period.) The more of this type of content that you can create, the harder those links will work for you over time sending genuine visitors to your site and not just Google’s robots.

Your Takeaway

  1. Think of one question about your business that you can answer via a blog post.
  2. Write that blog – yes it will take a bit of time, but the results are worth it.
  3. Distribute that blog via your newsletter and social accounts. Think about putting it in front of your audience where they are fishing.
  4. Rinse and Repeat.

We can help

If you want to give your clients a great user experience, we can help you achieve that. Just drop us an email or pick up the phone!