Be number one in Google! The 'How Not To' Guide for beginners.

As SEO professionals, we often talk about how important it is to build high-quality links to your website. This is 'off-site' SEO. But link building is also incredibly hard. Everyone should link from relevant, authoritative and trusted websites. However, despite your best efforts, sometimes link building just doesn't pay off as well as it could. That's why you need a holistic link building strategy. 

Embracing a holistic link building approach will benefit your overall marketing goals but are dependent on many ranging factors such as website size, current volume of traffic, and the amount of dedicated hours spent creating high quality inbound links.

Rather than just thinking about how many links you can build today, you need to start building an online profile of your company then look at sites and ask yourself why you should link to them if you want to see long-term success and growth. 

You'll be number one in Google!

Over the years we've come across many 'SEO Companies' promising 'you'll be number one in Google' but usually the client forgets to ask them some simple questions which the SEO company should answer in a straight forward manner, with no confusing jargon. These should be 'For which keyword/key phrase will I be number one in Google for?' and 'How will you make my site number 1 in Google?' and 'How can you guarantee to make my website number 1 in Google?' (The answer to the last question is 'no-one can guarantee you'll be number 1 in Google' - even Google won't guarantee to make your site top in its SERPS - Search Engine Results Pages). If an SEO company tries to bamboozle you with fast speaking and complicated sentences when you ask them a simple question just walk away. They probably don't know the answer so they instead opt for the 'blinding them with science' answer - which doesn't help you.

We've checked some of these SEO companies out and to be honest it was very difficult to get a straight answer out of any of them. In fact, none that we spoke to actually had any knowledge of what they were doing when search engine optimising a website - they just used automatic software. There are, of course, some SEO companies (usually in-house with website designers and website development companies) that actually do a good job because they want to keep their clients and they care more. However, the majority of stand-alone SEO companies use automatic software to add links to any old directory or website in any country. One in particular that we investigated on behalf of a client even added links to multiple irrelevant directories in Russia and China, which harmed the clients UK-based business website. Others used 'link farms' which are a big No-No.

What are link farms?

There are no animals in link farms... A link farm is a website (or a group of websites) created solely for the purpose of increasing the false link popularity of another site by increasing the number of incoming links. Or in other words it's any group of web sites that all hyperlink to every other site in that group. Although some link farms can be created by hand, most are created through automated software that is mainly used by unscrupulous SEO companies. A link farm is a form of spamming the index of a web search engine, i.e. Google. Websites that have created link farms can be penalised by Google and other search engines which will take a lot of effort and expense to 'undo', so it really isn't worth it.

Better website content

Clients who need better search engine listings first need to look at on-site SEO, which is the website content, on-site links and meta information. If you need some help in this area - whether you have a website from aprompt or not, give us a call and we'll be happy to help. We create search engine optimised website content for fully managed websites (called Website Management) that helps you get higher in the natural listings for your particular key phrases.

Written by Kirsty Paget