Welcome to What is SEO: Links, the second article in Inklings’ five part series to help companies and small business owners gain an understanding of Search Engine Optimization!

One of the biggest indicators that a website has been well optimized is the number of valuable links the website has set up. There are two types of links that can help a website rise through the search engine ranks:

1. Backlinks (also called External Links): These are links which are located on a website other than your own. The more high profile and trusted the linking site, the more valuable the backlink. For example, think about your Google Business Listing, this is a high quality, valuable link which users can click on to find your website.

2. Internal Links: These are links which are located on your website which link a user to other parts of your website. The longer a user stays on your page and the more internal links they find useful, the higher you rise in the rankings. For example, Check Out Part 1 of our SEO articles here!, is an internal link.

Link Creation

So how does a small business begin forming valuable links? The best way is to leverage free accounts. Think about what websites your clientele find valuable and find out if you can list your website there.

Begin by creating a free Google Business Listing. The great thing about a Google listing is that it comes with something called Google Search Console. This free tool allows business owners to see their website performance, assess usability, and check out website links. New links can take a few weeks to a few months to show up, so don’t stress if you don’t see anything right away.

Next, begin creating accounts on relevant third party sites, such as Yellowpages, Yelp, Bing, and others. It’s important to make sure that if you are going to take the time to set up these links, that they are on websites that have the added value of being high traffic, well-known, and trusted.

Finally, consider ways you can leverage internal links on your site to improve usability and provide more value to your clients. Maybe you can start a blog, add a gallery of your work, or offer weekly tips. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is valuable. Adding links for the sake of links will only make your website a jumbled mess and decrease traffic.

Links and Social Media

So where does social media fit into the world of SEO and links?

The bad news is that links on social media accounts do not count as backlinks. Social media is too easy to spam. Posting a link a day to your Facebook page will do very little for your SEO.

The good news is that social media is still extremely valuable to your business. Even though your company’s Twitter may not count as a backlink, it still provides your business with important exposure. It also counts toward your SEO to have valuable, active social media accounts. Make sure when starting your SEO journey that you treat social media as one of your most important tools. Active social media accounts provide you a direct link to your audience, gives your businesses credibility, and shows that your business is up-to-date.

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