The Internet is a huge network of millions of websites with their countless sub-pages, which are interwoven by an insane mass of internal and external connections to form an almost impenetrable network of data. It is thanks to said connections – we call them “links” or “hyperlinks” – that users keep track of this tangle.
In the legendary early days of the modern Internet – around the turn of the millennium – websites existed more or less isolated from one another. The evaluation procedures of the search engines of the time were still in their infancy and focused primarily on keywords and the content of the pages viewed.
But with the introduction of the page rank algorithm by Google, the internet has changed drastically and an age of competition for the best links has broken out. Because this algorithm also pays attention to the links on and between websites and includes their number and quality in the creation of the Google ranking.
It has made hyperlinks so important that they are part of every professional local SEO strategy today. In order not to leave anything to chance, local SEO experts build their link structure carefully – they practice “link building”. Give your links the attention they deserve, too.
Link building – why all this?
Today’s search engines attach great importance to the inbound links when evaluating a website. These are the so-called backlinks. Their number and especially their quality are important for everyone – both for large corporations and for small entrepreneurs who operate in niches. Because the topicality of the links also plays a role. If a successful page rests on its laurels for too long and neglects link building, it sometimes slips back in the ranking. Newcomers and small web companies also have a real chance of staying alongside the long-established top dogs with a good local search engine optimization link building strategy.
This makes it immediately clear that link building is an ongoing measure that is never fully completed. Nobody can rest on a successfully established link structure. In addition to creating new links, maintaining old links is also part of link building. This particularly applies to links that you set yourself to external sites. If the linked content no longer exists at some point, for example because the relevant page has been switched off, a useless, “dead” link is created.
On-page optimization comes before link building
If you want to attract a lot of backlinks to your site, you should first make sure that it is worth linking to. You are most likely to convince both users and search engines with your content. The content itself is analyzed by Google and represents an important ranking factor of local search engine optimization. In order to rank well, content should offer added value. Solve users’ problems, explain the use of your projects or entertain them with witty and funny articles. Visitors to your site will judge your company based on the content they find.
So you definitely need good content! Imagine a user follows a link from a DIY forum because they promised comprehensive information on how to use the electric hedge trimmer “Häckselhack 2000”. What if he then only finds an irrelevant advertising text with vague information and no professional tutorial? That wouldn’t be a strong backlink.
Nobody knows more about chopping shears than you – their inventor and manufacturer. Use the knowledge about your company and your industry to create content with maximum informational content and benefit for your site visitors.
If you need help with brainstorming for new content, we recommend that you follow this link . Here is a quick checklist of what your site should definitely do:
- Content: As already mentioned, meaningful, local SEO-optimized content is absolutely essential. Also, make sure to avoid duplicate content. So do not copy your own texts or those of the competition. This will be penalized by Google. In any case, unique, individual content ensures a high recognition value and sets you apart from your competitors.
- Short loading times: Make sure that your page loads quickly. Images and graphics should preferably not be larger than 100 kilobytes in order to guarantee fast loading in the browser.
- Meta data: Meta titles and meta descriptions should be coordinated with the respective sub-pages. The meta titles make orientation easier when many tabs are open in the browser. Meta descriptions influence the click decision of the user in the Google search.
- Navigation: Can users find their way around quickly and easily? Your site should offer a meaningful and clear menu structure. This also includes internal links between sub-pages, which you can incorporate in your texts in meaningful places.
- Clean code: Check your site with appropriate webmaster tools and make sure that everything works behind the scenes. Are there broken links that cause 404 errors?
Basically, it can be said that Google rates the quality of the links higher than their quantity. Only when two competing websites both have strong inbound links will the page with the greater number of high quality backlinks be rated better. The higher the ranking of a page by local search engine optimization that links to your offer, the better.
With a large number of backlinks, it is not the amount that matters, but their versatility. If you have different content that solves different problems of the users, you expand the circle of possible backlink providers. Cover all areas related to your industry. This also gives you a larger selection of topics that you can link to on pages with further information. Remember that a balanced link profile includes backlinks as well as outbound hyperlinks as well as internal links on your site.
Also pay attention to which pages are linked to your website and check the quality of the source. You don’t want dubious or even illegal sites as a link provider, nor do you want posts that do not intersect with your content. A motorcycle manufacturer’s link to a cream cake baking recipe is an irrelevant link. Such links are penalized by Google and can lead to a lower local SEO ranking.
How a link is structured
Technically, a hyperlink is a piece of HTML code. This code is read by the browser and when activated (click on the link), the specified destination is steered towards.
A link to the example login page could look like this in the HTML code:
<a href=”https://example.com/login”> login page </a>
The anchor tag “a” shows the browser that a link begins here. The following section in quotation marks contains the link target in the form of its URL. This section is called the “Reference”.
A short anchor text follows – this is one or more words that are connected to the link. This anchor text can be selected in the browser with the mouse or touched with the finger on mobile screens to call up the link target. Linking pages with further information directly via suitable formulations in the running text is more elegant than posting the pure URL, which is of course also possible. For example, if a category of an online shop deals with bed frames, the description text could say: “We also have comfortable mattresses and cuddly soft bed linen.” The words “mattresses” and “bed linen” can be used as anchor texts to set internal links to the relevant categories.
The link is closed with the tag “/ a>”. If you work with a content management system like WordPress or Joomla, the editors of these applications do most of the work for you. The desired words can be marked there and the URL can be inserted using copy and paste.
Two types of links – dofollow and nofollow
Most of the links are “dofollow links”. This means that Google “follows” these links, that is, takes them into account when evaluating your link profile. However, the attribute “rel =“ nofollow ”can be used between the reference and the anchor text to create a“ nofollow link ”. This is not used by Google for evaluation.
Both dofollow and nofollow links belong in a balanced link profile. The nofollow process was originally introduced to contain advertising spam. For example, links from forums or comments in blogs are usually automatically nofollowed. Note that users won’t be able to tell the difference – these tags only affect search engines.
The link profile
Your link profile is made up of all the links that refer to your website, lead away from it or internally link on the page itself. Google analyzes and rates organic growth and the number of links. The types of websites and domains that link to you also play a role. Make sure that there is a balanced mix between large and small websites. Get backlinks from highly frequented industry portals as well as from niche sites with their small but mostly well-informed user communities.
A certain regularity in link building is important in order to allow a natural growth of the backlinks. So it’s better to set a new link every few days than twenty links in one day. Such obviously targeted and thus inorganic actions are recognized by Google as spam and may be penalized with a poorer ranking. Of course, backlinks that you don’t set yourself but that are created by users who like your content are ideal. Sometimes there are more and sometimes less of these – just an organic rhythm.
Link Building Strategies and Techniques
There’s no point waiting for the backlinks to come in on their own. There are various link building strategies that you can use to refer to your page yourself or to motivate others to do so. Here are a few suggestions.
- Content creation: Your content must convince new users. Write distinctive, unique texts that offer readers added value. Become the absolute specialist in your industry and use useful content to ensure that users like to link to your site.
- Social media marketing: Social networks like Facebook or Instagram are simply part of modern online marketing. There are now very few people who do not at least occasionally use these channels. For example, create a Facebook page to post news and interact directly with your target audience. You can then link to your homepage or specific landing pages in your posts. Social media follows its own laws – here you will find 10 useful tips for successful social media content.
- Business directories: Business directories offer a very obvious and simple solution for generating backlinks. In some industries there are even quite a few such pages on which companies present themselves with small profiles or are independently rated. Make sure to only use reputable providers. Think about organic link building and don’t work through all the directories at once.
- Link exchange: The direct link exchange between two pages is rather uncommon these days and can be punished for incompatible content. If two pages have a large number of direct links to each other, this could trigger Google’s protection against competition. In the meantime, online strategists tend to rely on a three-part model in which you first link to a related page, which then does not refer to you, but to a third website. You will then get your backlink from this third page. If this is to take place according to plan, good agreements in the partner network are necessary.
You’ve probably heard of Google’s Penguin algorithm before. This algorithm looks for unauthorized link building strategies and penalizes the domains in question. Therefore, here is an overview of which tactics you should avoid in link building with or without content.
- Do not link to or generate backlinks from dubious websites.
- Avoid dead links that lead to content that is no longer available.
- Do not link to or from sites that have nothing to do with your industry or business.
- Do not engage in link spamming, but rely on regular, organic link building.
- Clickbaiting is a no-go – if the link text makes promises that the content does not keep, just to get a lot of clicks, users will be disappointed and your reputation will be damaged.
Conclusion: content quality is decisive
Link building is an important measure to achieve the best possible Google ranking by local search engine optimization for your website. But it also takes patience – success will not come immediately. Especially if you are practically starting from scratch, it will take time for Google to recognize your link profile and give it the attention it deserves.
Create a page that users will happily link to. Make sure you have plenty of meaningful texts, graphics and images on your website. Ultimately, the quality of your content decides whether backlinks to your site are worthwhile. Other websites with strong content will then much rather cooperate with you. We wish you every success with your local search engine optimization link building strategies!