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Who said backlinking is DEAD?

BacklinkingBefore we delve into the relevance of backlinks to today’s site owner, we should quickly explain what a backlink is. For the novice website operator, backlinks are simply incoming links to a webpage. When a site links to another site on the web, that’s known as a backlink. 

In the SEO* community, there has been continuous debate about backlinking for the past few years, Google’s changes effectively turning “old school” SEO on its head. It’s even got to the point where some SEO “experts” claimed that backlinking is dead.

It’s not.

Authentic backlinks from quality sites are still one of the best things that can happen to your search rankings. You definitely do want organic links and citations back to your site. Originally there was a lot of weight placed on backlinks – a site would automatically become more important simply because of the sites that were linking to it. Whilst this is no longer a major component of the Google algorithm, quality links still make your site look good!

Some site owners find it hard to request backlinks, either because they don’t have a network of site owners that can provide links to them or they simply don’t how to go about getting these links sorted.

If you are one of these site owners, here’s a short of Australian business directories to get you underway – when you list your business with them, they all can backlink to your website. It’s important to note that these directories have been chosen for a very specific reason, they all allow FOLLOWING by the GoogleBots that trawl the web. Many similar directories actually block this function and will serve no SEO benefit to your site at all.

Hotfrog Australia: http://www.hotfrog.com.au/

LocalBD: http://www.localbd.com.au/

A to Z Pages: http://atozpages.com.au/

DLook: http://www.dlook.com.au/

Web Directory Australia: http://www.web-directory-australia.info/

National Directory: http://www.nationaldirectory.com.au/home.aspx

Please remember that directories like the above are only one way of getting backlinks – if you create great content that is helpful and informative and then share it around (on social media), authentic backlinks WILL come anyway.

If the content gives value to those viewing it, people will share and link back to the source – your website!

The algorithm used by Google to determine search ranking does change on a semi-regular basis but it seems that back-linking is always part of their equation. Putting that aside though, ANY inbound link to your small business website is a good thing – be it through Google or another source.

 

* Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results (thanks Wikipedia!).

 

* A directory that allows FOLLOWING passes on its outbound links to the GoogleBots. A directory set to NO FOLLOW basically hides its links and does share the value.

 

The power of a #Hashtag

The Power of a HashtagTwitter, the 140 word social media platform, has been with us since 2006 and one could excused for thinking that the #hashtag has been with us just as long. However the first tweets that featured a #hashtag actually appeared a year later when user Chris Messina decided to create a method of grouping like-minded tweets into the same clusters.

Nowadays, the #hashtag is an integral part of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and even Facebook. It can be used as a powerful tool for online marketing and any business owner who wants to drive their social media marketing on to success need to master their usage.

Choosing the right #hashtag to engage with your target audience needs some thought and practice. They are very similar to the keywords that are used in conjunction with search engines to find a website, if the wrong words are chosen then the results won’t point towards your business and you risk missing out on potential engagements.

Thankfully, it is not too hard to select #hashtags that will work for you. Here’s some simple items to consider when using #hashtags on your Social Media marketing:

  • Ensure that the #hashtag is relevant to the topic. Don’t be obtuse.
  • Take a look around the web and use #hashtags that are already in circulation. This doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own but commonly used tags have already got a “readership”.
  • When creating unique #hashtags, use words that will directly link back to your business. For example, if I were tagging marketing memes, I could start a “trend” with #rustysmarketingmemes. Watch that you don’t be too broad, as tags can be hijacked, leading to detrimental effects for your business.

The perfect mix for #hashtags in any single Social Media commentary is between one and two. Any more and research has shown there is a 17% drop in engagement. That said, #hashtags in your tweets, posts and pins increase the chances of your message being passed along to others. You’ll also be surprised as to how many followers you will attain – people monitor for hashtags rather than tweets.

At the end of the day, as with any Social Media, there is an inherent risk involved. Don’t share anything in your posts (along with those hashtags) that may have a negative effect on your business or personal life. Think before you post/tweet.

As already stated, the #hashtag is a powerful tool and can be made to work for your business. Smart companies like Black Milk Clothing have built themselves successfully through smart Social Media marketing and there is no reason other businesses can’t follow in their footsteps. Integrate a Social Media plan featuring the use of clever #hashtags with your regular business website and help your online traffic grow.

 

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design