Chauncey: Welcome to the Being Found Show. I am your host Chauncey Haworth here with Jake Hinton. We are here to help local businesses connect to their online buying market. I spent 20 minutes this morning listening to my wife tell me how stupid it is that I have a business show on Saturday morning. I mean she did it as nicely as possible, but still, she did it. It’s not a bad way to spend Saturday morning. It’s also something that is a topic that I love. I think about it all week and not because I have to. Even if I didn’t prep for the show and I had nothing to talk about I could easily come in here and talk about it still.
So on today’s show, we’re going to be talking about backlinking which is like the holy grail of online marketing. You could have a terrible website, and if you had a backlink from the home page of Google, you would probably be ranking for tons of stuff.
Backlinks are when an external website links back to your site. The quality of a backlink can be exponential. If you have a crappy one, it can be worth one point, but you get a good one, it could be worth a million points, just from a different domain. This is why some people refer to them as external backlinks or inbound links. The reason why they call them external backlinks or inbound links is because another part of SEO is internal links which are linking to another part of your site. But right now we’re talking about sites that are not your site.
Ultimately when it comes to online marketing, you can split it into two segments. One is the on-site optimization, and the other is offsite optimization. Now, of course, they bleed over one another on a regular basis. Backlinking starts on the offsite part of things. The efforts tend to start on site but for the mental categorization, we will say it is all offsite.
Jake: A few weeks ago one of our clients had a community event. So what I did was I went on all the community websites and submitted my event or their event rather to their calendars which contained the link back to the website.
Chauncey: That’s an underused backlink as far as community involvement goes. People don’t realize your events can be rather simple. If I am a restaurant and on Tuesday I will have 10% off for new customers, that can be a community event. A lot of the time people will do some promotion but won’t spread the word or tell people about it. Linking to your site for community events is a great way to draw traffic and bring positive attention to your site from Google.
To build backlinks first you want to get your website all up and running and fix all structural issues. Then you want to think about what you’re linking to. A big thing to consider is if your site is relevant. Are you using the right words to draw your ideal audience to your site in the way they are searching for you? If you’re a construction company and you’re showing up for some other topic like carpet cleaning, your site is not relevant. You’d be surprised how often people do this because they automatically assume that everybody understands that they’re relevant through their pictures and they don’t do it through their text. Search engines are picking up that tag, and when your website shows up in search, that text that shows up as the description is coming from your website. So you need to provide that correct and relevant information for the search.
Jake: Not only that but people are depending on the title and the meta description of the page which is often being pulled from the page to know what your site is about. When those things don’t match, Google is confused. So are the people who go to your page.
Chauncey: Absolutely. So my next question is, is your site fast? We can’t cover this one enough. That’s maybe one that not your average business owner can get in there and optimize, but you can test it to find out. You can go to Google Page Speed Insights and test it and then you’ve got something to talk to your marketing company about and say what’s up with this? Why is this not moving quickly?
The next is, is your site mobile friendly. This is one that we hit every show. You would still be surprised by how many sites aren’t mobile-friendly and those sites are losing out big time. To find out you can go to Google’s Mobile Testing Tool. It will track all your pages and will tell you if one is wonky or one isn’t showing up. While you’re at it bring it up on your phone and if you can’t figure out what you’re looking at because the tool can only go so far, get in there yourself. It is still a machine, and you may need a human brain to figure out if your site is correctly optimized for mobile platforms. Of course, you want to appease the machine because the machine is making the initial decision.
Jake: You just said something from like a dystopian book. Totally; Appease the machine.
Chauncey: Sure that scares a lot of people, but before you do your backlinking you want to make sure users can convert when they get there. If they don’t like what they see, whether it be an incorrect phone number or a page that doesn’t work on the platform they are using, they aren’t going to convert.
Before even starting on your backlinks, your site needs to be relevant, quick, and correctly optimized for mobile devices. Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #63 or subscribe to our Podcast.