Three organic search mindsets to avoid
Search engines are pivotal discovery tools for the modern consumer. When people don't know where to find the answers to their questions, the first spot they often check is Google, Yahoo or Bing. Approximately 20 billion searches are conducted by American consumers each and every month, according to comScore, highlighting just how important these portals are to the average individual.
With that in mind, it's absolutely crucial small business owners incorporate search marketing into their broader promotional efforts. While pay-per-click advertising on Google, Bing and Yahoo can be expensive, there is absolutely no reason for entrepreneurs to not have at least some sort of organic search marketing effort in place.
Generally speaking, there are two phases to a successful search engine optimization campaign. First, entrepreneurs will include specific keywords on their small business websites to drive targeted traffic. The second, and arguably more difficult part, is generating backlinks from other sources. The latter is especially important because it shows to Google and the other search engines that a website is genuinely popular and not simply stuffed with certain phrases.
"Those backlinks signal to search engines how influential and relevant your business is online," writes Chris Sheehy in an article at MarketingProfs. They "trigger local citations of your business and aid in deepening your local market penetration."
Three mistakes to avoid when collecting backlinks
Backlinks are important. However, new small business owners may not necessarily know the best ways to generate them. While there are any number of ways to get other websites to link to a company page, there are a few mindsets entrepreneurs should avoid to ensure they don't get in their own way.
The first is the assumption that backlinks will naturally just appear. Yes, by producing new and compelling content through blogs and social media, others may be more inclined to link to a small business website. Satisfied customers may direct a few links toward an entrepreneur as well. But the fact of the matter is that business owners will need to work hard if they want to generate the number of backlinks that are needed to make a meaningful difference on Google.
Consistency is another issue with many backlink-building campaigns. "While the occasional flood of new links might yield good short-term results, you're better off with a consistent slow-and-steady approach that demonstrates sustained value to search engines," MarketingProfs advises. Search marketing isn't a 'set it and forget it' promotional effort, entrepreneurs will have to continue to work at it.
Pleasing search engines is an issue that many entrepreneurs run into as well. Regardless of which backlink-collecting strategy entrepreneurs deploy, it's important they always do so with the consumer in mind. Blackhat tactics designed to game the system, such as purchasing links on other highly-ranked web pages, are against every search engines' policies and can result in a small website being stripped of its ranking and blacklisted until these issues are addressed.
As previously mentioned, there are a number of ways entrepreneurs can generate more backlinks. Small business owners should consider the different options.
For example, entrepreneurs could submit their home pages to various online directories, which can help them generate free links from high-profile websites. This is a commonly used starter tactic among a number of new websites. This is done mainly for the link from highly-ranked pages, though, and not for clicks from these directories.
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