Once you have optimized everything, signed up to tons of directories, and gotten your review system down pat, there is one thing left that will make your website strong and make it rank higher:  Backlinks. 

What Is A Backlink?

A backlink is a link from another website back to a page on your website.  When someone links back to your site, it is like a "vote" for your site.  The more votes you get, the more powerful your site becomes.

From the referring site, a backlink is the hyperlinked text - usually underlined and in a different color.  If I were creating a backlink to my Facebook page, it would look like this.  If you click the word "this" in the prior sentence, you will be taken to my Facebook business page.  Hence, the name "backlink".

Keyword Rich Anchor Text Backlinks

I'm not going to get too technical in this local SEO guide to Google Places, but it is important that you understand what kind of backlinks really help to move your site in search results.

In the sentence above I created my backlink on the words "local SEO", thus making it a keyword rich anchor text backlink.  Anchor text is the words "local SEO" and I call them "keyword rich" because they are one of the keywords I would like this site to rank for.

Thus, if you were a home inspector and you wanted to rank for the term "Buffalo home inspector", you might look for ways to create your backlinks using "Buffalo home inspector" as the anchor text that activates the link back to your website.

Since each backlink to your site is a "vote" for your site, attaining keyword rich anchor text links is a great way to tell Google that you are being voted for as a "Buffalo home inspector".  In turn, Google may choose to move your website up in search results for the keyword phrase "Buffalo home inspector".  I say it "may" because (1) there is a lot that goes into building an effective SEO campaign and (2) none of us know what Google's ranking algorithm is, nor do we know how often they change it.

Getting a lot of quality backlinks is a key component to getting better search rankings and getting more visitors to your website.  Aside from the basic techniques below, I describe another way I get quality backlinks for my clients at Mike Munter SEO.

How To Get Basic Backlinks To Your Website

1.  Social Media Pages - If you read the page on this blog about social media then you know that a nice advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Youtube is they all give you a great opportunity to post your own content with links that point back to your main website.

2.  Directory Listings - Each vendor you do business with may have a "dealer locator" page that they use to funnel customers to their distribution channels.  If they do, check to see if they allow you to list your website along with your contact information.

3.  Standard Directory Listings - Online directories and review sites have replaced the Yellow Pages book as the #1 way look for products and services.  Some of the major online directories include Hotfrog, Best of the Web, Yahoo! Local Listing, Bing Local, Yelp, Citysearch, and of course, Google Places.  There are many, many other local directories available online and most of them give you the opportunity to list your business website for free.

Getting backlinks takes a lot of work.  If you write great content and promote it, you'll get found and people will naturally link to you.  This works to create backlinks to your site, but it can take a long time for it to effect your site in search rankings.  A continual flow of quality backlinks coming from a variety of sources and linking to a variety of pages within your main website is what you need to move in search results.  To do quality work yourself, might be a bit time consuming, but it can be done.

This is what I do, day in and day out, and it's probably one of the best reasons to have a professional do it for you, so that your time is freed up to focus on your business, play with your kids, or cut the grass.  The choice is yours.  Either way, I'm happy to answer your questions at 503-890-6663 or via email.