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Continuing our course on SEO 101

Yesterday we went back to basics with an introduction to search engine optimization. Today I’m going to take you a little deeper into demonstrating to Google that your site is relevant. I touched on links yesterday but want to spend a little more time on links today because they are so important.

There are three different types of links that contribute to your search engine ranking:

  1. Internal links (links between pages on your site)
  2. External outbound links (links from your site out to other sites)
  3. External inbound links (links from other sites to your site)

All three types of links are important, but you have to be careful about where the links are coming from and going to. In order for the links to provide a search engine optimization benefit, they need to be from or to an authority site or demonstrate relevance to the search term.

Going back to yesterday’s example of a plastic surgeon, internal links that would be helpful not only from a search engine optimization standpoint, but also would improve the user experience would be to have links from the page that discusses the face lift procedure to on site testimonials from satisfied patients who had successful face lifts. That provides relevant information for the person seeking to learn more about getting a face lift and shows the search engines that you are adding new relevant content to your site (testimonials should be added on a regular basis to demonstrate that you have current happy clients, customers or patients, not just for your potential customers, but also for the search engines). The more current your content and the more recently your site is updated, the more relevant it is deemed from a search engine optimization viewpoint.

Continuing on this example and moving to the external outbound links, if the doctor was able to get video testimonials from his clients, those could be posted on his YouTube channel and then linked back to the relevant page on his site. YouTube is considered an authority site so links to and from that site are helpful in improving rankings with the search engines.

External inbound links from local business directories are great examples of authority sites that can boost your search engine optimization. If there is a directory not just plastic surgeons, but those specializing in face lifts, that would be an ideal link directly to the page on face lifts on the plastic surgeon’s site. Directory listings are examples of SEO tools that help on multiple levels: 1. you have an external authority verifying your business; 2. you are providing another confirmation of your business address and phone number to the search engines and 3. you get free advertising for your business. Some directories even allow for videos and and photos to enhance your listing and make you stand out against your competition.

There are many, many different types of external links and as long as they are relevant to the search term, they are all helpful. Building more links into and out of a site is a key component to improving search engine optimization. Prior to the Google updates this past year, article marketing was a great way to increase your page rank without spending a lot of money. That is one avenue that has been given less importance in the search engine optimization algorithm and has been replaced with social media links. Tomorrow we will go into more detail on what this means and how to get the most out of your social media presence, not just by engaging your fans, but also giving you a search engine optimization boost at the same time.

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