• 02/19/13
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After the recent updates of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms, SEO experts and webmasters are having to rethink their SEO strategies. Back link building isn’t dead, but many traditional link building tactics have become relatively ineffective. In fact, some methods will certainly jeopardize your rankings. So what exactly do the experts recommend in 2013 and beyond?

The Good

Diversify Your Back Link Portfolio

Anyone who follows Google’s evolving rules knows that all links are not equal. The quality of the links is important, not the quantity. A natural link from a high-quality website will do so much more for your rankings than hundreds of “spammy” links from irrelevant websites. To demonstrate to Google that your content is truly relevant, focus on having more unpaid links than paid links. Share quality content on various social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to naturally cultivate backlinks.

Build Relationships

It may be an old rule, but it’s still true. Links will naturally come if you invest some time in building relationships in the self storage community. Engaging in conversation and demonstrating your expertise with credible content will generate more organic (and Google-friendly) links.

Develop Your Content Strategy

With such a wide variety of online platforms to engage with, you can never be short of places to develop your content strategy. Offer to be a guest writer on a self storage blog. Use video marketing on YouTube. Write insightful articles on Facebook. Publish a timely and relevant press release. Become an expert and people will follow you and link to you. You could even ask for a link on a high-ranking website. You never know who might give you a helping hand.

Join Local Business Groups

To gain credibility and expand your link portfolio, become a member of a trusted organization such as the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce in your area. There may be fees involved, but a good reputation is invaluable, and the links they might generate could boost your search engine rankings considerably.

Establish More Inbound Back Links than Outbound

This is still an important part of boosting your SEO power in 2013. Having more quality sites linking to you than the other way around will impress Google and the other search engines. These inbound links will show that you are a superior provider of information and that is exactly what Google likes.

The Bad

Unnatural Back Links

Over-optimizing your back links with a few select keyword anchors is not going to work anymore. Google now prefers to see back links in the form of raw URLs and your brand name. You can still use keywords as anchor texts for your back links. Just make sure around 70 percent of your total links are natural anchors that include your site name, URL, or your brand.

Poor Content

Google has become very good at identifying low-quality content. The new Panda update is even penalizing websites with too much shoddy content. Poor grammar, the use of too many keywords, and irrelevant content will harm your rankings. Focus on creating longer, well-written articles that people will actually want to read.

Unnatural and Paid Back Links

Many experts now agree that paid links are risky and could be costly, because it violates Google’s webmaster guidelines. Google sees it as manipulating search engine rankings and you could be penalized for doing it. It’s always safer to concentrate on building strong content to increase natural links.

Trading Back Links

Also called link exchange, this practice has been frowned upon by Google for a long time. It’s surprising to find that many people still request link exchanges, despite being a redundant SEO strategy.

The Risky

Directories

Following the most recent Google algorithm updates, the value of submitting websites to directories has declined. Some directories have even been given a negative value. Submitting a website to hundreds of directories using automated software may have once been acceptable, but it’s now recommended to remove these links altogether. Make sure you submit your site to quality directories that have a suitable category for your listing.

Blog Commenting

Unless your content strategy includes genuine participation in discussions throughout the internet, don’t post comments in blogs just to insert a back link. Focus your efforts on creating valuable content that can be shared through different online platforms. Only comment when you can add real value to a discussion.

The Bottom Line

Several years ago, it may have been more common to manipulate organic search results with methods that Google would later deem more suspect, but those days are over. Most experts now agree that effective link building calls for increased diversity and SEO methods that embrace more natural linking methods. A successful SEO strategy for your self storage business is a long-term commitment. In 2013, you should focus on creating high-quality content and becoming more involved in social media. The links will then come naturally.

Author: StorageAlly is the leader in affordable self storage training and support.

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