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The Right And Wrong Way To Get Inbound Links For Your Local Business

We emphasize with our clients the importance of inbound links for local business constantly. When having a website, inbound links can be helpful by improving off-page search engine optimization (SEO), increasing website traffic which is helpful with generating leads, sales and public relations for the local business’s webpage.

And though inbound links are important, there are wrong ways and right ways to go about using inbound links for any local business.

There are three major wrong ways (to name only a few) to gain inbound links for local businesses:

  • Bartering
  • Bribing
  • Buying

Bartering: By bartering, I mean suggesting to another webpage that if they use your link then you will in return use their link. This may temporarily boost traffic to your webpage, but in the end it will be noticeable to search engines that the two sites are linked together and, in a way, red flag your link.

Bribing: Bribing is also frowned upon, and can be hazardous to your search engine rankings, as well. Companies offer to send you merchandise, coupons, among other generosities if you make an inbound link that links to their site. This is considered wrong by many, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). And who wants the FTC against them?!?

Buying: Though buying is just as bad as bribing and bartering, it’s probably the most affective of the three due to the fact it allows buyers to keep track of the links, making sure they aren’t placed in locations that aren’t considered good. There are websites and services that will help a local business purchase links that are on other sites, but again, it’s not the best way to go about gaining inbound links.

On an entry level, the right way to use and get inbound links on any local business website requires a minimal amount of steps, and even a beginner can make it happen:

  • Get yourself into online directories: Directories are huge when it comes to people finding and checking you out online. Directories help drive people back to your site, and the more people who come to your website via links and are satisfied with the information you offer, the more
  • Have an optimized business blog.
  • Post in article directories.

Written By

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL's Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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