I’m often asked what kinds of pages a business should link to. The SEO community is buzzing about how RELEVANCY means so much more to results than QUANTITY, or even PageRank. And it’s true – relevance plays a key role in why a link helps to improve ranking. If you’re a doctor promoting your services, it’s important that your links appear on health and medical related sites. If you’re an attorney, you should link to sites about law and crime
But how specifically related do the sites need to be?
Here are some examples. If you’re a FAMILY LAW attorney, it’s ideal to link to sites about Divorce and child custody. Will linking to a site about Hershey, Pennsylvania’s drinking and driving laws work? Well, yes, actually – because it’s in the LAW VERTICAL. If you’re a plastic surgeon, will a link on a weight loss or fitness site work? Or how about a site about home health care? Yes again. Sure, it’s ideal to link to sites about face-lifts and tummy tucks, but any HEALTH or MEDICAL site is good. If you sell rims and tires, any site about cars will impact your rankings. If you are a roofer, sites related to home improvement, construction, home and garden, even a site about plumbing is still in the same VERTICAL.
Here’s another hint. When you can’t find anything in your vertical because your product is very specific, link to a newspaper site. Newspapers are about EVERYTHING and everyone reads the news, so they are relevant to nearly every subject!
Basically, as long as you’re not linking to a site that’s very “un-relevant” (say a link to an iPhone page on a sports blog, for example) you’re probably in good shape.
What if you’re trying to increase your rankings for a specific geography? Again, there’s the ideal link, and then there’s the link that will work. Ideally, you could find a site about your topic that’s also geo-specific. Maybe the Seattle Post Intelligencer is doing an article on home security and you sell security systems in the Seattle area. Perfect, right? But what are the chances the local paper is going to do that article, or that you’ll be able to secure that link. Instead, you need to look for sites related to your VERTICAL (in this case, house and home) and when you get the link, include “Seattle” in your anchor text. It’s that simple. The search engines don’t quite get that the site you linked to is in California or Canada or Australia. If the anchor text says “Security Systems Seattle”, that link is going to help you rank for that keyword.
I know this trick from personal experience. I’ve helped several medium business owners build links on sites that are nowhere near where they do business, but ARE related to their subject matter. The geo-targeting was all done through their anchor text, and it always works.
Thanks for reading.
David McBee, Kansas City Internet Marketing (See what I did there? See how I included the geography and the keywords I’m trying to rank for in my anchor text?)