There’s a lot more to SEO than just great content. Sure, content is extremely important, but successful SEO is not a one ingredient recipe.
In addition to having topical unique content, getting other websites to link to it is important. In fact, in late March this year, a Google representative even acknowledged that, “…content and links pointing to your site” are two of the three most important ranking signals in their search algorithm.
Even if this was the only benefit of link building, it would be worth initiating a campaign. But wait, there’s more.
Why Links Are Important
The most important word when discussing the value of links is trust. Think of link building as trust building.
Who you rather purchase a car from? A dealership you trust, or a dealership you don’t?
Gaining Trust from Google
In Google’s eyes, a link from one website to your dealership is a sign of trust. It shows the search engine giant that other websites trust your business enough to either reference the content on your dealership site, or send their readership onward to your dealership site.
Not all links are equal though. A link from a related site, such as a model specific car club website sends tons of trust your way. Or, a link from a local business within your dealership’s sphere of influence shows Google you are a trusted business in the area.
Gaining Trust from Your Community
Besides the trust you get in the eyes of Google, having other nearby businesses link to your website from their own site or social networks builds trust. It shows area residents that visit the local coffee shop website linking to your dealership or the yoga studio that shares a blog post from your website on their Facebook page that other businesses in the area trust your car dealership.
Think of a link from a local business as the digital age’s word-of-mouth referral.
How Links Are Built
A considerable amount of strategy and resources are needed to build the right links and build them the right way. Google is now too sophisticated for cheap push-button automated link building tactics that worked in the past.
Most quality links are now built through outreach.
Creating Linkable Assets
The first step in outreach is actually creating an asset that’s worthy of a share or a link from an external website. Whether it’s a detailed and well-written car review that an aforementioned car club might be interested in, or a piece of content praising the best local bed & breakfasts, your dealership website needs assets to attract other businesses.
Contacting Relevant Websites
Now that you have great content sure to impress other community business owners or automotive website editors, you can proceed to the actual outreach. By contacting these other businesses, you help get that great content in front of sooner rather than later, and by taking initiative, you can include a call to action instead of passively hoping they share your great content and website with their readership.
Building links to your automotive dealership website is something that should not be ignored. Besides being a core part of Google’s ranking algorithm, it also builds brand awareness and trust throughout your community.
It’s a multiphase process that takes a lot of time and effort, but when done properly, the results are explosive.
For more information on how an experienced and award-winning agency like Stream Companies handles link building and SEO, check out our How Stream Does SEO e-book now.
All the best,
—Tim Backes is a Digital PR Coordinator at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.