Links are extremely important for good SEO, because they are the fundamental foundation upon which SEO is built. Google was founded by Stanford Computer Science Ph.D’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin on the basis of an algorithm they developed in school, later known as PageRank. The basic goal was to rank pages according to some important signal – which they determined to be links. And this makes sense, right? If you want to know what book you should read, it’s great to know the topic area of interest, book titles, the qualifications of an author, etc., but there are just so many books! So you turn to the bestseller list, or Amazon reviews, or some signal that someone else read the book and liked it.
Well, the same applies here. The best websites are trusted by other readers, and links back to a specific website, are an extremely powerful signal. If your website receives relevant links, your SEO will improve. It’s as simple as that – yes, we evaluate 50 other factors (literally) on a per page basis to improve SEO, but quality links are still extremely important.
So where can you get those links? One source is your social network.
Industry partners, customers, and friends are a great resource for links. Generally speaking these groups of people have great information about your industry and what you do (the exception here might often be your friends, actually). I encourage you to ask them for a link, and in exchange you will provide relevant content on their own website, which will help their SEO.
This is called “guest posting”, and as long as the content you post on their website, that also links back to yours, is relevant to your own website, then you’re golden. Yes, there are lots of exceptions to this rule and not all of your industry partners, customers, or friends can provide great links. Nonetheless, this is the place to start. In the same way your business has close ties to the people within it and around it (i.e. employees and customers), your website requires the same social support.