Links, links, links! Using inbound links to boost Google rankings

Links, links, links! Using inbound links to boost Google rankings

Tuesday 14th January 2020 at 08:57

By Rob

Links, links, links!

Inbound linking

This article is great for you if you fit into any of the below:-

  • Want to improve your rankings in Google?
  • Don't have the budget for a Google Adwords or Shopping campaign?
  • Have you already tried optimising your site itself, but aren't getting rankings?

In this article I'll explain the importance of inbound linking, and why it is a MAJOR component of being found organically on Google.

This article is designed as a plain English, simple guide for small business owners selling antiques, art, vintage items and retail products online about what inbound links are, and how to use them to boost your Google rankings.

Where possible I've done my best to turn tech speak into simple English for normal people!


1) What is an inbound link?

Inbound links are links from other websites to your website.

Let's take an example...

  • You're a specialist in Antique Chairs
  • Your business is based in Derby
  • Your web address is

Inbound links would be things such as:-

  • Local websites in Derby linking to your website as a relevant local business
  • An antiques & interior design blogger writing an article on their website about Antique chairs, including links to some chairs on your website

Inbound links are not to be confused with outbound links. An outbound link is when you have a link on your website pointing to somebody else's website. For example, if you sell Antique Chairs you might have a link to some specialist antique shipping companies on your website. These would be outbound links.


Google inbound linking

2) Why do they matter?

With well over a billion websites online now, Google can't have them all ranking on page 1 for popular search terms. Google uses a whole range of things to judge how websites rank. One of the most important of these is inbound links. Google uses these as a gauge of how popular and credible your website is.

So think of using inbound links as Google's popularity contest for your website.


Antique Chairs
Image: Antique Chairs from our client Appley Hoare Antiques

3) What kinds of links are good?

It's not just about having LOTS of links to your website. In fact, having lots of links can sometimes have very little effect (or even a negative effect if they're spammy links). Here are the best kinds of links:-

  • Relevant
    • If you want to be found under searches for "antique chairs" for example, the best kinds of links will be those from pages which are about antiques, chairs, interior design, furniture... etc.
    • So for example, a link to your antique chair website from an antiques blogger who is talking on their page about antiques chairs would be ideal. A link from wedding DJ website which is talking about the top 10 wedding songs obviously isn't relevant.
  • Credible
    • There are a lot of spammy websites online. Many people build websites purely for the purposes of building links (what we'd call "spammy" links)
    • Google is wise to this. So having links from credible (and well established) websites is what you want.
  • Popular
    • A link from a website which has lots of good links itself is going to be better than a link from a website which nobody links to.
    • So, a link from the Telegraphs website will be better than a link from Dave's Wedding DJ website, because the Telegraph is likely to have a lot more links pointing to it.
    • According to research from internationally respected SEO experts such as Neil Patel, one link from a high reputation website (eg the Telegraph) would be much better than lots of links from low reputation websites.


4) How can I check who already links to me?

There are various tools out there to find out, many of which you have to pay for or will only give you limited information without having to pay.

A great tool for finding out who links to you is the Link Explorer from Moz. This will help you measure your website in terms of domain rank and page rank (a number out of 100 on how well ranked your site is from an inbound links perspective). There are limits to what they'll show you without you paying for their service, but the amount of info you can get for free is very good, so it's a great place to start.



Google inbound linking

5) How can I get links to my site?

a) The right way

One very important thing to remember is building good quality links will usually take time. Patience and a bit of graft is essential.

If patience isn't an option, and you're deseperate for traffic from Google much quicker then we'd strongly recommend Google Adwords and Google Shopping (these are paid for advertising services on Google - but you will need a sensible budget of at least a few hundred £  / $ / € per month and somebody who knows what they're doing to manage it all for you).

Here are some ideas on how you can get websites linking to yours:-

  • Hire a good PR agency
    • One of the best ways you can do this is through online PR about your business and the products you're selling, and for any online PR to include links to your website.
    • This is not something we provide ourselves, but any good PR agency who has experience in working with online businesses should be able to help you with this and should have a good knowledge of inbound linking.
  • Ask... !
    (don't ask, don't get)
    • If you know anybody with their own website, or other business owners, ask if they'll link to your website. Don't ask = don't get.
    • Be sure (if possible) to make sure the links contain words or phrases that are relevant to what you're selling and keywords you'd like to appear under
    • eg, instead of the link just saying, get the actual wording of the link to say what you do, eg Antique Chairs by Dave's Antique Furniture Company
  • Network within your industry
    • If you don't know anyone who can link to your website, network and make connections within your industry.
  • Buy links
    • There isn't anything wrong with buying links to your website, or hiring pages on other people's websites, so long as the links are from credible and reputable websites
    • Do be careful however, as there's lots of people trying to sell spammy links. Read onto "the wrong way" below for details!


Spammy junk links

b) The wrong way

Believe it or not some links can be BAD links! These do more harm than good to your Google rankings.

Many devious and unscrupulous businesses offer search engine optimisation (SEO) services which sell spammy links. This often involves creating websites that do little other than link to other websites. Google have gotten wise to this, and weed out these spammy and artificial websites. In some cases Google also penalize websites that leverage links like this.

Often business owners can fall for the claims made by companies like this and pay for these SEO services to find their rankings jump to page 1 for an extremely short period of time, then to fall from the face of the earth thereafter.

So if you get an email out of the blue from someone offering you SEO services or inbound links; avoid, avoid, avoid!


Google inbound linking

6) Conclusion

Of course before you do any of this make sure you start with a website which has been built to be search engine optimised and to Google's latest standards. This is certainly something we can help with as we've been building websites since 2004. Click here to contact us about our web design services

Once you have a site built to Google's standards, and you've written item titles and descriptions properly then if you'd like a decent flow of traffic from Google and you're not going to be doing Google AdWords & Google Shopping then inbound linking should be a high priority for you and/or your PR company.


7) Further reading

We can help you sell online easily too!

We have been helping antiques, vintage and art dealers sell online easily since 2004, and we can help you too.

If you need a new website for your business, contact us on...

Click here to contact us by email

or call us on

323 410 1032

As well as a hand held service, all our customers receive a copy of our marketing tips book which gives you lots of tips and advice on this on how to succeed online.

Antiques Web Design

By Rob
Tuesday 14th January 2020 at 08:57

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