The seminars at Small Business BC have been going very well with attendance up from the winter. Recently, I delivered seminars to fairly full rooms at Waterfront Station in Vancouver joined by a number of video conferences attendees from cities like Prince Rupert, Langley, Ashcroft, Kelowna and Saskatoon. One of the attendees emailed me asking some great questions about link building, social media sites and sitemaps. So, instead of keeping that contained within an email, I’ve decided to include that dialogue as a blog post here. Hopefully, other small business people who are starting to build their website read this and learn a little bit.
Question: Hi Kevin! I enjoyed the seminar and learn a great deal, however, I am confused about “linking” I know it is important to build links. Am I trying to build links into our website. What about building links away from our website, is that the same importance? I have a flickr site for images which I posted on (link) my website that takes people AWAY from our website so I got rid of it. However, it is valuable for me to link TO our website from Flickr. Should I do both? Does it matter or is one better than the other?
Yes, you want other websites to link to you. That’s important. And it’s OK to have the occasional link going out, especially if it’s to one of your social media pages like Flickr. Just make sure that any link you have going out of your site is set to open in a new window or tab. In html notation, you link should look something like this.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/whatever" target="_blank">View my Pictures on Flickr</a>
Question: Our website is pretty simple and really doesn’t need a Site Map. You suggest we put a site map on our website and then submit it to Google to help increase google rankings. Can we submit our website without a Site Map for this purpose?
In my opinion, every website should have a sitemap. It’s just best practice and makes search engines happy. That sitemap should be submitted to Google use Google Webmaster Tools. www.google.com/webmasters/tools/. You can also submit your website to Google without the sitemap as follows. But you’re still relying on the search engine spiders to click through and find all of your pages and content. For small sites, you can get by without a sitemap but it might take a bit longer to get index in Google. www.google.com/addurl/.
And as always, I’m open to learning as well. So, if you want to add to the conversation or teach me a lesson or two, just comment below.