Matt Cutts posted a telling Google Webmaster Help video the other day, answering the formidable question, “How Can I Get My Business Known Online?”.
For a brand-new business and domain name, your online success absolutely hinges on building links and domain authority. You can have a stellar spider-friendly site that’s optimized for all your target keywords, and still… nothing, unless people – the right people – are also linking to you. Because as we all know, Google’s algorithm determines the “importance” of a webpage by looking at what other pages link to it.
Matt’s answer was to “Build Something Excellent”. Your online success, your potential for link building, your potential to convert the traffic you receive – it hinges on the excellence of YOU. What makes you different, what makes you special, what would make anyone care about you and your website and core offering in the first place. Your business plan. Your Unique Value Proposition. (Wait, did I just link to Wikipedia? Shoot…)
If you have created an online presence with sparse content, doesn’t say anything new, and doesn’t do anything different than your competitors (and no, offering overnight shipping is not a stand-alone differentiator), then you’re going to have a rough time of it. An SEO or PPC consultant won’t be able to fix all this. In terms of link building, our work will really be cut out for us. We’ll put out feelers and link requests, and many will be ignored. Your priorities will be skewed – you’ll be hiring a link builder, but what you really need is to hire a good copywriter and web designer to make your site link-worthy. After all: the traffic you receive is only as good as your ability to convert it.
Otherwise, no one will understand why they should link to you – much less buy from you. More importantly, your content won’t come close to attracting buzz, links, and domain authority on its own. This is probably one reason why Eric Ward’s site (one of the most respected link-building experts in the world) begins with the words, “If you have a web site offering original and outstanding content…”
Luckily, we can certainly point you in the right direction when it comes to building something excellent online. But your success also hinges whether your core offering has the potential for excellence and true online differentiation in the first place.