Week Four: Link Building and Directories

Links are how Google indexes your website

Search engines are complex and massive, and change the way they work all the time. Understanding the ins and outs is a full time job. However, the core way that Search Engines find and index sites hasn’t changed since they were first invented – they work through links. Google will look at a webpage, find all the other pages that first page links to. Then find all the pages those pages link to. It will continue on and on for as long as it can. The web is just that – a connected web of pages and sites.

So, in super basic terms, the more links you have pointing to your website, the easier it is to find. Not too long ago, you could pay a bunch of websites to link to your site and boom – you’ll improve your rankings. Google got wise to this and now buying links en masse is SEO suicide. You have to build links the hard way. By offering great content that others want to link to, or submitting your site to relevent directories.

Another thing to note is that not all links are equal. A link from a blog comment will do very little for SEO, but a link from a .gov.uk site should be a massive boost. Getting good links for Martial Arts schools is going to be difficult, but here are some things you could try.

1 – Talk to local Schools and Universities about linking to your self defence classes

If you offer a self defense class that will be applicable to Students, talk to local Universities about having your class listed on any student resource directories they have. If you can offer a Student Discount, they’ll be much more likely to list your class. Ideally you’ll want to be listed on a .ac.uk domain (as this will give you the biggest SEO boost) but if you get your class listed on the local Universities Student Union page, that’s going to offer a good boost too. Obviously, you’ll hopefully get a good number of bookings just from being listed, you can see the SEO boost as a bonus!

Try and create a dedicated page for Students where they can book. A page thats custom designed to appeal to students, and makes it clear what class they’re booking for. We’re going to talk about creating dedicated pages for different campaigns in a few weeks. If you do create a new page, remember to use the tips from last weeks guide to YOAST.

2 – Offer to write a post for a Martial Arts or Fitness blog

Websites are always looking for content. As I’ve mentioned before, having consistently updated content is one of the best ways to get traffic to a website. But creating all that content is a big use of resources, and websites are often looking for ways to get external help. If you can offer to write a relevant article, many sites will be willing to publish it in exchange for linking back to your site. Find a relevant site and try and get in touch with them. Have your topic idea ready to go for the discussion, and show them the posts you’ve written in previous weeks.

3 – List your sites on Martial Arts Directories

Ideally, you want most of your links to be from relevant (ie Martial Arts focused) websites. If you’re reading this, chances are you already have a in at one of the UKs largest Martial Arts directories – getintomartialarts.com!

For the uninitiated, all NEST clients get a free getintomartialarts.com listing. You should put some effort into your listing, and make sure you have a good description of your school, correct information about your trial classes and some good photos. Having a detailed listing will help your SEO, as well as increasing you chances of getting bookings directly.

You can find more info about how to correctly set up your Get Into Martial Arts listing here.

There are other directory listings our there, not just for Martial Arts but also general fitness and self defense. The more relevant sites that link to you, the better. Just make sure they are relevant and you’re not buying links just for the sake of links.

Week Four Wrap Up

Getting links can’t be a one-time thing. Its a difficult and time consuming activity, but it’s well worth the effort and a handful of good, relevant links to your site should offer an almost immediate boost in traffic. If you can only put your time behind getting links once, focus on getting listed on any local School/University directories. .gov.uk and .ac.uk domains are the most trusted in the country, and they’ll add some trustworthiness to your site that WILL boost your rankings.

PREVIOUS WEEKS:

Week One: Why SEO? Social Accounts. Google My Business.

Week Two: Analytics, Blogs and Homepage

Week Three: YOAST Plugin, New Blog Post, Directories

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