Do It Today! - Review Those Inbound Links!

Lightning representing inbound links to website
Let me quickly establish, once again, the target audience for my articles. I write for technical sales professionals and marketers, modest in size, that operate in the commercial and industrial arenas. A more focused description can be found in my previous article Signs You Might Be On The Wrong Social Media Marketing Track.

Two primary functions of your social media efforts are:

  • Discovery, by providing multiple paths through which your organization can be found on the internet.
  • Presence, which can be thought of as your public facing digital business front.
An important part of both is the inbound links that bring visitors to your web pages from web pages that are not yours. If your company represents or distributes for ZZZ Manufacturing (a fictitious company), ZZZ might have a link on their site that leads to your site. This makes sense because your company is a vendor source from which ZZZ products can be purchased. The link to your site on ZZZ's site is an inbound link to your site. These can have substantial value because potential customers may be directed to your website, even though they were not specifically searching for your company.

You should review known inbound links on a regular basis. How often you do it should be a function of what you find. If there are numerous errors or omissions, frequency should be higher until everything appears in order. There are some basic things you should do.

  • If possible, have an inbound link from every company for which you sell products or services.
  • Where inbound links exist, make sure they go to the correct landing page on your site.
  • Take steps to try and get incorrect or missing inbound links remedied. This can be challenging in some cases, but the effort is worth the investment of your time.
  • Inbound links should generally land on your website pages that will not be deleted or have their URL (the page address) or subject changed when your website is periodically updated. It is possible to map old web page URLs to a new site, but if the operation is omitted the links could be lost forever.
  • Reciprocate to those providing inbound links to your site with a link from your site to theirs. Many of you already have examples of these on your sites (a link to the website of a company your sell for).
While your are checking for inbound links from your represented companies, review how they might portray your company on their site. If there is a listing for your distributor firm, click on every link shown and review what your potential customers will see. One of our customers was listed on their principal's site along with a click that would ostensibly show the distributor's place of business. The site did not contain actual photos of the distributor's place of business, but used a sort of Google Earth setup to show what was located at the address provided for the business. In this particular case, the map service returned and displayed a picture of a vintage looking donut shop, clearly not our customer's place of business. This is an example of the potential inaccuracies you need to discover and take steps to have corrected.

Do it today. Have someone else at your company do it today. If you put it off, it's too easy to forget. Inbound links and listing information about your company will be the first impression some have of your business. You need that impression to be as positive as you can make it.

Follow, comment, contact me with your questions. I can be contacted directly at CMS4i by putting @TomO in the message section. At CMS4i, we help small companies build their brand and web presence, so contact us anytime.