When it comes to optimising a website so it improves in search engine rankings, officially known as search engine optimisation, there are lots of possibilities. The top priority is understanding what your target market are searching for, why, and how they are behaving while on the internet. But, underlying that is some other small things which can increase your search engine love, and one of them is encouraging links to your website via external sources. But how?

Google sends a lot of love towards those websites that are already well loved. At the end of the day, all search engines aim to do is provide the most suitable results for the consumers’ search. So, it is in their best interests to provide the most popular, and relevant, pages. There are a number of simple ways you can get your web address out there in the world wide web:

1. Sponsorship and donations

If you sponsor an event, cause, charity, sporting group – whatever it may be, encourage them to link to your website on theirs. And do the same on yours. The more reciprocal links you can have, the better.

2. Partners and affiliations – membership

Memberships with certain groups or associations that gets you a listing on their website is another way to boost your search rankings, but be sure that you’re choosy with your listings and that the content is always up to date. There are plenty of bogus ‘directory’ websites out there which you should avoid at all costs.

3. Comments on blogs and news articles

If you have the time to read blogs or news, and have a worthwhile (and not too controversial) comment to add, do so, and include your website address. If people like what you have to say, and want to read more, give them the opportunity to find out more about you.

4. Twitter and Facebook

Okay these two are pretty obvious. If your target market is in the social media realm (and you’ll be surprised to know that it’s not all teenagers and perverts) then you need to get yourself into this space and it will improve your rankings.

5. Clients and customers

If, like us, you service a business market, see if you can arrange your clients or customers to link back to your site whilst talking about how fantastic you are.

6. Suppliers

If, like us, you also have a series of suppliers you work with, again see if you can appear on their ‘our clients’ or ‘our work’ page or similar. This is especially important in retail – encouraging your suppliers to list you as a ‘stockist’ on their website.

These are only a few points to work from, but there are much more. It’s just about being active on the web, being diligent with updating and ensuring there’s a lot of love going around!

To stay true to my word, thanks to The Age for some assistance with this article.