When someone searches the web for a keyword, search engines use two major metrics to determine which pages to rank highest in their results. We discussed the easy part last month (content on your pages).  The most important metric the search engines use is what they call “link popularity”.

What is link popularity? When Google was first being developed, it was based on the theory that a page that was being linked to by other sites was an authority on a subject.  This makes a lot of sense–most people link to good sites, not bad ones.

You can boost your link popularity in a few ways.  The easiest is to submit your website to directories like dmoz.org, but it takes a long time for links to get added.  You could also get links from your vendors, suppliers, or from people who review your restaurant, service or product.

Getting people talking about your site on social networks is another great way to build link popularity.  You can make this easy by adding buttons to your site that make it easy for people to share links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, UrbanSpoon, or any other niche social networks.

Don’t forget though: the best way to get links to your site is to have great content.