Page rank is an assessment of the authority and value of a website in Google’s algorithm. You can find plug-in tools for your browser or online tools (see the references section for links to some of these) to check the page rank of any given site. You can also check your own website’s page rank. The higher the page rank, the more likely it is that your SEO efforts are succeeding.
And that’s exactly where your customers are going to find the products and services that help them solve their greatest challenges. For most online consumers, the buyer’s journey begins on a search engine like Google. They will search for keywords and phrases that match their challenges and needs, and then navigate to pages that can help educate them about solutions. If your business shows up first, it can add an extra $100,000 in revenue to your business.
Some brilliant tips and advice here, I am curious you mention the directory sites to submit to and I notice a lot of my competitors are on such sites but a lot of these sites want links back which would mean I would need pages of links on my site and that is something I don’t see on competitors sites – how do they manage that would it be all paid for or is there a trick

"I hope the new site and optimizing keeps it rolling! You guys have done an awesome job! If you have any more suggestions count me in. I don't know if you remember but my goal was to get 2000 natural applications a month by year end. August we had 1200! March we had under 50! Unbelievable! Next years goal is by year end is to be getting 4000 a month. Then I take you, a member of the link team on a weekend trip for some fun all expenses on me." Melissa E.

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Donating your time or money to local charities, organizations, and schools is actually a great - yet often overlooked - way of obtaining backlinks. Such organizations often have pages where they promote sponsors and donors, giving you the opportunity to net a backlink from a trusted organization. If such an organization has a donors section on their homepage, that's even better!
Always remember that the ultimate objective with any search engine optimization efforts is to get more exposure and traffic for your business or your site’s content.  Look for ways that search engine traffic can help your business and site: don’t just chase after the latest SEO buzzwords or jump every time Google makes a recommendation that might improve your search rankings while hurting your overall business.
I segmented different verticals, did a Google search to see which website ranked #1 for that query (keep in mind that I performed this search using a VPN and not at the targeted location to get 'cleaner' results, so yours would be different, especially for local types of businesses), added it to my list, and then averaged out the percentages of link types (which I pulled from Click the link below to see my dataset.
There are several factors that determine the value of a backlink. Backlinks from authoritative sites on a given topic are highly valuable. If both sites and pages have content geared toward the topic, the backlink is considered relevant and believed to have strong influence on the search engine rankings of the web page granted the backlink. A backlink represents a favorable 'editorial vote' for the receiving webpage from another granting webpage. Another important factor is the anchor text of the backlink. Anchor text is the descriptive labeling of the hyperlink as it appears on a web page. Search engine bots (i.e., spiders, crawlers, etc.) examine the anchor text to evaluate how relevant it is to the content on a webpage. Anchor text and webpage content congruency are highly weighted in search engine results page (SERP) rankings of a webpage with respect to any given keyword query by a search engine user. 

SEO may generate an adequate return on investment. However, search engines are not paid for organic search traffic, their algorithms change, and there are no guarantees of continued referrals. Due to this lack of guarantees and certainty, a business that relies heavily on search engine traffic can suffer major losses if the search engines stop sending visitors.[60] Search engines can change their algorithms, impacting a website's placement, possibly resulting in a serious loss of traffic. According to Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, in 2010, Google made over 500 algorithm changes – almost 1.5 per day.[61] It is considered a wise business practice for website operators to liberate themselves from dependence on search engine traffic.[62] In addition to accessibility in terms of web crawlers (addressed above), user web accessibility has become increasingly important for SEO.

They determine “quality” by a number of means, but prominent among those is still the number and quality of other websites that link to your page and your site as a whole. To put it extremely simply: If the only sites that link to your blue widget site are blogs that no one else on the Web has linked to, and my blue widget site gets links from trusted places that are linked to frequently, like, my site will be more trusted (and assumed to be higher quality) than yours.

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Gaining Google's trust doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. Think about building up your relationship with anyone. The longer you know that person, the more likely that trust will solidify. So, the reasoning is, that if Google just met you, it's going to have a hard time trusting you. If you want Google to trust you, you have to get other people that Google already trusts, to vouch for you. This is also known as link-building.
There is no secret that getting hiqh-quality backlinks is your website’s way to better ranking in Google. But how to differ good link from the bad one? Carefully choosing backlinks is a very tremulous and important task for everyone who wants to optimize their sites. There are a lot of different tools which can help you to check whether your backlinks are trustful and can bring your website value. 
SEO means "search engine optimization" and it's a crucial part of your overall online strategy. It’s about improving your online visibility by achieving high rankings on Google search results and attract organic search traffic. There are several SEO services you can buy to help you boost your online presence. These include on-page optimization such as keyword research and meta tags, off-page optimization to enhance online authority with quality content and link building, and technical improvements to help your site achieve more prominence in search results.