I want to talk today about something close to my strange and nerdy heart.
Links equal love from Google. Links equal traffic. Links equal happiness for us.
The Importance of Link Building...
If you’re totally new to online marketing, you might not be aware that search engines like Google use information they gather on the number of other websites link in to yours (or any site or page on a site) to measure what they would call the ‘authority’ of web pages. Basically, if loads of people link in to a webpage, Google think that page is ace.
If no one at all links to it, they’ll probably think it’s, well, a bit rubbish. Or at least more rubbish than an equally well keyword optimized, but more widely linked to competing page.
So, as well as having some immediate and obvious benefits (getting direct traffic from other sites, building relationships with other site owners with businesses, pages, products – whatever – related to yours) link building plays a fundamental part in that much discussed subject of search engine optimization.
If you think back to the Internet of yesteryear, you may well remember how most sites used to have a whole page on their site dedicated to links. Indeed, traditionally, people used to ‘exchange’ links on link pages as if they were a valuable commodity.
But that form of link building gives little return. Where link building has the biggest impact is with linked keywords.
Say you have a page all about ‘treatment for painful bunions’ which you have optimised for ‘treatment for painful bunions’ by including that phrase in the headline, in the opening paragraph of text etc.
If another site is talking about a similar matter (say problems with feet), and when they mention ‘treatment for painful bunions’ they link through to your specific PAGE about that subject (so that it looks like this… treatment for painful bunions) you will get some serious kudos for that search term from Google. The more similar links you have the better. And the better (and more linked to) the sites are that you get the links from the better too.
Link building has huge potential but it’s one of the less talked about elements to traffic and list building.
That’s mainly because it is time consuming. I mean, the usual ‘quick fixes’ turn up of course. In this case in the form of spammy directories and listings sites and software that will submit and post your URL on many thousands of rubbish spammy aggregators on your behalf.
But the more the Internet and its users advance and the more Google crack down, the less and less impact that type of link building will have.
And it has very little impact already.
Plus it is nowhere near as FUN as some of the link building ideas I want to present to you today.
As I’ve already said, If a page secures lots of links there's a great chance the page will be regarded as an authority.
When angry/scary/I’m-sure-they’re-lovely-in-real-life individuals have arguments in forums about link building someone will invariably pull out the argument that says that any link is worth having.
That is true. No dispute. But quality links have more clout, so, with that in mind, how can you secure links that carry genuine weight?
Simple, create something worth linking to!
The problem is this isn't simple; it's hard. It requires thought, planning, research, creativity and hard work and because of this most people revert to link spam.
5 Link Building Tips
So here, without further ado, are ten of my top tips for attracting links to your content online.
1. Write a huge list post:
People LOVE a list. 45 ways to change your life today. 67 ways this book will help you sleep better tonight. 15 freebies you can claim right now. Whatever it is. People like lists and they link to them.
E.g. online treasure hunts. Photo competitions. Anything! If people have to write a blog post that links back to you as a part of the competition all the better.
I’ve seen this done very well by online retailers where people were asked to pick their favorite item from a newly released range of homeware and blog about why they loved it and wanted it. The prize being, of course, the item. Links had to be included for a valid entry. Whilst paying for links is very rarely a good idea, giving people an incentive to link like this really can be.
3. Link to other people’s articles:
This was taught to me a long time ago. Link out generously and people will link back to you. It is true. I have seen it in practice over and over again (this relates not only to building links but also using social media etc. the more you engage with what other people are doing or saying the more they will listen (and link) to you.
4. Record a tutorial video for something:
People love tutorial videos. I’ve talked about how to create them in the next (printed) issue of IID which will be with subscribers this weekend.
Tutorials (video or written) are a type of much linked to content. They are a handy resource for bloggers and online writers who do not have the time or word limit to cover every aspect of a subject and so regularly link out to tutorials from their writing.
5. Guest blog on related blogs:
This works amazingly well. You build relationships with other bloggers. They appreciate you giving them free content. You can link back to your own site yourself. And the blogger is encouraged to link to you in future too.
I have seen this do great things for my other half as he immersed himself in a very niche set of bloggers. He found himself with MANY inbound links very quickly. Including one from the BBC.
Now that you’re interested in building some links, how about I give you some useful free tools to get you going…
That’s what I’m working on for you next week with a cool free report. So stay tuned, and in the meantime if you have any questions for me at all do let me know and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
by Sara Baugh
Online Opportunities Expert
Sara has several years experience at the cutting edge of Internet Marketing and is a regular contributor to Internet Income Detective. You can sign up for her free weekly eletter here:
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