A big part of ensuring the overall success of your website is making sure your ideal customers actually see it There are a number of things you can do to bring in traffic, like sharing content on social media, investing in paid advertisements, and building up SEO.
One thing you can do to improve your SEO is to make sure that you have plenty of inbound links, also known as ‘backlinks,’ which are links that exist on other websites and search engines that direct users to your webpage. These links increase traffic to your site and improve your search engine ranking by establishing the nature and quality of your business.
Why Do Inbound Links Matter for SEO?
Search engines look at inbound links as positive references or 'votes' for your site. If other quality sites think your web pages are worth linking to, it tells search engines that you provide useful information and are an authority in your field. If they see that well-established, reputable websites are linking to you, your ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs) will go up.
How Do I Accumulate Inbound Links?
There are three basic types of inbound links:
Natural links are links given naturally by other sites. They might be linking because they find a specific piece of your content to be especially useful or because they want to include your site as a resource for their visitors. The only way to get natural links is to create great contact and generate awareness about it.
Outreach links can be created manually if your marketing team reaches out to ask other sites to link to yours, submits your URL for inclusion in a directory, or pays for listings. These often end up being part of a transaction of sorts, in which the site you reach out to sees linking to your site as something that’s in their own best interest.
Self-created links can be created through things like blog comments or user profiles. These links aren’t considered a priority for search engines, but they can still have an impact on traffic. If it looks like you are pursuing these links in a spammy way, you may be penalized by search engines, so be sure to keep your profiles and comments relevant to your site’s values and goals.
Creating quality content is the best way to encourage others to give you natural links, but if you want to focus your link building campaign on manually created ones, here are a few ways to start:
- Post to your blog on a consistent basis
- Create free tools and visual content like infographics
- Mention other companies in your industry
- Write a press release and send it to a relevant news distribution site
- Submit your site to a relevant directory
- Write an op-ed for another site
- Partner with other companies
- Share your content to social media
- Submit the RSS feed of your blog or podcast to a syndication service
- Sponsor or speak at an event
Establishing a link building campaign requires a great deal of thought and creativity, but it can definitely pay off. Before you start, it will help to perform an audit of existing inbound links. That way you can determine which ones have had the most influence on your site's traffic, positive or negative. From there, you can formulate a plan based on your company's specific goals and resources. Happy building!