Connect with Good Link-building Strategies
There is a misconception about SEO that it’s about one thing — keywords — when in fact it’s about building a healthy interconnected system utilizing keywords, content, and links to generate traffic to your website. When starting out with SEO, you may hire a professional to identify and set up keywords on your website but link building is an ongoing strategy that you can and should implement yourself. Let’s look at some ways you can create hard-working links.
Think of links as referrals
When website visitors click on a link that takes them to another website — let’s call it the destination site — for more information, that is an outbound link. If the destination is your business website, then that is considered a backlink on your website. The more backlinks your website has, the greater the potential number of visitors. The content that linked to you provided a direct referral. The content that linked to you provided a direct referral. And, like referrals, who gives the referral matters. A referral from a good source is stronger than a referral from a questionable source.
You can’t control what other sites on the internet publish, but there are ways you can increase your backlinks. Some of these ways will cost you nothing but your time while others may require a fee.
You may be surprised by how many links you can establish through your network of contacts. Making connections with the owners who publish online content that relates to your business products or services can lead to opportunities for greater online visibility for both you and the other party.
Resource lists and guest blog posts are two techniques website owners use to weave outbound links into their content that can become backlinks on your site. Here’s an example of this works: an animal veterinary practice has a list of resources on its website for services and businesses of interest to pet owners. Some local businesses included on that resource list are dog walkers, pet boarding facilities, pet groomers, and pet trainers. If the list includes website links, those are outbound links on the vet’s website and backlinks on the service providers’ websites.
Linking is a win-win strategy
In our example of the veterinary practice, the vet practice is offering value to their customers by helping them locate much-needed services the vet doesn’t provide. From the perspective of vendors on that resource list, the outbound links generate new traffic to their website and the opportunity to convert new customers.
When you’re networking, look for opportunities for linking to another business — you can both benefit. If the relationship is a good fit, you can take it to the next level with guest blogging. You invite each other to write a post for the other business’s blog. Typically an introduction will include the guest blogger’s name and website. Not only do you get to link to your website as a guest blogger, but you also enjoy a platform to share your expertise with a new audience.
Other opportunities for linking
Community and industry directories offer opportunities for link building. There are free and paid directories. A free directory might be a community resource published by your municipal governing body, library or other institution serving the public. Paid directories may give you more flexibility to customize a message about your products or services along with the link to your business website.
Here are some more ways to get your website link out there:
- Speaking engagements often provide an opportunity to link to your business in either promotional materials or event programs.
- Networking groups that have formal membership lists may provide an opportunity to link your business.
- Marketing activities often include opportunities for including your link with your business name. When your business sponsors an organization or an event, the acknowledgment of your sponsorship may include a link to your website. Your profiles and content on your social media platforms can link to your website.
Implement internal links on your website
Internal links are used to direct visitors to your website from one page to another, with the idea of providing additional information to keep visitors on your website longer. The more time they spend on your website, the more opportunities you have to convert them.
On your home page, for example, you can use an internal linking strategy to direct viewers to other content. The navigation menu is usually made up of one or two-word page titles and thus is limited in terms of telling users what they might find, for example, on your About page. But you can put a text block on your home page that calls out a specific type of experience that makes your business stand out, and then link to the About page where the visitor can learn more.
Increase and maintain links
Building a robust network of backlinks and internal links is an ongoing process. Make it a goal to keep adding new backlinks and to maintain accurate internal links by removing links to pages that no longer exist on your website.