Increasing your search rankings is one of the best ways to increase organic traffic to your site. In fact, those sites listed at the number 1 spot receive around 33 percent of the traffic. While search engine optimization can boost your rankings one of the biggest factors to increasing results is credibility. Sites gain this by generating quality inbound links. These links rank as one of the two most influential factors in Google’s algorithm.
Luckily, link building doesn’t have to be difficult. If you create quality content and put it in front of the right people, they will share it. There are two different ways you can generate links:
Although difficult to earn, outreach links in longform content are by far the most popular and effective way to generate inbound links. Of course, you need to ensure the sites where you receive the links are relevant to your audience and your content.
Search for sites that use the similar or the same keywords you’ve used for your article and reach out to them. Make sure to send out a personalized email that outlines why you’re contacting them and then ask for a linkback if it makes sense. Not everyone will respond affirmatively, but even if you can get a couple it can funnel in customer from their site and increase your ranking.
You can use tools like Ahrefs to target a keyword or topic for your post and then see all of the content with the most shares and backlinks. You’ll want to do your own Google search of the keyword to find other articles that the tool might have missed. From there, the rest of the work is manual as you’ll need to manually go to each site, find a contact email and reach out.
For even higher quality links you’ll want to create a strategy that focuses on building up your brand as an authority. You can do this by writing guest posts for sites relevant to your industry, giving away products to influencers for reviews or a promotion and, of course, sharing your articles on your social media profiles.
How to Generate Inbound Links
Actually getting people to link to your blog posts or articles might not be hard, but it does require a lot of time and research. Luckily, there are plenty of different options available.
Blogging is an excellent way to create fresh content for your site and organically generate inbound links. While it does require a consistent amount of effort to maintain, you will ultimately attract visitors who have an interest in your product. If you want to increase the likelihood of generating links you should do the following:
- Link to other blogs – the more you link to others, the better your chances of them returning the favor.
- Write guest blog posts – this not only sets you up as an authority on your subject, most guest blog posts also allow you to linkback to your site.
- Create a resource list – These are excellent sources of link bait. Since everything is gathered on one page it is easy for readers to navigate and for other bloggers to link to.
- Post highly relevant news events – If you keep up-to-date on the news in your industry you can be the first company to comment on particular events. Since others will search for the topic, if you are the first one to post on it, your site will rank very high in Google.
Beyond blog posts there are plenty of other types of content you can create including videos, photos and ebooks. People prefer to consume a variety of different content, so make sure to offer several different varieties that your clients and visitors can use. Things like archived versions of your webinars are a great way to get linkbacks as are free tools to make people’s lives easier. Look to what your brand can offer people and provide some of it free of charge. If it’s useful, people will definitely link to it. Visual content also does very well nowadays so look into creating infographics or a quick video.
Partnerships and Relationships
Even if you’ve never met in real life, it’s important to maintain your online relationships. Partner with some complementary industries and share each other’s content. Or, if you’ve got a product or service, ask for expert reviews on it. Not only will you get excellent feedback, it will also strengthen your relationship with the reviewers.
It should go without saying, but social media is a great way to generate quality inbound links. The more it is shared, the more chances high quality sites will see your content and use it as a source on their own site. Make it easy for people to share your content by integrating a social sharing widget. With just a click of the button, visitors can tweet or share the page without navigating to a social media site. If you’ve got some nuggets of content that is under 140 characters, consider using a “Tweet This” link for even better sharing.
Even with the rise of social media, there’s still something to be said about good PR. It gets your brand in front of a larger audience and gets name recognition with influencers. A tried and true PR technique is the good old press release. Only use this for interesting company news like a new product, brand change and the like. You can push these releases out to newswires for more coverage.
Another great option is to get interviewed. Sign up for services like HARO (help a reporter out). Many journalists from sites like the NY Times or CNN use the service to get quotes from people in a particular industry. Make sure to have them include a mention of your company for more natural inbound links.
Of course, there’s nothing quite like meeting your industry peers and potential customers in person. Going to industry events is a great way to get some press. Or, if you’re comfortable with public speaking, volunteer as a speaker. This will solidify your authority position and you can often negotiate inbound links in your speaker terms so you get the most out of these engagements.
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