Links are still important in the world of search. It is the only way to connect two or more Web Pages together, to bring you from one page to another and without a link many of us will struggle finding the right website to give the information we are looking for. But unfortunately, this view has been widely abused and interpreted by many online marketers out there and they aimed to build inbound links as many as they can for their website to rank in search.
Links are indeed important in so many ways. Even Google released their killer algorithms to eliminate the essence of link building, they are still using it as one of the important factors to make a webpage rank in SERP by taking good look at the following areas:
- Quality of links
- Volume of links
- Relevancy of links
But don't get the wrong idea. Even Google is still using links, we can no longer use the old school approach as they have already put an end to this method years ago. So to keep building inbound links for your website without worrying of possible penalty, here are my tips:
Use social for links
Social networking sites are the most visited and often used by many internet savvy out there thus, we cannot afford to ignore the power of social, its influence and popularity to many internet users out there. I think 90% of people who have access to internet have Facebook account, Google plus, twitter and LinkedIn. Although social links don’t count in link profile that are crawled and indexed by robots, they are still live links that point back and drive traffic to your site.
Traffic from social sites is not a joke and in fact, it can even outnumber the traffic you are getting from organic traffic if your marketing strategy in social media is working for you really well. Since most people spend most of their time to update their social media accounts, the chances that your update will been seen by your connections is really high compare to search traffic. So how to use Social for links? Assuming that you already have social pages/accounts set up
Connect to the right people
Finding people in your industry in social channel is really important as they are your primary audience who will likely to see and click on what you shared to your account. However, there is no guarantee that you will get the full benefit from doing this so you need to get their attention by engaging with them. By reaching out to the right people (influencers, experts and leaders) in your industry, you can build your social alliance in this channel which can benefit your brand/website in the long run.
You can also connect to establish brands in your industry to help you attract more people visit your website. Since established brands already have loyalists and followers, you will get more traffic from them once they shared your posts.
Interact with your connections
Connecting is not enough and not useful in social media if there is no communication or interaction happening between you and your social contact. By engaging to your social connection through sharing their posts, commenting and liking their posts can help you build a strong relationship with your social connections. You can also identify how often they update their accounts, what time do they go online and many more. So keeping your social media accounts active is important to determine what sort of strategy you should implement according to their update frequency.
Mention People in Your Post
To increase the potential audience of your social updates, you can mention people in your post (people who have helped you complete your social update like info-graphics, articles, videos etc) by doing this, you can credit them to their contribution finishing your work and the chances that they will share your update is much higher since they are part of the work that you've just completed.
To establish relationship with your target audience and influencers in your industry, active interaction and communication is really vital. This is where they will get to know you well, your knowledge in the industry, expertise and many more. But you can also use this channel to drive traffic and build inbound links naturally without having to manipulate your contribution to the discussion through:
Using this platform to benefit your website may not drive you more traffic and pass juice to your website but the visitors it brings to your website are your target visitors who are actually looking for you to provide what they need. By providing answer to their questions in useful and helpful way using your own product, service or business name to catch their attention, you can drive targeted visitors to your website that are actually looking for you.
You can find these answer sites here
Pro Tip: Find the recent questions of people in your industry and answer them using your own product/services etc. but make sure that you read through each answers so you can have a way to make your answer stand out among the other answers.
Another good source of finding right people to bring to your website is through community discussions. Since community discussions are full of people that have the same interests in mind with you, you can easily get referral traffic from this channel through your contribution in the discussion.
But make sure that you are not just there to promote your own website, business or product as they will never work! Provide remarkable suggestion or answer to the community by using your work or someone else’s work related to the topic you are discussion with them. By doing this, you can prove your knowledge and eventually build your authority in your community which will benefit you in the long run.
Google plus communities
Facebook Private/Public Group
Pro tip: Find group/communities in the web related to your industry and start participating in the communities to build your brand awareness, authority and exposure online.
Participating to comment discussions for knowledge and opinion sharing with other people is a great way to express your thought about the topic you are discussing. Just keep in mind that whenever you add every single comment to each post/article in the comment section, you are adding sensible information to the comment and not just for the sake of link. Since comment discussion is a good way to meet and talk to other people in your industry, it’s also a good way to grow your connections.
You can also use references in your comment to support your comment in the discussions:
- By citing your own article link as reference to support your comment or recommendation for further information
- By citing someone else's article in your industry as a link reference to strengthen your relationship with the owner of the article.
Pro tip: Find blogs in your industry with user and social engagement to make sure that your comments are seen by experts in your industry.
You can use this search terms to find blogs related to yours.
"Keyword"+"industry"+"add a comment"
Inpost:"keyword"+"industry" add a comment
Intitle:"keyword"+"add a comment"
But keep in mind that you only want to comment on articles/blogs that have been recently published. You can do this by filtering search results: Search tools>anytime>click your preferred timeframe.
Regularly contributing content to other websites in your industry is a better way to get high quality links. Since you can choose the most authority website in your industry, you can see which websites will benefit you the most in terms of ranking power, social and users’ engagement. So make sure that the websites you will choose have higher user engagement (comment discussions) and social engagement for social engagement to get the most out of your effort.
You can also get more people to visit your website through the websites hosting your content. Since most people who will read your guest contributed content are your target audience, it can bring potential leads to your business. And since you are contributing high quality content to other blogs in your industry, you can enhance the exposure of your brand and get authority from these websites.
But keep in mind that contributed content has some risks if done incorrectly, so make sure that you are doing it smartly and naturally by:
- Not aggressively contributing on many websites
- Only contribute to authority websites
- Not using your target keywords as anchor text
- And over linking to your website
How to find websites that accept guest contributors:
Inpost:"industtry"+”write for us"
Inurl:"your industry"+"submit content"
Image link building
Images are good to get more people come to a website as they get more attractions and they can help you give more information to your audience in a convenient way. In some cases, fresh and informative images such as info-graphic has the ability to go viral and credit links to your website which will increase your domain authority, exposure and audience in your industry so it’s a good way to create inbound links to your website as well.
No matter what kind of industry you are in (automotive, construction or landscaping) you can always create useful images to be used by the people in your industry. Since every industry are using images, why don’t you become a source of these info-images to get more people know more about your brand right?
Info-graphics are good way to easily get the information out to the people in your industry. It can also help you earn more inbound links if you know where and how to promote it. But sometimes a good info-graphic is good enough to make it viral if you use it in your content and guest blog on other websites that have ranking power, strong user and social engagement.
Typography is a good way to make sentences or quotes more attractive and attract people to create links to it. Since this type of image is always used by marketers and non marketers out there, why don’t you build a list or collection of typography on your website like this one?
Few sites that you can use to build links to your info-images:Those are my quick ways for getting inbound links. Tell yours in the comment section below.
Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippine-based Online Marketing blog. Joseph has been working in SEO industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ and Ahrefs.