Building Relationships Also Builds Links

My November blog started this series by discussing inbound links and their impact on improving site SEO performance. I covered the significance of having links and getting links.

Now, before you go after a potential link (by either asking for it or hinting that you’d like it) you should determine that the link is worth your time and effort. Will your audience click on a link, and thus turn into converted traffic? If so, that’s a great link.

Here are several methods in finding websites that might want to link to you:

  • Go to a search engine and type in some words related to what your company does.
  • Sift through the websites in directories such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!or the Open Directory.
  • Go out to blogs that are relevant to what you do and comment with useful information for the back links
  • Find out who’s currently linking to both you and your competitors (we can help with this).

Once you’ve located quality website, ask them to link to you; a simple phone call or e-mail should work. Mention that linking to your website will benefit their site users and therefore their website. You could also offer a link exchange, where by you both link to each other. If you’re going to do this, it’s wise to link to their website first, before getting in contact.

If your only online marketing strategy is link building (or any other single tactic), you’re setting yourself up to fail. You should focus on optimizing the site itself or building a community or, at the very least, trying to get some social attention for your site. Keep the old axiom in mind and don’t put all your SEO eggs in one basket, you will want eggs to and from different sources.

Links don’t tell the whole story but they are an integral part of the big search results picture. Great content on a great site will attract attention, whether it’s from actual links, social shares, people talking about it on outside sites or forums (like blogs). Great content on a not-so-great site that no one sees will need help… in order to generate activity and build a community.

I have been asked, “Are Social Shares the same as Links”? My response is no. There is evidence that social shares such as Tweets, Likes, and Plusses positively impact rankings. Currently links are considered a far superior and more lasting way to promote the popularity of your content than any other method.

The last couple years have seen a huge rise in social sharing and its effects on search. Google is incorporating a number of social signals into its search results. With this shift towards social a company with a strong social presence is more likely to see their content promoted in search results.

Marketing on the web is not just search, it’s not just social, and it’s not just content. It’s all of these things, and they will provide a good return on investment if you’re willing to invest in them.

For Part Three of this series, we will discuss optimization impact tracking and measurement techniques.

Feel free to leave a comment with your experience in link building.

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