Book excerpt: iPromote Online: Link Building
Taken from my book on digital marketing, here is a piece on the fundamentals of link building for your business:
Link building is the process of having other websites linking back to your own. It is certainly accepted that links feature highly in a website’s ability to climb the ranks in a search engine like Google and always has been. There are two types of links: inbound and outbound.
IBL & OBL
Inbound links (IBL) are links that are on another website and lead back to your website. Experts would argue that IBLs are the most important thing for good SEO.
Outbound links (OBL) are when you link from your website to another site. This is more likely to help the external site than your own.
Link trust is as important as the type of links that lead to your website. Think of your website as a new shop that has just been built. It looks lovely and has loads of useful products on sale for great prices but there are no roads leading to the shop yet. Those back links that lead to your website/ shop could be considered the roads and pathways that will be built. If the road is high quality, it will be used. If it is badly built with potholes and uneven it will not benefit your shop. Good quality links are those high-quality roads.
When another website owner advocates your site and places a link to it on their site the link trust is how much their viewers trust that the link will taker them through to a useful website with plenty of information in it. There is no point having a link that no one will click on! Try to focus on getting links from known and reputable sites rather than unknown or potentially spammy sites.
So, as a formula for success you are looking for IBL with high link trust.
LEVERAGING LINK BUILDING
It is extremely useful to have reputable sites link to yours and there are many ways that you can influence this.
WRITE COMPELLING CONTENT. If you have a blog page, make sure it is full of useful articles and information. You want people to share what you have to offer organically.
HEADLINE AND IMAGE. The first thing a person is likely to see is an image. You then need a compelling title. Make sure that your image and title focus on your target reader and give them a good reason to read your article/ blog/ content.
SHARE YOUR NEWS. If you have some good information to share, then send it to those who might repost it to their websites and link back to yours. If you have a great recipe for a cupcake then send it to the publishing desk of the ‘UK Cupcake Society’ telling them they are free to publish your recipe if they post a link to your website.
MAKE YOUR PAGES LINK FRIENDLY. If an external website points to your website then your website must look clean, fresh, visibly engaging and an all-round good viewing experience.
BUILD YOUR OWN LINKS. There is no harm in linking back to your own website from other websites. A few considerations:
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS. If you write a blog on your website, you can post the URL of that blog page to your Facebook or Twitter page (or any other form of social media). Be aware, however, that some social media platforms (like Facebook) render all external links as ‘no follow’ links. This means that Google do not pick up on them as a back link to your site for SEO purposes. However, it is still worth doing to feed traffic back to your site. Social media can yield likes, shares, follows and comments which all help.
REVIEW SITES. You can benefit from review sites like Trip Advisor, Trust-a-Trader, Amazon, Yell, Google my Business or other sites like these by creating free profiles and adding your website domain to them. These are links from reputable external sites and will help to push traffic to your site and improve your visibility in search engines
KEEP LINKED PAGES UP TO DATE. If you have your business listed on various sites and you change your phone number or address, then you need to update every site accordingly. Keep a record of what links you have built in case this is needed.
BECOME A CONTENT WRITER. If you like writing, then you could approach an industry leader through their website and offer to write some articles for them. In return you would just ask for your work to be credited to you at your website. This gives you an instant way to use your industry knowledge to not only create high quality back links but also to become known as an expert in your field.
Your website is likely to be the hub of your online portfolio. Keep working on building good, quality links to it from reputable sources and you will be making solid progress into this crucial part of your online SEO strategy and getting your website seen by the right people.
Feel free to contact us if you would like any further information or advice.