As part of a comprehensive search engine optimization campaign, gaining inbound links to your website is critical. But what precisely does this involve, and how should you most efficiently go about gaining these types of valuable links? When a difficult job presents itself, it is human nature to attempt to find a shortcut. Sometimes, these shortcuts work and the quality of the end result is not sacrificed. But often, the shortcut either turns out to be a short-term fix or inferior; it backfires leaving you inferior off than you were before. And, in my experience, such is the case in regard to building quality inbound links to your website as part of your search engine optimization campaign.
After many years of trying to find shortcuts myself, I finally recognized that the best, highest impact, longest lasting links that point to a website are EARNED – not bought, begged for, or stolen. And how does one go about earning quality inbound links? By really present something of value – whether it is value found on your website or value you give to other websites. Below are a few simple ideas that take a good deal of work, but when applied suitably, almost always pay off for your long-term search engine optimization efforts.
1. Building an Educational or Resource Section
As I have written about many times before, an educational section of your website serves a variety of purposes. It inserts additional pages to your website that can be optimized for serious key phrases. It can shorten your sales cycle by educating your prospects online rather than over the phone. It can also gather a large number of quality inbound links, simply because you are offering content that doesn’t just scream “buy here” – you are instead offering intellectual capital that helps the visitor to make informed decisions, stay on top of industry trends, etc. These are all ideal outcomes of a search engine optimization strategy. People will often link to this valuable content without even being asked, but if you do initiate an effort to reach out to webmasters in your industry asking for inbound links, they are much more likely to comply if you are offering something of value in exchange.
2. Writing and Submitting Expert Articles
Chances are that your company has a few in-house experts in your industry on staff. But did you know that by promoting these hotshots’ ideas, you can help your search engine optimization efforts by getting inbound links? More than likely, these staff members have significant things to say about your industry – where it has been, where it is heading, and what issues it currently faces. By having these experts write articles, you can then submit this material to popular industry websites, and thereby share that insider wisdom.
The advantage to this approach and benefit to your search engine optimization goals is understandable – getting inbound links. In addition, people who may not have heard of your company, but are familiar about your industry can realize about you from visiting a popular industry portal rather than by only finding your website. Again, the basic premise of expert article submission is that you are trading something of value for multiple benefits, one of those benefits being inbound links to sustain search engine optimization.
3. Creating and Updating a Blog
Much like submitting expert articles to industry publications or providing a general educational section on your site, a blog is a very specific, popular way to show off your expert knowledge of your industry, albeit in a more familiar way.
Blogs are a great part of search engine optimization, as they provide your site a boost by offering fresh content. They also help you to show off your current knowledge of industry trends and events by serving as a publishing platform for these newsworthy items as they unfold – sending a clear sign to your visitors that you are staying on top of all current issues relevant to your industry.
Over time, others in your industry will identify the value of the information that you are providing, and many will share it with others via a link from their own site. Once again, you are providing something of value for various gains.
4. Offering Free, Informational, Industry-Related Tools
In almost every industry, there are tools that people might depend on as part of their decision making procedure, and by utilizing a valuable tool; you can in fact endorse inbound links. Mortgage sites offer free, online mortgage calculators. Car dealers offer comparable tools such as payment calculators. This principle can also expand to most industries.
If you sell consulting services, consider offering a spreadsheet that permits people to estimate a definite aspect of their business. Then consider creating a tool where a visitor can offer room dimensions and then insert the features of the room that they wish, allowing them to see what it might look like. Use your imagination.
What tools do you use internally that might be of benefit to your visitors? If it is a fresh and helpful scheme, you might be astonished at the number of websites that will give you with inbound links. But again, there are other benefits for this value that you are offering, including more visitors, more brand recognition, and potentially a sense of gratitude from prospects who found your offering invaluable.
These are only a few ideas on how you can deal value for links as part of your search engine optimization policy. We haven’t touched on opportunities that subsist with video, interactive games, and a diversity of emerging technologies. But the main idea here is very easy – you earn inbound links by providing value. Moreover, these efforts are not geared simply or specially for the express reason of building links. Each of the previously mentioned examples has numerous benefits apart from link building. Of course, it may appear like a lot of work, but your efforts are certain to pay dividends ultimately.