An important factor in search engine optimization is cultivating in-bound links. Links that come to your site from a well-known, authoritative website increase the likelihood of search engines deciding that your site must also be authoritative. This is especially true if the linking site uses a keyword for their anchor text that’s something you offer or something that you want to be known for – i.e. ‘great marketing techniques’ or ‘best sauna’.
There are various strategies for encouraging other sites to link to your website, and they all primarily involve offering them something to link to by way of content, but also giving them a reason to do so.
Many company blogs are well-written, frequently updated, factual and interesting, yet still don’t receive as many incoming links as, say, a less-well written or informative piece about social media. This may be related to the fact that there are just fewer sauna-builders or owners with well-kept blogs or a renowned social media presence than there are social media consultants, who live on the internet.
All is not lost however. The answer here is to appeal to a demographic which builds links. A corporate website that sells and builds saunas could write about working from home, for instance, and ask how people move from work-mode into evening-mode without the benefit of a commute. Finally, they can suggest that readers purchase a sauna with the money they save commuting! Many people who work from home make use of social media, or blogging, as a pseudo-office environment and might get involved in a discussion about after-work decompression techniques.
Something else to think about is language use and structure, especially if you want the media to pick up on your site. Would a reporter be able to link to your site to provide further evidence for their piece? This isn’t to say that you should know what a newspaper is about to publish on, but having a clear title and an obvious slant from the first paragraph, as well as accurate and researched facts should increase the likelihood of a piece being linked to – by anyone, not just the media.
The main factor to consider when trying to cultivate more inbound links is to ask what is in it for the people linking to you. One tactic is to run giveaways which require linking to the site, but consider that many people use their blogs in order to appear authoritative on a subject. Being well-read is one way of appearing authoritative, so make your content as helpful, or factual, as possible, and this will encourage people to link to your site in order to look better-educated themselves.
Have you had any success with building inbound links to improve search engine optimization? What is your preferred method of encouraging these relationships?