Inbound Links and How to Get Them Organically
One strategy for increasing your website’s traffic is to take steps to get inbound links – where visitors are led to your site from other sites. Specifically, inbound links are when another website posts a link that goes to your site, such as referencing a blog post you wrote and including a link to it. These are organic since they happen naturally without using unethical Black Hat SEO techniques, and are a big part of a site’s inbound marketing strategy. In the ‘eyes’ of search engines, inbound links add credibility to a site and therefore help it appear higher in search results. This means that potential customers are more likely to find your site when searching for popular phrases related to your content.
The big question is, “How do I get more organic inbound links?”
Start here – Prepare Your Content > Organic inbound links grow from the seeds of strong and plentiful content. Since good content is the root of getting more inbound links, more content you have, the better your chances. Follow a clear content strategy to help keep your site fresh and relevant. Having a blog is an easy and effective way to add content – share tips, ideas, product info, etc., without having to involve an I.T. person. Blog posts should have variety, usefulness, and be targeted for your audience(s). Review analytics of past content areas to gain insights into which types of information gets the most traffic. Next, begin a list of related blogs and sites you plan to connect and network with, and a list of related directories and site aggregators that curate sites like yours, especially those in which your audience is already active. Once your blog has several entries, go ahead and submit your site to these channels. You don’t want to drive people to an empty site, and be sure you publish consistently so visitors are more likely to return. As you begin publishing, put all your focus on the content itself and not your goals of getting inbound links. Make your content strong in important areas such as:
- SEO – posts should be based around important keywords and phrases so search engines are more likely to find them
- Strategic Landing Pages – when users first visit your site, strong landing pages quickly let your visitors know who you are and how you can help them
- Call to Action – encourage and make it easy for people to share your content, as more shares boost your chances for inbound links
- Incentives – you may want to give small rewards for people sharing or linking to your content, such as a free copy of your ebook or white paper.
Spread Your Content > After you have a steady stream of strong content going, it’s time too begin marketing and spreading word of your site. First, use one or two social media channels to begin building an audience and engage directly with interested people. The more social shares you have, the more powerful your inbound links become, plus social media is an excellent tool for keeping people updated with new content they can link to. Start submitting your website to the directories you gathered. This will slowly build a broader audience for what you post, but don’t rely solely on these, since the best organic inbound links are grown through other users. Comment on some of the blogs you’re watching, talk with the author and other users. Get your name out there and start personally sharing your site to start organically growing inbound links, which in the end is the most important part. The key is to not plug your site and content right away, let trust build with the different audiences, and then include site links later on as part of the ongoing discussion. To engage with other blog writers and commenters, ask for guest posts, exchange links, and begin building mutually beneficial relationships. Always be sure you’re offering something in return so people will be willing to help you, and help you organically grow your links.
Overall, the likelihood of getting inbound links sprouts from having strong content – search engines will index it, and people will see it, share it, and come back for more. Once you have strong, shareable content, your inbound links will grow organically and efficiently. Remember, the desire to buy or gain links through Black Hat SEO tactics can be very tempting to save time, but don’t do it. They’re the toxic pesticides that will likely kill any organic inbound links you’re trying to grow. Organic growth requires patience, but the effects are much more positive and powerful.