Link building is a key component to off page SEO and the quality and quantity are two key factors in search engine rankings. When other links are present on the web that link back to a main website, it will increase its authority; especially if those links are coming from reputable and relevant sources. Link building can be done through press releases, guest posting, videos, contests, sponsors, blogs and infographics. When great content is created, it’s bound to get shared. Sharing involves the use of posting links back to a website. Most people have been a part of link building without even knowing it. For instance, if you have ever shared a link on Facebook or twitter, or hit a share button, then you have built a link for a website. There are many deeper forms of link building but this is one of the most common since the explosion of social networks. The more inbound links that have relevance, come from authoritative places, and are optimized for their keywords; the higher a websites ranking and authority will be.
Getting links from similar topics and sources as the content of a website are very powerful. Guest posts involve contacting blog and website owners, and gaining permission for a “guest post” or article to be placed on their website with an inconspicuous link within the article or post that links back to the main website. These links can be contextual with a targeted keyword as the link, or it could simply be a company name or full URL. If the website gets significant traffic, it could send targeted leads; or at the very least, increase a websites authority, and ranking over time. The more authoritative the blog or website that a guest post is placed on, the more powerful the link. Metrics such as page rank, age, relevance, and more are analyzed to measure the power of a guest post backlink.
What is linkbait? Link bait is a method in which encouraging sharing is created with various incentives that are not necessarily tied to a reward or prize. The content is specifically designed to attract a visitor’s attention, with the goal of getting shared. The content may be a video, article, news brief, audio, an image, finding, and is often shocking, funny, or informative. Link bait is also a form of marketing that is closely associated with going “viral.” Its ties to search engine optimization are present because link bait creates inbound links, or backlinks from hopeful high quality and relevant third party websites, social networks, and more. Successful link baiting often involves a PR campaign, and triggers reactions, responses and sharing. Social media is a large part of today’s link bait practices, and a large part also involves quality content.
While getting people to link to a particular website or page may be easy if the subject is controversial, funny, or informational as a resource; sometimes certain PR campaigns and link baiting involves incentives or contests in order to help sharing. In the creation of a contest you may have the end user be forced to share the content before they can be entered into a contest, for example. This allows the end user to make the decision if the contest is worth the sharing of the image, video, article, or other content. Contests are an excellent way to encourage sharing and social media is one of the biggest ways to spread the hype about the contest; allowing instant sharing and exposure to each person’s list of friends in their network. When the pros outweigh the cons to sharing the content, the linker or end user will often link to the page because they will benefit from doing so through an incentive like a badge, free ebook, or other prizes through an online contest.
Sponsorships involve getting links and exposure from third party websites, campaigns, or events which are online. Sponsorships are most often associated with paid links, where a website owner or campaign coordinator will sell ad or link space on their website or blog. Purchasing this type of link often involves brand exposure and traffic, and is regarded as a high quality link. If the source is relevant, the quality of that link also increases. Sponsorships can be done via image ads with a link, contextual or text links, as well as through the use of an article or post promoting you as a sponsor with a link embedded, linking back to a chosen URL.
Since the beginning of the internet, videos have been a large part of the web for entertainment and informational purposes. Creating a video that is informative, controversial, humorous or shocking will beg to be shared. With the birth of websites like YouTube, sharing videos has become extremely easy and popular. This is a great way to get links to YouTube or your personal channel, however building links to a website means that it would be more beneficial if that video was embedded on your website with social media sharing buttons. While the video may still get shared through a video site like YouTube, having the video on a business website or blog means that people are more likely to share the pages link, or to share via the social network buttons. Creating a viral video is an excellent way to increased brand awareness, and to build a high quantity of quality links in a short amount of time.
The reason blogs have grown exponentially on businesses websites is because they offer a way to keep current customers connected, and also serve as a point for further exposure and lead generation through sharing. Blogs work exceptionally well at creating links and natural sharing by visitors, especially if it is quality content and you have a following. Blogs can also give tips and tricks about your industry, something that will keep readers antsy for the next blog post. By keeping a blog maintained on your area of expertise, people will naturally link to it as a source of information; especially if they think others can benefit from it. Blogs also serve as a method to increase the amount of content on your website and will increase its authority and amount of indexed pages in the search engines.
Link building can also be done by creating infographics that others can use. An infographic is a visual representation of information, knowledge or data. They have the ability to take complex information and present it in a logical form that is clear to understand. Some of the most popular infographics include signs, maps and land markers. Creating infographics that describe something in your industry and then leaving the embed code for others to use on their own websites and blogs is an ideal way to get them shared. The embed code can have a link back to your website, making the graphics linkable to your domain. Further branding may also be done by stamping a business’ logo on the image itself, creating a method of brand awareness as well as linking all in one.