So, you’ve tweaked and tuned your website design to be user friendly and professional, you continuously work to optimize your website, and you’re publishing amazing content on a regular basis, but you’re just not getting as many people to your website as you would like. What gives? You may be thinking, “That darned SAGE blog lied to me!” Allow us to set you straight – while optimizing your website and creating great content plays a huge part in driving traffic to your site, it’s not always enough – you still need to market that content. That’s where link building comes into play.
Despite constantly changing rules, link building remains the core of Google’s algorithm for page ranking. When Google (and other search engines) pick up links to your website across the World Wide Web, it gives your website credibility. It also creates a bridge to your website for people who come across your link on other websites. Below are three methods to increase your content’s exposure and get people to your website through link building.
1. Press releases
Many small companies believe they don’t have news that’s important enough to the general public to warrant a press release or they think you have to pay to get a press release published. However, there are several free online press release distribution services that will publish your articles. You could also try to get your press release posted on industry sites. Most of the time, industry publications offer paid publication, but many of them will republish articles in their online edition. You may consider publishing a press release when there are management changes within your company, to announce that your company is offering a new service, such as printing, or to inform customers that you have a new website. Some great, free press release distribution services are PR Urgent, PR Log, and Newsvine.
2. Guest posting
Online publications and blogs are always looking for fresh content to stay relevant. To accomplish this, many of them allow guest posting, meaning anyone can volunteer to write an article for the publication. Usually, they will want you to have a topic in mind and send it to them for approval. The article must be relevant, informative, interesting, and cannot be a sales pitch. If an online publication publishes your guest post, it will usually allow you to link to your website.
3. Social media
Social media is one of the easiest link-building methods. It’s a great tool for not only building links, but also building rapport with your customers and industry allies. Through social media, you can quickly and easily update your followers on news and develop a personality for your brand (more on this to come). Use social media to link to new content on your website to help attract visitors. The best part is it doesn’t require you to create much new content, just a sentence or two to persuade people to click on the link. Facebook has 1.28 billion monthly active users and Twitter has 255 million – that’s a lot of people you can reach. LinkedIn is also a great site to connect with people in the promotional products industry and to post articles in industry-related groups.
Things to take into account:
– Anchor text – The text that the hyperlink is attached to affects how that webpage is ranked. For example, linking “promotional banners” to your webpage will get that page ranked for promotional banners, whereas linking it to your company name will have much less effect.
– Quality of the linking page – If you receive links on irrelevant or poor-quality webpages, they could possibly bring your site down rather than up. A website with more credibility, such as amazon.com, is going to have a greater impact than a website with a much lower authority, such as spam.biz. Moz offers a free online service to check a webpage’s authority (See what we did there? Link building in action!)
– Page the link is aimed at – Other webpages will most likely link to your homepage when linking to your website. However, when you have control over it, you should always link to the most relevant page. If the article is talking about hot, new summer products, link to a page on your website with just summer products. If you post a tweet about a new blog post, link directly to that post. This will save your audience the frustration of having to find the information they were promised on their own.
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