Heard all the stories of sites being penalized by the Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates? Unsure of what type of link building to undertake? Then this guide is for you!
This guide is for affiliates and major businesses alike, both large and small. There’s something everyone can take from this.
So, continue reading to find out how to maximize your link building, and get more traffic.
What sends traffic:
Ranking in Google has been the biggest referral of traffic to websites for many years. And despite all of the paid results, local results, news results and image results propping up in Google results these days, organic traffic can still be a big provider of traffic.
Previously, getting on page one was a success for some businesses, and then it was aiming for the top five. I’ve always aimed for #1 myself, but there’s no harm if you’re happy to settle for a top three ranking instead. As long as you’re above the fold, you’re exposing yourself to the eyes of searchers.
The “how to rank” guide is further down in this guide — keep reading!
More than ever sites are looking to establish referral traffic from external sites. It’s great to get a mention in a major news publishing or on popular websites. If you have an ecommerce site, you’re probably going to try to target the commercial and comparison sites, as these will be sending traffic from people looking to make a purchase.
If you’re a new site that is struggling to rank in a competitive market, you may want to target referrals as an initial way to boost your traffic:
Google Authorship is the “in thing” in 2013. Hooking your blog up with your Google+ account can really help increase both traffic and branding for yourself. And with it, your brand.
When users in your Circles search Google and you have produced content on this search query, your work is more likely to appear to them than to someone who has not got you in their Circles (assuming you didn’t already rank high for it).
On top of that, your profile picture appears alongside the blog post. Make it stand out, and people may begin to recognize you the more your face keeps appearing in the results. If they already know you, perhaps they’ll be more persuaded to click on your page as a result.
Another way to increase traffic to your website and build up your brand name is to get creative. These are when we get to have a lot of fun with branding and link building.
This could be any number of things: creating videos that go viral, conducting some research/surveys to produce statistics (people love statistics), or having a wacky feature or app on your website!
Something that entices people to watch/use/visit is great. People call it “link bait,” and that’s a good term to use. If you create something people are going to want to share you’ll go a long way toward increasing your traffic, brand exposure and links all in one.
Where to build links:
So where do you build these links you ask? Here are a few solid suggestions:
Regular Guest Posts
I’m not talking about one-off guest posting on 20 different websites that are in some way related to your website or business. That’s so 2011. Instead, create a partnership with a big blog in your industry and offer to write for them on a regular basis.
You don’t want to be sticking in a keyword rich anchor text in all of these, or any for that matter. Link through when and where relevant, and often this may not even be to your own site. Make the content pieces you are producing worth reading for their audience and you will reap the benefits in the long run.
That’s the trust of their audience, perhaps the occasional link, and exposure to the external blog’s audience. Do this for a couple of sites to increase your exposure some more.
Do you work with other agencies in some way? Does your business have sister or parent sites? Could you partner with any sites?
I’m not suggesting you go out and build reciprocal links now. But there may be some good opportunities to contact companies or freelancers you have business with in some way. Politely ask them if they can link from their blog to yours. Or even create a post to promote your services, if you’re lucky!
There’s little quite like getting a mention in the media. The sense of joy, accomplishment, pride — you name it. Oh, and great brand exposure and referral traffic, too.
Getting into the media is the hard part. There are many techniques tried, tested and failed in the past.
One way through social media is to use the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter. You might be able to find a journalist looking to cover something you have knowledge in.
The best way to breakthrough is to try to create something newsworthy; something the media source would want to publish and something their audience will want to read. After all, that’s the content they want to publish.
Barrie Smith is an SEO consultant for Receptional Ltd. You can connect with him on Google+. His last article for SEMrush was "Link Building, Then & Now: 11 Techniques Google Stopped."