Links are the things that made the World Wide Web. The internet is a network of networks, and everything in it is connected with one another by using links. Links have been the standard for building websites, and especially when building SEO and online marketing. For a website to be digitally seen, you need people to link to it, without links, you don't exist in digital terms.
The logic is simple, but the actual process of getting those links to your website - a practice known as link building - is a bit more unclear, especially for business owners are unfamiliar with internet marketing.
Links that benefit you the most is inbound links. These links are any hyperlink that sends users from one website directly to yours. Inbound links can appear in an infinite ways: from content shared on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, referrals in YouTube videos, Pinterest pins, to links on websites, comments, forums, and so forth. These links can be free to obtain, or paid. Inbound links can bring visitors straight to your landing page in the form of images or text link where you then convert them to buyers. These links can even be the deciding factor in what makes your brand a viral sensation.
The next type of links you need to consider is outbound links. These links that give more information about a specific topic can help your website with SEO and improve the website’s overall ranking.
Earning Your Links
One of the main ways to create a powerful link building strategy is creativity. Google and other search engines' algorithms have continued to prove that they are rewarding creative, meaningful, and high quality inbound links rather than properly placed keywords and anchor text to determine their search engine results pages. Since the link building process requires time and creativity, the strategy has commonly been known as "link earning."
As a result, it's important to realize that link building will both indirectly drives websites upwards in organic search engine results through SEO, while simultaneously providing your website with new visitors.
Link building is an important part of SEO. Previously, links that could be purchased easily with a small price are still considered important. But search engines' algorithms have matured that they're now rewarding high quality links and remaining thoroughly proprietary.
When the internet grows larger, earning links has become easier, and harder at the same time. While more people means more audience, more audience also translates to less market because it means that more people are also moving on the same industry and niche as yours. While, there's no cheap or easy way to get ahead with link building anymore, the good news is that being active and interested in a community around your industry and niche will help you get compounding results in which your followers/fans are doing much of the link building work for you in the end.
While internet marketers want to ultimately make their clients reach this point, there are few important steps you must do to create that initial "first spark."
There are no standards for earning links. This is because a plan may not work for every website, let alone two. There are many guidelines that can help internet marketers to move along their link building strategy. The guidelines for building and earning links move around: creativity, relationship, community, and high quality content. Below is a few examples of how these guidelines works:
Promote quality contents: A single quality content is better than many pieces of a lesser quality. Always try to develop ideas that people will like and feel they have no choice but to share them.
Active in communities: Interact with your current and past customers. In addition, also interact with future prospects. Interact with them and involve them in conversations, Make sure than the conversation will give you feedback and add values to your own content.
Build relationships: Social platforms can add value to your conversation by adding few creative interactions. Connect with your audience and personally reach out to followers that benefit your brand. Make things fun, personal, and interesting.
Find your collections: Find the top people that define your industry trends online and work your way into them. You can reach out to your curators. Contribute by benefiting both parties.
Do better than competitors: See how you competitors are doing, see what type of contents are they publishing, where do they target their audience. Try to do better than them by, for example, creating better quality posts, take better photos, film better videos, provide more relevant information, interview more individuals, write better, use better platforms, or discuss more exciting topics with your readers.
Cover all platforms: In order to actually grow communities around important social services, you must actually have accounts in these places to maintain these services. For example, local businesses can take advantage of Foursquare, Google+ and Yelp. And depending on you resources, all businesses should have an active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Always choose the social platforms that fit best for your industry, work flow, and style.
Build actual influencers: Influencers can "influence" people. Approach these people and build relationship carefully. Try to add value in each conversation and be realistic whenever you can.
Building links is one of the methods of SEO. And SEO is part of inbound marketing. This is very much different from traditional "outbound marketing". Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get their prospect's attention.
Link building, and earning them, is driven by a variety of ideologies, techniques, and concepts. And just like the web, link building have no structure so you can do the approach from anyway you like.
The most common forms of inbound marketing are: SEO, email, infographics, social netwoks, webinars, document sharing, word of mouth, podcasts, Q&A sites, type-in traffic, social bookmarks, directories, forums, online videos, comments and blogs.
All the above are the sources for inbound marketing. However, these "free" sources of traffic where links can be placed is not all. Most them usually have slots for "paid" ones. Paid links are the type of link that are generally considered as "ads". There is also link exchange as a mean of direct marketing.
Link building is vast. Everything said is just a scratch above the surface of the creative opportunities available to find and earn links for your business. Earning links is not about how much you pay for them, it's all about the time and creativity dedicated to them.
These techniques don't usually work on the first attempt. But as there are literally countless of other techniques, internet marketers can create a strategic plan to see what works best for them.
The more quality links you have, the more you can expect people to find you via search engines. But at the same time, also reduces your dependency on search engines because your name (business) is scattered all over the web, far beyond their search result pages.