Over the course of our blogging series on SEO, we have focused solely on updates to your website. These on-page SEO factors are extremely important, but they can only take you so far.
A complete SEO strategy also needs to include a plan to build inbound links.
Just as the name suggests, inbound links are links from other websites that link back to your site. One of the factors that Google and Bing look at when trying to determine whether your site should rank well, are the total number of websites out there that link back to you. The more reputable sites that link to your site, the more reputable your site will appear.
But be careful, not all links are the same. In the past, there were “link-building” schemes. Many offshore companies would promise hundreds of inbound links but would use non-ethical ways like posting bogus comments to blogs, using articles directories, etc. Google is smarter now and actually penalizes sites that still use these practices.
So what can you do to build good inbound links? Here are some tips:
- Ask associations/chambers.
If you’re the member of an association or chamber, ask for a link on their website.
- Write testimonials.
If you use any outside vendors, write testimonials about their service that the vendor can place on their website. Ask for a link back to your site.
- Trade links.
Look at other, non-competing, vendors that service your clients. Reach out to them and trade links by putting a link on your site in exchange for a link on their’s.
- Become a writer.
If you’re an expert in your field, put that expertise into written form! Contact local/industry publications and offer to guest blog or guest write.
- Alumni groups.
If your college has an alumni site, update your profile there and link to your website. .Edu websites typically carry a high level of PageRank (reputable in the eyes of Google) and provide a nice boost.
- Publish good content on your own site.
Not only will good content help attract the search engines, it will help attract people who want to share your content. Encourage people to link back to your site and include social share icons on your site to make it easy for people to spread the word.
- Create an infographic.
People love pictures! If you have some good data on your industry share it through an infographic. It’s amazing how quickly a good infographic is shared and republished.
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