Editor's Writeup

Building Effective Links Naturally

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Online marketing is crucial to any business in this day and age. It is important to increase the traffic to your site from external sites. One key strategy in increasing site traffic is of course Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This strategy increases the visibility of your site when a certain key term is entered into search engines like Google.  


In order to increase off site SEO, link building is an important strategy. This is because search engines like Google rank pages that have more links to it at a higher level. This means that the more other pages link back to your page, the higher you will be on the Google search list for a certain term or phrase. 

There are several ways to build links to your site. These include: 

  • Purchased Links – Although this method is ethically controversial, many sites do it. It’s not illegal, and if the deal is fair to both parties, it can be done easily. This strategy involves you approaching another site owner and paying them a sum of money to link back to your site 

  • Link requests – This method doesn’t involve money, just a polite request to other site owners to feature your site in their content. Usually, there is a mutual agreement to feature each others’ sites. This is also a form of networking. 

  • Featured in a Directory – There are many directory sites out there. Some will feature sites for a fee, while others do it for free. It’s perfectly normal to pay a small sum to be featured and this isn’t considered a bad link buying decision although money is involved. 

  • Linking via content – This method can be done in several ways, usually through blog articles, links in videos, links in the author blurb and gust blogging.

  • Social Comments links- This method links back to your site via comments on forums, social media, question answering platforms and the like.


For the purpose of this article, we will be talking about the last two methods, linking via content and social links. The first three methods are equally important, but they’re straightforward and can be done much more easily. 


Content and social links are really something else. They don’t just create links for SEO purposes, but these links have to be something that people are interested in and want to click. It’s about making these links interesting and relatable so that they translate to traffic immediately.  


Content Links 

There are three main ways you can link back to your website through content. These include methods to insert your own blog address and ensuring that your blog has attractive content as well. The three methods are guest blogging, videos and article marketing.  


Guest Blogging 

Guest blogging is an effective way to ensure that your brand, products and services reach new audiences. It’s therefore important to have quality writing samples so that you can start reaching out to other related blogs in your industry. Start by reaching out to the smaller blogs in your field. If and when you get a good response, you can begin reaching out to larger blogs to feature your writing. 


Effective guest blogging involves: 

  • Thinking beyond just building links back to your site. Guest blogging a golden opportunity to present your brand to the general audience. It’s also a way to place yourself as a leader in your niche and to create a buzz about yourself. That’s why relatable content that reaches out to readers is of utmost importance. 

  • Adapting your voice to the tone and style of the blog you’ll be writing for. This is where some research is needed as you’ll have to read the articles on the blog you’ll be writing for. 

  • Insert your link(s) flawlessly into your author bio section. See how other guest bloggers do it in a seamless manner. 

  • Making the back link as attractive as possible so that readers will want to click them. 

 

Article Marketing 

Your access to article marketing sites like EzineArticles should focus on quality and not just quantity. Seek out article communities and not just directories when you want to gain a wider audience for the things you have written. Places like HubPages and Squidoo are examples of article communities where you can interact with others through the posting of articles. 

Always ensure that when you’re interacting with others on these platforms, you should fill out your profile and include links to your websites, social media accounts and more. This will allow people to know you and your brand more easily. 


Making Videos 

Inserting links in video descriptions is the most direct way to build back links. Many video platforms including Vimeo and Youtube allow you to insert links in the description box, and you can edit them into your videos as well, which viewers can click.  

Your videos don’t have to extra crazy or colorful. You can always attract viewers with practical advice in the form of PowerPoint slides. As long as you place the links in a place where it’s obvious and visible to whoever comes along to those videos. There’s a chance that they will like what they read on your websites and be a regular reader. 


Social Profile Links 

Any one of your social media accounts can function as a great tool for building back links. Here are the social media platforms that you can use: 


LinkedIn 

LinkedIn allows up to three links in your profile, each of them associated to an anchor text. Make sure you decide on an eye catching anchor text that people will be interested in clicking. To add these links, click the ‘Profile’ button and choose ‘Edit Profile’. There will be an ‘Edit Link’ button, which you can click on to get to a three column screen. From here, click ‘Other’ in the first column to fill in your customized anchor text. 


Facebook 

In your public Facebook page, you’ll have to be more creative about how you sneak in links. There isn’t an obvious place to put your website links in your personal profile, so you’ll have to use the ‘biography’ section of your basic information page. It’s useful if you have a fan page too. Try and keep your links short but not shady looking. 


Twitter 

There are two places you can place your links in Twitter, namely at the Web and the bio sections of your profile. In order to edit these sections, hover over the dropdown menu and find Profiles. You’ll find the button to edit the bio and web parts. It’s important to put links in both parts because there are other sites that might feature the bio part without the web links or vice versa. Some sites may feature the bio section but places the web section as a link. 


Google + 

Google+ profiles are very generous and allow you to put in as many links as you want. It would be good if you can take advantage of this. To edit your Google+  profile, go to the ‘About’ button and then choose ‘Edit Profile’. Find the Other section, Contributor and Recommended buttons. Each section has to be filled in differently. In the Other profile section, you should include links that are personal, like your ‘About’ page on your website, or contact details. In the contributor to section, you should include links to author pages for your own sites and sites you contribute to. Recommended links can include any places you want people to click on. 


Youtube 

Your personal Youtube channel or profile page is a good platform to link to your own blog and website. There is the About section at the top of your channel profile can edited and this is really useful as its very visible. The About section in Youtube allows you to include a short introduction, and then guides you on how to insert links with a title and url box which you can fill in. It even includes icons for your social media links. These links may not be picked up by Google search but you will give your viewers plenty of things to click on.  


UTM Parameters 

If you want to check the amount of clicks on any of the links you’ve included, UTM parameters is one site that can access LinkedIn, Google+ and Youtube sites. UTM Parameters isn’t suitable for Facebook and Twitter because they make the display URLs too long and ugly. 

 


Engagement and Interaction Linking 

Linking through comments on forums and comment sections should be sincere and not be done just because you want to insert links in. Say something that is relevant to the topic at hand, and also something that will make people curious about you and your brand. If you can do that, you’ll get plenty of clicks. Apart from that, here are some extra tips for commenting: 

  • Always put a Gravatar, using your most common e-mail and an uploaded photo. Commenting with this Gravatar allows your photo to come up on Wordpress sites which tells the blog owner that you’re not a spambot and will allow readers to click on your profile out of curiosity. 

  • Use your real name when you comment ( except when you use the KeywordLuv plugin) in order to let people know that you’re a legitimate person. 

  • Try to comment more on blogs with CommentLuv as you can use specific CommentLuv keywords (search for this on Google). These keywords can be used to get you an additional link beneath your comment when you enter a blog URL. 

  • Sing up for an account on any third party comment platform on Wordpress or other websites, such as Disqus. You can keep track of your comments on Disqus and receive a link from your profile. 


Forums 

It depends very much on which forums you post on. Some forums allow links but some ban you from posting links as a way to prevent spammers.  You can search for forums in your chosen field by using the search term ‘powered by vbulletin’ in Google. Once you locate a forum you want to post in, go to a thread to see if the forum allows signature. Signatures will be found at the bottom at each person’s comments. 

If you’re new to the forum, try to settle down first before adding your signature. Make some comments and get to know some of the other members. Once you get a bit of recognition as a valuable commenter, usually after about 15-20 comments over a long time, you can go to your profile and create a signature for yourself. Don’t overdo the amount  of your links in order not to look like you’re trying to sell something. 


Question and Answer Platforms 

The leading question and answer platforms available today include Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn Answers and Quora. They are great for building your profile and getting people to recognize you as an authority in your field. All the platforms have a resource box where you can add your links as a reference for the answers you give. Here’s where your blog articles can come in useful as they offer more detailed answers.  

You’ll have to use the search button to locate questions that are relative to your field of specialty. Avoid placing links directly to your products or services as these may be construed as spamming. The only exception is questions that ask you where to buy or get certain things. 

Some of these question platforms have sections for your bio, which you should use to add links to your personal profile. One of these is Quora. 

When you follow a topic, you will be asked to fill in your experience on the topics, which is where you can add links too. These links will appear when you answer a question related to that topic as part of the answer, although it won’t be hyperlinked. 


Extra Tips 

These tips can help add to your link building experience and ensure that you get more clicks during your online interactions. 


Use your ‘About Us’ page 

For your website ‘About Us’ page, create a simple badge or banner (or both) which other sites can use to easily link to you. It would be great if you had these badges or banners in different sizes so that the other site has a choice on how to design a link to your. Along with these badges and banners, you should provide the HTML code by which they can link back to you via the images. 


Widgets 

Widgets can be created at WidgetBox easily. Make sure your widget is interesting enough and has a link to your sites worked into it.  


Email Signatures 

If you send out a lot of e-mails, you’ll want to create an e-mail signature for yourself that includes your website links. WiseStamp creates e-mail signatures for Hotmail, Gmail, AOL and Yahoo, among others. Your sites will typically appear underneath your name when you sign off. This is also a way for others to find out what services and products you offer, which they may not have known before. 

 

How To Check Your Links 

There are several ways to check whether your links on various platforms are really working and creating the buzz that they’re supposed to create. Here are some ways you can do that: 

  • Alexa – This site allows you to see how your domain name ranks within your own country and internationally. It also has other data like the number of sites linking back to yours, what people query your website and other statistics. 

  • Built With Technology Profiles – Find out what your domain is using the most, whether its content management systems, analytics, frameworks , server information and others. 

  • Quarkbase – Drop by here to see how your links have fared on Twitter, including the traffic stats, social stats and so on.  

  • About the Domain – This site has information of the SEO parameters of your domain like title, meta description, headers, incoming links and Google Analytics ID 

  • Similar Site Search – See what other sites are similar to yours by entering your domain address into the search button. This method lets you see what your competitors are up to. 

Successful link building and traffic generation requires you getting your foot in as many places as possible. Do you have any link building tips of your own? Let us know.