I just want to clarify in this series on SEO and marketing, that I am giving you the message that I took away from the panel discussions at SMX. I’ll give you the lineup for the session on Link Building: Branko Rihtman, RankAbove; Reich, Managing Greatness; Ofer Dascalu, Wise Impact; Menachem Rosenbaum, Matan Media; Michael King, Publicis Modem.
In order to avoid making this series long and complex, the information I am giving here is distilled down to practical applications.
The takeaway message from yesterday’s post should be that good content is the foundation of SEO.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in the movie Field of Dreams. If you build it, they will not come. You have to work hard to let people know you’re there. The most important part of that is creating inbound links.
What’s an inbound link?
An inbound link is a link from another site to your site. It serves two purposes. The first and more important one is to help people find your site. A good rule of thumb for whether a link is valuable or not is whether it will help real people find your site. If it won’t, don’t bother trying to get it. The second purpose is to tell search engines that your site exists, is popular, and has information.
How do I get an inbound link for my site?
There are a number of ways to get inbound links for your site.
- It is possible to buy inbound links. Be aware, buying inbound links is against Google policy and if Google discovers that you have bought inbound links, you may lose your site ranking entirely. It’s a risky business. As such, we cannot recommend it.
- Connect to other people in related fields. This is best accomplished by reading their blogs, commenting on their blogs, following them on Twitter, circling them on Google+, or Liking their page on Facebook. At this stage, your goal is to connect to people, not to beg for links. Wait for them to ask a question and answer it on your blog. Give them something they’re looking for, and they’ll link to you.
- Guest post on other blogs. I don’t know how many of you have arrived at our blog after reading my post on MarketingLand, but it was a great way for me to introduce myself to readers of a different blog and connect to them, giving them reason to see what else I write. When you write a guest post, it shouldn’t be a big advertisement. It should be a means of sharing your expertise with others so that they’ll want to see what else you have to say. Whenever you guest post, your bio should include a link to the site you’re trying to build links for.
- Use sites like Quora and Aol Answers to give useful responses. If your site or app is a utility that people really need, this is one of the best ways to reach an audience, since Quora and Aol Answers have a lot of content and are ranked well.
There are other ways to get inbound links. In general, your goal should be to create great content and tell people about it. This is the primary way to tell if you’re using ‘white hat’ SEO tactics or ‘black hat’ ones.
Photo by mangpages on Flickr