As a staunch basketball fan, I love early springtime, when the NCAA Tournament takes off and the NBA season heats up. When I hear the color announcers admire a quick inbound pass, I’m reminded of how website inbound links can be just as commendable. Skillfully placed inbound links can influence a B2B websites ranking in the same manner that inbound bounce passes can be game changers in basketball.
What’s so great about inbound links?
Inbound links are links from pages on external sites that connect back to another site, and are key factors in off-page SEO. Search engines place emphasis on the authority of a web page to determine search rankings. Inbound links have real influence on a websites authority and its ability to drive traffic. When links are merit-based and placed freely as an editorial selection, they send a positive sign to search engines about your site’s importance.
Visitors sourced from inbound links behave differently than visitors who find your website from search engines. For instance, if a blog writer uses a link to your website to augment and support a blog post, the writer is giving your page implied approval, a thumbs-up, a referral, or a suggestion to his reader to read your web page as well. Conversely, if the same page comes up in a SERP (search engine results page), it has fewer chances to be read because of other competing websites on the results pages.
Tactics for More Links
Because inbound links deliver better rankings and more direct traffic, the practice of building and increasing inbound links requires regular attention and monitoring. Here are some tactics to help create exposure and interest in your site, and attract like-minded sites to bounce you an inbound link:
- Create useful, interesting content The best way to build inbound links is to create remarkable and relevant content. Good ways to do this include blog posts, white papers, eBooks and profiles.
- Use social bookmarking Using social networking sites such as Digg, Reddit and Delicious, you can submit links to your website or specific products. Not only do you have the potential to receive viral traffic from a popular post, your SEO efforts benefit as major search engines mine these sites for links on a regular basis.
- Write guest posts Do you frequently read blogs relevant to your website? If so, offer to write a series of blog posts for the owner, and ask for some links in the published post in return. Very few blog owners will refuse free and unique SEO content.
- Build social relationships As you build more quality relationships in online social channels like Twitter and LinkedIn, those contacts will be more likely to view and share the content you provide. Focus on relationships with the knowledge leaders and strong online influences in your industry for even more of a boost.
- Put words with your images Add a descriptive, keyword-rich sentence, not just a short blurb, as alt tags to the images on your website. This gives your photos and other artwork a better opportunity to show up in Google Images, leading visitors directly to your site.
- Article Submission There are a number of websites that permit people to submit articles on pretty much any topic. Write an article that is relevant to your product or service, and submit it for inclusion. Each article allows you to create a brief bio about yourself and include a link back to your website.
Keep working at creating inbound links on your B2B website. Your efforts will bring increased interest and visits to your site. If you want to get in the game, I recommend making Inbound Marketing the definitive playbook.
Do you have more tips for developing inbound links? Bounce them in with a comment!