Business owners are continually looking for new ways to drive more traffic to their website.
There are countless tools and tactics available to help marketers reach their goal by improving the reach and traffic of their website.
We want to take a look at one of the most important tactics, according to Google, that website owners should use if they're going to increase their search visibility and organic traffic. That’s right; we are talking about building links on and off your website to help improve your views and engagement, which typically results in increased sales.
Today we are going to take a look at the following information:
The two types of links
How links can impact your traffic
Tips for improving internal links
Tips for building external links
How these links will affect your website
Types of links
There are two main types of links we are going to talk about today, internal and external. Internal links are essentially how you’re going to hold the "webbing" of your website together. Links on your site should all connect and branch across every page if you want to see increased traffic. The way you link on your website can have a significant impact on your SEO, more on that later.
When you work to get your links published outside your website, you’re establishing external links. External links have their benefits, including expanding the reach of your content, generating leads, and growing your social media profiles.
How link building impacts your traffic
Your marketing goals and current website status are going to determine where you need to improve your link building strategy. Internal and external links both have a positive impact on your SEO, but for vastly different reasons.
Internal links help Google crawlers index your website. Google’s algorithm can determine the relevancy of your website based on how easily the crawlers can navigate throughout your site. There’s a reason that 97% of businesses who blog get additional website traffic. Their blog content helps flesh out the "webbing" of the website and based on your keywords. Your internal links can help establish the intent of your posts – which is another major deciding factor when Google ranks sites. If Google deems that your site is worthy of appearing on the tops page for your keywords, you can bet that your website will see a sharp increase in total visitors.
If you want to expand your audience with external links, you have to target off-site places. We are going to take a look at some of the places you can build external links, and what to avoid when creating these links. When businesses link externally, the goal is to usually build social proof by sharing their content on social media platforms for potential customers, or the process involves working with another business with similar, though not identical, goals. The result is your website will show up in front of prospects even if they are not searching for your keywords, which builds your reputation with Google and improves your traffic.
External link building tips
There are plenty of websites that allow guest posting opportunities to those who have experience or knowledge on a topic. If you want to improve the odds that you’ll have a strong relationship with the business you partner with, try to look for someone who is either in your industry or operates part of the time within your niche.
In other words, look for websites that have a similar audience to your business. There are usually opportunities for businesses to guest post on one another’s site as a way to spread brand awareness and bundle products or features. For example, an email marketing service provider may want to partner with a website hosting website since you can’t have one without the other. You’ll want to include links to your most valuable and relevant blog content when creating external links on other websites.
Another way to build external links is through social media. You should try to post links to your content consistently on all of your profiles. The more times you link to your posts, the more likely they are to get shared, which helps you build reliable external links. Similarly, you may want to work with an influencer that will help share and promote your content.
One more tip on external links, never, under any circumstance, should you buy backlinks. There’s a good chance that you’ll see a surge in traffic that looks and feels authentic, but before long, the “effect” will wear off, and your traffic will generally fall back to its old position. More importantly, if Google catches you buying links, they can punish your website and reduce your reach.
Internal link building tips
We mentioned earlier that it’s essential to have a blog on your website for internal linking purposes. In case you’re not familiar, there is a way to build your internal links in such a way that it makes your content easier to follow for Google bots, and can help improve your ranking on the keywords you select. You can accomplish this goal by creating cornerstone content on your blog.
Cornerstone content, or landing pages, are the longest blog posts you’ll have on your website, and they are generally jam-packed with links to other posts on your blog. You can create this type of structure by starting with a broad topic, marketing, for instance. Create one long piece of content about marketing where you link together past and future articles in a tree-like structure where the truck is your cornerstone content, and all the internal links are small articles with specific content, similar to branches stemming from the trunk.
Much like a tree, you should also trim and prune your internal links over time. There’s a good chance that your cornerstone content will remain mostly the same. However, you may need to make changes to the sub-articles within the content every year when new research or information comes out on the topic.
Try to be mindful of the number of links you’re using on each page, and the context/relevancy of the content to the link you’re adding. Some marketers have trouble finding a balance between content length and the number of links, and this may differ slightly depending on your niche and audience size. Generally speaking, quality links mean more to Google’s algorithm. After your website has been up and running for four to five months, and you’re small to medium sizes, consider adding around 40 high-quality internal links per month.
Link building is time-consuming and is going to require plenty of patience and skill. As you practice building internal links and making connections for external links, you’ll find that there are plenty of opportunities available to improve your traffic with your link building strategy. If you follow these tips and watch your customer metrics, link engagement and partners, you’ll be able to develop a killer link strategy that will help your website grow.