Believe it or not, gaining Inbound Links has always been – and still remains – an essential part of any SEO strategy, not to mention the success of a website. But, by itself, link building is a very challenging part of SEO, no doubt about that!
And while many site owners resort to generating spammy links to their site to increase website traffic, this isn’t an effective solution. In fact, such a method could result in your site being penalized by Google. Something you want to avoid occurring at all costs.
Of course, if you’re new to Inbound Marketing, you’ve probably heard that one way to grow traffic is to get more links. But, did you know that there are actually several different types of links you can have?
In general, we bucket links into three different categories (internal links, outbound links, and inbound links). And all are important to have, but the most sought-after are usually inbound links. So, what exactly are inbound links? And how are they different from the other types of links?
What are Inbound Links?
Inbound Links (also known as backlinks) are links coming from another site to your own website. Whereby, the term “Inbound” is generally used by the person receiving the link. While on the other hand, outbound links are links from your website to another website.
Where an inbound link is a link from an external website to yours, an outbound link is a link from your site to an external website. And an internal link is a link from one web page on a site to another web page on the same site.
Therefore, internal links are hyperlinks on a certain website or blog post that links to another page on that same website. Bearing in mind, when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (in short SEO) these links to your site are very important resources.
Simply, because search engines, such as Google, see multiple high-quality and relevant inbound links to a page or site as an indication that the content on that page is useful for its users. That’s what makes an inbound link differ from both an outbound and an internal link.
The right backlinks to your site can do two things:
- Improve search engine rankings: Having several backlinks from authoritative sites will tell search engines that your site is considered a great and authoritative source. As a result, your site will rank higher in search engine results for specific keywords and phrases.
- Drive website traffic: If your site appears higher in search engine results, it is likely to attract more new and existing customers. If the site ranks well for industry-specific keywords, it’s likely to draw other more targeted audience to the site.
Unfortunately, it is hard for every site to get a backlink from an authoritative website. And it’s unlikely that every single site on the web will gain a backlink from a high-authority site.
And of course, these authoritative sites (like jmexclusives) aren’t just going to give out backlinks for the sake of being kind. Instead, it is best to offer them something of value in return for a backlink.
A good inbound link:
- Comes from an authoritative website.
- Uses proper anchor text.
But, wait a minute! What’s all this anchor text stuff about? An Anchor text is a text copy that is hyperlinked, Page CTR (the anchor text here is “Page CTR”).
Notably, good inbound links not only have an anchor text, but they also have a natural anchor text. Also, Google understands the context of a link.
Why are Inbound Links important?
When SEO and link building first came about, people would get hundreds of backlinks to their website. Particularly, through spammy link building efforts, which included generating hundreds of low-quality links from low-quality sites to their site.
To enumerate, webmaster admins would beg other webmasters for a link back to their site, with nothing of value in return.
These methods of link building are no longer effective ways of ranking a website. And are viewed as blackhat SEO.
Below are the main reasons as to why you should consider link building on your website;
Reason One: Rich Snippets Search Results
Forthcoming, the importance of high-quality outbound and inbound links is now bigger than ever. Important to realize, Google favors the quality of inbound links over the quantity.
And this is something web owners must take into account. Especially, if their aim is to improve on website rankings by building Google-friendly sites.
Only good inbound links from authoritative sites and natural anchor texts will be approved by Google’s current algorithm.
Reason Two: Increased Referral Traffic
As an example, if someone posts an inbound link on their website or blog, people who see that link might click on it. In the end, you’ll benefit from that referral traffic.
However, the volume of traffic you get from referral traffic depends, of course, on how much traffic that blog or website receives in the first place.
Reason Three: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Equally important, websites that receive many inbound links can be more likely to rank higher in search engines. Basically, inbound links tell site crawlers that your website is an authority on a certain subject.
Keeping in mind, search engines don’t treat all inbound links the same. And also, inbound links is not the only ranking factor they consider.
Reason Four: Improves SERP Prime Estate
Google featured Snippets are a real prime estate when it comes to search engine results pages (Page SERP). But, at times, if you want to capture them, it’s hard to know where to get started.
In fact, in a recent Webmaster Hangout from Google, John Mueller confirmed that websites do need to have their SERP in (SEM) promoted. Especially, in order to increase traffic, rank higher and increase the click-through rate (CTR) conversion. That’s in addition to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and resourceful content writing.
How do I Build my Inbound Links?
Seriously speaking, because good inbound links require an authoritative source, you can’t just ask your little brother to link to you on his fishing blog. In that case, just don’t do any of the five B’s of Bad Link Building. Like; Borrowing, Begging, Bartering, Bribing, or Buying.
In other words, there are a lot of ways to generate inbound links which are the right way of doing it. You just have to find the best method that fits you and your SEO strategy.
At the end of the day, link building is about content creation. So, if you don’t have content worth sharing, you won’t get link love. Even with the best link building campaign in place, the lion’s share of your links should come from people. Freely linking to your content.
For instance, use a blog on your website to write about your industry. Often, the blog content you create will get found and will get linked to. In addition, when it comes to the Anatomy of a link, there are 3 things you need to think about:
1. Anchor Text
First of all, this is the textual representation of your hyperlink. For example, the anchor text for this link is “this link,” and the hyperlink is “https://josephmuciraexclusives.com.”
Anchor text is important because most major search engines use it to determine what keywords are relevant to a page. For example, if you want to rank for the term “SEO Marketing,” then you should try to get as many links as you can with “SEO Marketing” as the anchor text.
2. Domain Authority
Inbound links are important to SEO because they are a signal to search engines that your website or web pages are important. To simply put, the more inbound links you have, the more authority you get.
Furthermore, the more authority you have, the better your chances are of ranking for a given keyword. That said, all links are not created equal. If you were to get an inbound link from a domain with lots of it’s own inbound links, like the New York Times, for example, you would get more authority transfer to your domain.
Then again, if you got a link from my friend’s or partner blog. Your goal should be to get links from high authority domains. When researching link building opportunities, always check the authority of the websites that you are trying to get links from.
There are many tools online that allow you to check domain or page authority, including the HubSpot link grader tool.
3. Update Blog Constantly
By maintaining a steady stream of unique and fresh content on your site, chances are people would want to naturally link to you. Since people don’t want to link to content that is duplicate content (content they have seen before).
Instead, they want to see something new and of interest to them. And a great way of finding topics for content that receives a lot of engagement from users is by using the content explorer which Ahrefs has to offer, for example.
5. Guest Post Blogging
Finding relevant websites within your industry that are accepting guest blogs is another way of generating inbound links. There are several pieces of software you can use to find relevant sites.
For example, Buzzstream, the CRM for content marketing and building links. And when searching for relevant sites, there are two things you need to keep an eye out for:
- Whether or not the site accepts guest post contributions
- The domain authority of the site
While reaching out to your chosen sites, you want to keep the email personalized and friendly as a way of improving your link outreach success.
Within the email, you must be explaining what it is you want (a backlink), and what it is you are offering of value in exchange for the link (a great piece of content that abides by their guidelines).
6. Create Skyscraper Content
The skyscraper technique is a system that turns great quality content into high-quality backlinks.
There are three steps to the skyscraper technique which includes:
- Researching content that is link-worthy
- Producing something that is even better
- Reaching out to the right people
It is in our nature to be attracted to the best that is out there. That is why the skyscraper method works so well.
What you are essentially doing with this method is finding the highest skyscraper that you can and placing 20 more stories on top of it.
And suddenly, you have the best piece of content out there. A piece of content that everyone is talking about, and as a result, wants to link to.
7. Search and Monitor for Competitor Backlinks
Keeping track of what your competitors are doing is a great idea. In fact, conducting competitor research every so often to find new opportunities to take advantage of can really help improve website rankings.
Using tools such as Ahrefs is a great way to search for competitor backlinks and monitor them. Such a routine is one of the greatest ways of easily finding high-value link opportunities.
With this method, together with the guest posting method, you can easily generate high-quality inbound links.
8. Design Compelling Infographics
Big websites all over the world are using infographics. Not only do they often end up going viral on social media, but they also help generate a large number of quality backlinks to your site.
Infographics could be the solution to all of your SEO problems. One thing for sure, there isn’t a secret formula for creating an infographic.
However, all infographics have a few things in common. They need to have a great design, something that will catch the reader’s eye. But, the infographic needs to be well researched, and contain reliable information and statistics.
Also, you need to promote your infographic via outreach. People won’t know what is out there unless you promote it. And if you correctly put these elements into place, you should be seeing some quality inbound links coming your way.
9. Build Backlinks Using Competitors Broken Pages
What’s better than earning yourself inbound links? In particular, by fixing backlinks that are currently linking to a broken page on your competitor’s website.
Always remember, finding backlink opportunities and building inbound links to your site often takes days, months, or even longer to acquire. That’s where this link building method comes in.
Don’t spend hours trying to generate inbound links through writing long pieces of content for external sites. Or creating compelling infographics for people to link back to. Instead, look out for sites linking to a 404 page on your competitor’s site.
With this, you can easily reach out to the website, informing them that they are currently linking to a 404 page. And could link to a useful resource on your own website instead. There are several pieces of software that can help you find broken and lost backlinks, including Ahrefs.
10. Referral Web Page
As I mentioned, most of the inbound links your site will receive in it’s lifetime will come naturally from people linking to your remarkable content. And those links will help improve the authority of your domain as a whole. But are often very general and do not contain keyword-rich anchor text, or point to meaningful pages.
All in all, the goal of targeted link building is to improve your rank for a keyword phrase or to improve the rank of a particular page on your site. Therefore, think carefully about what pages you want linked to.
For example, if you currently have a page on your site that is ranking number 22 on Google for the term “SEO Marketing.” Your goal should be to generate more links to that page. And hopefully, containing relevant anchor text.
And finally, as links to that specific page grow, it should climb up in the top position in search engines.
Ultimately, there are many ways to generate inbound links. But like I previously mentioned, it is all about finding the method that fits your marketing leads strategy.
I hope the above-revised guide on Inbound Links was helpful to you and even your SEO Audit Team.
But, if you’ll need further guidance and support, please feel free to Contact Us or share your questions in the comments section.
Here are more useful and related research blog topic links;
- Google-friendly Sites Beginners Guidelines
- Inbound Marketing | Everything you Should know
- Outbound Links | Why do they Matter & How to Track them
- Marketing Leads | How Do You Generate Conversions
- SEO Analysis Tools | 10 Best for Every New Webmaster