When it comes to attracting more traffic to your blog or website, everyone is all over search engine optimization, content marketing and social media.
These are the hot tickets.
Optimize for the search engines!
Spend more on content marketing!
Go viral through social media channels!
There’s nothing wrong with focusing on these three areas. They are all important.
But that doesn’t mean you should forget one other area of activity that is just as valuable to online marketers.
Link building means attracting inbound links to your site from other relevant and high-value sites.
When you’re looking at your analytics page, this inbound traffic is called “Referral” traffic.
Inbound links are also referred to as backlinks.
This is high-value traffic. It’s the online version of word-of-mouth. By placing a link to your site, people and companies are saying, in , “Check these guys out. We like and trust them. You should too.”
In fact, referral traffic has a very special place in Google’s heart too.
Google uses inbound links as a way to determine the relevance and value of the pages and posts you create. The more inbound links you get from other relevant and high-value websites, the bigger the thumbs-up you’ll get from Google.
Recently Google identified – for the first time – the two factors they pay most attention to when ranking your page.
These two things are the quality of the content you create and the volume and quality of the inbound links that point to your site and its pages.
So there are powerful reasons why you should be creating quality content that is specifically optimized to attract inbound links.
What kinds of content are most likely to attract the most links? Here are three types of content that can help.
1. Create a definitive guide
This is when you create an evergreen content page. Build a long-form page that becomes the definitive source of information on a topic that is important to your audience.
You can create guides like this on any topic that is relevant to your business.
As an example, check out the guide to the Google Panda Update, published and updated periodically by the folks at SearchEngineLand.com.
It attracts a ton of inbound links simply because it is such a useful source of information on a topic that is incredibly important to online marketers.
2. Answer a much-asked question
Identify a question that is asked frequently by people who come to your site, and you’ll have a topic for a new post or page that could attract a ton of inbound links.
Here is an example on one of my own websites, CoffeeDetective.com. A reader asked a question about whether or not the plastic used in making Keurig K-Cups is safe or not. And I provided an answer. More important still, I opened up a comment stream on the page.
The page is now very long… comprising my own answer to the question, plus a ton of comments from my readers.
At some point, the page became long enough, interesting enough and useful enough to start attracting a large number of inbound links.
3. Create something exceptionally interesting or useful
This is easier said than done, of course. But always worth aiming for.
A great example of what I mean is the essay by Kevin Kelly on “1,000 True Fans”.
This page is almost iconic in its fame. Yes, it helped that Kevin Kelly already had a strong public profile when he wrote the piece. But the essay still stands on its own merits.
Haven’t read it before? Bookmark it now and read it later.
This speaks to the whole debate over quality over quantity. While you need to create content with reasonable frequency, it will always make sense to occasionally put aside the time to produce something that at least has a chance of becoming an inbound-link magnet for your website and business.
Wrapping it all up…
People don’t talk about inbound links enough. Nor do they put enough effort into creating content that is optimized to attract inbound links.
This means you have an opportunity in front of you right now. Do what other people aren’t doing. Become an inbound link freak.
For more on optimizing for inbound links… and for SEO, social media and content marketing… check out my course, Web Content Optimization.
The course is one of my quick-win, short-form courses, available through the Udemy platform. Use this link to get Web Content Optimization and you’ll enjoy a big, fat discount.
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