Ask the Expert

1/28/2013

Michael J. Bergbauer, Web Content Editor

Q: With paying for inbound links now taboo, how can our company secure new links for our site in a consistent manner?

A: Before answering your question, I think it’s worth mentioning that paying for links has actually been taboo for years. What’s actually changed is that search engines are better at detecting these kinds of links and leveraging penalties for them. If paying for links is a part of your SEO strategy, you should stop immediately! Sooner or later, they’ll be detected and the clean-up you’ll need to do will not be pleasant.

That being said, natural link building will help your website perform better in search results. So back to your question: how do you secure new links consistently? By consistently link building of course! There are so many different approaches to link building. Here is a general overview of some effective strategies:

  • Leverage your Partnerships: Your business connections can be a good source for inbound links. If other companies consider you to be a preferred vendor, or if you’ve sponsored any of their efforts, it makes sense to reach out to them and ask for a link back to your site. Think about the business connections you maintain and the layout of their websites (on what page would you like an inbound link to appear?). Then, start formulating your requests. Keep in mind, even if you do business with these other websites, you may still need to incentivize your link building request.

  • Create Original Content: This is really the core approach of any good link building program. If there is useful, original content on your website, people will start linking to it. Creating more content gives you more opportunities for inbound links. There are many mediums to choose from, including blog posts, white papers, infographics, press releases, videos, and more. To get the most benefit from content creation, you should make sure that your copywriting is optimized for search.

  • Cross Promotion & Social Sharing: The above strategies work best when users know about them. That why you need to get the word out! If you launch a new Tumblr account, don’t just include a badge in the footer of your website. Announce it on your Facebook page, mention it in marketing emails, or even promote it at the end of sales calls. This is especially important at the start of link building campaigns. Help people find your new content to start building a following and eventually, start building your inbound links.

To secure consistent inbound links for your site, set aside time every month for link building efforts such as content creation and sharing. Engage your users and focus your efforts on the channels and topics they like best. In return, they’ll link to your site and you’ll avoid all the pitfalls that come with paid links.

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