Whenever you go on just about any website, you’ll notice that there are going to be links. Some of these links might lead you to another section of the same website and other links may lead you to an external source. For example, you might notice the “Staff” link near the top of Blogging Tips. On that new page, you’ll find links to all the sites of all the contributing authors on Blogging Tips.
These links, both on your own blog and on other websites directing back at your blog, are very important. Link building is an integral part of your overall blog strategy, just as you should be paying careful attention to your mailing list and social media efforts.
Why Backlinks Are Important
When another website links to your blog, particularly a larger site with a large readership, it is very possible that you will get some “organic” traffic from that link. People on the site might click on the link, find themselves on your blog, and find that your content is insightful and of value. From there, they may investigate further, subscribe to your RSS feed, and recommend your blog to their friends.
However, that “organic” traffic is only a relatively small part of the equation. The bigger piece of the puzzle is search engine traffic. When you are able to rank in search engines like Google for keywords related to your blog and its content, you are able to attract many more readers, many more visitors, and potentially many more fans. If you’re interested in making money from your blog, search engine traffic can be very valuable.
When it comes to ranking websites for keywords, Google looks very carefully at not only the number of links directed at your site, but also the quality of the inbound links. When you get a link from a big site like CNN.com, that is worth more in Google’s eyes than when you get a link from Joe’s Random Blog About Widgets.
Why Deep Links Are Even More Important
First off, what are deep links? This is when a link is directed at a specific post or page on your blog. It’s called a “deep” link, because it is pointing toward something that is “deeper” in your site than the main page. For instance, a link to example.com is not a deep link. A link to example.com/todayspost, on the other hand, is a deep link.
Deep links are very important for search engine optimization reasons, because it helps to tell Google (and other search engines) more about what content is the most popular on your site, as well as to what type of content it should be paying the most attention. This is also why the “anchor text” of a link is so important. If you wrote a post about bird cages, for example, it’s better if the site linking to you uses “bird cages” as the linked text than if it uses “click here.”
How to Get Links Directed to Your Blog
So, how do you get these links. There are many different strategies that you can employ and it is usually best to use a varied combination of efforts.
In the previous article, we talked about guest posting on other blogs. This is one way to get links, because you typically get an “guest blogger” credit where you can link back to your site. Similarly, it’s useful to network with other bloggers in the same niche as your blog. When you are friends with one another, you are more likely to link to one another as sources of information. These “organic” links are great.
It is also a good idea to include a link to your blog in your various “signatures” around the Internet, like on some of the forums that you may frequent. Submitting your site to a number of site directories and blog directories can prove useful too, as this can sometimes help search engines better index your blog.
While there are some people who are against sponsored posts, paid links, and paid reviews, this is another method that you can try. Ad networks like Text Link Ads, ReviewMe, and SocialSpark allow you to “buy” links from various sites and bloggers. Some people have said that Google can detect if a link is sponsored, though, and it may punish sites that purchase paid links. As such, you may want to tread carefully with this technique.