You already understand the value of creating and sharing quality content with your audience. Congratulations! Getting to that hurdle is no small undertaking. However, many content creators do not truly understand the value of links within their blogs, social media posts, websites, and other online content.
Links have been a vital SEO strategy for a long time. The search engines change their game plan frequently, so the nature of linking (and its benefits) also changes. That doesn’t make it less powerful a method for increasing traffic.
Here is a breakdown of all the reasons you should be incorporating links into your content:
Helps with website navigation – To keep text tight and clean, sometimes it’s valuable to link to another piece of content somewhere else so that users can go into more detail on the topic. For example, this article on The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking is an expansion of the topic we are discussing here. Strategic linking on your website, or in your content, will guide viewers to exactly where you want them to go (landing page, anyone?).
Increases Traffic – Well placed links are a solid marketing strategy for directing traffic to your content. Hanging out in the right places and having conversations with the right people, where your target audience also hangs out, is an excellent opportunity to link back to your website, your blog or your social media platforms.
Establishes credibility – Thoughtful linking will establish you as an expert in your field, industry or niche. This is true not only for SEO but also for Internet users. For search engines and viewers, other sites that link back to yours help the algorithms to quantify your content as valuable and popular, pushing it up the ranks. (Here we come first page of Google!)
Builds your community - When you link to your clients, partners and influencers you are helping to establish their credibility as well. This a great strategy for building up your tribe and brand advocates. This type of linking is a cornerstone of influencer marketing and will provide content for your audience that isn’t 100% yours and, therefore, follows the 80/20 rule. Plus, the more you link to others the higher the likelihood they will return the favor and link back to you!
It’s important not to go crazy with the linking, however. As with any good tool, there are people out there trying to abuse it for their benefit, and strategic moderation is key. Once people got wind that the search engines preferred linking, they started producing links in mass – many of which were completely false. The algorithms adapt and change over time to combat that sort of abuse so if you aren’t linking the right way (organically and with specific purpose) it will actually hurt your page rank. A small handful of purposefully links will be more beneficial than just linking for linking’s sake.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.
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