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Why Links are so Important and How to Get More of Them | Clapping Dog Media

There is a lot of SEO chatter about the importance of links.

As a creative entrepreneur you are busy being productive Keeping up with the 200 factors that Google uses to rank web pages is a lot.

In this post I am going to make it easy and break down the importance of one of the top factors, links–and why every entrepreneur who wants to grow their online presence and make more sales needs to understand the power of links.

power of seo links

Side Note.

Friends, think of me as a SEO-simplifyer. I understand that SEO can be a mysterious mystery and that there are a lot of myths surrounding SEO that make some people just wanna forget about it.  I hope to clear some more of these mysteries up today, because SEO doesn’t have to be confusing. It can be super DIY-able and having an SEO strategy is smart.

Let’s just say, for a minute, that you were a Snap Chat rockstar last month, now  this month you are the saddest ladyboss evah. Because InstaStories came and stole your audience. But if you had a solid SEO strategy it wouldn’t be a problem because your people could Google and find you.

End SideNote.

Alrighty friends, let’s learn about links.

I will break down the most important linking factors so that your site can be found and you can be known.

In this post, I’m going to cover

  • Different Types of Links
  • How Links Affect SEO
  • Link Building Strategies

Different Types of Links

What are Backlinks?

Backlink is one of the most used words in the land of SEO. Backlinks are simply links to another website. So, this  link to Wikipedia, is a backlink.  Bottom line, you want as many other sites linking to your site as possible.

A website with a lot of quality backlinks tends to rank higher with all of the major search engines. Remember, Google especially, is moving towards a semantic based search (because we talk to our devices all the time–hey Siri!) so Google has to read the pages, not simply look at the keywords–gone are the days of keyword stuffing! So if Google sees that a certain page has a lot of other quality pages linking to it, Google says wow, this content is good a lot of people like it.

What are Internal Links

Internal links are links within the same website. When a site has a lot of internal links it builds authority as a subject matter expert. If your site has a lot of internal links than it has a lot of content that it can link to.

A note about Anchor Text, anchor text or sometimes called anchor links is the text that is used to hyperlink. In the past, it was common practice for the anchor text to be “here”. For example, check out my awesome widget “here”.  But now, the anchor text should be a keyword that you want to rank for. So the anchor text should be, Check out my awesome widget.

How Links Affect SEO

One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, invented this idea of “page rank”, Google Defines it as a quality metric to determine a page’s importance, reliability and authority on the web. Google uses PR to measure the quality of a page based in part on the number of links pointing to it.  

Measuring the quality and number links is effective because it was based upon the idea that a link could be seen as a vote of confidence about a page, i.e., it wouldn’t get links if it didn’t deserve to. The idea is that when one site links to another website, they are effectively saying it is a good resource. Otherwise, they wouldn’t link to it, much in the same way that you wouldn’t send a friend to a bad restaurant.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The big idea is to get as many quality sites linking to your site.” quote=”The big idea is to get as many quality sites linking to your site.”]

Content

How to get quality links

There are many strategies for building quality backlinks.  If you do a quick google search, Brian Dean has several posts detailing his link strategies. Moz also has lots of link building ideas. All of these strategies are fantastic and have awarded them a huge return.

Here are mine. I do some of the ideas that Brian Dean offers, I do write testimonies and I do comment on blogs, but not with the goal of earning links. I write testimonies and comments for their sake…not for the sole purpose of link building.

The three strategies that have yielded Clapping Dog Media authority, remember SEO is a marathon, it isn’t a sprint:

  1. Building Relationships
  2. Guest Blogging
  3. Writing Helpful Content

Building Relationships

I am an extrovert. I get energy from people. I like connecting with people and hearing about their stories. Working at home can get lonely. So as a means of survival, I skype with people 2-4 times a week. I chat with biz bosses from all over the country–mamas, side-hustlers, empire builders who are doing the work. We connect and help each other out. I read and promote their blogs and they do mine as well.

Partnering with friends and promoting each other’s content is a wildly successful strategy for gaining links and authority. It is also a wonderful way to gain online friends.

Guest Blogging

This past several months I have written guest posts for:

Rising Tide Society

Bloguettes

The {well} studio

Ivory Mix

I can tell from my analytics that even though the posts were not on my site that traffic to my site spiked when the posts were published. These guest posts were on  bigger sites with more SEO Authority than Clapping Dog Media. So when the guest post was published and linked to CDM Clapping Dog Media got a significant SEO boost. I use tools from MOZ and SEMRush to measure this.

How did I get these opportunities? Did I have a connection? No, I did a lot of investigation and searching for contacts. I made a huge excel sheet with all of my “dream guest posts” and made quality pitches to them. I won some and I lost some.

I want for YOU to get your hands on these top Guest Posting Opportunities.

Download all of Guest Posting links.

 
Get the Ultimate List of Influencers Now

One note of advice, give quality pitches.

Come with  at least two solid ideas for article ideas. Don’t pitch influencers without an idea of what you would write for them! ALSO be sure to have done your research, know the audience of who you are pitching. Lastly, before you approach any influencer,  I strongly recommend that you listen to this podcast about how to pitch. It is filled with valuable insights from a top influencer. 

Write Helpful Content

3-4 months ago I had a whole mindset shift. Writing blogs was just one of the many things that I did. I didn’t think about it really, I just sat down and knocked out 200-500 words and posted it on a very irregular schedule.

Now, I have an editorial calendar, the posts are researched, they take a long time to write/edit/write/edit/write, and within each post I link to several helpful, resources. Writing long, 1000-2000 word posts has added a few hours to my work week and at least one pot of coffee, however it is true to my brand. I want to make SEO and Google Analytics easy and approachable to the busy entrepreneur.  So I need to write and break down topics that are intimidating and that is hard to do in short form writing.

One of the best SEO strategies that I have used in my writing is when I link to a quality resource, I will contact blogger and let them know. For example, I mentioned the Biz Chix Podcast previously, I will contact the host of the podcast, Natalie Eckdahl and the interviewee Kira Hug, and tell her that I found her interview very helpful for pitching yourself for podcasts and for guest posting. I will give specific reasons why I found the interview great and I will send them each the link to this blog post so that it is easy for them to share with their social networks. Hopefully they will read it, share it and perhaps link to it.

I do this with each resource for every blog post that I write.

Alrighty friends, that is it. If you found this post helpful, please share it and  LINK to it–don’t forget to tell me!  Aaaannnnnddddd while you are at, bump up your SEO authority by guest posting and download my mega-guide to guest posting. If you have another guest post source or if you offer guest posting, let me know and I will add it!

2017-11-07T07:09:23+00:00 Linking, SEO|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Natalie Eckdahl August 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    What a fantastic article Meg! I am so excited to be able to refer it to my clients and community and thank you for linking to my podcast about pitching influencers.

    I love the research advice and the follow up advice. I think people often miss out on both.

    For example, I get pitched daily for people to be on The Biz Chix Podcast, but if you read my contact page, it specifically says, I am NOT taking pitches. I also get requests for guest blog posts even though I have NEVER (not even once) published one guest blog. This shows me that people are not doing adequate research.

    I also have the honor of being mentioned on other podcasts and blogs and even top lists of podcasters for women entrepreneurs but only about 1/2 the time does the author contact me and inform me but also ask me (follow up).

    When you do ask people to share something, make it as easy as possible. I’ve had people ask me to share something and then not give me the link.

    Finally, this is a LONG TERM strategy. You will not see immediate results. But if you are in this for the long game, then start now. Go for quality over quantity and it will pay off. Focus on relationships, not back links.

    Thanks again for such a great SEO training!

    • Meg August 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Natalie! I totally agree, this is a long term strategy. I tell my clients SEO is the long game, social media is the short game.

      THANK YOU for sharing the part about people mentioning you, but not sharing with you that they did it! What a missed opportunity not just for SEO purposes but for building relationships. It all comes back to building relationships and treating others the way you want to be treated… reading and doing research. SO key!

      I really appreciate your words of wisdom.

      Thanks so much!

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