This is a guest post by Jessica Meyer, an experienced writer who is telling us today the benefits of what we are all doing for our blogs – link building.
Sometimes a blog feels like a different kind of animal in the internet jungle. It’s not exactly a business, and so sometimes the tenants of SEO that most web-based businesses obsess over don’t seem to matter as much.
One of the most vital elements for most websites is link building, but as bloggers we are content to say, “Yeah that looks hard, I’m just gonna sit this one out.”
But whether you’re a mommy blogger or having a money making blog, getting links is as crucial to you as any online company. Typhoon and others have given some great ideas for ways to build back links, but in order to make the most of any link building strategy it’s important to keep in mind all of the various reasons why getting links is so important.
Here are the top 3 benefits of link building…Especially for blogs:
The number one connection people draw with link building is search engine rankings. But it isn’t as simple as quantity = first page results. The fact is links are all valued differently based on numerous factors. The content of a page, the location of a link, the authority of the linking domain and page back links are only a few of the things to consider. A links total value is a combination of all of its merits and dampening factors. So it’s not enough just to fill your link profile with any old back links, it takes good one to really get the rankings.
There’s a term in link building called “low hanging fruit” this relates to all of the “easy” links. Among these are, free directories that accept anyone, link exchanges, and other places where you can “Add a link” without any editorial control. These kinds of links aren’t going to get anyone to the top of a search engine. Even by the truckload. But when you can build links based on merit, those are the ones that will get the job done.
The fact is it may be even easier for a blog to get the powerful links than a commercial site. Content inherently builds links better than businesses or products. And as a blogger, you may not be concerned with how you rank beyond ranking for your name and blog title, but Search Engines can be valuable stream of new readers.
Getting your blog home to rank for a generic phrase like “Travel Blogs” is fine, but it’s more useful to rank for something like “Tips on Traveling Abroad”. But ranking for something like that may not happen without actively link building for it. Always remember that each individual post will likely rank for its title, so whenever possible utilize titles that reflect words which information seekers might be using for their searches.
Link building is often referred to in the SEO world as link promotion. It’s largely because when you get into the heart of it, link building is nothing more than presenting your site to new individuals and asking for them to recognize you with a link.
For a blog, that kind of promotion is invaluable. There are literally millions of blogs online now, which means that no blog can count on recognition without actively pursuing it. The beauty of link building is that it allows you to do just that pursue recognition. Getting links directly to your blog home is great, and those can come in the form of a Blogroll or “Blogs I Read” section. If you want to be listed in someone’s blog roll; listing them in yours is a great start. So is becoming a frequent commenter. When you can get another blogger’s attention as an individual it usually isn’t long before that interest spreads to your blog.
Beyond that, promoting individual blog posts is really where you can gain some attraction. Pick your favorite post and start searching for other websites and pages which are relevant to the subject, share your piece with them and hope that they find your insights valuable enough to share with their readers. This kind of link building is not only good for rankings, but even those who decline to link to you, may still respect your moxy, and your style and may actually start visiting your blog. Something they might not have done before you reached out for a link.
The blogging community is unlike any other that it thrives so thoroughly on the strength of relationships. Specifically, it’s the relationships between blogger and reader and the relationships between bloggers. I touched on this earlier discussing blogrolls and commenting, but it plays largely into link building.
Relationships can absolutely result in links. The people who know and like you may give you links, and the unexpected links you get can lead to new relationships. It’s important to keep track of who is linking to you or even just mentioning you. The mentions without links can often be turned into a link with a conversation, and a link can turn into a friendship. Links are a little like Wedding gifts that way, it’s always polite to send a thank you note when you get one.
But in any situation whether you’ve gotten a link or you are looking for one, the people you talk to are all potential readers. So asking for people for links is great to not only get links but to open the door to conversations you might never have had otherwise. It’s a foot in the door, an ice breaker, and whether or not you get the link may be secondary to the connection you make.
Link building goes far beyond just the business of getting links. It helps you rank of course, and ranking well is the key to getting search engine traffic, but it does so much more than that.
Making individual contacts in an effort to acquire links can help you bring more public recognition to your blog, and help you gain allies in the fight to stand out from the crowd. When you look at link building for all of its benefits, you may find that building links can be as important to your blog as your next great post.
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