Thanks to blogger Laura Burkey for this guest post!
Whether you freelance as a full-time job or write to bring in some extra cash on the side, links are the bread and butter of increased online visibility.
Links are paramount for being found in Google and other search websites, as well as supplying more information to the audience. Hyperlinks add credibility to articles and offer additional avenues for digging deeper into a topic without having to write a longer article.
For example, instead of meticulously citing every fact, link to the research or report from which you are quoting. It’s faster and cleaner.
If you’re starting a business, building links goes hand-in-hand with search engine optimization, as well. The links continue to work overtime and feed potential customers to your website without draining your advertising budget.
Here are nine ways to build links into your writings, particularly backlinks.
Internal links are when a website points to different parts of the website within the same URL domain name. Search engine spiders find new content more easily because it creates levels of authority within one site. The important part to note is that the most effective internal links are included within articles on the website and not navigational links.
Search engine optimization
SEO is one buzzword that stays on the lips of webmasters and writers everywhere. When credible and relevant links are included in the first or second paragraph of an article, your rank improves when searched on the Internet. Using common words are obviously better than technical words. For example, people search for “wallpaper” more than “wall-coverings.”
Commenting on blogs, articles, and social media posts are a large part of the world today. However, sites caught on to people spamming their sites with irrelevant links. Nowadays, most blogs set comment links to “nofollow.” This means that your links won’t be picked up by search engines.
However, it’s not a total loss to participate in the conversation. You can still establish your articles and website as expertise in your industry.
While paid links are against Google’s guidelines, they are the most popular way to build links. Basically, people pay money for a follow link with the anchor text of the webmaster’s choices. Since it’s against the largest search engine’s rules, it’s a risky endeavor. The choice to do so carries the risk of having your links “de-weighted” or removed from the site entirely.
Find .gov or .edu sites
Since these sites are found to be most authoritative, having a link from these sites would keep you high on the site. The most effective way is to find political websites.
The same as blog comments, there is a “nofollow” setting on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Still, the more you comment, the more exposure you gain.
That’s just a fancy way of encouraging others to link to your content. And, really, isn’t this what it’s all about for freelancers? The best example of this tactic is Office Max’s “Elf Yourself,” where you can upload photos into faces of dancing elves. It’s hard to avoid singing Santa’s helpers during the holidays. Make your content something that is easily shared with others. (Think puppy dogs and kids.)
This tactic involves using a press release company, such as PR Newswire, to get your content out to the masses. This could be expensive, and you must ensure that the press release disseminated to the masses is coherent and valuable. Include links that are deep in your website, as opposed to using links from the first or second pages.
Share the love
You know the old saying, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”? Reciprocal links are the exchange of link exposure from one site to another. Be sure to research your buddy link and check in from time to time. Often, links will be present for a certain amount of time before they “unlink” from your page. The more relevant it is to your website, the more beneficial it is.
The end game is to create more exposure for your content from reputable sources. Link building is a moving target. One day you’ll be ranked higher than the competitor and vice versa. The important thing is to add link building into your daily routine. No one will cultivate your content for you. It starts with the writer. And that writer is you.
Laura Burkey writes for various blogs on topics including SEO practices and protecting your online reputation.