Whether you run a global agency, own a local brick & mortar shop or work as a freelance digital expert, you probably know the benefits of owning a website. Knowing the advantages, you might have already gotten your own space on the internet.
You Won’t Automatically Get Results
But here’s the thing: just because you maintain a website doesn’t mean you’re getting the results you want. Whether you’re a digital marketer pushing a product or an SEO Hero advancing a cause, there are many reasons why you’d want more traffic for your site.
“If you build it, they will come” is a cliche that many overly optimistic professionals repeat. Even the best-designed site won’t get a following without proper search engine optimization. There are tons of aspects of SEO that need to be considered, not least of which is backlink building, or setting up ways for people to click into your website.
With that in mind, here are some link building tactics for 2017 that you have to adopt for better site traffic.
Guest Post on Websites That Do Content Syndication
One of the most straightforward ways to link your site to another one is to do guest posting, which lets them put a link back to their site directly. Most creators go for blog posts or articles, and the smart ones submit their work to websites that take part in content syndication.
That means the best work from the hosting site can get picked up by other publishing websites. If you’ve ever read an online article that ends by saying something like “this was originally published on abc.com” or “the author can be contacted at XYZ.com, then that’s syndicated content with a backlink.
Find out which websites participate in such arrangements, figure out which ones accept content, and create awesome articles so that they can be effectively spread.
Build relationships via multiple touch points, tons of people reach out to influencers through cold calls or emails. If you need help with this, reach out to a guest post service.
Without any prior introduction, they ask for an endorsement or some other form of promotion. Those people deserve praise for their confidence, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get what they want; in fact, they’ll most likely get rejected. A more strategic and smart approach would be to contact the influencer over multiple channels.
Follow them on social media and let them know if you enjoy their work. If you have useful or interesting information that you think they’d like to know, share it. After establishing a connection, you can start thinking about how to ask them to vouch for you; if you’re really good or lucky, they’ll offer to do it themselves.
Turn your site into a solution is a really effective tactic, but it has one big disadvantage: you often have to compete to get the attention of influencers. At any given moment, lots of digital entrepreneurs just like yourself are inundating the inboxes of these big names with requests to be mentioned.
Put Cool Shareable Stuff on your Website
Unless you have an ace up that puts you above them, expect to wait in line, especially if you’re operating in a saturated industry space. One organic tactic is to create ultra-useful content and host it on your site. An online calculator, free-use vectors and icons, industry infographics, listicles—the possibilities are limitless.
If you can come up with something that your target audience will naturally link to, that could create valuable backlinks on its own. If it gets the attention of respected industry authorities, that’s even better.
Find Your Niche Audience & Speak to Them
Effective link building isn’t just about getting as many backlinks as possible, it’s also about making sure you get impressions from the right sources. You can join discussion groups and forums relevant to your specialty, though you also have to be careful and respectful of group rules; some specifically prohibit members from adding promotional links to posts.
Having a blog on your site can come in handy in this case, as you might be able to refer people to industry-related or troubleshooting posts on your site whenever they ask a question. From there, readers can navigate their way to find helpful products and services, or maybe leave their details via a contact page.
This strategy is understandably more effective for websites with extensive internal linking and user-friendly site navigation.
Search for a local event or award to sponsor. You might not be looking to compete in global search rankings. Maybe you’re just operating a local outfit whose services offered don’t extend beyond your city. In that case, a more grassroots approach can be beneficial.
Make a list of the significant events that happen in your neighborhood or town during the year and offer to sponsor it, ideally in a creative way. If you can do something that can help your name stick in people&’s minds—like pledging a serving of a signature dish each for the first 100 participants, if you have a restaurant, and print your site’s URL in the event banner—it would help your efforts immensely.
Make sure to check whether the event has a website or social media page, in which case you might have a chance to squeeze in a link to your site.
Become THE Contact For Local Press
Journalists are always looking for opportunities to add meat to their stories, and industry experts and business owners are always looking for ways to get their name out there. Take advantage of these by reaching out to local publications, offering to weigh in on matters that are relevant to your business.
A family doctor may have an opinion about healthcare or the state of health in the community; an insurance agent can talk about accident rates or rising premiums. Allow the local press to quote you on such matters—again, you have to be an expert at the t commenting on—and you might find a chance or two to include a plug about your business in their articles.
Stay active locally. You don’t always have to be the sponsor or the authority; sometimes, being an active net-worker is enough. If you’re not in the habit of attending industry gatherings or joining industry groups, maybe it’s about time you did.
Having the chance to hand out business cards with your web site on them to industry peers can be priceless.
Know challenges and developments in the industry, figure out and share your solutions, and make sure to get your name out there as you do. If you’re lucky, you might even get to rub shoulders with influencers, which would help tons in establishing multiple touch points for relationship building (you haven’t already forgotten about that tactic, have you?).
Expand Your Footprint with Link Reclamation
There’s an old saying that says you can’t sell something that you don’t want to buy for yourself. So in order to get people to vouch for you, they’ve got to first believe in your value.
It can be very difficult to accomplish, but if you’ve been paying attention, you should have noticed that all of the previous tactics involve demonstrations of value or authority to earn those backlinks. Sometimes, they only work halfway—people mention your name or your products, but they forget to share the link to your site.
That’s where link reclamation comes in. Find positive reviews and mentions of your business, check if they’ve included a link to your website, and ask the authors to add a link if they haven’t yet.
There are tools that can help with this, but it can still be a hassle. Nevertheless, it will most likely be worth it as people who already admire you are most likely to accommodate your requests.
After proving your value to content websites, influencers, your local community, and your peers and fans, you should have no problem executing SEO strategies that will increase the traffic and reach of your website.
However, increasing your site’s popularity and authority is not a goal with an end. With great SEO strategies comes great responsibility. Once your website has tons of followers, you’ve got to engage and ensure that they keep them coming back for more.