Inbound Links and their Importance in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The most important type of link for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes and the one we will focus on in this article is the inbound link (also referred to as a back link). An inbound link is a link from an external site that points to a page on your site. Many search engines consider inbound links as votes for a site. The more votes you accumulate, the more popular your site will appear. Aside from the vote factor, these links help search engines learn more about your site’s purpose, its importance compared to similar sites and your site’s relevance to specific keywords. Some of the benefits of having links include 1) an increase in your page ranking, 2) an increase in your website popularity and 3) an increase in targetted traffic.
Search engines have one main goal and that is to provide people with relevant searches. The information gathered from inbound links and your website content is used to determine your site’s placement in searches. To achieve a higher placement in search results, you should try to get as many quality inbound links as possible. Remember, not all sites are created equal. Important factors to consider when accumulating inbound links are:
- Link Relevance – Be sure the links are coming from relevant sites because it won’t help you if the site does not relate to your niche.
- Website PageRank – Try to get links from highly ranked websites.
- Anchor Text – Make sure the link text gives the user a relevant description about the link.
- One-way links – Try to get sites to link to your site without having to reciprocate the link.
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, "how do I get these links anyway?" Well, you can search Google to find potential sites to submit your website URL. Google will search for sites that reference your terms. Once you have a list of sites, you can get started on submitting your link to them. Another way of getting inbound links is to provide great content that other sites will want to link back to. Here are a few ways you could generate more links:
- Write articles on your niche
- Provide a free game
- Provide a free online tool
- Offer something unique on your site
- Give something away (E-books, Document Templates, Reports, etc.)
Once you start to gather links, you should keep track of them. Google provides a free tool called Google Analytics that you can use to get detailed statistics on your website traffic. As you know by now, getting good quality inbound links isn’t easy and takes time but is well worth the effort because it can dramatically improve your search engine ranking.
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