7 Ways to Improve Your Blog SEO with Inbound Links

social media how toAre you looking for innovative ways to improve your search engine rankings?

In an earlier post I talked about the need to fully optimize your website and blog posts for search engines.

However, content optimization will only take you so far. For a website to really take off in the search engine rankings, it needs to generate incoming links from relevant and reputable websites. And you have little control of incoming links.

To increase the likelihood of obtaining high-quality incoming links, here are seven things you can do:

#1: Create Content Others Will Want to Share

All search engine optimization (SEO) starts with content. The first step to generating incoming links is to create content that others will want to share. Blog posts that solve problems, provide a valuable resource, entertain, demonstrate innovation or even create controversy can all generate incoming links. Average content won’t cut it. It needs to be outstanding.

Facebook, Twitter, Digg and other social media sites are driven by the desire to share. One of the quickest ways to build social media credibility is to share outstanding blog posts, videos or other online content. When you create content that will give Twitter users or bloggers credibility just by sharing it, you’re going to generate valuable incoming links.

Don’t forget to make your content easy to share by including TweetMeme, Digg, Facebook or other buttons that are easy to find and use.

#2: Distribute Online Press Releases

Press releases are a great way to generate incoming links. A good press release can be directly published by any of a number of highly trafficked news organizations. Again, the key is to provide content that is of value to others.

When writing a press release, think like a reporter. What “news” is important to the reporter’s readers? Write it as if you were the reporter writing a story. Make the reporter’s or editor’s job easy and your press release has a much better chance of getting published.

One of the big advantages of online press releases is that you can control the back links to your site. Linking keywords in your press release to relevant pages on your website or blog can result in valuable incoming links.

Even the link coming from the press release site can be beneficial as most PR distribution sites have a high Google page rank. The key is to link from the body text of the press release to pages deep within your site such as a related blog post (deep linking). For example, a link to an article on your website providing tips for writing press releases wrapped around appropriate keywords (as opposed to a link to your home page) is a deep link.

Although there are a number of free press release sites available, paid distribution sites such as PRNewswire.com are often monitored by reporters and feed directly to Yahoo! News and other large websites. If you have the resources, a good press release on a premium distribution site can quickly pay for itself.

Distribution sites such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PrimeZone or Market Wire distribute press releases to Yahoo! News and others.

#3: Write Guest Posts

Writing guest posts (like I’m doing here) on highly ranked, highly trafficked websites can also generate powerful incoming links.

Writers often will offer to write free posts in exchange for a link back to their own website. If the publisher will allow it, a link or two in the body of the post anchored to related keywords (deep links) can be even more valuable than the link in an author bio. Don’t believe me? How many of you clicked on the “tips for writing press releases” link above?

If you’re a good writer and have something to say, landing a guest spot isn’t all that difficult. The key thing is to pitch the website owner (or appropriate editor) an article that will be of value to his or her readers. Pitch the idea, not the entire article. Prior relationships don’t hurt either. If there’s a blog you’d like to write for, constructive comments and active participation can go a long way.

Remember, many blogs are run by individuals or small operations and creating daily content can be a lot of work. A good blog post by a guest writer can be beneficial to both the blog and the writer.

#4: Link to Others

Don’t be afraid to link to other blogs or publications. Linking to content of value not only provides a service for your readers but the incoming link will show up in the other blog’s analytics. Many blogs even display incoming links along with the comments. These links are one way to direct other bloggers back to your site. If they see something they like, they might return the favor.

Google also likes to see outgoing links to relevant and reputable websites.

#5: Share Content With Relevant Websites

Look for websites and blogs that offer content that’s complimentary to yours and let them know you’re there. For example, a lawyer who specializes in waterfront issues and riparian rights might share an article with a realtor who specializes in waterfront homes.

This can be as simple as an email letting the blogger know you enjoy his blog and a link to an article of interest to his readers. If you can directly tie it into something the blogger is currently writing about, even better.

In the old days, it used to be common to ask for a link exchange. Now, these link exchanges can come across as spammy—especially to the owner of a website with a high Google ranking. You’ll get much further with content that is highly relevant to the blogger.

#6: Create a Link Network

This is a tip that can do wonders for a group of topically related bloggers. About five years ago, I started blogging about my favorite college football team (and my alma mater). At some point, a number of bloggers in the Big Ten began to organize behind the scenes.

The most recent headlines from associated blogs can drive traffic for everyone in the group.

We all agreed to include links to each other’s blogs on our websites and someone created a feed reader that published the most recent headlines from the group in our sidebar. At the time it seemed like a good way to pick up a couple of readers from other college sports blogs. I had no idea the impact from the incoming links would be so huge.

Over the years, many of these blogs have grown into highly ranked websites while others have merged with larger content providers. Thanks to the network, we all have a number of incoming links from highly ranked websites loaded with relevant content.

The feed reader in the sidebar also notifies fellow bloggers and their readers of my most recent posts. I’ll often write headlines aimed at other blogs in the feed knowing that it may generate a response or at least drive traffic from other sites. This technique can often trigger a response from other blogs generating even more traffic for both of us.

Transfer this technique to a business blog and you could create a very powerful network. If you’re worried about competition, look for bloggers outside of your geographic region or closely related but not in direct competition with your business. Realize though that the benefits of the incoming link juice far outweigh the concerns of a few readers visiting another blog. Besides, if your content is good enough, they’ll find their way back to your site.

#7: Don’t Forget Internal Links

If you have a blog post that has achieved a good Google page rank on its own, use it to build in a couple of links to other pages within your site. The link will still hold search engine value even though it’s coming from within the same site.

Link-building takes time and should be an ongoing process. It’s also a world in which the rich get richer. As a website moves to the top of the search returns, lazy researcher syndrome kicks in. Reporters and bloggers will often click on the top returns just because they’re the first to pop up on the page. The upper positions on the search returns also bring perceived credibility just because of their position. As you work your way to the top positions, incoming links will start to develop on their own.

“Link-building is an ongoing process.”

Have you found success generating incoming links to your website or blog? What methods have you tried and what worked for you? Leave your comments and suggestions in the box below.

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About the Author, Jim Lodico

Jim Lodico is a copywriter and marketing consultant specializing in creating powerful content and teaching businesses how to use blogs. You can follow him on Twitter @jlcommunication. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Jim plus people can setup web 2.0 sites that link back to their sites…this gives them a little more link juice..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://mytwittertoolbox.com David Perdew

    I’m glad to see that we’re doing at least some of these steps to improve our rankings, but I’m really interested #6, since I can think of a few friends I could be sharing links with in my niches. Thanks for the tips, guys – great work.

  • http://www.vinolucistyle.com Barbara | Vino Luci Style

    I’m grateful you did not propose people should comment on other sites to get links back. I find leaving a vacuous comment on other blogs a terrible method of building ‘link juice.’ The people that advocate that forget that those of us being used are less likely to be supportive of the user!

  • Jim

    Along with the spammy nature of commenting most comments are “no follow” links so the link doesn’t really help SEO (other than the hope that someone will click through to the link.

  • Jim

    Although doesn’t the other site need to be on a separate hosting service?

  • http://www.smartbugmedia.com/ Ryan Malone – SmartBug Media

    No follow doesn’t help with SEO, but it does expose your message to other folks. As long as the comments are genuine and not link spam, it’s fine.

  • http://consolidateloans1.com/ Ari Lestariono

    Doing Inbound Links within articles is a good way to get indexed, but overdoing it, will get you de-indexed.

  • Addoway, Inc

    It just takes time, great posts, and relationship building. Commenting is good, but your thoughts have to be genuine. You can’t just say, “Great post” and think this is going to help you build links or even a relationship with the blogger. It doesn’t hurt to make a shout out like that, but in the end it is all about meaningful content that people want to share because it sparked something within them.

    Great post. Thanks

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  • Jackie

    I agree with Barbara. People should not comment on other blogs to get links back. While this has worked for my personal blog I think business blogs are a different story. Great article!

  • http://www.jm-marketingsolutions.com/ Julie Myers

    I love reading the Social Media Examiner. I’m always on the lookout for good tips and how-to’s and I typically find what I’m looking for here. Lately it seems that many of the people I’m working with don’t seem to understand inbound links or link building programs. This is a great list and I will be keeping it handy. It’s easy to remember to link to others but I sometimes forget to do the internal linking. Thanks for the reminders and for keeping it in layman’s terms!

  • http://twitter.com/Carriecares Carrie Corcoran

    What a timely article as I am in the very beginning stages of kicking off our corporate blog. I will look at incorporating as many of these ideas as I can. Thank you!

  • http://felixrelationshipmarketing.com/ Juan Felix

    hi Jim, thanks for this great post.

    I’ve had good results with StumbleUpon. The content discovery service has done wonders with driving traffic to my blog. And my guest posts for smedio generate traffic in 2 ways: 1) more visitors to my own blog and 2) more followers on twitter who retweet my posts.

    -Juan-

  • http://www.google-king.com Jtking | Top Placement

    Of course it does, but there are so many free platforms that provide link juice such as wordpress, gather, mixx, multiply, onsugar, live journal, etc.

  • http://mazakaro.com Rahul

    how about 3.0 Guy???

  • Jim

    And of course, the more people that visit, the better chance that the post generates those incoming links.

  • http://twitter.com/Social_Champion Sabine Taylor

    Gary Vee advocates commenting on other sites to generate traffic…..this strategy works well for him.
    If a comment adds value and relationships are developed then I think it is ok to give it a try and see what happens. @live_alpharetta

  • http://twitter.com/Metaphysicalmom Leigh Harris

    I thought internal links didn’t count?

  • http://www.backlinksmarket.org Nicole | Backlinks Market

    this is highly interesting!

    A few ideas for new products have just arrived, thanks to your article!

    What are the “techniques” I use? They are simply befriending people. Socialize on FB, twitter, build your authority, using forums, like Warrior Forum, Home Based Business Forum, etc. help people.

    be sure to create something that will benefit others- Like Henry Ford used tom say- Find a need , create a product and give it to people. It is also one of the mottoes of Keith Cunningham. Both men are the icons of highly productive lives and the ability to create and bring to life great results.
    It resonates with your chapter on Press Releases.

    Thanks
    Nicole

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  • Deepak Bista

    Quite ood advice.

  • Deepak Bista

    I meant to wite quit advice

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  • http://www.seobooklab.com/ Ram Babu SEO

    thanks socialmediaexaminer,
    it’s really helpful to me for doing for inbound link building thanks

  • http://twitter.com/staceysicurella Stacey Sicurella

    I am in the beginning stages of improving blog and web content for one of my clients. Although their website has been optimized, I am charged with creating SEO happy content for their corp site & Blog on an ongoing basis. These tips are very helpful! Would I be remiss not posting my client’s URL? Although we are in re-desien & launching a new site in the next couple mothns, still, thoughts are welcome: http://www.giftcardpartners.com

  • http://karencioffi.com KarenCioffi

    Great article, thanks. And, in regard to commenting on sites, I think the site owner/admin should be able to tell if the comment is generic/spam or pertains to the post. I have a lot of trouble with spam comments on my sites, but the comments are always non-specific, generic, so I just delete them.

    I have a cross-promotional group that uses link networking as part of its strategy.

  • jonmikelbailey

    I think #1 is probably the most important of all of these. Content needs to be relevant and useful. I also like the idea of guest writing. We try to guest write as much as possible. Look for opportunities, all you need to do is ask and the worst that can happen is you get a no or you get ignored. We also try to have guest writers for our Wood Street blog. I think it is valuable to our readers to get a fresh perspective, plus the guest writer will help to promote their own post. I also encourage guest writers to re-post their guest post on their blog with a link back to ours, always good stuff. Great tips as usual!

  • Jim

    Although they are not weighed as heavily as internal links they can help. Internal linking can also provide a roadmap of sorts leading the search engine spiders to other pages of importance on your site.

  • http://www.callconcern.com Maggyyoung

    The rules of commenting on blogs to get links are very simple:- only post if you have something relevant to say. If you really want to post & haven’t, then take a short time to think of it. If you’re still dry then leave & post when you can contribute.

  • http://twitter.com/kaylaebraun Kayla Braun

    Wow! Great post! Thanks for the tips! Do you wonder what SEO in 2011 will be like with the ever-changing fast-paced marketing growth? Check out this article: http://bit.ly/eWExro. What do you think?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507787584 Julien Fontbonne

    I’m sure you meant “Although they are not weighed as heavily as EXTERNAL links…”
    But I think most of us understood it right away :)
    Thanks again for your post Jim!

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  • AD

    Web 2.0 not so effective, I mean simply creating another alternative content. I has to some value. If you create a link on wordpress then it should have popularity then authority. These are the aspect of link building that we should consider.

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  • http://www.submitshop.com submitshop

    What a timely article as I am in the very beginning stages of kicking off our corporate blog. I love reading the Social Media Examiner. I’m always on the lookout for good tips and how-to’s and I typically find what I’m looking for here

  • http://www.family-getaways-melbourne.com Marylynbroomhall

    Very timely article as it is about time my website grew up! Going back in to re devour your words and implement your suggestions

  • http://www.reklamosinternete.eu Reklama Internete

    Great advices. I always want to avoid link network building ;) it is so boring :)

  • http://www.iconinfosystems.co.in Icon

    Hi Jim,
    It’s really a great view, thanks for sharing this. Also SEO is not as easy as simply having the same link all over the place. The best kind of inbound links are the ones that look natural – as though they were placed by several different people, not just one person posting all over the place.

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  • SEO Company

    Inbound links are always helpful for blog optimization.This post is nicely described by you. Thanks for sharing valuable information.

  • vishawa

    As you are no doubt aware, Google Analytics is a free analytics application package that can provide your client with a range of critical information about their site and the way it is performing in the search engines. By SEO Ranking

  • Garcia1 Icon

    Good Article…………….I agree with you, Inbound links are very much useful…..Of course the many visitors that improve chance that the post generates those incoming links
    ***************************
    Icon Infosystems

  • Joe

    Thanks for sharing those tips. I like what you said about internal links, some good internal links can’t hurt!

  • http://www.shadowhacker.net Shadowhacker

    Very nice tips on inbound linking. I’ve found what you said to be true as I’ve tested it on some of my websites. I find it hard to get good internal links though.

  • http://www.shadowhacker.net Shadowhacker

    Very nice tips on inbound linking. I’ve found what you said to be true as I’ve tested it on some of my websites. I find it hard to get good internal links though.

  • http://twitter.com/standupguysjunk Atlanta Junk Removal

    I love the article, this might be a little off topic but i wanted your advice. I am in the process of making my new website, and on the bottom of about 25 of our pages we have the same paragraph telling customers info on the subject, all the pages are under the same subject. Do you think google will penalize me for “duplicate content” even though it is necessary for the navigation of our site?

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  • http://twitter.com/SocMedSean Sean R. Nicholson

    Love the article, but I’m a little speculative of link networks. I feel like Google is really good about sniffing out web-rings and blog-rings that become the primary (and sometimes only) source of content to a blog. Especially if those sites/blogs linking to you aren’t considered to be authoritative. 

    Also, are others seeing that 2.0 sites like Digg/Delicious/StumbleUpon are starting to penalize those participants who only post links to their own content, rather that a broad range of content?

    Love to hear thoughts…

    –Sean

  • http://twitter.com/SocMedSean Sean R. Nicholson

    Love the article, but I’m a little speculative of link networks. I feel like Google is really good about sniffing out web-rings and blog-rings that become the primary (and sometimes only) source of content to a blog. Especially if those sites/blogs linking to you aren’t considered to be authoritative. 

    Also, are others seeing that 2.0 sites like Digg/Delicious/StumbleUpon are starting to penalize those participants who only post links to their own content, rather that a broad range of content?

    Love to hear thoughts…

    –Sean

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  • readymadewebsiteforsale

    Google giving more priority to website contents and updations on site. I completely agree with you that quality content and content presentation is very important for any website

  • readymadewebsiteforsale

    Google giving more priority to website contents and updations on site. I completely agree with you that quality content and content presentation is very important for any website

  • freeurlpromotion

    All of these are great points but at Optify we also think it is important to be able to track who’s linking to you because getting links to your site is an important part of search engine optimization

  • freeurlpromotion

    All of these are great points but at Optify we also think it is important to be able to track who’s linking to you because getting links to your site is an important part of search engine optimization

  • websitedesigningsingapore

    Many new website owners seem to overlook is the need for creating backlinks to their site, and the need for the links to be relevant and not just wasted purchased links.This article easily explains where to get them, and their importance. Thanks for sharing. 

  • websitedesigningsingapore

    Many new website owners seem to overlook is the need for creating backlinks to their site, and the need for the links to be relevant and not just wasted purchased links.This article easily explains where to get them, and their importance. Thanks for sharing. 

  • webdesignersmalaysia

    Good Article…………….I agree with you, Inbound links are very much useful…..Of course the many visitors that improve chance that the post generates those incoming links

  • w3-logics

    Wonderful post! thanks for publishing such tips for us bloggers. I have been implementing some of these tips for my blog, but got some more ideas from here.

  • w3-logics

    Wonderful post! thanks for publishing such tips for us bloggers. I have been implementing some of these tips for my blog, but got some more ideas from here.

  • http://techtinkering.com Lawrence Woodman

    Great tips.  Especially the tip about linking to others.  So many of the links to my blog have come about because of blogs noticing traffic from my site to theirs. You can also add reviews of restaurants, bars, hotels, products, etc to Trust a Friend. Against each review you can have your website address. This is therefore a great way to quickly build links to your site and also tell others what you recommend.

  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/vincentamari Vincent

    Frustratingly can’t find any costs for sending press releases via PRNewswire.com :-(

  • Beemjw

    This knowledge has been a great blessing.
    Thanks for your willingness to give it away for free.
    The info. will help my business tremendously.  

    John
    http://beemtips.com

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  • http://keywordresearcherpro.blogspot.com/ ashu

    Thanks for sharing.

    Ashu

  • http://www.ghananewsbay.com/ Y2kgodfather

    Gr8 tips. Really found this post very useful esp. for people new to SEO as well as those struggling to get their sit up the list.

  • Sara Aderson

    i am very glad to see this there!
    and after reading it its lookes like that your writting skilles is very good so keep doing it.

  • Kanika Virmani

    Hi, am one of those lurkers who’ve never spoken up until now, just enjoyed your content but never had much to say. Just wanted to come out and say thanks for the interesting posts, thanks for giving me advice to think about, and I hope you continue to post frequently!
    Website Designing Company Delhi

  • Jhon Smith

    Good Post!
    after reading it seems that you explain it very clearly and i hv no words to say about it jst want to say thnkx for it..

  • http://numbersofgirlsinpakistan.blogspot.com/ Superjohn5566

    The rules of commenting on blogs to get links are very simple:- only
    post if you have something relevant to say. If you really want to post
    & haven’t, then take a short time to think of it. If you’re still
    dry then leave & post when you can contribute.

  • http://www.matrixsoftwares.com/ Mustafa

    Informative article, would surely use this information.

  • http://expertseomarketingservices.com/ Jason Suli

    These methods still pretty much work today, specially with changes in google algo changes

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  • http://twitter.com/phphunger Samiullah Shaikh

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information…

  • http://www.organicconnexions.com/linking-building-services.html Skyace

    Focus on blog content, and good content will bring you everything you want.

  • http://www.organicconnexions.com/linking-building-services.html Derry

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.organicconnexions.com/linking-building-services.html Leah Morrisbrain

    As to blog sites, I think the best seo technique should be creating high quality content. Good content is the first core!

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  • smith Ponting

    Hi! Nice information in details. It is really very
    interesting. it is all about
    SEO Advice
    .

     

  • http://www.moonfiller.com/ Taran

    Really found this post very useful for people new to SEO as well as those struggling to get their sit up the list.Great tips.

  • http://expertseomarketingservices.com/ Jason Suli

    A method that works very well at the moment.

  • http://www.chicfromhair2toe.com/ NERLINE GERMAIN

    I’m trying to make blogging a part-time job. This is really great information.

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  • RDZ Z

    a very good article. tqvm

  • http://askdeal.info/ Foggia Hu

    Great post!!!

  • Spook SEO

    Hi Jim!

    I definitely agree with you that if we really want to improve our blog SEO with inbound links then we need to create contents that others will really want to share. I think we need to consider on creating a post that can solve problems, or maybe entertain as well as demonstrate innovation.

  • lovisa alva

    Thanks to share this post.

  • Jai Prakash

    This is a great tip.This is a proper way to create your blog user friendly.Thanks









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