How Inbound Links Can Help Small Businesses Grow
We all know social media marketing (SMM) has become a critical component of search engine marketing (SEM) because search engine vendors have been steadily altering their algorithms to include shares of brand-generated content on social media sites in their rank algorithm. And while social media shares certainly reflect brand advocacy, they also have a very powerful affect on search engine result page (SERP) ranking, because they create inbound links to your website!
What are inbound links?
There are basically three kinds of hyperlinks: outbound links, internal links and inbound links. An outbound link is a hyperlink you create from your website to another website; an internal link is created when you link content within your own website; and an inbound link is a referral link from an external website to your website. Inbound links are created via social media shares and mentions, in discussion forums, from press releases or in media coverage.
Why are inbound links important for my small business?
Inbound links benefit your small business’ #SEO efforts, boost your business’s credibility and determine website authority. While Inbound links help drive credible, external referral traffic to your website, they also help improve organic search engine results. Organic search engine results are results displayed (under ads) when you search for a company, product or service. (Hint: you REALLY want your small business website to rank high in organic search results!)
How can I get more inbound links to my website?
1: There are a lot of ways to drive inbound traffic, but the simplest way is to start a corporate blog. Creating interesting content that people want to link to is one of the easiest ways to generate referral traffic. Make sure to share your posts on your social media channels and encourage others to share your content. And don’t be a stranger to other blogs: reading and commenting on the blogs of potential customers or influencers helps build relationships and fosters mutual engagement.
2: Write press releases and post to your website and social media channels. Make sure you’re including links to your external partners, too! It’s important to share the success.
3. Encourage user-generated reviews from customers and influencers. This is a useful tool long used by PR pros. Research bloggers and media personalities who specialize in your products/industry and offer a free sample in exchange for an honest review. This will earn you credible inbound links and boost search engine results.
While this is a really short list, get creative and use your noggin! The Internet is full of opportunities to share your content and drive new traffic. Got a tip? Share it in the comments below!