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Keyword(s): online links
When it comes to increasing traffic to your website, do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and doing lots of work without seeing any results? While it’s true that SEO (search engine optimization) is critical to helping your business succeed, online links are the true secret to improving your website ranking.
But if you don’t understand online links or how to use them on your site, it can be frustrating trying to figure out where to start. So read on to finally learn what online links are, understand where they come from, and gain valuable insight into using them correctly to improve your ranking on search engines. Before you know it, you’ll be connecting with more users and reaping the benefits of all your hard work.
What Are Online Links?
You may notice that certain words or phrases are colored or underlined on any given web page, allowing you to click on the term for more information. These clickable phrases go by many names like online links, web links, backlinks, and hyperlinks.
Having these phrases highlighted in this way helps you and other users easily navigate the internet to find more information on a new or unfamiliar topic. When moving around on a website, hovering the cursor over the highlighted phrase will prompt the option to transition to a new page.
A Brief History of Online Links
The term “link” was created around 1965 at the start of Project Xanadu. The theory of linking any two pages together and creating a “trail” of related information that could easily transition back and forth was an early inspiration for the online linking process.
The first use of the term hyperlink, or online link, came in the late 1980s, around the time that Microsoft Windows 3.0 became widespread. Implementing the hyperlinking system back then looked a little different and often showed the user a popup message when clicking a link.
In its early days, online linking faced some legal troubles as some websites objected to being linked to other websites and claimed that a website created a link to their site without their permission. This issue became even more exacerbated when website owners realized that some links would bypass their website’s designated flow and design, allowing users to find exactly what they wanted from the site without having to share any personal data or information.
Over time though, the legal system and website design authorities agreed on what was allowed and what would be illegal in the realm of link usage. It quickly became evident that the impact of online links would only grow as it allowed users to connect with new sources of information and is ultimately a benefit for both ends of the link.
Determining the Right Types of Links For Your Website
Do you know the different types of online links you can choose from when creating your content? There are five easy categories you can choose from when deciding how to leverage the linking process to better your business:
1. Editorial Online Links
These valuable links are an easy way to boost your SERP ranking. In addition, they generally come from or navigate to credible sources, which can drive a good volume of traffic to your site.
Websites naturally provide editorial online links to create links to or from your content, webpages, and products. To obtain these links, you need to provide good quality content and implement the links when it flows naturally in the content.
2. Manual Online Links
Another term for manual online links could be outreach building links. To earn these links, you need to create a relationship with the editors or bloggers you want to work with and request that they link to your webpage or products. When done correctly, manual online links may take a little negotiation, so be prepared to present your proposition in a way that makes it clear why linking with you is a good move for them.
3. Online Links in Business
Creating links for a business can look various ways depending on your business and how you want it to perform. If your company relies heavily on local traffic, implementing local business links is a great way to drive more traffic to your site that will benefit your service area.
However, another excellent option for businesses is to utilize the manual online links mentioned previously by getting bloggers, influencers, and editors to mention your business, review any products or services, or just link to your content as an expert resource. Additionally, you can also consider affiliate links which are similar to manual online links but with a bit of a different end goal.
4. Online Links and Communication
Social media and online communication have evolved rapidly over the past decade. With over 4.5 billion people using social media, these online communication platforms are a great way to reach more people than ever before.
To effectively utilize this realm, consider what platforms you’re currently on and how you communicate with your customers already and see where you can leverage that space to insert some powerful online links. Also, don’t be afraid to research the current trending social media platform and dip your toe in to see if you can gain some traction. You never know where you may find new, eager consumers!
5. Self-Made Links and Random Links
While this may seem like a vague category, it includes all the items on the outskirts like directories, user profiles, video links, and any other miscellaneous content you may create along the way. These online links can come across as low-quality, so it’s best not to use these too often to avoid making your website look cheap.
Online Link Building Basics
As one of Google’s top three ranking factors, backlinks, hyperlinks, and online links are critical to improving your business. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the process of building links, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. These online link building basics will help you understand all the things you should and shouldn’t do when building out your links:
While we’ve covered the basics of links, these links that help users travel from your website to another website or another website to yours are crucial for providing good customer service. Additionally, you can use links in social media websites and directories, but you will find them most often in blog posts and other related content.
A well-formed link will connect your site with other relevant sites in your industry and specific niche. However, it’s also impactful to use other reputable sources that may be an expert in different areas to help users trust your information.
Online link building is a process of proactively identifying the best sites to link with and then inserting them where they will make the most significant impact.
The Difference Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO
So, what role do online links play on the SERP (search engine results page)? How can these updates make a difference to your ranking:
- On-page SEO is all the work you do on your website to make it rank as highly as possible on the SERP
- Off-page SEO is any work that you do off your site but still involves your brand, like using online links and backlinks
Research shows that the top results on SERPs are often the most-linked sites on a specific topic. Meaning that no matter how good your SEO strategy is, if you aren’t using links, you won’t rank well.
Understanding these two sides of SEO makes it clear that both online links and backlinks are critical to the success of your website. Ideally, it would be best to spend as much time creating a good linking strategy as you do creating top-tier content.
Tips for Creating Expert-Level Online Links
To build effective links, it’s vital that you understand the difference between a good link and a business building, income-producing, ROI (return on investment) focused online link. These five tips will help you start on the right foot:
1. Start with Easy Online Link Options
In the beginning, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all the different options you’re faced with for online link building. That said, focus your attention on some easy wins, especially free backlinks in online business directories.
You can list your site in a business directory to make yourself available to backlink and see if there are any with which you would want to connect. You can find a specialized directory for your business by doing a Google search for: “(Your niche) directory.”
2. Make Your Content Linkable
The more valuable content you publish, the more likely it is that other websites will want to link to it. But if you’re new to content creation, this list can help you figure out where to start:
- Research your niche and create valuable content that a newbie consumer may need to know
- Think of any potential questions a user may have and create content that answer that
- Check out your competition and see what types of content they are making to gain some inspiration
- Create high-quality content for your website that other businesses will be proud to link
3. Promote Your Content
To generate more traffic from search engines, you need to make sure you earn and utilize online links to your website. To get those, you can expect other businesses to know what you have to offer and link to it. Once you’ve created great content, share it, reach out to promote your business, and ask for backlinks by:
- Checking your network by looking at your followers on social media and your online contacts
- Approaching people who are linking similar content to yours and suggest they peruse yours
4. Create Impactful Online Links and Use Guest Posts
Guest posts can quickly get you backlinks by creating authentic content and original insight regarding a topic you know exceptionally well. Generally, you will want to create guest posts for your niche and create links that will encourage readers to check out your site for more information on what you offer.
5. Research Your Competitor’s Backlinks
When something is working well for your competitor, there’s a good chance that it could work for you too. So while it’s not a good idea to replicate or plagiarize their content, you should peruse their links and see what information you can leverage on your website.
Additionally, you can use an online analysis tool to research what businesses may be backlinking to your competition. If they’re backlinking to your competition, they may be open to backlinking to your site as well once they see how stellar your content is and the variety you could offer their readers.
The Future of the Online Links
Google’s algorithm updates happen several times every year, and the changes often can significantly impact your SERP ranking. So while it’s essential to follow along with these updates, most of them won’t affect you directly, but sometimes you will need to adjust your website to ensure you still meet their standards.
One thing that seems to be constant and growing in importance is online links. You can do all the work available to boost your SEO strategy and make sure your page loading speeds and page interactivity are up to par, but if you don’t have any online links, you will stall fall further down on the SERP than those who do.
You need to create high-quality content for our page, and you need that content to include both internal and external links. Therefore, you will significantly increase your chances of earning a top spot on the SERP by making this shift.
Where to Start
Are you ready to start creating online links and improve your SERP ranking? The best place to start is creating high-quality, expertly crafted content for your webpage. Once you’ve got some good pieces on your site, you can begin researching where to construct both internal and external links.
Another place you can start to play around is social media. If you’re not on any platforms, consider choosing just one to start creating content. Then, interact with consumers more personally and maybe even reach out to a few social media influencers who may like your business to see if they would be interested in a partnership that included promoting and linking to your website.
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