SEO 101: How to Boost SEO Efforts by Increasing Inbound Links

This is the fourth post of Boucher + Co.’s “SEO 101″ series. “SEO 101″ is a bi-weekly column focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and commonly-held myths associated with “good” SEO practices.

Marketers frequently talk about the need to “optimize links” on a website to achieve better SEO results. While it’s true that optimizing links is important to your business’s overall SEO strategy, there is a more effective link-building practice known as inbound linking. When done right, inbound linking is the difference between a top 10 and top 40 Google search result.

So, what are inbound links?

Inbound links are those links that direct traffic from an external website to your site. An example of an inbound link is a link to Boucher + Co. – on a fairly-popular website or blog such as Mashable or TechCrunch – that reads “Effective Inbound Marketing New York.” Though the link is on an external website, it’s linking to your site. That means you’ll receive more so-called “inbound traffic” and appear more relevant on a particular topic to Google’s search algorithm.

What are some good inbound link-building practices?

Effective inbound link-building practices are not a given and generally are not easy to achieve. Because inbound links are links originating from external websites, the primary challenge for businesses is to get their site linked to from other websites. Tips for getting other websites to link to your site include: being named (and linked to) as a source on a particular news story, product launch, or other media coverage; establishing a long-term partnership with a particular website that guarantees web traffic for both parties; or being named as a reputable and relevant industry thought-leader or service provider within a website’s content. All of these practices increase your relevancy within Google’s search algorithm.

What inbound link-building practices do not work?

Relying too much on website directories, link farms, and banner-exchange programs alone are not effective inbound link-building practices. Some of these practices are actually considered unethical and “cheating” by Google standards and are frowned upon. We strongly discourage these “quick-fix” practices.

What advice can you offer to boost inbound link-building and improve SEO?

Develop genuinely informative and engaging content that your audience and network will actually want to read. Avoid too many buzzwords. Don’t expect to be considered extremely credible overnight – it takes time to be taken seriously and considered an expert in your field.

Be consistent in your content-generation efforts. Creating informative and engaging content regularly helps increase your credibility and develops you into an expert in your field. Consistency is key in your inbound link-buildings and overall SEO efforts.