From the Google Webmaster Central blog:
Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance.
Inbound links are very important for building your site’s credibility, but how do you get them? Before you go joining some spam-centric link exchange scheme, let me share with you a great way to get high quality inbound links.
Write for them.
Bloggers are always (always) on the lookout for high quality content. For a busy solopreneur or small business owner, finding new and fresh content to maintain a blog can be a real challenge. If you can provide relevant and timely content for their blogs, they’ll gladly provide a link back to your website or blog.
Where do you find the opportunities to write for other bloggers? There are several content exchange sites. I personally like Blogger Linkup. It’s straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to remember (an email is sent to you each morning with the latest opportunities).
When you write for other blogs, keep a few things in mind.
- Only write for blogs that are relevant to your target audience. For example, if you target men in their 50s, then it’s probably not a good idea to post on a work-at-home mom site.
- Try to write about something that is relevant to your target audience. Again, if you’re not aiming to reach your ideal client or customer, then your time would be better spent doing something else.
- Find a way to provide helpful and meaningful content. If you can provide something that really helps the blogger (by really helping his/her readers), then you may get an invitation to post to that person’s site again.
- Don’t save your best stuff for your own site. Use that content to capture the attention of new readers. If you don’t make an impression (and how better to do that than with high quality content?), then they won’t make the effort to visit your site.
- Remember that it’s not just about the traffic; it’s also about the links. Although it might be tempting to try to only write for established sites with large amounts of readers and traffic, don’t ignore the little guys (who might be big guys very soon – WebWorkerDaily, for instance, started just three years ago and is a very prominent blog today). You’ll benefit from “growing up with them,” and you’ll get the inbound links.
Write for outside blogs on a regular basis. With each new post, you get a new inbound link that’s both relevant and focused. Keep at it and watch your page-rank steadily increase. Good luck with your writing!
RESOURCE BOX: Amber Riviere is a web designer with BrownBugProject.com. You can follow her work through her blog and through her newsletter, Inside Brown’s Brain.