SEO Internships – part 4: How do I get great links for SEO?

As we saw in the last SEO internships blog, one of the most important elements of SEO is to develop links to your site from other websites. But how do you get meaningful links from respectable web pages? In the fourth installment of his SEO internships blog series, Ed Hallinan – former Inspiring Intern and web editor at digital consultancy InterGreater – looks at the different ways to get people linking back to your content.

Going the extra mile

So you’ve produced some great content, based around what people are actually searching for and done effective keyword research? That’s a start but to really get significant traffic and links to your content you need to think about how to market it.

Outreaching: What is key is creating content that’s interesting, eye-catching and easy to share, but still finds the sweet spot between what your website is about and what your audience is interested in. We at Intergreater have recently worked on this UK Wine Guide to catch the attention of wine lovers who may also have an interest in wine investment. Here on Inspiring Interns you’ll find The Ultimate Guide to Video CVs which provides useful information on how and why to make a video CV, but also helps the sort of person looking for an internship to find the Inspiring Interns site.

To promote these infographics we reached out to people who we thought would be interested in the type of content we were offering, either because they blogged on the subject or had already linked to something similar. You can use the Open Site Explorer site we showed you in Part 3 of this series to see who has linked to content that is like yours. Not everyone you contact will be interested or even reply, but if you can reach an audience who like what you’ve made there’s a good chance of them linking to it and sharing it with friends and readers.

Social media: do you love to tweet? Latest figures show that there are over 500 million twitter accounts out there. Now of course, some of these are dormant, but even so, imagine the potential reach of a tweet that goes ‘viral’? Recently, a singing group I am a member of made a wedding proposal video which we shared on social media. With a bit of hard-work, we managed to get lots of views, and even better, shares. This resulted in lots of clicks to our website and a big increase in the number of gigs we do. These are the types of outside-the-box outreach methods that are important to consider.

As an aside, social authority is also measured with SEOmoz and is now being taken into account by the search engines. Never has social media integration been more important!

Guest-posting: there are a number of people out there who want to optimise their content. There’s only so much they personally can write around a given keyword, but the more relevant content the better. Therefore, they often reach out to the wider community for experts to write guest posts. In a way, this very article is a guest post by me (on behalf of InterGreater) for Inspiring interns. You’ll notice this does link back to us, but at the same time we hope provides valuable content for aspiring interns like you! This could have attracted you to the Inspiring Interns website and might lead you to look further into what they can offer you. When done properly, guest posting helps the writer, the host and the reader – a real win win situation.

Want to find your own guest post opportunities? Have a look at Blogger Link Up to see a whole host of categories for you to write about.

In the flesh: it’s all very well hiding behind your laptop and reaching out through cyber space, but there really is no substitute for face-to-face contact. Whether meeting a client, or simply discussing blog opportunities with a friend, always bear the internet in mind. I come from the music world, where people often try and book you for tiny prices. Including a link gives you bargaining power – “yes I’ll perform for that rate, but would be grateful of a link from your homepage”. When dealing with big clients this can really pay off – links from renowned companies often carry high authority or ‘link juice’. The better the quality the link, the bigger the impact on your site’s ranking.

Do you think outside the box?

Link-building is as much, if not more, about thinking outside the box as it is having technical knowledge. Above are just 3 ways of attracting links, but there are hundreds more. Can you think of some? If so, perhaps you would be well-suited to a career in SEO.

From my time working with InterGreater, I’ve found link-building a challenging but rewarding part of the job. If you think you have what it takes, why not apply for one of our internship roles? Find out more about them here, and make sure to return for our next piece: how to win that vital SEO internship.

Until then, happy linking!