Digital marketing repeats the mantra that inbound links are one of the best tools to grow traffic. Inbound links are links coming from other websites pointing to a site of choice. For instance, if you were kindly adding a link to your social media profile to my site (please do!) I would be receiving a link from your social media account to my site. I would get an inbound link! So why are they important? They are as they counted by the search engines, the more inbound links a site received the more popular a site must be. The more popular a site is, the better the ranking. However, things are not so simple. It is also a matter of quality. Hundreds or even thousands of links coming from a wide-broad spectrum of sites would could little if they had nothing to do with what a site is about. Conversely, an inbound link coming from a high authority site would have a far greater benefit on your site ranking. Let’s imagine for a moment…if you had a site to promote your own software would you rather have one link coming from Apple or hundreds of links coming from sites that had nothing to do with computers? However, to make your site get many inbound links of high quality (coming from related sites of great authority), excellent content is not enough if people are not aware that such content exists. For this reason it is fundamental to promote -not in a spammy way- your content among relevant sites so that people can learn about you and how your site is a leader in the field. A good strategy to let people know about you is to re-cycle, re-purpose your content among several platforms. Here few tips on how you can do it.
The first and easiest approach is to re-publish your content on several article sharing sites, such as ezinearticles, buzzle, technorati and hubpages (but you can find many more by searching for article submission sites). In short, by simply submitting your articles to multiple sharing sites you can reach a bigger audience which will eventually recognize you as the expert in your field. However, it is important to keep in mind that you cannot just simply copy and paste your article but you need to re-shape it in a way that it does not look spammy (as something re-posted several times) but also fits the readers of that specific platform (for instance, it might be that on a particular site articles are generally below a certain amount of words). At the end of the article you can introduce yourself in a short bio box and add a link to your website. The best links are those that send the readers to the main homepage, or a link to your Bio if people want to know more about either your site or yourself (in both cases you get traffic). Also you can consider to start a blog on main blogging sites such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and LiveJournal and use them to link back to your site.
PDFs and Slide-shares
In addition to article submission you can also change the format of your article – for instance – from text to PDF or slides. By simply changing your format you can add more sites to the list of platforms where promoting your content. In case of PDFs great sites are scribd and slideshare, but you can find more by searching for “PDFs sites”. Again, keep in mind the platform you are using and the audience you are addressing. Just have a look at few PDFs or presentations that people made in your field, you will have a better idea on what people expect.
Images and Videos
Consider also the idea to turn your article into sequential images or a video presentation. Images can be easily shared everywhere: Pinterest and Instagram are the most obvious; for instance, you can create an enticing image to post on Pinterest which will link back to the article on your site. This approach is particularly useful if your article is image-based, but do not get discouraged if your topic does not include images; for instance, you can create a funny, humorous image that will encourage people to link back to your site. Just to give you an example, you can post a sarcastic image with a quote “Why do people hate maths?” and then a link to your site where you explain how to start loving differential equations! In terms of videos, YouTube is of course the first one to go to, but you can also consider, Vimeo and Dailymotion.
Guest posting and Blog Commenting
In addition to article directories consider also blogs in your niche where you can either post an article (article submission) or comment on their posts. In the first case, if you want to find blogs to which you want to write an article for, search in Google “write for us + keywords” and you’ll get a list of sites related to the keywords related to your niche. If the site likes your article and gets posted that could potentially translate into ranking optimization. However, before agreeing to the offer make sure that you can indeed include a link back to your site…in any case read carefully the terms&conditions (and above all the small print!). The reason why guest posting can result into a potential ranking advantage -in particular if the site where you are posting has already a good ranking score (you can check easily with a tool such as SEO Site Tool)- are: you get an inbound link from a high ranking site which helps by default your ranking, you also are recognized as an expert in your field because you are published by a well established site and finally you reach readers that are specifically interested in your niche. If you however decide to start a little smaller, leaving comments on well established websites is a good way to start building a reputation of an expert. When you decide to leave a comment make sure that: you have read the article and you have something to say that adds value (do not just comment for the sake of a back-link), you add your name and website URL (if the field is available). The URL at your homepage should provide enough information to readers that want to know more about you. Do not get tempted to add more back-links in the comment section unless that is required for the sake of the answer.