Links to your site are probably the most powerful way to climb the search engine rankings to get traffic and convert readers into customers. To Google, some links are good, some are bad, and bad links not only can’t help you, they can actually hurt your rankings. So let’s agree that we only want links from websites with high domain authority and move on.
High domain authority isn’t the end of our quest for a great link that helps our SEO strategy, however. There are other factors besides the authority of a site that make a link valuable. Where you’re linked from on a site might be just as important as what site is doing the linking.
Don’t Settle For A Link. Make The Home Page
Let’s say you’ve managed to get a link from a big authority site like Forbes.com by offering a guest post, or by being mentioned in an article. That could spell SEO gold if you’re on the front page; but in all likelihood, you’re nowhere near it. The reason Google places so much value on links from big, important sites like the New York Times or Forbes is that it’s hard to get mentioned there, and especially on the home page. If you’re half a dozen levels away from the front page of the site, it’s still a good link, but it’s not going to put a new car in your driveway at Christmas with a big red bow on it. You need to climb up the site’s architecture to get the most from your link. Here’s how:
Social Shares Present An Opportunity
Look at any huge authority site. It’s almost always got a widget on the homepage that automatically curates popular and trending content. The algorithm they use to determine this ranking shouldn’t be hard to figure out; it’s usually in the title: Most Read, Trending on Twitter, Most Commented. Whatever it is, you’re going to make sure your link makes it to the widget, and thereby to the home page. It’s possible to end up on the home page because the article you submitted is wonderful, but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s well worth your while to force the issue.
Be Prepared To Pay If You Have To
If it’s a straight traffic ranker, consider buying paid traffic from Stumbleupon, Facebook, Reddit, or any one of a number of other paid traffic suppliers. For as little as a nickel a click, you can send people to your link and drive it up the rankings. You can also simply buy paid advertising for the link, but it’s harder to predict and measure the results like PPC.
Social Shares can be a much more economical solution. Websites often will often display a counter to see how many you need. In some cases you can simply email everyone you know and get enough shares to peg the meter. Otherwise, head to freelance websites like Fiverr.com or Elance and hire it out. It’s easy to find reliable Likes or Tweets for a few dollars.
Comments Might Be The Easiest Social Share To Increase
The number of comments on a post is often the metric used to determine popularity. Sometimes a handful is enough, especially right after it’s posted. Once again, just getting everyone in your office might do the trick, or you can head back over to oDesk or Fiverr.com and hire someone that offers comments from different IP addresses.
The biggest sites get crawled constantly by Google, and if you’re on the home page, they have no idea how you did it, but you’ll get the maximum SEO possible.