Incoming links (AKA backlinks or inbound links) refer to links on other sites linking to yours. Quality is important here. The best links are from high authority sites that are popular and share keywords. In fact, even mentions on popular sites help. It is akin to enjoying the effects of getting a nod from a popular kid in school. The rationale is that if your site has links from other popular sites, it likely contains useful, relevant content that is worth linking to.
Be warned, the reverse is also true. Just like having a bunch of dorks hanging about you would be bad for your reputation, links to and from low-quality sites can actually hurt your search engine positioning rather than improve it. FFA (Free For All) pages are a good example – search engine submission software that claims to submit to over 500 engines actually submits your site to a large number of FFA pages – basically pages full of links and no content. These pages get minimal traffic and rarely, if ever, produce a single site visitor let alone a qualified lead or sale.
Links from private pages that cannot be indexed such as in private social groups and discussions help bring in visitors even if the links are not followed by search engines. This is still good. It is best to think of getting incoming links as “authority building”, not necessarily as “link building” since mentions and private links also contribute to the larger goal.
Here are some authority building ideas:
- Get listed on the websites of your business contacts, including clients and suppliers.
- List your business on local business directories (including Google My Business) and industry directories. Watch out for spammy sites, only trust sites that you would actually use.
- Use social media to create engaging posts that include links and mentions. As these are shared, your website name and address are being circulated.
- Write a quality blog or start a podcast. You can mention your business and website when appropriate.
- Put good content on your website. If people find it to be a high-quality site with valuable information, they will link to it.
See more about getting professional authority building help.