There’s no question that building great inbound links to your site is hard work. While many site owners resort to spamming blog comment sections to get their backlinks, that’s neither necessary nor effective for your SEO efforts.
Although there’s much talk about generating inbound links, the nitty-gritty ways to actually do that are rarely discussed.
Thankfully, link building strategies aren’t as tough to implement as many people say they are. Think of it like social media — if you’re a source of great content, and you get it in front of the right people, they’re going to share it.
With that in mind, we’ll get you started with tested and effective tricks to help you build legitimate inbound links. Read on to see how to use these link building ideas in your SEO strategy.
Backlinks, also called inbound links and incoming links, are a form of off-page SEO where you earn links from other websites that direct readers to your own site.
The person receiving the link is the one who refers to a link as a backlink.
Backlinks are different from outbound links (links from your website to another website) and internal links (links from one page on your website to another).
The right backlinks can do two great things for your website:
A good inbound link comes from an authoritative website, and uses natural anchor text. Anchor text is simply the text copy that’s hyperlinked. For example, if I link to our blog post about backlink strategies, the anchor text is “backlink strategies.”
Natural anchor text means you’re not just hyperlinking keywords left and right. Google understands the context of a link, so more generic “learn more” and “click here” anchor text can be just as valuable as keyword-optimized anchor text.
Consistently creating great blog content that people naturally want to link to is one of the most tried and true ways to organically generate inbound links.
You should publish content that’s directly related to your industry and that helps your reader. That way, they feel compelled to share it. They might even link to it from their own website, if they own one.
A blog is meant to be a social tool. The more you link to others — especially when you do it in a consistent, opportunity-driven way — the greater likelihood one of those bloggers will return the favor.
Plus, you can’t cover everything about everything on your blog. It makes sense to leverage the wealth of resources on the web to make your blog’s experience better and more rewarding for your readers.
Write a great blog post, and shop it around to blogs it’d be a good fit for. If one accepts, they should be willing to give you an inbound link in the post. Guest blogging is a great way to both promote your expertise and earn quality white-hat links.
Don’t know whom to write for? Most media outlets allow people to submit original articles on topics relevant to their readership. You should start, however, with publications directly in your niche. If you’re a branding agency, you might inquire with branding publications.
Resource lists are both great link bait and helpful content for your readers. If you create a comprehensive resource list, it’ll be easy for other bloggers to link to it in their own posts instead of rehashing and curating all that content themselves. To give you an idea of what one might look like, here’s an example of a list of resources we curated for beginner SEO’s.
Expert roundups can be a great tool for building relationships with influencers. While these roundups may not get you a lot of inbound links or leads right away, building relationships with influencers will help you get solid backlinks from authoritative sources down the line.
After they contribute to your roundup, you can reach out to them later to ask about a guest post opportunity or something else — while thanking them again for contributing to the previous expert roundup.
In one of our expert roundups, we reached out to successful marketers and asked them to share their top content marketing tips.
Newsjacking is when you capitalize on the popularity of a news story to amplify your own sales and marketing success. If you’re the first blogger to comment on a news event, you’ll rise to the top of the SERPs due to the “freshness” component of Google’s algorithm, and others will link to your content in their own accounts of the story.
If you’re not sure what newsjacking can look like, take a look at a few newsjacking examples we found across the web.
If you make your clients look good in case studies about their business, you can bet they’ll be linking to your site. But you’ve got to make them good. This means choosing companies that have seen the best results, are enthusiastic, and know your product or service well.
It also means asking the right questions and laying out the case study in an attractive, comprehensive way.
Why not get on the other side of the case study link love? Companies are always looking for customers who are willing to be the subject of a case study. Volunteer your time for one of your major vendors, and get a backlink from the case study once it’s published.
If you conduct research, promise to share the data with others. If you do the data collection and crunching and give some high authority sites access to the findings afterwards, you can bet they’ll do some promotion and inbound linking for you to make sure you have a great sample size.
If you provide a comprehensive review about another author’s content, there’s a good chance they (and others) will link to it. Here’s an example of a book review from our blog, which sums up The Challenger Sale in a five-minute read or less.
If it’s informative, your attendees will absolutely share it. One easy way to do this is to turn your PowerPoint presentation slides into a SlideShare presentation, and then embed that presentation into a blog post. You can also embed it into the webinar’s landing page so that anyone looking to sign up for a webinar that’s already over can check out the presentation.
For an even better shot at backlinks to these archived webinar pages, partner up with another company, brand, or influencer for the webinar. Not only do two well-aligned brands make for a powerful presentation, but it’ll widen the audience — even after the webinar is over. (Learn tips on creating a webinar in this blog post.)
Remember when I talked about curating and publishing resource lists for your blog? What do you think people include and link to on those resource lists? Free tools are a big one. You can get on the other side of those resource lists by creating free tools that are really helpful for your target customers.
Here at HubSpot, for example, we created Website Grader, a tool that has won links from many agencies, partners, and others in our industry.
Like free tools, templates are another thing people will find useful enough to link to. Before you create a template, think about what kind of templates would make people’s jobs easier. A designer, for example, might create a library of downloadable business card templates to which others could link to over and over. Bookmarkable content is often the kind of content that gets tons of inbound links.
People absolutely love to share infographics. If you create an original infographic yourself, people will link back to you as the original source. To increase the likelihood of an inbound link, you might also share your design with the sources you cited, and make the embed code for your infographic easily accessible.
Not a designer? Anyone can create professional-looking, high-quality infographics — and quickly with templates like these free infographic templates. Before creating an infographic, you’ll want to come up with a topic that can actually be visualized and that relates to your industry.
Cartoons, content visualizations, charts and graphs, and the like are an important part of a visual content marketing strategy and a great way to win inbound links. Since they take time and money to make, others will probably skip the fuss of creating their own visual content and link to yours instead.
You can use free online design tools to create your own graphics, regardless of how tech-savvy you are.
Slice one of your infographics into pieces or repurpose one from your last speaking gig. You can put these up on your blog, in your website’s resource center, or even on a SlideShare account for more links.
Keep in mind that the most shareable presentations are the ones that are the most compelling. That means great content and great design. Read this blog post for a start-to-finish guide on nailing your next PowerPoint presentation.
Funny things spread like wildfire. Think about the funny inside jokes in your industry, and capitalize on it with some humorous content that’s linkable. You can create a meme, a short video, or a tweet that captures the joke. Just be careful that you understand your audience and how they’re likely to respond so that nothing is taken offensively.
By turning your PR strategy into an inbound one, you create opportunities that weren’t there before and carve out a place for your company, building meaningful mindshare in the process with your target audiences.
Once you write a great press release, post it up on your website and then push out your releases to one of the big newswires to get more coverage.
This can help reach thousands of other related sites that, in a press release about just your company, may not have linked to your site. This will give you a chance to reach a larger number of people — and get more backlinks as a result.
Gaining attention from the press and getting published in industry publications can help you build your brand, increase your visible expertise, improve your credibility, and, of course, get backlinks from authoritative sources.
First, create a dedicated page about the story on your website for them to link to. Then, reach out to a handful of journalists and/or publications that you can see really valuing your story. Be sure to give context to your request, follow their rules, write a compelling subject line on your pitch email, and be helpful, not boastful.
Press request alerts are requests for sources of information from journalists. These journalists are constantly looking for quotes from specific people to feature in their article, and there are several mediums they use to send requests and find those quotes.
Here’s a list from HubSpot’s VP of Marketing Matthew Barby of the services you can sign up for to receive alerts from journalists in your inbox:
Because of the high volume of requests you’ll receive, Barby also recommends creating email filters or folders to keep yourself organized.
If you have an interesting opinion to share and can express it clearly and persuasively in an op-ed article, you could have the opportunity to reach a lot of people, earn recognition for yourself and your organization, and get authoritative backlinks to your website. I find the most effective op-ed articles make a single point, embrace the author’s personal voice, and then offer specific recommendations.
Once you write the article, target online versions of industry newspaper and magazine publications for an extremely valuable inbound link.
It’s common practice for corporate channel partners to link to each other’s great content, because they have a vested interest in one another’s success.
You might consider assessing how much traffic a partner can drive to your website by taking a look at their overall web presence on Alexa and SimilarWeb. These sites can help get a rough idea of traffic, bounce rates, keywords, and sources people are using to find that site, as well as the next action they take after visiting.
You can also go a step further and build co-marketing partnerships. This means partnering up with another company to promote a piece of content or product and then sharing the results of that promotion. When you leverage the relationship and reach of a partner, you’ll get more links and more buzz with less work.
Effective co-marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, either. You can reach out to a similarly-sized brand in another space and pitch the project to them. You can start with something as simple as a few tweets, then build your way up to creating marketing collateral.
You can ask users of your product and industry experts or analysts to review new features you’re rolling out, for example. Not only will you receive an inbound link, but you’ll also get great feedback and strengthen your relationship with those you asked to write reviews.
Don’t know where to ask for reviews? Check out our list of the best product review websites for B2B and B2C companies.
Strengthening your relationship with other webmasters will open the door for relevant inbound link requests when future opportunities arise, and make it more likely those requests don’t go ignored.
Networking is an unparalleled skill to have. The wider and more open your network, the more opportunities could be unlocked that you didn’t even know existed. Here are helpful tips on networking like a pro to get you started.
Contact webmasters about turning those mentions into inbound links, but only when it’s warranted — like when they’re citing data of yours, for example. This is a tactic called “link reclamation.”
Monitor brand mentions by setting up alerts using tools like Mention or BuzzSumo, and adding keywords related to your brand or products. Just make sure you exclude any mentions from your own website within the alert, which you can do in these tools’ settings.
Here’s an email template for reaching out to ask for a link from our VP of Marketing:
Similar to the step above, some webmasters may link to your site but use old or broken links. This is natural as you change and update your website over time. However, these inbound links are still valuable — and you can update them.
Use tools like Dead Link Checker, Link Juice Recovery Tool, and Screaming Frog to scan for broken links on other websites. Then, using the above template as inspiration, reach out to webmasters with a correct link as replacement.
Find opportunities where you can get similar links. This is a great way to find high-value link opportunities fairly easily. Run competitor research weekly or monthly to find new opportunities you can take advantage of while they’re still fresh.
Use a link analysis tool like Arel=”noopener” target=”_blank” hrefs, Majestic, or Moz’s Link Explorer to get a list of the backlinks for one of your competitors. Then, check out what types of posts are earning backlinks and benefiting from that off-page SEO.
For example, if one of your competitors is writing guest posts for certain publications, there’s a high likelihood those publications would be interested in guest posts from you on similar topics.
Part of getting inbound links is getting your content out to the masses. Including “Tweet This” or “Click to Tweet!” links for tweetable nuggets in your content will get people sharing your content socially more often.
The result? Greater visibility in search engines, news feeds, and Twitter streams — and thus more opportunity for your data to be referenced in other people’s content.
Here’s what one of these links can look like:
Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. [Tweet this stat!]
You can easily create tweetable links using the ClickToTweet service — without having to learn any custom code.
Just like “Tweet This” links get your content out there, so do social sharing buttons and widgets. Put them on your marketing content like case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and blog posts. The more often your site appears on other social media sites, the more likely someone will see it, share it, and link to it from their website.
Events usually give their speakers and sponsors great website publicity. They’ll either list you on their sponsors page or introduce you as a speaker on a blog post. You can also negotiate inbound links into your terms to be sure your time and resources yield a beneficial inbound link.
If you’re speaking at an event, make a really awesome, shareable presentation that people will want to find, share, and even link to later.
Remember when I said you should get to know other webmasters? This is another time those connections will come in handy. When you find broken links on others’ sites, let them know (politely, of course), and provide them with a piece of your own content that would be a suitable replacement for that broken link. Be personal, friendly, and helpful, and this could be an opportunity to start building a relationship with that webmaster, too.
When people get to see your product beforehand, they will want the world to know they’re part of the VIP crowd, and might write a review with a link back to your site about it.
There are a few ways to give away free trials. You could create some call-to-action buttons for your website or blog. (Download these free, customizable CTA templates to help you out.)
You could also send a new product announcement email to folks who you think might be interested, like current customers. If you’re not sure how to announce your product, check out our guide on how to create a great product launch email.
The days of spamming comment sections and paying for link-building services are over. With the tips and methods I’ve shared, you’re well on your way to building high-quality backlinks the white-hat way. As more links point to your site, you’ll rank much higher in the SERPs, boosting organic traffic and attracting more potential leads and customers.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com
We’re looking for search marketers who specialize in identifying and converting customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
For technical SEO practitioners and site developers alike, we can glean a lot from the announcements the Chrome team made about the availability of technologies and extensions to their current products in the “What’s new for The Web Platform” keynote.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
As a Virgo, I often blame my perfectionism on my astrological sign. Ever since I could remember, I have been a naturally competitive person—whether that was in the classroom, playing video games or even choosing which college I attended.
That competitive spirit carried over into my job search, too.
After applying for over 100 social media associate jobs, I was only invited to interview for three companies. Out of which only one gave me an offer. I couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t receiving more opportunities and I certainly wasn’t used to experiencing this level of rejection.
The reality is we all encounter failure in our lives, no matter how much we all want to avoid that sinking feeling. But with every disappointment comes an opportunity to learn from what went wrong and come back stronger than before—it just takes a bit of reframing to find that silver lining.
From not getting the job to having an idea shot down, social marketers experience all kinds of failures in their careers. Here are several tips to help you get the most out of each of the following three scenarios:
As more businesses invest in social marketing, the demand for social marketers will continue to grow—meaning the competition for those roles will only become tougher. If you applied to hundreds of jobs and only heard back from a handful, the job hunt can start to take a toll on you.
If you don’t get the job, it can suggest that you may be better qualified for a different position or there’s a culture mismatch. If a job interview doesn’t go your way, take these steps to make the most out of your rejection:
Suppose you have an idea for a new campaign that you think is the Michael Jordan of all campaign ideas. Presentation day arrives, you pitch your vision but the team decides to go with a different idea.
In this situation, it can be tough not to interpret rejection as a personal failing. But this is also a chance to directly ask your colleagues what went wrong and why they went in another direction. Once you’ve processed this rejection, turn this experience into a growth opportunity:
Whether your campaign failed to reach the goals you set for it or you had to unexpectedly adjust your plans for social, there are a few ways your original idea may have missed the mark. Instead of labeling these campaigns as failures, this is an opportunity to learn what went well and where you can improve for your next big project.
First, start by naming the problem. Did your social campaign fall short of your awareness goals, or did you struggle to meet your engagement benchmarks? Once you’ve diagnosed the issue, you can investigate where things went wrong and what you can do differently next time with these steps:
Everyone experiences failure or rejection at some point in their professional career—none of us are immune to it. What matters is how marketers process that experience and turn it into a learning opportunity that will benefit their future growth.
When marketers reframe how they perceive failure, they’ll not only get over those experiences quicker but also come out much stronger than they were before. If you’re ready to take your social media career to the next level, download this career growth template to complete a personalized career plan today.
This post Failing forward in social: The ultimate growth hack originally appeared on Sprout Social.
Reblogged 1 year ago from feedproxy.google.com
TL;DR: Expand your Instagram reach with the Instagram Growth Marketing Bundle, on sale for $19.99 as of May 8.
From Insights and Ads to Shopping and Stories, Instagram has an entire toolbox at your disposal, whether you’re an individual or a business. The only obstacle standing in your way is a pool packed full of competition.
To stand out against competitors, you need to understand what makes Instagram tick — and this Instagram Growth Marketing Bundle can give you some pointers.
With six courses and 15 hours’ worth of content, you can finally get to the bottom of that finicky Instagram algorithm and actually make the platform work for you. Courses are led by a variety of well-rated instructors like Sophie Ackroyd, a social media expert, copywriting consultant, and songwriter with 12K followers on Instagram; Pouya Eti, an author, entrepreneur, and Instagram marketer with over 22K followers; and Joe Parys, a certified life coach, professional motivational speaker, and entrepreneur with over 7K followers. Read more…
Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.mashable.com
Part 1 – Flirtation & Foreplay
01. Julie London – Fly Me To The Moon
02. Sade – No Ordinary Love (Radio Edit)
03. Enigma – Temple Of Love
04. Bebel Gilberto – Simplesmente
05. Mylene Farmer – California
06. Seeders – Crazy for You (Original)
07. Barfuesser – Im Sorry
08. Eliane Elias – Girl From Ipanema
09. Gotan Project – Last Tango In Paris
10. Soul Ballet – Am I Close Enough
11. Mylene Farmer – L’ Amour N’Est Rien
12. Plicherss – Closer
13. Chubbanak Club – Free Ride
14. Jeff Bennett’s Lounge Experience – Sympathy
15. Jussi-Pekka – Breeze
16. Soul Ballet – N.Y.C. Tripin
17. Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown
18. Fecky Fariss – Achipelago of Love (Original)
19. Hibiki Connection – Cha-ka-too
20. Iva Zanicci – Besame Mucho
21. Jeff Bennett’s Lounge Experience – There Are Many Things (Carved Out Mix)
22. J. Viewz – Feeler
23. Neon G – Sagrado
24. Alacran – Sirenas
25. Mylene Farmer – Sans Contrefaзon
26. Ive Mendes – If You Leave Me Now
27. Crystal Gayle – Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
28. Tori Amos – Sweet The Sting
29. Neneh Cherry – Woman
30. Lazy Hammock – Star (Original)
31. 8 Bit – Crying For A Friend
32. Eddie Silverton feat. Yota Yota – Don’t Tell Me
33. Claire Martin – The Meaning of the Blues
34. Julie London – When I Fall In Love
35. Bebel Gilberto – So Nice (Summer Samba)
36. Mylene Farmer – Tristana
37. Muddyloop – Love Me
Part 2 – Striptease for You
01. Cyborgasm – Foreplay-Machine
02. Laura Branigan – Let Me In
03. Joe Cocker – You Can Leave Your Hat on
04. The Engine Room – A Perfect Lie
05. Jennifer Lopez – Step Into My World
06. Kelis – Milkshake
07. Shahrazad M – Kuzlaring (Original)
08. Chris Isaak – Wicked Game (Instrumental)
09. Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams
10. Soul Ballet – Exotique
11. Villurca – La Comparsita
12. Annie Lennox – A Whiter Shade Of Pale
13. Ashanti – Don’t Let Them
14. Mylene Farmer – Je T’Aime Mеlancolie
15. Christina Aguilera, Lil’Kim, Mya, Pink – Lady Marmalade
16. David Usher – Black Black Heart
17. Gala – Faraway
18. Jazzamor – Nuit Magique
19. Kelis – Stick Up
20. Madonna – Justify My Love
21. Mis-Teeq – Scandalous
22. Mos Def & Massive Attack – 1 Against 1
23. Mustafa Sandal – Isyankar
24. Rob Zombie – Dragula
25. Annie Lennox – Money Can’t Buy It
26. Shivaree – Goodnight Moon
27. Terence Trent D’arby – Delicate
28. The Pussycat Dolls – Buttons
29. Tito & Tarantula – After Dark
30. Sade – Please Send Me Someone To Love
31. Waldeck – Addicted
32. Etta James – I Just Want to Make Love to You
33. Benefit – Sex Sells
34. Clara Morgane – Strip Tease (Feat. Six Coups Mc)
35. Grace Jones – Ive Seen That Face Before
36. Barb Jungr – Who Do You Love
37. Beyonce – Naughty Girl
38. Ensemble Sideral – Felliniana
39. Sade – Smooth operator
40. Lucky Peterson – Who’s Been Talkin’?
41. Peggie Lee – I’m A Woman
42. Spirit traveler – Merry Christmas Baby
43. Peggy Lee – Fever
44. Beatriz Luengo – Dime (con Pitingo)
45. Eva Cassidy – Ain’t No Sunshine
46. Sam Brown – Stop
Part 3 – Quick Friction
01. Divas – Divas Night (Sexy Slave Liking Mix)
02. Bajofondo – Pabailar
03. Dj Vibe – Caliente
04. Gotan Project – Ay mi amor
05. Monte La Rue – Turn Off The Light
06. N Gels feat Estelle – Sex Machine
07. Sexonica – Vaginal Frictions
08. South Soul – Love That Gone Away (Lingerie Mix)
09. Jeunes Filles Perverses – Jeunes Filles
10. Bebel Gilberto – Aganju
11. Dessous – Peace Is ot A Wold To Play
12. Innocent Lovers – Do What You Want
13. Sexonica – Sexual Devotion
14. Ozone – Ozone (**** Mix)
15. Spacecake – **** me
16. Feed Me – Mordez Moi
17. Tony Deep – Fish My Nasty Desire
18. Luis Guerra – Out of nation
19. Otros Aires – Sin Rumbo
20. Sexonica – Pelvic Rubbings
21. George Mike – Casual Sex
22. Tojami Sessions – Night Moves
23. Division Kent – Brooklyn Dub
24. Jussipekka – Overnight
25. Sexonica – Eternal Climax
26. Maria Eva Albistur – Dejar Vivir
27. Soul Ballet – Get It On
28. Daryl-Lynn Johnson – Rodeo
29. Prince Gaudy – Sexy Congas
30. Sexonica – Phrenetic Semen
31. Porno Empire – Fast love
32. Red Light Department – Porno Wave
33. Stereoheaven Prod – Sambado (Chillhouse edit)
34. Sexonica – Perverted Tongues
35. Paul P. – Zevenar (***** Mix)
36. Key Of Dreams – Rainy Days (Porn Remix)
37. All Red – Sole Luna Stelle (Godiva Mix)
38. Polimeno & Vigano – Deep Traxx
39. Sexonica – Clitoris Frenzy
40. Sade – The Sweetest Taboo
Part 4 – Relax & Repeat
01. Sexonica – Orgasmic Ocean
02. Janelle Billing – The Light
03. Soul Ballet – Love, Juliet
04. Dahrheim Lounge – Summer Breeze
05. Sexonica – Wish To Lick
06. J. Viewz – Protected
07. Ludvig & Stelar – Relax
08. Soul Ballet – Man & Woman
09. Nux – Midnight Stroll
10. Sexonica – Remote Ejaculation
11. Barfuesser – Forgive Me
12. Mylene Farmer – Regrets
13. Popcorn – In Focus (Intimate Mix)
14. Sexonica – Puddle Of Sex
15. Stenwood Age – Spy Tramp (Blow Job Mix)
16. Chubbanak Club – Global Sunshine
17. L Style – Zelig (G Point Mix)
18. Micatone – Nomad
19. GNZ Ensemble – Tuch (Woman In **** Mix)
20. Sexonica – Wet Dreams
21. Sade – Love Is Stronger Than Pride
22. Flavas – Flavas (Mistress Lesbo Mix)
23. Sexonica – Inundated vaginas
24. The Other Face – Galp (Porn Teacher Mix)
25. Bank & Jones – Beyond Time (Ambient Edit)
26. K&Z Project – Rover In Side (XXX Mix)
27. Total System – Rcxxix (Sex Speech Mix)
28. Lounge Sofa – Aliens Voyage (Pervert Dildo Mix)
29. Mag Two Ensemble – Tonodi (Lesbo Mistress Mix)
30. AT Project – Yagan (Sexxx Mix)
31. Bebel Gilberto – All Around
32. Perry Como – Fly Me To The Moon
Rising priorities like site speed and multi-platform distribution are driving enterprises to explore headless and hybrid content management systems, according to our new MarTech Intelligence Report.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
With almost 4 billion people worldwide currently connected to the internet, there has never been a better time for businesses to include blogging in their marketing strategy.
Not only does blogging drive website traffic and promote your products and services, but it also helps you build trust with your potential customers.
In this post, we’re going to highlight the many benefits of blogging for business and how you can get started with creating relevant content that drives inbound links and traffic to your site.
Let’s get started.
One question many people ask after starting a business is whether blogging is worth it in 2021.
Short answer: Yes! And here the reasons why we say so.
Raise your hand if you want more website visitors. Yeah, me too.
Now think about the ways people find your website:
Here’s how it works.
Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right? And think about how often you update those pages. Probably not that often, right?
Well, blogging is a great way to solve both of those problems.
Every time you create and publish a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means one more opportunity for you to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in organic search.
We’ll get into more of the benefits of blogging on your SEO a bit later, but it’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active, and they should be checking in frequently to see what new content to surface.
Blogging for your business also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you create a new article, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.
Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going.
Instead of asking your social media manager always to create brand new content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that repository of content.
You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via your social channels. Quite a symbiotic relationship, I must say.
Now that you have some traffic coming to your site through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that website traffic into leads.
Like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads.
The way this works is straightforward: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.
Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free ebooks, whitepapers, fact sheets, webinars, trials, or basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information.
To be super clear for anyone unfamiliar with how traffic-to-lead conversions work, it’s as simple as this:
If you scroll down in this blog post, you’ll see a call-to-action button.
In fact, 99.9% of the blog posts we publish have call-to-action buttons, and yours should, too. That is how you turn your website traffic into leads for your sales team.
Note: Not all blog readers will become leads, and that’s okay. No one converts 100% of the people who read their blog into leads. Just get blogging, put calls-to-action on every blog post, set a visitor-to-lead conversion rate benchmark for yourself, and strive to improve the benchmark each month.
The best business blogs answer common questions their readers and customers have.
If you consistently create valuable content or articles for your target audience, it’ll establish you as an industry leader or authority in their eyes.
Can you imagine the impact of sending an educational blog post you wrote to clear things up for a confused customer? Or how many more deals a salesperson could close if their leads discovered blog content written by their salesperson?
“Establishing authority” is not a vanity metric as concrete as traffic and leads, but it’s pretty powerful stuff. You can use it to measure sales enablement.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what many of your blog posts are.
Think about it:
Inbound links or backlinks are among the 200 factors the Google algorithm considers when ranking a site on its search engine result page. Many experts and small business owners also believe backlinks to be the 3rd most crucial factor in search engine optimization.
Although generating inbound links is essential, 41% of SEO experts say link building is the most challenging part of search optimization.
When you create articles that are not only valuable to your potential customers but also to other companies that your audience sees as industry leaders, it’d be easier to gain relevant links.
Links for authoritative websites serve as a vote of confidence or recommendation from other websites. And it signals to Google that you’re trustworthy and an expert in your industry.
Another benefit of backlinks is that they help you build your domain authority, which helps improve your overall discoverability in search engines.
It would be fantastic if you could take a trip to Hawaii, go to the gym, and sleep for as many hours as you want, and still be able to drive traffic to your site.
Good news, though! That’s what blogging does — primarily through search engines.
Here’s what I mean:
Imagine you sit down for an hour on Sunday to write and publish a blog post. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and ten leads on Monday. You get another 50 views and five leads on Tuesday as a few more people find it on social media, and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email and RSS. But after a couple of days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down, and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads.
It’s not over.
Since that post is now ranking, it means that for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic from that blog post. So while it may feel like day one or bust, in reality, blogging acts more like this:
So while you’re hitting your snooze alarm, surfing in Hawaii, and pumping iron, you’re also driving traffic and leads. The effort you put in yesterday can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.
What’s more, you can monetize your blog content in many creative ways. Business models such as affiliate marketing mean you can generate an income from blogging on just about any topic — from makeup and beauty to camping and motorcycles.
There’s a wide variety of affiliate programs out there where you can generate an income from referring people to relevant products and services.
When it comes to blogging, most of your sales will likely come from your older articles.
More than half of the traffic generated each month on the Hubspot blog comes from posts published in previous months. They come from old posts.
The same goes for the leads generated in a current month — about 90% of the leads we generate every month come from blog posts published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.
We call these types of blog posts “compounding” posts. Not every blog post will fit into this category, but the more evergreen blog posts you write, the more likely it is that you’ll land on one of those compounding blog posts.
In our research, we’ve found that about 1 in every ten blog posts end up being compounding blog posts.
To me (and hopefully to you), this demonstrates the scalability of business blogging.
While you might not see immediate results, over time, you’ll be able to count on a predictable amount of traffic and leads for your business without any additional resource investment — the work to generate that traffic and those leads are already done.
If you’d like to learn more about the long-term impact of blogging and how to reap even more benefits from the blog posts that are ranking in organic search for your business, check out this article, “The Blogging Tactic No One Is Talking About: Optimizing the Past.”
Another benefit blogging affords every big, and small business is a medium to share their company news and stories.
Blogs can contain not only articles but also news that highlight what a company is up to.
Have you hired a new content marketing manager? Share it on your blog.
Interviewed online marketing and industry experts? Post it on your blog.
Have a brilliant case study that showcases how your products and services help customers? Tell your audience about it on your blog.
Are you hosting a local fair or trade show? Drum up attention for the even through your blog.
Not only does sharing company news on your blog humanize your brand, but it also helps your audience see that you’re not always about selling.
There are other reasons businesses might want to blog, but I think they’re smaller and stray from the core benefits of blogging.
For example, I love to use our blog to test out extensive campaigns on the cheap before investing a lot of money and time into their creation. I also love to use our blog to help understand our persona better.
And while this shouldn’t be their primary use, these are all significant usefulness of a business blog, but they’re secondary benefits to me.
You’ve seen the benefits your business blog can get you — more traffic, leads, authority, and a better relationship with your audience. And you’re undoubtedly itching to get started.
Our guide on how to start a successful blog has everything you need.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com
Instagram has been around for 11 years.
While the app was initially meant for still images, content creators and everyday users can now share photos and videos in various forms, like Story posts, Instagram Reels, and longer-form videos on IGTV.
Although there are many content types to post on the app, simply leveraging one of the options isn’t enough to find marketing success on the platform. This is because, no matter how high-quality the content you share, the Instagram algorithm determines what succeeds on the app and what doesn’t.
While Instagram doesn’t disclose all the factors that the algorithm uses to assess content, they have released general information about what the algorithm looks for. In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the algorithm to succeed on the app, from the factors that play into it and tips and tricks to use to make sure your content doesn’t go unnoticed.
As a business, unless you’re entirely reliant on paid ads, it’s essential to understand how the algorithm works and what you need to do to ensure that it favors your content and shows your posts to your target audience.
Below we’ll explain how the Instagram algorithm works and the factors it assesses when surfacing your content in news feeds.
If you’re a frequent Instagram user, you may have heard people say something like “Bring back reverse chronological order!” when talking about the algorithm. What they’re referring to is when Instagram showed the most recent posts at the top of someone’s feed and older ones at the bottom.
It was great for creators and Instagram users because, at some point, your post would be at the top of all of your followers’ feeds, so they would be guaranteed to see it.
However, in March 2016, the algorithm changed. Instagram said, “People miss, on average, 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it has become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.”
It’s no longer a question of when you post, but a variety of factors that we’ll discuss below: relationship, timing, frequency, following, usage, interest.
Perceived relationships are the most important ranking factor.
The algorithm prioritizes sharing content with you based on the relationships you have with the accounts you follow. The more you comment, like, and interact with an account on Instagram, the more likely you will see their content, and see it often.
The algorithm also notes people you direct message, accounts you search for, and photos you’re tagged in.
The relationship factor applies to brands as well. If a consumer regularly likes your content and interacts with it, repeat engagement will make your posts shown to them more often and closer to the top of their feed. This means that it’s essential for you to inspire engagement in your content, which we’ll discuss further below.
Although feeds aren’t chronological, the algorithm still wants users to see the most recent and relevant posts, especially from accounts that you have a stronger, established relationship with.
Timing just means that you’re not as likely to see a post from three weeks ago as you were before 2016.
You can leverage this factor to your advantage by using your profile analytics to discover the best time to post on Instagram, helping you meet your followers when they’re most active on the app and more likely to engage.
Frequency refers to how often a user opens the Instagram app.
Frequent users will see a more chronological feed, but those who seldom open the app will see posts most relevant to their interests and relationships since last opening the app.
Following many people means that the algorithm has more content to choose from when surfacing posts in a feed. When this happens, they prioritize relationships, engagement, and perceived interests.
Again, this factor emphasizes the importance of generating a relationship with your audience, encouraging engagement, and posting at the right times.
The usage factor is similar to frequency, as it relates to how much time is spent on the app.
Those who do quick browsing sessions will see what the algorithm determines to be the day’s highlights based on the factors mentioned above, while those who spend more time on the app will see a more significant number of posts.
Frequent browsers may even run out of content to see, at which point the algorithm will suggest new posts and accounts based on your interactions and engagement history.
Instagram makes many content recommendations, so a portion of the content users see is based on the app’s understanding of their interest in specific topics.
If it detects that you always like, comment, and interact with posts around similar topics, you’ll see those posts first. Users who engage with content similar to what you post are also more likely to be shown your posts, and vice versa.
While not a direct factor that Instagram has noted as an algorithm factor in 2016, engagement does play a significant role in the algorithms process.
In addition to all of the above factors, engagement plays a significant role in how the Instagram algorithm prioritizes and surfaces content to users. The most important engagement metrics are comments, likes, shares, and video views.
Here is a breakdown of how engagement factors into the algorithm:
1. When you first post a photo, it’s shown to a small percentage of your audience.
2. Instagram measures how quickly that photo is interacted with, i.e., comments and likes.
3. Instagram compares the engagement that your post gets to other content you’ve shared at similar times and days. For example, is your post from today at 10 am getting more or less traffic than your post from last Monday at 10 am? The app compares to similar times to ensure accuracy when evaluating your engagement metrics, especially since certain times bring better results.
4. If your photo attracts a lot of engagement, Instagram will show it to a higher percentage of your audience and maybe even share it on explore pages.
5. If your post continues to attract engagement, your photo will stay at the top of your audience’s news feeds and reach more people. If it doesn’t attract a lot of initial attention, less of your audience will see your post.
The 2016 algorithm update was almost a complete overhaul to how the algorithm works, so it is the most notable, publicized, and confirmed by Instagram.
Unfortunately, since then, Instagram doesn’t always make it public when they’ve changed the algorithm. So, if you notice changes to your engagement and reach, it is most likely not the result of an algorithm change but most likely due to the app’s growth.
There are so many accounts on the platform, and as people follow more and more users, competition on the app grows. It becomes more difficult to quickly generate a significant amount of engagement, which in turn impacts how, where, and when your posts are shown in your audience’s feed. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to monitor your Instagram analytics.
That being said, the most recent update to the algorithm as of 2021 is the removal of like counts on people’s photos.
The update hasn’t yet been made available to all Instagram users, but it would effectively remove a total like count from a user’s photo and instead display only the usernames of people that have liked the post. Users who post a photo still have the option to see the number of likes a photo has received, though.
Instagram is making this update because they believe it will do numbers to diminish bullying on the app and protect users from being influenced by social pressure that says they need to get a certain amount of likes on their posts.
Although there is not much you can do to beat the algorithm, or so to speak, there are ways to get your posts shown higher on Instagram.
Like all social media platforms, one of the easiest ways to generate immediate engagement is to post content when you know your followers are most active, as they’re already browsing the app and ready to see what you have to offer.
If you’re new to the app, it will be challenging to get this information right away, so come back to this tip after you’ve spent enough time on the app to get valuable, actionable analytics.
Again, use your analytics. Understand the content that your audience engages with the most, whether it’s high-quality product photos, behind-the-scenes content, or Instagram Reels. Use this to your advantage, and continue creating content that they enjoy as they’re more likely to interact with something they like.
Hashtags are a great way to signal to the algorithm about your content, which can help surface your profile to audience members interested in the hashtags you use.
Don’t overload your hashtag use, but aim to use them in all of the content you share on Instagram, from Stories to IGTV to photo captions.
Interaction on your profile will come naturally, but encouraging engagement and interaction with the content you share can be valuable in getting the algorithm to work for you.
Create engaging captions that entice users to comment on your posts, ask for likes and shares, and be in conversation with those who interact to inspire loyalty and entice them to return.
You can also place interactive elements in your Instagram Stories, like polls, stickers, and emojis. The benefits of this are twofold, as your customers will be interacting with your content, and you’ll also learn more about their interests and desires based on the responses they give.
One of the most important things to do to take control over the algorithm is to stay consistent on the app. Develop an Instagram-specific posting schedule, and stick to it.
It’ll help you stay continuously active on the platform, which allows your followers to continuously engage with your content, which helps the algorithm learn more and more about your account. The more information they have, and the more engagement they see, the higher you will be on your followers’ feeds.
Instagram Stories appear at the top of a user’s feed.
The Stories algorithm prioritizes timeliness, and you’re most likely to see the most recent stories from the accounts you engage and interact with the most. The accounts that the algorithm thinks you have the strongest relationships with will always have their Stories shown before all other stories.
For businesses, this means that it’s essential to maintain an active presence on Instagram Stories and to encourage engagement within your Stories, like polls and asking questions.
The feed algorithm and Explore page algorithm are relatively similar, as they both show content that Instagram thinks you’ll be most interested in based on your previous app activity. The main difference is that feed content features accounts you’re familiar with and following, while the Explore page is content from new accounts.
You can think of it like this: if one of your favorite things to do on Instagram is watch food videos, your feed will display content from the accounts with food videos that you interact with the most. Your explore page would also contain food videos since the algorithm knows you like them, but you won’t follow those accounts already.
The explore page is based entirely on interests, so, as a business, it’s important to share content related to your brand and utilize elements that would tell the algorithm who to show your content to, like relevant hashtags.
Succeeding on Instagram is not just about posting content regularly. You also need to understand how the algorithm works and leverage its makeup to your advantage. While changes to the algorithm will always happen, staying on top of the trends will help you ensure that you’re prepared for them when they do.
Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com
Plus, rainbow-colored map pins, Google News Showcase on desktop and more.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com