Did you know that inbound links, which point to your website, are one of the most powerful ways of climbing search engine result pages! That’s right – every link to your site is seen by the search engines as a endorsement and builds upon the credibility and reputation of your website. The more people who promote your content (link to your site), the higher you get ranked.

Last week we discussed how web crawlers, web robots, or spiders are used by many companies (like Google, Yahoo etc.) to collect, catalog, index, and return information about your website. The key to a higher ranking is to create targeted content that appeals to human visitors who will link to you, while the search engines index your site for the ultimate SEO strategy!

Getting those inbound links to your site from other websites is not that hard. Local Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, schools or other professional organizations will often link to your website as a benefit of membership. Another great way to gain inbound links is to sponsor events at local charities that the press will publish online with links to your site.

Writing articles about your business or profession and submitting them to as many article directories as possible is another way to acquire links and increase your rankings. Make sure to write about your area of expertise! Check out sites like EzineArticles.com and submit up to ten articles for free!

Sharing useful information through a blog is one of the easiest ways to help draw links. If readers find your site useful and informative, they are likely to share your information. Bloggers are always looking for inspiration, websites to link to and things to discuss. You should also list your blog with online directories and on social media sites so people can find you.

Comment on other blogs, not just because you think it will help your SEO, but to show your authority within your niche market. If your comments add value to the discussion, they can drive direct traffic to your website which could lead to natural links for you. Make sure your URL is included in your signature, but please, don’t be a comment spammer or you’ll get banned quicker than you can say “link” if you do this!

We don’t recommend purchasing text links for SEO purposes. Google actually frowns upon paying for links and will penalize those they catch! It goes against their webmaster guidelines and could harm or have a negative effect on your SEO efforts. Choose carefully and play by the rules, because you don’t want links from just any website.

Sharing industry related information on social media sites will also draw links by bringing readers to blogs and websites naturally. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn can help build your online brand and increase your site traffic very economically and organically. If you Google a company such as ours “Charene Creative”, you will find that more than half of the links are influenced by social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and our blog. Google us and see for yourself!

There are no shortcuts to finding good quality incoming links to your website. Don’t get caught up in link schemes or web spammers. Take your time and focus your attention on building naturally acquired organic links because they show that actual people are interest in what you have to say!