<< by Janet Driscoll Miller on January 26th, 2009
Any search engine marketer will tell you that viral links (links built by others for your website) are an invaluable help to SEO efforts. Viral links do two things: 1) they save you time from building links yourself and 2) they represent the type of links Google really wants from your website — a true vote of popularity and importance. But viral links are also very challenging to receive — how do you inspire others to link to your website?
Social media has revolutionized the way we get our marketing messages to the masses. So why not harness the power of social media to promote your marketing message and inspire viral linking? Here are some tips on how you can promote your message and viral linking for SEO, based on the techniques I use for our own blog.
- Write a blog post. If you have a blog, use it, and use it often! I tell clients that blogs are often the one area of your website that you update the most often, and frequent content updates often mean more return visitors. So use your blog to your marketing advantange and write about newsworthy topics to encourage others to link to your posts.
- Promote your blog posts. Even if you update your blog often, you can’t take the “Field of Dreams” approach (aka “If you build it, they will come.”). Promote your blog! Here are some ways I promote our blog posts regularly:
- Promote using social networking sites. After I write a new blog post, I immediately post it in two places: LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn allows you to share “news” in with the groups you’re a member of or with your fellow employees in your company. Facebook allows you to post a new link for public viewing. I also update my status on these two sites and announce the new blog post.
- Promote using social bookmarking sites. First, if you don’t have chicklets on your blog for each of the major social bookmarking sites such as Digg, add them today. This allows blog readers to bookmark your posts for you. You can also bookmark your own stories, or those of your fellow employees there. I use this option less often for myself, but it’s definitely an option.
- Promote using micro-blogging sites. If you use Twitter, let your community know about your new blog posts.
- Promote using industry-specific bookmarking sites. For example, some folks in the SEO community really like Sphinn and follow its stories. People from your own community are always more likely to be interested in your blog posts and may even provide you with a little viral “link love”.
Using these types of promotion techniques, I was able to increase blog readership on my own blog post by over 200% on average!
And more readers has also equated to more trackbacks and inbound links. On average, using social media to promote blog posts has helped me attain double the trackbacks and inbound links I had before without using social media for promotion. So go social and get more viral links!