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Whether you’ve built a website to sell some of your original products, or you’re just managing a blog for fun, one of your biggest priorities will be increasing traffic to your site. More traffic is usually associated with more clout, more revenue, a better reputation, and more overall benefits.

The most straightforward way to increase traffic to your site is to provide better content and resources to your visitors. But even with the best content, your site is unlikely to attract traffic all on its own. You’ll need the help of marketing and advertising strategies to provide an initial boost.

One of the best strategies here is link building, and it has the capacity to support your website growth in multiple distinct ways.

Link Building Basics

Let’s start with some of the basics of link building. According to Link.Build, “Quality, relevant links remain one of the strongest ranking signals in search.” What does that mean?

Google and other search engines want to give users the best possible results when they conduct a search. Naturally, they try to choose pages that have a high relevance to the user’s query; in other words, they try to find topical matches. But with so many possible topical matches, Google needs some way to determine which results are “better” than the others, so they can rank higher.

Here, Google evaluates each site and each page in terms of trustworthiness, or authority. The higher the authority, the higher the page is likely to rank. It determines authority based on a number of ranking signals, but one of the strongest is the presence of backlinks pointing to a domain (and to individual pages).

Put simply, if you have lots of links pointing to your site, and those links come from good sources, you’ll rank higher for relevant searches. That’s why many people turn to link building, the process of earning or manually placing the links pointing back to their site. These days, one of the most common methods is writing and publishing articles on offsite publishers and including a natural link back to your work; this provides value to readers and is unlikely to be flagged as spam.

Link Building and Traffic Generation

Of course, link building is about more than just increasing your search rankings. Building links can help you increase traffic in many different areas:

·         Organic traffic. First, you’ll naturally increase your organic web traffic, referring to the traffic generated by people who click your link in organic search results. As you build more links, your site will rank higher and get more visibility. With higher rankings, you’ll attract more views and clicks, establishing this as a foundational stream of traffic.

·         Referral traffic. People can also click your link in its natural context. If you’re providing a link to your work as a piece of further reading or as a citation for a fact or statistic, readers will naturally click it to read more; this counts as referral traffic. Depending on your publisher, you can generate a massive stream of traffic this way.

·         Social traffic. Many link builders also share their work on social media actively in an attempt to garner more attention. If people follow your links on social media, they’ll count as social traffic, which can add to your total.

·         Direct traffic. Don’t forget that building links and developing your guest author profiles can improve your brand visibility and reputation. This means you’ll likely see an increase in direct traffic—people entering your URL or clicking on a bookmark of your site—as well.

Best Practices for Link Building

If you’re going to build links in the hopes of increasing traffic in these areas, make sure to follow basic best practices:

·         Vary your sources. Try to build links on a variety of different publishers.

·         Vary your links. Don’t keep building links to the same pages; shake things up.

·         Prioritize quality content. Onsite and offsite, your top priority should be creating high-quality content.

·         Include links naturally. Spamming links or including them in unnatural contexts will only work against you. Make sure your links “fit” with your work.

·         Seek high-quality sources. Better-quality publishers will yield better results. Aim for the best publishers you can reach.

·         Entice clicks when possible. Make your links attractive with a call-to-action (CTA) or interesting premise so you can generate more referral traffic.

·         Grow over time. Keep seeking new and better sources, and scale your strategy up over time.

If you follow these best practices and implement your link building strategy as part of a broader online marketing campaign, you should be able to consistently and reliably increase traffic to your site. It’s a strategy that takes time, but almost any site can benefit from it–and continue benefiting from it for years to come.