Do you care about getting traffic to any page on the Internet? ANY page? It could be your Etsy shop, your blog, your Facebook profile, or your Pinterest boards. Any page.
If so, then this post matters to you.
Link-Building is Dead, Long Live Link Building
“Link building” used to be about getting search traffic. Paradoxically, a link from a low traffic site that would bring very few real visitors could be more valuable than a link that might bring in hundreds of real people directly.
It was all about the way search engine algorithms calculated the “importance” of a page on the Web. Links from “important” pages meant your page was important. Building the SEO “status” of your Etsy shop under those conditions was…a challenge.
But that was yesterday. What matters today?
Links still matter, but for a different reason. Now the reason makes sense to regular folk like you and I. Now, the idea of “link-building” is to simply create lots and lots of pathways that lead to your shop (or blog, or website, or social page).
The idea of link-building is this: bring relevant people to your site.
Note the word “relevant”.
- If you blog about sewing, a link in an automotive forum is of little value.
- If you sell jewelry, a link from a gift-related blog post might be on-target.
- If you want to establish a voice in music, a link from a music related channel on YouTube is relevant. A link from a politics channel isn’t.
Note the word “people”.
It doesn’t matter so much that the linking page is or isn’t relevant. It’s that the people who come through that link aren’t going to like what they find. It’s not their thing.
Why does that matter?
Because Like Building is the New Link Building
In terms of building authority and traffic, likes are about the most important things you can get. After that, comments.
All forms of likes matter:
- Facebook Likes
- Facebook Shares
- Google +1’s (especially good for SEO)
- Tweets and Retweets
- Linked-In Shares
- Pinterest Pins
- etc., etc., etc.
Comments and legitimate conversation are a clear indication of the real impact of a piece of web-content.
Comments on blogs, entries on forum posts, comments on videos, comments on Pins, comments on Facebook, comments, comments, comments.
(But don’t let a lack of them discourage you. They are only part of the equation)
The Growing Relationship of Search and Social
I’ve looked at this subject in-depth and I’ve tried more than once to craft a blog post that covers it all in one shot. It’s really too much for a blog post. I’ll have to hit these ideas one at a time.
Here are a few “bottom-line” takeaways:
- First, create “likeable” content. This can be beautiful photography in your shop. It can be a great post on your blog. It can be a helpful share in social media.
- Quality is more important than quantity. Remember, you want likes not just views.
- Get relevant people to your site.
- Do that by building lots and lots of links in.
- Blog comments
- Forum posts
- Wiki’s (such as wikipedia)
- Social Media
- Photo sharing sites (Flickr, Photobucket)
- Guest blog posts
- Emails (signatures!)
- Make it easy! – Provide like, share, pin, tweet, stumble, etc. buttons on everything.
- Ask for it – gently ask for comments, mention sharing, thank people for links to you.
Give A Little, Pay it forward, Good Karma, Golden Rule, etc.
This last point is important and I’m as guilty as anyone. I read tons of blog content and so often I’m in too big of a hurry to leave a comment. Or I’ll read something I want to share and then wonder if I should bother my social circles with it.
When I think about the reality and truth in like building being the new link building and I realize the true value to any online creator of my likes and comments, I realize that not giving them is kind of like not tipping the waiter.
They’re trying to make something happen. They’re giving me something as part of that effort. I can offer a small token of thanks by liking or commenting. In the process I can help them achieve the goal they set out to achieve.
And wait… it helps me too! That blog comment includes a link back to me. Those shares increase my social reach. The relationships I build can be of great value to my goals.
So remember this as you work toward building your online business:
Like building is the new link building. Build likes and help others do the same.
You’ll be glad you did.
–Tim & Kim