In my recent challenge, I showed hundreds of people how to take stock of their current visibility and what to do about it. One of those key areas was link building, and I wanted to go over a few tips on how to get more people to link to you and your website, and what is link building?
It comes down to this simple question - do enough people know about you to book you? If you are not getting enough bookings its’ because not enough people know about you. This means you have to have a bigger reach, you have to reach more people out there who are searching for your type of business but don’t know you exist yet. Your dream clients are out there frustrated that they cannot find the right person to book or to buy from.
You may have a beautiful website, but if no one is looking at it, it’s just a beautiful thing to look at for you only. You’re leaving valuable bookings on the table if you’re just relying on word of mouth.
There are millions of ways to get more people to check out your website, and you might feel a bit lost as to where to start.
There are now over 6 billion pages on the internet, that means there are many, many ways for you to connect with your clients, which is why I believe SEO really stands for Seeking Exciting Opportunities!
The fact is the internet is a giant web, with many many ways to connect to other pages. So many people say to me ‘But how do I get found in amongst the tonnes of other people doing my job?’
What is link building?
Link building is not often talked about in the creative industries because everyone is so focused on making their website look good. And yes, it’s important for your website to look good but especially if you’re new to building links, then you’ll want to pay attention to this
If your website isn’t well known then you need to get more well known websites to point to your website. Getting links back to your site is considered a vote of confidence so your website becomes more well known.
There are a great number of factors that go into what makes a website well known or not but I’m going to keep it really simple as if you’re reading this you’re probably new.
Every time a new piece of content is published anywhere, a new link is created.
Search engines use links in two ways:
- To find new web pages
- To help determine how well a page should rank
What not to do
The old school way to get links was to go after links from anywhere and everywhere. Especially in the creative and wedding industries, it used to be that everyone put their buddies on a list called LINKS I LOVE and linked to their websites, and those buddies? They did the same.
Thing is, Google cottoned on to this and now wants us to deliver quality content and be Useful People.
So now? It's increasingly about the quality of the website where you want the link from and the relevance / purpose to your site.
How to build links
So here's four ways you can build links to your website and get more people and therefore Google and therefore more people (and so on, and so on) to come and check you out.
1. Interview your buddies
Use your network - pitch to your contacts to ask to write a guest post for them, and offer to interview them on your own blog, like I did with my Gin and Magic YouTube channel - check out my interview with networking queen Hazel Parsons "How to make the most of your connections". Ask them questions you know they get asked frequently, film it or blog about it or both and when you go live with it, don't just post it once and forget about it. Continue to link to it in future content (like I just did!)
2. Write for other people (who doesn’t want free content?)
Pitch pitch pitch. Write a list of places you want to be published. Like this piece I wrote for Rising Tide "Where should you start with SEO?" and this piece for Mothers of Enterprise "How to get your business found online"
Write down 5 places where you want to be featured. What's the worst that can happen? They say no? People say no to me a lot and I don't let it stop me 😉 Worried about sharing too much of your expertise? Don't stress. Repetition is key to learning, we all know this. It actually breeds a sense of familiarity when people have heard some of your advice before. Also? You can phrase the same sort of information in different ways as this will then click with different people.
3. Collaboration pieces
This idea is something I very much encourage if you know a lot of people who do a similar job. With one of my longstanding clients Fiona Kelly, we wanted to address one of the commonly asked questions - what does a wedding planner do by inviting comments from several of her wedding planner and coordinator friends in the industry. Write down people you want to be more closely associated with in a work sense and think about what you get asked by your clients, and if they'd be interested in helping. Once it's published on social media, everyone shares the work. Of course this also works for creating styled shoots that are already so popular, but I would suggest going with these advice pieces as people then get to understand how you're an expert in your field (because you are, because no one is you, right?!)
4. Submit all your favourite work
No really, submit it, even older stuff. It's not too late! Send in your favourite work to your dream blogs and get published. If they so, try another! Yes, it's a lot of work but it is still worth it. So many people I speak to are put off submitting their work these days, but really? You're just being lazy. You may not get the drive of enquiries immediately but getting your work in front of your ideal clients more often is A Big Win. Latest research shows that your ideal clients have to see you at least 10 times before making a decision, some say even more! So go for it and submit all your favourite work to be featured. Maximise the shoutout every time you get featured - share it everywhere, multiple times! People don't remember us nearly as much as we'd like them to/are worried they will 😉
So, there you have it. What is linkbuilding, why it matters, what not to do and four ways to build links. Which tip are you going to put into action first? Come and tell me on Instagram here 🙂
P.S. For more juicy tips and to know when my next challenge is out, come and join my free Facebook community here.