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Why People Link – Tips to Improve Your Web Content

Tom Howlett

by Tom Howlett on 12th August 2011

WhyThis post will discuss the reasons why people link to other sites and what motivates them to do so. This in turn can help you think about how you can influence others to link to your website. If you have a site that generates lots of natural links with reasonable regularity, this can be great for improving your authority on the web and in turn can improve SEO rankings.

The Different Types of Links

People can link to your site in a variety of different ways and on various different platforms. Here are some of the most common ways in which people link:

  • Through Social Platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Via Personal Sites and Blogs
  • Information Resources (your site could act as a resource)
  • Wiki’s
  • News (if your site is the subject of a news story)
  • If they are a Partner
  • An association with you or your site
  • A Client Link
  • A Customer Link

The Reasons People May Link to You

Here is a list of reasons why people might link to your site, which may help you to focus content more effectively and really target your audience:

  • If your site is an authority in a specific industry
  • Humour (to share with their peers)
  • Usefulness (if you are providing something useful like a tutorial)
  • Appreciation
  • Association
  • Partnership
  • Interest

They may also link for the following ways; you may want to avoid the following despite the link as it could damage your reputation despite any potential improvement in rankings:

  • Dissatisfied customers
  • Anger
  • As a result of a controversial post of yours

Social Links

Links from Social platforms are probably the easiest to receive, just by tweeting a new addition to your blog  may result in a follower re-tweeting the link and thus generating an additional link to your website. Having social sharing buttons on your website is another good way of giving site visitors a quick way of sharing your content with the rest of their followers.

The Benefits of Linking Out

Site owners tend to be put off from linking out to other sites and if they do they tend to No-Follow the link. Even though extensive linking out should be avoided, it is good practise to link to another site if you feel this site offers something interesting of useful to your readers.

Linking out also has its benefits. If you are seen to link out often, owners of the sites you have linked to are much more likely to link back to you if the opportunity arises (that’s if they know you linked to them).

Link Bait

Link bait is a method of trying to create something popular in an attempt to persuade people to link to you naturally. Some attempts of creating link bait have included informational resources, infographics, free tools, helpful articles, controversial blog topics, polls, competitions or attempts to create something viral. They can be a great way of encouraging links, if you think about the reasons why people link you could end up coming up with some great link bait ideas.

I would suggest you tread carefully if you decide on the controversial topics as this can have a negative impact on your website.

Summary

Considering why people link in the first place is a great way to guide you on creating linkable content for your website. If you align this with creating content that your visitors/followers are interested in then you have a good chance of continually bringing in links which are likely to have a positive effect in improving rankings and followers for your website.

Image Source

Woman with doubtful expression and question marks all over her head via BigStock

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett

If you’re looking for information on Link Building then read Tom Howlett’s posts. Tom has a specialist insight into link building strategies designed to improve website’s visibility and ranking. He will help you become a master in finding new link sources.

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