The New Science of Inbound Linking : Part I

You know those articles that get routinely Digged to the front page with a headline something akin to : “AMAZING: 10 ways to promote your blog” ? Well this is one of those articles. But this time, I’m actually going to give you useful information that chances are you won’t have seen all of, and most probably not in the same place.

Know where you are

Before you even think about trying to do anything at all to build your inbound links then you must above all else get yourself a statistics package that you can:

  1. Install yourself.
  2. Understand.
  3. Really, understand.

It’s imperative that you can actually read the data you’re seeing, if you’re lucky enough to have a wordpress blog then the tracking on that is excellent for this kind of thing and simple enough for my granny to read even through the dense fog of swirling smoke that follows her at all times. If you can’t understand it then you can’t interpret how successful your efforts have been and may as well just not bother.

Be social

There are an ever increasing number of social networking websites out there now, some catering for specific markets and some catering for all comers. What they have in common is the ability to let their users post their content and/or links which other users can then peruse, and usually can rate. It’s good practise now to keep an account on all of the major social networking players – myself I’m at Digg, delicious (i refuse to put in the dots and waste my time), wordpress, mybloglog, newsvine, reddit, stumbleupon and a few more.

The challenge is to try and keep each one reguarly stocked with content, myself I try to maintain this by having a central blog and bookmarking out from there. My Digg account is the easiest I find to keep on top of and potentially the most valuable. I probably spend a good hour a day on Digg reading and submitting, as reward though you get pushed up the rankings and find more friends to Digg stories with.

Stumbleupon I find is brilliant for generating hits, but I’m never very sure if they’re highly relevant ones or if some poor sucker just gets thrown into the middle of one of my semantic search rants when they ‘stumble’. It won’t hurt though to use, and I personally submit every article I write.

I also submit my blog to pingomatic.com every time I update – this will let blog indexers such as technorati know that your blog has been updated with fresh content and save you from doing it manually; which is nice.

With all these systems, every time somebody either votes for your article or leaves a comment on there then add them as a friend. This is the most important part of social networking and one which a surprising number of people completely overlook. You actually have to build a social network to gain maximum use, SEO is no longer about using websites as links sources but about finding people with similar interest areas and keeping them in contact with your content or product when you do find them.

That’s all for part 1, part 2 to follow shortly : How to keep your traffic hooked.

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