Five Savvy Social Tips to Build Links for SEO

A web page that has other web pages linking to it is a good resource in Google's eyes. That's the core principle behind the PageRank algorithm, and that's why link building is an important part of any online marketing education. Obtaining links in the past has been a tedious, yet critical task. Luckily, savvy online marketers can now employ social media to make the process of link building more fun and successful. Check out these five tips.

Using Social Media to Build Links for SEO

Outreach Targeting

In order to request a link from a website, first you have to find it. Social media tools exist that make this task a lot easier than it used to be. Tools like Followerwonk and WeFollow help identify influential social media "influentials" around your topics of interest. These folks usually have websites with great link equity.

Outreach Research

Once you've found your outreach targets, get to know them a little before trying to ask for a link. At first, this means doing your homework. Take prospects and look them up on Klout to see what they're known, who they influence, and who influences them. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Outreach Assistance

The normal process for requesting links is to craft a personalized email to your prospect and hope they return your email. Increase the odds of a response with social media by friending/following them on social networks and/or sharing their content with your network before your write your email. It's easier to get a response from someone if you've retweeted their work than if you're just a stranger begging for a link.

Pinging and Warming

If you're doing it right, you're not just building links. You're building relationships. Acknowledge those who have linked to you in the past by regularly sharing their work and engaging with them on social media. Watch a simple link request blossom into a great partnership, and you'll instantly understand why link building through social media is a better long-term approach to this critical SEO activity.

Social Content Exposure

In the end, a strong social network is the best link building tactic. When you create new content, people need to see it before they can link to it. Publishing your content to your social media networks is a great way to gain attention to your work early on and hopefully earn some links right out of the gate.

While there are very specific skills required in each SEO and social media, the growing overlap between the two cannot be ignored. Savvy online marketers (for example, many of these tips were courtesy of Distilled SEO consultants at a recent event) are finding amazing synergies between the two marketing channels to propel their strategies to the next level. Using social media to build links for SEO is just example. What other ways could you combine search and social media for greater overall results?

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Josh Braaten is the Associate Director of Inbound Marketing at Rasmussen College. Passionate about Internet marketing, Josh also blogs about SEO, Web Analytics and Squarespace websites in his personal time.

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