There is a great discussion lead every time a company with no blog asks why they can’t get links. Another question, usually before that, is why do we need a blog at all, our product pages show everything there is to know about us and our services? And lastly, why on earth do we need to spend hours on social media chatting with people; we don’t call people on the phone just to chat with them and make them feel better do we? Well, no matter how many times these questions are asked, they are good questions that deserve a good answer.
For the sake of argument we will talk about WordPress platform and WordPress blogs, as the most popular blogging platform in the world powering the greatest number of blogs. Too say it honestly, it is the easiest one to use, easy to install, modify, design for and it is widely supported by the online community, so there are always new additions that can help you with your work and most importantly, with your SEO and link building efforts.
Why You Need a Blog in General
It doesn’t matter if you are a company or an individual offering services, products or information, the easiest way to engage the market is through blogging. It offers you the ability to not only get fresh updates regarding your market on your site, but to do many things a company needs if they want to succeed online:
- Engage the users with useful and helpful content
- Get some buzz going on
- Communicate directly with visitors through commenting
- Offer new product/service updates
- Ask for reviews
- Offer incentives, contest, promotions which is easy to share on the web
- Get great content with supporting keywords to increase the topic relevance
- Create inner links for SEO purposes
Why WordPress as a Platform?
WordPress is very easy to use, and the fact that it is widely supported by the online community is a measure of credibility, but not just that. As widely spread you can find all sorts of plugins that will make your blog easy to optimise, track and build links for.
You can easily install Google Analytics plugin to your blog and connect your Analytics account, so every time you visit your blog’s dashboard you will be able to see stats regarding your blog. There is now JetPack WP integration that is very easy and also lets you get the analytic insights.
To help you optimise your blog there are several useful plugins, most known is All in One SEO Plugin, but there are similar plugins that help you optimise your Meta titles and Meta Descriptions to get the sale pitch going.
To help you inner-link your pages there are several plugins you can use, like SEO Smart Links and LinkWithin. This process of placing things on auto-drive will give you more time to concentrate on other things and will help you deep link your most important pages.
Branding your website with Simple Favicon plugin is also easy, as well as adding a sitemap to your blog for easy indexing. But WordPress is not just about automating things and putting them on auto-pilot via plugins you can get from the WordPress Plugin Database. Yes it saves time and is easy to use, but there are other benefits of using WordPress. For example clean URL structure you can set via permalinks section to show only the post name. Not to mention the fact that WordPress has a clean code, now if you experiment with your themes you might get burned, but most of them are well made.
Navigation is much easier with tags and categories; it is very easy to optimise images, and you don’t have to worry about URL canonization issues any more. With all this great usability you shouldn’t think twice about the benefits of WordPress for SEO, and yeah, don’t forget to add the Link To Me plugin to make your content more linkable.
How to Use your Blog to Get Backlinks
This is also a frequent question when it comes to owning a blog, how do I use it to get backlinks? Well, a quality blog will get backlinks on its own; so to begin with, if you just concentrate on producing quality and useful content you will be sure to score a few links. But to give you more insight into how to attract or use your blog as leverage to get links here is another useful list:
- Blog Commenting – maybe not the top level of link building but it doesn’t matter, not only do you score a link but there is an even better thing involved, you get people to notice you by leaving insightful comments.
- Guest Blogging – It is far easier to score a guest post when you own a blog of your own. This way you will be able to offer you expertise to new eyes looking for info regarding your market. You can exchange blog posts the same way you exchange links.
- Offer Guest Posts on Your Blog – By offering guest posts on your blog you will sure score a good number of links. Most bloggers will link to their content to strengthen their links coming from your blog.
- Link Baiting – Although not explicit only to blogs, link baits are easier created today in the form of content, so by creating a great post, list, a resource or something like a giveaway announced on your blog you will be inviting free links.
- Offer Something Free or Amazing – Giving free products, discounts and promotion material you will be sure to attract some attention and get links for your blog.
- Offer Market News – If you offer news regarding your market to your audience first you will sure be on your way of becoming a one stop resource, which also leads to new links.
Utilizing Social Media for Backlinks
Spending an hour a day to manage your social media profiles is not too much. If you are a company you should have a designated person managing your social interactions. Think of it as customer support, but more in the terms of customer information, or even user control. This is the best way to spread the news and your blog content, the best way to make it go viral. The days of emailing webmasters are almost gone, we have switched to an interactive web that relies on social media to drive traffic and get links.
When someone mentions social media and backlinks people automatically think of creating user profiles with links to their sites, or spamming their stream with links, this is not what we are talking about. The way to use social media is to connect with the right people, engage them in conversation and form alliances that will last not for a week, but for a long time. Each of those alliances can bring your traffic and links. You can use social media to ask for links on Twitter or Facebook, form strategic partnerships via LinkedIn or simply promote your quality content and get it viral and linked at.
Twitter is a gold mine for market leaders you want to follow and engage, so here is a nice new Twitter tool to help you get the idea of what a user’s profile is all about. This is a great tool to see what a user is talking about and to use that info to find and connect with new people to help promote your website and get some quality backlinks.
Both blogging and social media are powerful tools for link building. Not using them in this age means that your online presence is outdated, so get on the wagon, it’s not hard and you will see the results very fast.