How Increasing Your Engagement Can Lead to More Links

It’s no secret that the landscape of the web is changing in how webmasters interact with their site visitors, and while there is much research and analysis on how we can get our traffic to engage through social media, RSS feeds and email campaigns, one theme I often find missing is how we engage our traffic.

Let’s face it; we aren’t creating these blogs, the content, the ecommerce stores, etc., solely so that we can get the attention of the search engines – though it’s certainly helpful when we successfully do.  Our main drive is to grab the attention of humans.

Humans want to interact with other humans, and humans want to buy things, and because of that, it’s essential for us to make sure that our visitors feel appreciated. The best way we can offer real value to our visitors is to engage them in the conversation, and when that happens, we do wonders for our SEO as well, here’s how:

There’s SEO Gold in the Comments

It’s widely understood that the more links your site has outside its own domain or network, the better the ranking you will see on Google. However, when Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm in April 2014, it changed the understanding on the true value of a backlink, according to Search Engine Journal.

This is why blogs, which encourage their readers to comment, are reaping the rewards of an excellent strategy. Place yourself in the shoes of the visitor: Would you want to post a comment if you were fairly certain that it wasn’t going to get noticed?  Personally, I wouldn’t waste my time.

On the flip side, would you consider leaving a comment if you knew that the author, webmaster or guest contributor would respond to your thoughts? I know I would.

The payoff here is simple: The more comments you can generate, the more people return to your site, and Google is watching for returning visitors to determine rankings. Also, comments show up in RSS feeds. Simply put, it won’t be long before this reflects in your SEO.

Here are a few additional tips to help you get started:

  • Be sure to pay special attention to your comments, and reply whenever possible.
  • Encourage visitors to leave comments when you post.
  • On the flipside, don’t approve spam comments – doing so is an invitation to more spam.
  • Comment on other blogs in your niche, as this will build relationships and opportunities.

Why Being Anti-Social Doesn’t Pay

One of the biggest changes with the Penguin algorithm is the value that the search engines have placed on social media. It seems somewhat obvious for one simple fact: Social media interaction is almost completely dependent on human engagement.

It’s crucial that you place an emphasis on interacting with your social media followers.  One website that has done an outstanding job at this is Saffire. They engage their followers over Google+ and Facebook, and even provide information about their products and vaping in general on their website.

When you increase your emphasis on social media, every share, like and retweet builds yet another backlink to your site. Here’s how to do this:

  • Like the example above, be sure to leave social buttons and opportunities to follow your site – but, don’t overdo it and make your site look cluttered.
  • Keep effective posting in mind. For example, adding pictures is a surefire way to increase interaction, keep posts concise and mind the times of day you hit the newsfeeds.
  • Don’t rule out contests and sweepstakes as a means of gaining a new following.

Content Is King

If you want to interact with a vibrant, dynamic audience, then you need to keep your content fresh, readable and useful for your visitors.

Content marketing is all the rage these days, but for good reason – it works.

When you listen to the radio, don’t you try to tone out the commercials? So, why would your visitors sit through one of yours? If anything, overly commercializing your content will actually hurt its effectiveness. 

People have opinions about everything they read. By following these tips, you can get your audience involved in the conversation and help increase your website’s SEO.