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How to Grow Traffic by 35% With Link Building in 2024

Want to increase organic search traffic on your website and make more sales? These five link building techniques will help you in that. Here’s what you need to know.

Increasing the organic search traffic you get is one of the wisest long-term marketing decisions you can make. On average, 53.3% of website traffic comes from organic search, which is more than double that of paid search social media and organic social media.

This organic traffic doesn’t go to waste, either. Leads that you’re likely to get from inbound SEO traffic have a 14.6% close rate, which is staggering compared to outbound marketing at 1.7%.

The overall organic search traffic conversion rate is 2.4%, exactly double that of PPC with 1.2%. Email marketing is the only conventional traffic source that beats search traffic in conversions and heavily depends on organic search visits to build a subscriber list.

This means a 35% increase in organic traffic from search engines can translate directly into 35% more leads.

Here’s how to increase traffic to your business website by 35% or more.

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Google search results aren’t a winner-takes-all type of situation. They’re more like the winner takes so much, and it might as well be all types of situations.

The click-through rate on Google search results is skewed towards the top, with the first result receiving 28.5% clicks on average and the tenth receiving only 2.5%.

The second page of Google is so deserted, it’s a meme at this point. The truth still stands even though Google is changing to an infinite scroll. Users are more likely to make another search than scroll through results forever.

An average jump from one position to the next in the top ten gives you around a 35% boost in CTR. Jumping from the 20-30 position to the top ten potentially gives an even more considerable increase.

So, what do you need to do to make that jump?

  • Make sure your website adheres to Google’s best practices
  • Do keyword research and optimization
  • Match page content to the keyword search intent
  • Create high-quality content that solves consumer problems
  • Build topical authority by covering a topic with multiple pages

But even if you do all that, your pages might not be high-up search engine result pages. Creating good content might not be enough if you’re targeting a keyword with high competition.

How could content alone beat pages like these?

A SERP page with authoritative sites competing for the first place.

Source: Google

The odds are even if you write a piece on small business growth strategies that is longer, better, and has an interview with Mark Zuckerberg, it likely won’t rank higher than Forbes and HBR. Simply because Google’s algorithms know these sites can be trusted.

How exactly do they know? Because a lot, millions of websites, are, in fact, linked to these sites.

There simply is no better way to gauge how trustworthy a website or a page is than looking at who links to it. If many websites that Google already has registered as a trustworthy link back to your site, this means it’s reliable as well.

So, backlinks to your site act as small votes of confidence. Ranking for any competitive keyword is practically impossible if you don’t have a strong backlink profile. That’s why pages that appear in the first place in SERP, on average, have 3.8 times more backlinks than pages in the tenth position.

If you have a subscription to one of the best rank checking software, you can see that out for yourself. The odds are most websites that outrank you in search have more backlinks than your website.

When you’ve consistently created great content and optimized your site well, but it still won’t rank, it’s time to build links to increase traffic.

But you don’t just need any backlinks. The more trustworthy a website is, the better it looks for Google when it links to you. A link from Forbes shows you’re trusted by one of the biggest media websites. A link from a shady noname website shows you got a link.

So, your end goal is not amassing as many links as possible with minimum effort.

Your goal with link-building is getting backlinks from trusted websites, building up your reputation on the internet, and increasing organic search traffic as a result.

When you have optimized your website well, link-building is the main way you can get a 35% organic traffic increase from jumping up in SERP.

Here are five techniques that will make this possible.

Content Marketing

The technique that is arguably the most used among SEOs and that can provide a stable stream of high-quality links is content marketing. Creating and distributing written content is a huge part of SEO, as most of the traffic you can get with SEO efforts is from informational keywords.

This means a big part of your SEO team tasks is finding topics to cover, doing research, and creating stellar content to match with search intent. Every business that keeps up with content marketing trends needs those three things, and this fact opens up a lot of opportunities for building links with content.

There are three major ways you can do that:

  • Create content that will be shared and linked to.
  • Create content for other blogs as a guest writer.
  • Create visual, video, or other interactive content that will earn links

All of these have the potential to bring in a lot of links, but there are challenges associated with each type of content you can produce. Let’s go through them one by one.

Create Shareable Content

Creating shareable content, also known as link magnets, is a link-building technique that can bring dozens of backlinks to a single page.

The reason is that thousands of people write hundreds of blogs daily. The current trend is that 45% of bloggers publish more content and invest more in content marketing. Each of them needs a statistic they could link to or a novel idea for a post that they can get from original research.

If you create a piece of content that gives them substantial data to base their content around, they will link to you.

That’s easier said than done, but you don’t need to spend years on original research to create an asset like this. Here are a couple of ideas for shareable content.

  • A large industry statistic roundup. Even though you don’t do any research yourself and only compile data, many writers will still link to your article.
  • Compilation of expert opinions on a specific topic. This takes more work as you have to coordinate at least half a dozen interviews or short notes from experts.
  • A survey of your audience. In most industries, client opinions will matter to other bloggers, and they will pick up your content.
  • Insights from your marketing or business analytics data.
  • Case studies based on your or your client’s experience.
  • Thought leadership content in your industry. This type of content can generate polemics with writers agreeing or disagreeing with you. In any case, you likely get a link.

Apart from creating content like this, you need to work on distributing it. It won’t rank fast on its own, and it needs to be read by hundreds of people before it starts bringing backlinks to your site.

The best three ways to distribute it are sharing on social media, reaching out to other bloggers, or even running a small paid search campaign for the keywords that best fit your content.

Outreach is not only the basis of content distribution; it’s also a crucial element in the next content-based link-building technique, guest posting.

Write Guest Posts

This technique is nothing new, and it still can get you some amazing high-quality links. Here’s a brief explanation of how it’s done.

  • Find a list of websites in your industry that have a popular blog. This can be either a dedicated blog website or just a company with a corporate blog.
  • Come up with a few topics that you have the expertise to write, and that would benefit that blog.
  • Reach out to the editor and pitch those content ideas.
  • Write the post.
  • Leave a link to your website.

This simple process can get you some of the best links that your site might have. But it’s not the perfect link-building technique.

You only get one link at a time, and the process of pitching content ideas, writing articles, and working together with the website editor to make them better takes a lot of time. So, scaling guest posting is a challenging task.

If you’re not outsourcing it and doing it in-house, it’s best to focus your efforts on the most authoritative websites in your industry. This ensures you don’t just get a single link, but also build a relationship with the editor and can then be featured as an expert on one of their own articles or send them your original research to get a link.

Getting featured in the best-ranking industry blogs might also influence your traffic by building up EAT.

Produce Alternative Content

The last content-based technique that you can use to build links and increase traffic is producing visual content. Infographics, videos, charts, and simply good-looking data visualization are even more likely to attract backlinks because writers need to illustrate their content.

For instance, this image from an article published in September 2023 has already amassed 36 links, which is a great result.

An image that has gained success in link-building.

Source: Digital Examiner

Interactive content like quizzes or tools can also gain plenty of links. You just have to do a lot of brainstorming when coming up with an idea for content like that and make sure it’s the type of content your audience will appreciate.

The problem with content production for link-building is that it requires a lot of effort and is hard to scale. Broken link-building mostly requires research and outreach and can potentially bring in dozens of links per campaign.

This technique also relies on the fact that blog editors want their content to stay updated and serve their readers well. When a statistic or an article they link to returns a 404, this doesn’t just inconvenience a reader; it shows the editor didn’t do their due diligence when updating the article.

So, if you find links pointing to pages that no longer exist and offer to link to your page instead, some editors will take up the offer and link to you out of convenience. There are two main components to this technique: finding 404 pages and outreach. You can easily scale up both.

Finding enough broken links is probably the hardest part. To do this, you can compile a list of competitor websites, use a specialized SEO tool to find broken links on their site, and then find a list of pages linking to those broken pages.

With that list, you can start reaching out to website editors with the offer to change the broken link to a link to a page on your site.

Of course, if you don’t have a page that’s similar to that broken link, you should create one first. It does take a bit of effort, but you can potentially get multiple backlinks to that page, and you can continue using it for link building.

One drawback of broken link-building is that since it requires outreach, the success rate is not that high. It’s usually in the 5-10% range.

Community Engagement

Unless a page that you want to build links to already ranks well, you’ll have trouble attracting links. You need writers and editors to see that content somehow. Apart from reaching out to them directly over email, you can engage with them in online communities.

Find communities on websites like Reddit or Quora, as well as forums, and actively participate in them by giving advice to people who ask questions there. You can link to your content that gives more context to those answers.

Links on most sites like these won’t boost your website too much as most of them are nofollow. This means Google crawler bots shouldn’t consider them when calculating website authority.

But you’re not doing it for the link itself, you’re doing it for the exposure. The idea is that bloggers and editors who participate in those communities might come across the link, read it, and consider linking to it.

Since getting the link indexed by Google doesn’t matter, you can also explore closed communities like Slack or Discord servers with industry folks. If you can’t find any, you can even find a LinkedIn influencer who talks about your industry and has conversations in their comment sections.

An example of community engagement from a LinkedIn comment section.

Source: LinkedIn/Nicolas Cole

In cases like these, leaving an actual link doesn’t matter. Building a relationship with other authors and telling them you write interesting content on the same topic is what matters for future link-building.

Local SEO Strategies

If your business is not digital only and has a physical location, you need to leverage local SEO for link-building.

Before you start building local links, you need to claim and optimize your Google Business Profile.

In terms of link-building, your main goal is to provide the correct name, address, and phone number (NAP). Using that consistently across all platforms where you build links improves local SEO.

The local web provides plenty of opportunities to build links. The primary one is the dozens of local business directories.

Websites like these serve as databases of local businesses that have a short description, NAP, link to the business website, and some other information depending on the website.

The front page of a local business directory site.

Source: Illinois Local

You can find those directory websites by either searching for “place business directory” or checking your competitors’ backlink profiles for websites like these. Some of them require an annual fee to host your business in the database.

You can also look into local community websites and event websites for link opportunities. Another type of website that might link to you is small local news sites. If you’re doing something newsworthy, local news are more likely to link to you than national news networks.

One type of link opportunity is available to both local and digital-only businesses, such as review websites. If you run an agency or a SaaS company, you can create a profile on sites like G2 and encourage your customers to leave honest reviews about your company.

Having a profile there gets you a free link, and positive reviews increase the chances of your business being discovered.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Good content that’s worth linking to can’t earn links unless authors know about it. One of the ways to get it in front of the right people is by using social media.

If you have a social media page with a decent following, share your best content with the audience. The exposure alone might be enough to earn you a couple of links.

But simply leaving it there might not be the best strategy. Instead, share critical insights from your shareable post. You can break down a large linkable asset into multiple social media posts that highlight minor aspects of it and link the page in each.

To improve engagement, share visuals from the post or create visuals for social media and post them as a carousel.

If you’ve already built relationships with influences in your niche through community engagement, you can directly ask them to share your content. If not, reach out to them for a comment to feature them in the content. This makes them more likely to share it.

Another method you could use is running a social media paid ads campaign.

An ad for a piece of content on LinkedIn.

Source: LinkedIn/Standford Online

It can be pretty costly, so save this for the best content and target it to the right demographic. 

Like with any other marketing activity, you need to actively measure the success of your link-building efforts and track key metrics. You can do that with the combination of Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and paid SEO tools.

The metrics you want to track are:

  • Search visibility
  • Organic traffic
  • Direct traffic from backlinks
  • Number of referring domains
  • Quality of referring domains
  • Domain authority
  • Keyword ranking for key keywords
  • Number of keywords you rank for

The most crucial part of tracking link-building efforts is historical data. At the very least, you need to have the reference point for all the metrics you track from before you’ve started an active link-building campaign.

You can then compare the figures in a couple of months to see if there is any change in the key metrics.

An important thing you should consider when interpreting the data is that changes in SEO aren’t instant. It might take a week or a month for a backlink to get indexed by Google, influence your website, and increase organic traffic.

Take that time lag into account when analyzing whether your campaign is successful.

Another critical factor is that you can’t pinpoint your SEO successes to link-building alone. Ideally, you’re not just building links but also optimizing your site, creating new content, and targeting new keywords. All of those things can result in the metrics you track improving.

One of the few ways to figure out whether link-building influences your success is by looking at a few key pages that you don’t do anything else with. If you don’t optimize them or update them, but they start ranking higher, it’s likely the impact of the links you’ve built.

It might also be the result of you improving overall website technical optimization or improving topical authority, but that’s as close as we can get to singling out the impact of links. SEO performance depends on too many factors to single something out dependably.

If you don’t see an increase in the desired metrics after a lot of link-building, start by reviewing your link-building profile. Check the domain rating of the links you’ve built. If it is comparatively low, you must look for more well-known sites.

It’s also worth looking at the thematics of the sites that link to you. You might need to target them more if you don’t get many links from sites themed around your industry.

While you’re at it, look at the overall health of your backlink profile. Your shareable content might have attracted links from poor-quality sites. Getting links from those can hurt your SEO, as Google will start associating your site with those poor-quality sites.

If you find spammy links like that, you must manually disavow them in the Google Search Console.

If nothing changes the situation in a month or two, it’s worth taking another look at your content quality and on-site optimization.

Sometimes, it takes a slight improvement in keyword optimization or an update of the content to get a page a few positions up.

Conclusion

Increasing organic traffic takes a lot of coordinated effort from different departments. You need to produce great content, improve the technical part of your website, and build links, mentions, and connections across the web.

With the information you got from this article, you’re now more equipped in terms of link-building and will be able to get your pages higher in SERP and get more traffic.

Your journey doesn’t end at improving traffic, though. A good search engine marketer should build on their success and work on converting the traffic they bring better.
Learning about conversion optimization is your next step if you want to make your link-building efforts contribute toward overall sales.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Link-building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These links act as votes of confidence, signaling to search engines that your content is credible and valuable. High-quality backlinks from trusted sites can significantly improve your website’s search engine rankings, driving more organic traffic. According to the article, pages that rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) often have substantially more backlinks compared to lower-ranked pages.

The article outlines several powerful link-building techniques to help achieve a 35% increase in organic traffic. These include content marketing (such as creating shareable content, writing guest posts, and producing visual content like infographics), broken link-building (identifying and replacing broken links on other sites with your own relevant content), community engagement (participating in online communities and forums to gain exposure and potential backlinks), local SEO strategies (leveraging local business directories and community websites for backlinks), and harnessing social media (sharing and promoting content on social media platforms to attract backlinks).

To measure the success of your link building efforts, you should track several key metrics using tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and paid SEO tools. Important metrics include search visibility, organic traffic, direct traffic from backlinks, the number and quality of referring domains, domain authority, and keyword rankings, along with the number of keywords you rank for. It’s crucial to compare these metrics to historical data to assess improvements. Keep in mind that SEO changes can take time to manifest, so allow for a time lag when evaluating the impact of your link building campaigns.