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Driving Traffic vs Driving Rankings

good link strategies

How a good link strategy can drive traffic to your site.

Did you know that getting found online requires both on-site and off-site SEO strategies?

On-site strategies are things like creating great content, having strong internal linking structures and properly placed keywords. These practices will directly influence your search engine rankings and are meant to capture potential visitors who are searching for something specific. I like to think of this as direct traffic.

Off-site strategies are geared more toward driving traffic to your site from external sources such as other websites and social media platforms. Visitors who find you from these sources weren’t necessarily looking for YOU to begin with but found you anyways. I think of this as indirect traffic.

You need both but let’s take a quick look at two off-site strategies:

Backlinks

Have you ever visited a site that had a link to another site for more information? Or maybe you’re a web designer and have links to your client’s sites in your portfolio (like me). Well, those links to client sites are considered backlinks for the clients. Simply put, if there is another site that links to yours you have a backlink.

If you have a backlink from a site that has lots of traffic and content relevant to your own, that’s even better. This is called “page” or “site authority” and finding companies with good site authority to link back to your site is a great way to help with page ranking.

I guess you could consider it like a good testimonial or review – the more you have, the more credibility you have.

Social Signals

No, this does not mean pick-up lines at the local watering hole!

Social signals refers to visits, tweets, likes, shares etc. that originate from one or more social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.

Though this type of web traffic is much the same as a backlink, it’s in a category of its own due to the dynamic nature of content sharing and marketing social media offers. Of course, the more a web page is shared the more traffic your site will gain. If done well, social signals can be backlinks on steroids (but without the nasty side effects).

Be careful with thinking that social signals directly impact rankings though. It can impact traffic for sure, but its impact on ranking is more indirect if anything.

Here’s a great article from my friends at Moz.com for tons more information on link building.