Monica O'Brien

12 Ways To Get Inbound Links Using Social Media

As most SEO professionals know, the main factors in off-page optimization are the number and quality of inbound links to your site. According to an article in New York Magazine, inbound links are an 80% accurate predictor of traffic to your site too. That means if you want to rank in the search engines for your primary keyword phrases, you should focus on getting as many quality inbound links as you can.

These days, social media is more important than ever for getting inbound links. With several companies focusing on real-time search results (Google, Twitter, OneRiot), you can’t ignore the social aspect of SEO any longer. Here are 12 ways you can get more inbound links using social media:

Network with Blogs in Your Niche

Blogs are still the bread and butter of the social sphere. Search for blogs about your topic on Technorati and Alltop and provide valuable content those groups can link to. But don’t expect people to find you – make it happen!

  • Submit your best articles to blog carnivals – Blog carnivals are lists of related links that a blogger (the blog carnival host) posts to his or her blog. Go to to browse subject listings.
  • Start your own link round-up – Saturday is a good day to post the best links of the week along with short summaries. Not only do you look resourceful, but you are helping your busy audience.
  • Provide incentive for backlinks – In your round-up, you can include a section about people who have mentioned you or your blog. If you don’t do a round-up, start a press page and put every legitimate blog on there, big or small.
  • Comment on other blogs – Most comment systems use a ìrel=nofollowî tag which tells search engines not to count the link in determining page rank; however, a link is a link, and the more you have, the more traffic you can build for your site. Tip: Instead of linking to your main domain name, link to an article on your site that is about the same subject you are commenting on.

Use Social Networking and Bookmarking Sites

Many bloggers share links to their favorite articles on a blog, miniblog or social network. Social proof via social networks is now getting heavily factored into search engine algorithms. When you are a part of these communities, you also have a better chance of finding new readers and weak ties.

  • Build up your channels of distribution – Get a Facebook fan page, a Twitter profile, and make friends with people in your Google Reader. Who cares if you only have 10 fans on Facebook? That’s 10 more people who are interested in hearing what you have to say, who could share the information with others or link back.
  • Add buttons for the three big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz. All three of them have buttons that allow people to share, tweet, and buzz your post almost instantly to their entire networks. Put these buttons near the top of your post for social proof and easy access.
  • Focus on the three big social bookmarking sites – Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious. Look at content from your topic area that has gone popular on these sites, and try to emulate the style and the formatting. Fake it until you make it never worked better here!
  • Expand your network as much as you can – Weak ties will rule in the future of search. Google now displays results from it’s Social Circle on the first page (at the bottom). You can’t afford to be a loner on the web anymore!
  • Create a group of like-minded bloggers to bookmark each other’s content – You can find bloggers in your niche who are interested and manage this with a Google Group where everyone can send out weekly requests.

Use Different Forms of Content for Social Pollination

  • PDF your blog posts – Share the PDF on sites like SlideShare, Scribd, DocStoc, and Issuu and include a link back to the original blog post. You never know who might see them and choose to link back to your site.
  • Turn your blog points into a video or a podcast – You can record a video in one shot with a webcam, and you can record and edit podcasts for free with Audacity. You already wrote the script, now create more content with it! Push it out onto sites like YouTube and services like iTunes with a link back to the original blog post.
  • Publish your content on the iPad, the iPhone, and the Amazon Kindle – It’s completely free. The instructions are here, here, and here, respectively.

While SEO is important, don’t drive yourself nuts. Write for people, not search engines, and you will do much better in SEO. Focus on offering high quality, relevant content that is heavily targeted for the people who are reading it and give your visitors substantial information about your products and services in each and every article on your website. You’ll do just fine.

Monica O’Brien is the author of Social Pollination: Escape the Hype of Social Media and Join the Companies Winning At It. She also serves as the Director of Digital at Fizz, a word of mouth marketing agency. You can also read Monica’s blog, Social Pollination and follow her on Twitter@MonicaOBrien.

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  1. Sounds simple enough to me

  2. Interesting stuff about Blog carnivals – I’d never heard of that before but will give it a go.

    I also like the idea of offering a link round-up. Done properly, that could be a good feature on many sites.

  3. Thanks for the advice, some great tips here and I’ll be checking out Blog Carnival which is new to me!

    Another simple tip is the various social bookmarking sites like Folkd, Linkagogo etc which have dofollow links and easy ways of bookmarking content through Firefox plugins

  4. Nice rundown Monica, I am sending this article to a dozen of our specialists now!

  5. Thanks for the informative post – there aren’t many tips that link social media with SEO. I’ve also never heard of Blog Carnival before, but I guess it’s worth checking them out.

  6. Recently I use the social pollination and it made a great impact on my traffic.

  7. Great information, I like to use Blog Carnivals and have also heard about publishing your best articles on weekends. I also agree about important blog post should be put into PDF and published.
    Again, great information.

  8. i have doing SMM since quite some time back but never heard about Blog Carnival, it looks great to me thanks for the article i enjoyed it fully.

  9. Awesome strategy!

    I also use Market Samurai to find high page rank blogs to interact with, and comment on.

    Lots of great strategy out there.


  10. Well written, Monica. Useful info on getting inbound links using the social media.
    Worth a bookmark.

  11. wow this is great website man I like do also check my blog

  12. Taking a blog post and turning it into a video is an excellent recommendation. The hardest part of making a video is making the script. I’m kind of a late bloomer with social media but I’m putting social idons on every new website I build now.

  13. Useful article – thanks for sharing – definitely look at publishing for Kindle and iPad.


  14. Useful article guys – I like the idea of PDF-ing my news and blog posts.


  15. This is a great post – thanks for sharing – with google placing so much relevance on Web 2.0 authority (still not sure they are right on that one) the SM sites are so important in an integrated SEO strategy. Anyway thats what my SEO company tells me!


  16. Thank you Monica for the valuable information! You have great suggestions and put it in a format that makes it easy to follow.

  17. Great blog. Thanks so much for putting this together. Happy 2012.

  18. Great advice! I hadn’t thought of the sharing as PDF and publishing to e-Book marketplaces.

  19. Thanks for the information I was lost until now. I m a newbie at this so everylittle bit helps

  20. Good advice, you can’t ignore the social side of the web these days, it’s all about networking

  21. This is very important things for me who have website. I should apply these all 🙂 thank you very much

  22. Wonderful Information for SEO. Search Engine Optimization mainly focus above things… thanks

  23. This is a very good article, Thank you

  24. i agree that today inbound link are so important, as ever one should must know this keyword and backlinks are both need get good social media links.

  25. Hey there, I found your above article very-very helpful in one of my projects, great help, thanks for this!!

  26. Excellent article. So many people abuse backlinks and other seo programs that will get you de indexed. This shows the many aspects of one form on SEO

  27. Thank you for the article, it is very helpful and insightful. I am curious if Pinterest is helpful for getting more inbound links. Theoretically, every time you add a new pin, you can add your website in description. I am a professional wedding photographer and Pinterest seems like a very attractive way for me to attract new audience and multiply inbound links to my website.

  28. thanks for showing useful data that use may be cause simple boost Alexa ranking.

    best of luck
    thanks again.

  29. This is a great post – thanks for sharing

  30. Useful article guys


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