Are You Building Links with Conversions in Mind?

For the most part, we tend to focus our link building efforts strictly to boost keyword rankings in search with the hopes that visitors from search will ultimately purchase products and services from the website. But instead of focusing on search rankings, you should also focus on other ways to get traffic to your website…

For the most part, we tend to focus our link building efforts strictly to boost keyword rankings in search with the hopes that visitors from search will ultimately purchase products and services from the website. But instead of focusing on search rankings, you should also focus on other ways to get traffic to your website – just in case your website does fall victim to a Google algorithm update. This way you will have other sources of qualified traffic coming to your websites. The following are easy ways to ensure that you are building links not just to boost your search rankings, but also to get lots of valuable referral traffic.

Improve Your Landing Pages

Before you go off building links, or continue to, your first task should be to make sure you have optimized the landing pages you are using in your link building campaigns for conversions. Some tips include:

  • Making sure visitors can find the information they are searching for when they use your target keyword phrase. Aside from conversion optimization, you need to optimize your landing pages for the keywords they are linked back to. If people get to your page looking for iPhone repair services and can’t quickly find it, they are likely to leave quickly.
  • Making sure the main action you want visitors to complete is the focus on the page. If you want someone to sign up for your mailing list, make sure that is the only form on the page. If you want someone to buy a product from your website, make sure you don’t have ads to other sites that could send visitors away. Too many distractions will hurt your chances for conversion.
  • Making sure you give visitors a reason to trust your website. For mailing list signups, let visitors know that their email will not be spammed or shared. For product purchases, let visitors know you have a good rating with sites like the Better Business Bureau, Bizrate, and similar systems. If visitors trust your website, they’re more likely to convert.

Want more landing page optimization tips? Find them in this post.

Look for Link Opportunities That Will Increase Converting Referral Traffic

MozRank, PageRank, number of incoming links… all familiar terms when it comes to qualifying a link opportunity. When it comes to building links that could actually lead directly to conversions, what you really want to look at are two things: relevancy and traffic. A website that is generating a lot of qualified traffic based on relevancy to your niche is likely to have all of the other strong qualifiers for link building as well. When it comes to the goal of getting referral traffic back to your website, things like dofollow / nofollow should not matter.

Some examples of links that help generate great referral traffic that could lead to conversions include the following.

  • Links built with quality content. If you’re creating great content that is conversion-oriented, any link you garner from it will boost conversions. Learn how to evaluate websites to get the best results from your content.
  • Links on strong resource pages. Resource pages built for link exchanges are not going to help with your search rankings or referral traffic. Resource pages on highly relevant websites that draw in a good amount of traffic, however, will help with both. They are hard to find in certain industries
  • Social media links. It’s still debatable about whether social links directly or indirectly affect search results, but regardless, they definitely help drive traffic back to your website. Building a strong social presence is also a great backup in case your website loses its search traffic due to a Google algorithm change.
  • Local directory links. If you have a locally based business, then popular local directories can help boost your traffic as well as your overall local search rankings.
  • Niche directory links. Sometimes the top niche directories will require a significant investment in advertising such as The Knot for wedding vendors. But along with the charge, you know that the directory receives a lot of qualified traffic that will be interested in products and services you have to offer on your website.

So how do you know that sites are getting traffic? Tools like Compete (US only), Alexa, and Quantcast (for larger websites) can give you a general clue of how much traffic a website receives, although it isn’t usually an accurate number. Alexa is particularly helpful because it will show top search queries for the website beneath the traffic rankings which can help you determine if the traffic coming to the site will also be interested in the website you are building links for.

You also might want to check out how often the site is mentioned socially as this is another great indicator of current popularity vs. just great search rankings. Two free tools to use to find out are Social Mention and Topsy (for tweets only).

See What Keywords from Organic Search Convert

If you have your Google Analytics setup to track goals and conversions, then you can find out what keywords leads converting visitors to your website. Just look under Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic (or Paid for PPC campaigns).


Once you know what keywords are bringing the most converting visitors to your website, you will know which ones to pursue as anchor text. You’ll also want to expand on that keyword phrase by finding similar phrases to build links to. Throwing in some similar keyword phrases will help ensure that your anchor text is varied enough to still look natural while driving more conversions from search traffic.

In addition to finding great keyword phrases to build links to, you will also discover great keywords to focus your content marketing upon. Combine these keyword phrases in with content focused on starting visitors down your conversion funnel and you will be increasing your online marketing campaign’s ROI.

Do you focus some of your link building for converting referral traffic? What strategies do you use and what have been the results?

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