The Real Relationship Between Inbound Links and Audience Development

The popularity contest of inbound links

Inbound links tell search engines that you’re popular. When another site of high authority links to you, it tells Google that someone whom they respect, also respects you.

In turn, Google now respects you too! It’s like a high school clique; you can make fun of the popular kids behind their backs, but you’re still going to be an “outcast”, and you’re still going to go unnoticed until they want to hang out with you.

Luckily, in search engine land, the rules are in your favor. You can be pretty and flashy, but Google won’t take you out on a date if you have no depth.

Add some dimension with keywords, a wholesome reputation and quality content, and you might just be dancing with Google at the prom.

In other words, the more inbound links you receive (in addition to great SEO) the more respect you will earn and the higher you will rank in search engines. The higher you rank in search engines, the more visible you will become, and the more traffic you will receive.

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Why inbound links are the key to your audience development strategy

Consider this general chain of steps that happens:

  1. User is on a social network, blog, or otherwise and finds a link to your site. User thinks whatever you said was interesting and wants to know more about you.
  2. User clicks on the link back to your site, sifts through a few articles and is entertained for a few minutes.
  3. User happens upon a text ad, OFIE, OFIN or Floater and sees that you offer free products.
  4. User likes your content so far, and decides to sign up to receive a complimentary product, and voluntarily opts into your email newsletter in the process
  5. User receives emails from you every day, doesn’t necessarily read every single one, but eventually looks forward to hearing from you—after all, you deliver great content!
  6. User receives an email promotion one day for a book that is exactly what they’ve been looking for (and probably didn’t find on your site when they first browsed, because they weren’t looking to buy anything at the time).
  7. User buys book, is happy with the information they’ve learned from it, and continues to hear from you via your relevant email newsletter.
  8. User receives an email promotion for an event. They were so satisfied by your first product that they decide to attend the event and get more involved with your business.
  9. User continues to purchase your products and may even recommend others to your site and to your product catalog.

That is what you can get from a single inbound link. Sure, it’s an ideal situation, but in our experience, someone who buys one product is much more likely to buy another. If you’re delivering valuable and relevant content, a user is more likely to “stick”.

And that’s all that audience development is really about, right?

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