I'll let you into a secret: for at least a couple of years I've really wanted to create an online course. I've got a lot of valuable information and processes to share, and a persistent goal of mine was to get this out into the world in a structured format (not just random, disconnected blog posts).
I attribute much of my success to SEO. Marketing takes many forms, but there's nothing quite like driving qualified leads through your website. That's where link building comes in.
Google (and basically all search engines) rank websites against a variety of factors, but probably the most noteworthy is the "backlink profile" of the website. Each link that points to your website is a signal that your content is valuable and trustworthy. Ergo, the more (and higher quality) web pages that link to your site, the more trustworthy it will appear.
But of course, this ranking system has been abused, and link building is big business. Those with deep pockets can go out there and essentially buy placements on websites, artificially inflating their own website's place in the rankings.
But the fact is that without links, you'll really struggle to rank. So what to do?
To me, link building is relationship building. You can buy links - and I have done - but when you take such a transactional approach to the process, it just feels like something's missing. I would rather reach out to like-minded site owners and offer them something of value, because creating value is what we as an industry do. And we need to do more of it. The benefit? That value comes back to you in higher search positioning, more traffic and ultimately, more leads or sales or whatever your measure of success looks like.
Build links. Increase traffic. Generate leads. It's a fairly simple marketing strategy for forward-thinking freelancers. If you could do with more visitors from Google, be sure to enrol on my link building course to give your business a shot in the arm.