If you think of your website as a person and their audience as their friends, link building is networking. You want to make a connection and ultimately get that website to talk to their friends about you. In order to do this you need to be worthy of bringing up. What is going to incentivize your new connection to talk about you?
Just as you tend to seek out friends with similar interests think the same way about your website. You want to find similar websites who complement your interests. Getting a link on a automotive blog is great if you’re a mechanic but kind of pointless if you’re a bookstore.
And finally remember “you are who you run with” so keep yourself in good company. Avoid low-quality sites, a few good friends is much better than 100 bad ones.
As you embark on building new connections I’ve compiled just a few of my favorite tactics to help you with your link building efforts, but there are plenty more out there:
- Become A Source
Press Requests are one of my favorite link building tools because it’s all about connecting people. A few sites, such as HARO and Source Bottle, will connect you with journalists who are looking for you or your client’s insight on whatever they may be writing on. Matthew Barby has a great article on it which you can check out here.
- Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Look for unlinked mentions. My favorite way to do this is to set-up a Google Alert. If your brand is mentioned somewhere on the Internet Google Alerts will send you an email of the mention. Oftentimes it may be a mention in an article that mentions your brand but does not link to your site. From there you can reach out to the author, webmaster or editor to ask if they would include the link in the mention.
- Exclusive Discounts
Everyone wants a friend who works for their favorite brand – that means access to discounted merchandise! You need to become that friend. Offering discounts can definitely catch the eye of a blogger who might want to promote the discount to their loyal readers. However it’s importance to keep relevancy in mind. The more relevant your discount to the blogger the more likely they are to want to promote it. A simple way to do this is having a custom promo code for that blog that this blogger can offer to their audience.
- Go Back To School
A school website is often a very authoritative site on the internet, they have plenty of traffic, provide strong content, and have domain authority. Going back to our earlier analogy, educational websites are like a friend who has been in the industry over 10 years and has tremendous influence. There are some different ways to go about this one obvious way would be offering a scholarship. For instance you may offer $1000 essay scholarship contest and reach out to educational institutions to promote it. However, you can take the same idea from the third tip and apply it here. Plenty of colleges showcase student discounts on their websites. Giving a special discount to students adds value to their site and gets you a link on your site (not to mention a new audience).
All of this said, even after you get your link keep in mind that websites are people. Building a good relationship with a particular site is just like keeping up a friendship (it takes work).
Happy networking and hopefully your site turns out alright when Google decides to free the Penguins sometime soon. 🙂
— Gary Illyes (@methode) January 4, 2016