If you’re reading this post, it means you’re looking for new ideas to create links to your website. The fact remains that in 2014, links are critical to the success of your SEO efforts and there are plenty of good studies out there that can demonstrate this (including my own correlation studies).
However, this post will not give you a quick and easy way to build links. Those days are long gone. If you want to generate good quality links you better be ready to work, this is a marathon. The good news is that for those who preserve and have the fortitude to stick to a long-term game plan, will see the results.
So let’s get on with it… below is a list of 8 link building ideas to give you a boost of inspiration.
Expert Link Building Strategies
1. Data-driven study
Some of the most authoritative sites on the web are news sites (WSJ, NY Times, etc.) and blogs and if you want to get a top journalist’s attention, give them exclusive data backed by concrete numbers. Dig deep and find a way to pull data that only your business can generate and build a story around that. Pitch bloggers/journalists with your exclusive results and give at least a few days notice letting them know that this data will be made public a few days from now.
The key here is creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity (of course your story needs to be solid as well).
example: Mobile Internet Visits in Commercial Real Estate Surge 46% in 2013
2. Create controversy
The only thing top journalists like better than data-driven headlines is controversy. This comes in many shapes and colors… list the “worst” of a category, compare company A vs. company B, city A vs. city B, generation A vs. generation B around a topic or data point to create a sense of competition that is angled for controversy.
example: The 10 Most Unhealthy Cities in America
3. External data sources
If you can’t find good data or controversy by yourself, look for external data sources or partner up with someone that can help you (ideally a company/brand that is bigger than you are). Make it effortless for your partner and clearly communicate the responsibilities… they provide you the data you need, you execute the production (write up the story, design the creative assets, create a landing page), and then you both join forces to promote it.
example: The Geosocial Universe by Jess3
Advanced Link Building Strategies
If you have smart people in your company, chances are someone wants to hear about what they have to say. Find relevant bloggers in different verticals and offer them an interview or Q&A session with relevant people in your business. For example, you might contact an entrepreneurship/startup blog to interview your founder, a SEO blog to interview your Online Marketing Manager, a design blog to interview your lead Designer… you get the idea.
5. Profile in university
We all love those .edu links and they can pack a lot of power. Most universities now have a blog or news section and love to hear about the successes of their graduates, especially if it’s a company founder or high level exec. So get in touch and ask if they would like to profile their ex-alumni; this goes for undergrad and graduate school.
6. Guest posts
Contrary to all the negative buzz about guest posts, there is absolutely no problem with writing articles for other blogs. The caveats are that they should be a) published in authoritative, relevant blogs b) done in moderation c) don’t abuse anchor texts (this goes for any type of link building). You can find guest post tips here.
7. Testimonials and case studies
Chances are that you work with many vendors, partners, or service providers that have a “Customers” or “Case Studies” section. Get in touch with them and let them know how much you like their product and service and offer to write a testimonial for them. This is fairly straightforward, everybody wins.
8. Charity work
If you’re a good samaritan like you should be, then you’re involved with a charity organization (or maybe a few). If not, now is a good time to give a helping hand and join a cause you believe in. There are plenty of organizations out there that desparately need help (design, development, marketing) and would gratefully accept your support in return for some recognition for your company.
Have an idea? Share your expert tips below in the comments.