This is the 2nd post as a followup to a recent Brisbane SEO Meetup where we held a round table discuission on Link Building. The first post – Link Building Strategies – The basics – covers some of the fundamental principles of link building. This post gets into the nitty gritty of specific hints, tips and strategies for creating backlinks to your website. We’ve summarised here most (but not all) of the tips that were discussed, so if you’d like to get all the best tips, make sure that you come along to the next Brisbane SEO Meetup (The first Thursday of next month).
Link Building Strategies
Many website owners feel that getting links is very difficult or that their website is not good enough to get backlinks. Link Building can be a time consuming process, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Here are some of the Link Building Hints and Tips that were raised at the recent Brisbane SEO Meetup :
1. Make sure that your website is link worthy
One of the fundamental stratgies for getting backlinks (and probably the easiest way to ensure natural, relevant and quality link building) is to ensure that theer is actually something on your wbesitye that is worth linking to.
If you stumbled across your site, would you link to it ? If not, why would anyone else bother? Here are some questions that you should consider to help you determine what type of ciontent could lead to oitheres wanting to link to you :
- What types of sites do you link to?
- What types of things are relevant/interesting/linkworthy for your niche?
- What makes your company unique? (How are you different to your competitors?)
- Do you offer giveaways or competitions?
- Are there any news or stories about the people in your company?
Create pages/posts on your website that deal with the type f content that others will find useful content and they are more inclined to link if you ask – you also might be pleasnetly surprised at how many links you start to get without even asking for them.
2. Directory Listings
One of the quickest and easiest ways to start a link building campaign is to add links to some of the many online business directories. Theer are many many dirtectories out there, some are general, others might be specific to your niche, some are free and others require a listing fee. You should be very careful about where you list. Some free directories are actually quite good, many paid directories can be a waste of money. Spend some time reviewing the types of sites listed – and also check to see whether your competitors are listed. when you do searches in your niche you may start to notice particular directories that are showing up consistently – you should consider listing with these.
Some of the Australian Directories worth considering are TrueLocal, HotFrog and AussieWeb.
Some of the paid directorties which have historically been worth opaying for listings are Yahoo Directory, Best of the Web, Joe Ant.
Remember, directory listings may be a good start, but because theye are relatively easy to do, it is likely that many of your competitorsa are also using this – so if you want to sta6y ahead of the pack, you will need to do more than they do.
3. Forum/Blog Comments
Where does your target market go online? Which websites, forums and networks are used by your customers? These websites and forums are the types of sites from which you should try to get backlinks.Adding comments to relevant forums has also long been considered a useful backlinking strategy. The technique is to find a forum (or blog post) that is relevant to your niche, and leave a comment – along with a link back to your site (whether as a suggested source of further information, or as part of your “signature”).
It is importanat that when you plan to comment on a forum, that you actually add value. Participate in the forum, get a feel for the conversion, and try to ensure that your comment is informative, helpful or useful. A comment such as “Come to my website – xyz.com” is likely to be considered as span and could give you (and ytour sitre) a bad reputation amiongst fiorm members, whereas a seroies of helpful, useful and relevat comments and interactions over a period, with a few subtle references to your site is likley to be more successful.
There has been loads of debate over how the “nofollow” attribute may affect your backlinks from forums, but whether or not this has a direct impact, the value of these tyopes of links is considered to be not as useful as it once was. But there are plenty of other reasons why participating in forums can be of benefit. Forums where your potential customers hang out are a great place to find out what people are talking about in your niche. What are their problems? What do they need? What are they saying (if anything) about your business? Visitors to these forums might also directky follow a link back to your site and become a customer.
It is possble to use “clever” search queries to identify relevant forms to your niche. Queries in Google (or other search engines) based on the following can make it easier for you to find places to leave comments :
“your niche keyword” +forum site:.com.au
“keyword” +comment site:.edu.au
“keyword” +”post a comment” site:.gov.au
4. Product reviews
Consider sending out a free product (or offer a free trial of a service) to influential bloggers/users in your niche in return for writing a review on their site.
5. Offer a Competition
What are a bunch of links worth to you??? Consider buying something “cool” in your niche (or use an unwanted gift) and offer it as a prize in a competition. Notify relevant websites/bloggers and encourage them to link to the competition.
6. Review your business memberships
Are you a member in a business association? Have your company or your products received any awards? Is there a local Chamber of Commerce? What are the governing bodies for your industry? Check if these websites link to your site and try to find new business associations that might be related to your business. This can be particularly useful for getting Locality targeted links.
7. Indirect Competitors
A link from a closely related, relevant website is better than one from a site which has little or nothing to do with your niche. You probably wouldn’t get a link from a direct competitor, but if your product/service is only avaialble in a certain geographic area, it could be mutually beneficial (and sensible) to exchange links with a similar business in anotjer location. For exampler, A Brisbane based BMW dealer, is unlikley to see a Perth BMR dealer as a competitor, but linikinbg to each others websites might be a good idea.
8. Leverage your offline relationships
Offline relationship that you have with other businesses, people and publications can often be turned into online relationships that include links to your website.
If you like the product or service of a company, send them a testimonial. Your testimonial may be listed on the company website along with a link to your site.
10.Sponsorships and social activities
Does your company sponsor any local activities? Do you support relief organisations? If you do, you can get direct links from the organiser of the activity and you can create linkworthy content on your website by writing about your activities.
11. Review your existing backlinks
Analysing the websites that already link to your website (and where they link to) can help you to get an idea of the linkworthy content on your website. You will also learn why other websites link to your site.
12. Review your competitors backlinks
Analyse your competitors backlinks to see which websites link to them – some (but probably not all) of these sites may be suitable backlinks for you. See what type of content their backlinks go to – and consider creating similar content of your own.
13. Write And Submit A Press Release
If you or your business has done something newsworthy (and linkworthy) then tell the world about it. Write a short Press release about it (including a link back to your site) and submit it via a submission service like PR Web and send it to your local media outlets.
14. Track Who’s Republishing Your Content And Offer Them Unique Articles
Publish articles in various popular article directories (e.g. ezinearticles.com). A few weeks later, Google the exact title of the article and your name to see what sites have picked up the article. Then contact the owner of each website that has published the article and offer them additional unique articles (which of course link back to your site).
15. Offer to be a Guest Blogger
Find an authority site or blog that is related to your niche, contact the owner and offer to write a unique post or article for them. This is a great way to raise your profile and give you credibilty within your niche, and if the post is good, you may be invited to write more. Include a bio with the post (with a link back to your site of course).
I’ve not quite managed to include everything that we covered, so may (if we get a chance) publish a third post in this series.