There are lots of great resources on scalable link building available, including this Whiteboard Friday by Mike King on Scalable Link Building Using Social Media. But you might be wondering, now that Google is changing the link building game on a regular basis with their algorithmic updates, what scalable strategies are safe going into 2013. If so, here are some great scalable link building strategies that are safe and effective. Some of these can also be considered business building strategies as they will help you with your overall online marketing, not just your search rankings.
Produce Linkable Assets
Content will continue to rule in 2013. As more businesses jump on board the content marketing boat, it will become even more important not to just create content, but to create amazing, quality content. The kind of content that people will want to consume and ultimately link to as a resource in your industry.
So what qualifies as a linkable asset? Here are some good examples.
- Infographics – Once you create infographics, be sure to keep checking for new instances of them to appear online so you can reclaim your links.
- Videos – If you don’t want all of the links to be pointed at YouTube, be sure to create a video page on your website for all of your videos to drive links.
- Whitepapers – TechRepublic whitepapers have 220K links.
- Online Calculators – This mortgage calculator by Bankrate has 31K links.
- Useful Widgets – The weather widgets page by Accuweather has 216K links.
- Lists – Love them or hate them, the best lists always get links.
There are many more out there too – your best bet is to research the competition and see what content draws the most links and create similar content for your own websites.
Share Content Socially
Have you ever wanted to send out a link request to thousands of people at a time without it being considered spam, unpersonalized, or unwanted communication? If you’re not motivated to grow your social following and actually update your profile, think about sending out an update about your latest piece of content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social networks as a link request instead.
If you’ve taken the time to connect with bloggers on social media and you create quality content, they might take notice and start linking to your content in their posts. Hence, you’ve just built more links with your content.
Speaking of bloggers, build and maintain relationships with bloggers, freelance writers, and journalists in your industry. Word of mouth marketing is powerful, and if you can get loyal supporters of your business, then you are looking at a world of natural, in-content, and free links always incoming to your website.
What you will want is to look for the people who not only write about topics related to your industry, but to find the ones with the most influence and the most reach. Look for people who:
- Write across multiple blogs and industry news sites.
- Have a strong social media following across multiple networks with real followers, not fake ones.
- Are well connected.
So how do you strengthen relationships with these word of mouth marketing gurus and get them to promote your business? Help them, of course. If you have a product, let them have a free trial – an extended one with all of the features available to them. If you have a service, offer it to them for free so they can see the real results. If they get something positive from the experience, they’re likely to write about it.
Just don’t give them a bad experience. The key is to make working with you as easy as possible. Writers are busy people, after all. The simpler you make it for them to discover and fall in love with your products and/or services, the more likely they will be to write about you.
Build Brand Authority
If you can build someone up as an authority within your business to become a well-known thought leader in your industry, then you are on your way to getting media exposure on a consistent basis. Brand authorities are routinely asked to be interviewed, to speak at events, and to create content for others, all of which generally lead to links back to the authority’s website. These links will not only help with SEO but will also help in generating more business leads as well.
Create a Database of Link Resources
One issue that many companies face when working with multiple link builders is helping everyone learn new ways to connect with link opportunities. If you have two link builders working an automotive client, they should probably be sharing ideas about how they find great opportunities as well as good resources that can be gained for similar clients.
Note that you shouldn’t always use the same resources for every client – link opportunities such as quality directories (like DirJournal), forums, and quality article networks (like HubPages, if you still use those) are fair game for everyone. But if you’re hitting up the exact same resources for every client, then it could be a problem if Google catches on.
Instead, what link builders should keep sharing with one another are strategies to find links – search queries, templates for link requests that have the most success, how to find contact information on otherwise anonymous sites, etc. This way, each new link builder coming in has a world of tried and true resources to get working on.
Get Links to Your Brand Mentions
It’s pretty common to have someone mention your brand online but not actually link to it. If you use Google Alerts, you’re bound to find lots of opportunities on a regular basis to get a link back to your website by simply asking someone who has mentioned in you in their content to just add a link. If you change up your website, then you’ll also want to keep an eye out for link reclamation opportunities as well. These are two link strategies that should on-going for any campaign.
Check for Broken Links
Last, but not least, be on the lookout for broken links. Checking for broken links can be done in a variety of ways including the following.
- Keep an eye (or ear) out for competitors who go out of business. Look for their backlinks, contact the sites linked to them, and let them know you offer similar products / services that their audience may be interested in now that XYZ is no longer available.
- If you find a resource page with a lot of links on it, use browser plugins like Chrome’s Check My Links to see if there are any broken links on the page. Then start your link request by helping alert the webmaster to fixing some broken links on their page. While they’re at it, they may conveniently add your website on their page.
- If you don’t mind investing in a premium tool, try the Broken Link Finder by Citation Labs which will go out and find broken link opportunities based on keywords.
What are some scalable link building strategies you can think of for 2013? Please share in the comments!