In spite of Google’s seemingly contradictory statements and actions, links still matter.
As part of any SEO’s job, we “build links”. Not the spammy, garbage links that were so popular 5 years ago, but real links to real businesses.
There are several factors involved with getting your site ranked, of course, but link building remains one of those that still carries weight.
So, we’re going to cover 4 strategies and tips that you might’ve overlooked or haven’t even thought of yet. Others you might have tried a variation of, but there are plenty of ways to skin a cat.
Let’s get started!
MeetUp.com is a great place to connect with groups (local, regional, national, global) that could be interested in your website, business, and products.
It used to be called “Sponsorship” but now they call it simply “Perks” with the pitch that you can reach thousands of groups by offering them perks.
You offer some kind of barter, a discount on products or services, cold hard cash, meeting location, or something else.
With that perk, you’ll get traffic and most likely a link back to your website.
Here’s what you do:
- Select the groups you want to see the offer.
- Submit the deal to one or several groups.
- For every site that accepts, you pay $5/month. You can cancel whenever you want and you can limit the number of groups that can accept the offer.
This should result in not just referral traffic but also a few links.
Wait, are you paying for links, isn’t that forbidden?? The question is, are you paying for a link? Technically, no — you’re offering perks. Think of it as paid advertising. It is a grey area, similar to “native advertising” that everyone is talking about today.
Offer An Interview, Not A Guest Post
Everyone (that means you and your competitors) have been doing guest posting for years now, and continue to do so.
While it’s an important tool in your linkbuilding arsenal, let’s be honest: it’s a saturated way of getting links, so if you do get positive responses from your outreaches, it’s not often from high quality opportunities.
Anyone can write a guest post. And everyone is. Blogs and websites have no shortage of offers flooding their inbox. The perceived value of a post is fairly low.
So what if you offer something of more value?
Everyone is asking to submit their guest posts, too, so you’re no different than anyone else.
What Is More Valuable Than A Guest Post?
What if you could offer something of higher value than a guest post, instantly set yourself apart, and receive the attention, traffic, and links you deserve?
You could offer to do an interview. If you’re smart about it, you do it in video, audio, and written format. This way, you’ll distribute your content across several channels, earning links and shares across the board.
Here’s What You Need
Someone worth interviewing
Whether it’s for your own projects or clients, the person to be interviewed (you or someone else) needs to be able to offer insight, knowledge, and actionable advice on the topic.
It needs to be worth sharing, so think about what you can give that is of value.
Finding interview opportunities
Run a few advanced queries to uncover blogs and websites that have done interviews before. If they’ve done it once or a few times, chances are they’ll do it again.
Use these queries:
- “interview with” “keyword” expert
- “Q & A”
- “talking with”
- “Having a chat”
- “business owner”
These are just to get you started, of course. Use a little imagination here. Also, if you’re regularly doing link prospecting, you have most likely already come across authority sites and blogs in your niche.
If you’ve already done guest posting in the past, try re-connecting with those sites to see if you can offer something of more value than just another 500 word blog post.
Create and send a pitch
Short and sweet is the name of the game here. There’s no need to write War & Peace length novel on why this is a great opportunity for everyone. If you’ve found relevant websites and some which already have interviews, they already “get it”.
You’re not emailing them to ask or beg, you’re giving them an offer — interview with an expert, guru, and thought leader, someone who will offer value to their audience and visitors.
In your pitch, simply let them know you’ve seen their past interviews and that you have a similar opportunity to serve up value to their audience.
This is key: you need to make it all about them and their audience.
Let them know how you can be of value, what knowledge, advice, and analysis you (or the person you represent) can share.
Next up, we’re looking for more places to leave our mark…
Find Related Websites To Scale Linkbuilding
When you’re putting together a link building strategy, you’re spending a lot of time and effort into researching, planning, and executing on each tactic.
For link building, that will often entail finding websites to reach out to and finding places where you can acquire links.
You will usually end up with a process that works, along with a bunch of websites that ended up being a good fit for whatever tactic you used.
Since you already have the parts in place, why not scale the process and find more sites that are similar?
Finding Those Related Websites Is Easy
You can use SimilarSiteSearch.com to do this quite easily.
With this search engine, you can find 50 related, alternative, or similar websites to any one website you enter into the search box. The results can be narrowed down by topic, language, countries, and more.
Find niche blogs
If you need to find more websites around very specific markets and niches, if you have at least one then you can find plenty more sites to prospect with this tool.
Find copycat websites
If one of your strategies is to use a particular kind of websites (say, photo sharing websites, Pinterest, forums, review sites, etc.) then I can almost guarantee there are several copycats out there — websites that are almost the same but might target a particular vertical or niche. Find them and make use of them.
Expand to other related interests
Let’s say a website you’re trying to get links for is in the bicycle market. Aside from finding sites that are immediately related (using various keywords to search), what if you can find a non-profit in the bicycle world? Use their websites to discover even more non-profits and with it, opportunities for partnerships, sponsorships, and other ways to connect with those in related spaces.
Product Reviews For Relationships Building And Links
I know, Matt Cutts isn’t thrilled about sponsor/partner sections that are nothing more than thinly veiled link farms, but we’re not talking about that.
While this strategy works best for, say, ecommerce you can still modify it to fit your goals if you’re in the B2B or other B2C markets. A product is still a product, regardless of whether that’s physical or digital.
The idea is simply sending out your product to a website or blogger and asking them to write what they think about it.
Avoid Pissing Off Google
Sure, some types of partner/sponsor pages will get you a negative treatment from Google, so here are some things you should and shouldn’t do:
- Avoid generic product review sites, which reviews everything from dog food to pens.
- Find those communities where you target audience congregates and interact, and amongst those you’ll identify influential bloggers.
- Do not send a list of anchor text links you want them to use.
When you do have a product to send and blogs or websites to send them to, here are 4 wins you can get:
Sales And Referral Traffic
If you connect with the right audience your product review will pay for itself. Because it’s more than just a guest post with general information, but specifically about a product, you will get those links but also referral traffic and possibly sales. Make sure your Analytics are setup properly to track visits and conversions.
Get Deep Links
These reviews will generate a natural way for bloggers and websites to link to specific product and brand pages. It’s often a little tricky to get deep links to product pages for ecommerce websites but this way it can happen quite naturally.
Sending a product to review will certainly open doors with places that you might not have been able to get a guest post. Instead of starting off your relationship asking for something (a guest post), now you’re offering something of value right away. You can almost always tap into this relationship again and again, with either more products to review or even those pesky guest posts. But don’t just reach out when you need something — leave comments, interact with them via social media
Social Media Wins
Social signals are not going away, so likes, +1’s, tweets, and shares will only do you good to get. Also, placing your product in the middle of the market you’re aiming to connect with is a win, too. You could increase follower counts, likes, and other vanity metrics that, in the end, does mean some more influence and reach than you had before. And, again: social media activity does help your SEO efforts in a positive way.
Which Strategy Are You Going To Try Today?
See, those are just 4 tips you can utilize in your next link building campaign. You can probably come up with some new ways of getting links just from reading this.
For SEO, our goals are fairly simple: ranking high in the SERPS to get traffic. These strategies will help with that and you can score some links, traffic, and social media activity while doing it.
What other link building tactics are you using?