Anyone who has spent any time building links will know it can be a time-consuming, frustrating and fruitless task. And then you get a couple of really relevant, good-quality links confirmed and all of the effort is worthwhile. Often, the hard part is not getting in touch with other websites and convincing them to add a link but actually finding new and untapped sources in the first place. If you’ve hit a creative brick wall it can be worth actually turning your computer off and looking for new link partners offline…
1. Client’s Interests and Industries
Just because your client fits a certain demographic, that doesn’t mean you need to restrict yourself to only seeking out links from websites related to their particular industry. If for example you sell tennis rackets, you don’t only need to look at tennis players for link prospects. Look at your products and ask your clients what else interests them and who else they do business with. The tennis racket retailer could extend his link search to include suppliers of hard courts, nets, suppliers of rubber for tennis balls, or manufacturers of the cloth used for grips or sweat bands. Even the manufacturers of shoe laces used in tennis shoes or suppliers of towels could make potential targets for link building.
Rather than focusing just on your type of client, brainstorm the other businesses that your own clients also come into contact with. This method works particular well for those operating at a B2B level because your clients will likely deal with a number of different suppliers in order to make their own product or service as a whole. You can use this to your advantage by also being findable on those related websites.
2. Complementary Industries and Services
No business operates in a vacuum and it’s probable that yours is just one stop on the many roads to your client fulfilling their ultimate aims. If you rent furniture for apartments or offices, why limit your link prospecting to office building or real estate agents? Building a strong link profile necessitates links from a huge range of relevant sources and there are sure to be complementary industries or services that you haven’t yet included in your link building tasks. In the furniture example, the link builder could extend their search to include property lawyers, property management services, gardeners, professional cleaners, and even mortgage brokers or appliance repair services.
The key to a successful approach is to focus on common areas of interest and stress the shared demographic. Article and news ideas are particularly helpful here as they illustrate the relevance of a link for your target site.
3. Identify Your Own Assets
Rather than trying to think of new sites you can approach, turn the whole concept on its head and think about who would want to link to you. Your site is sure to have at least one or two link assets in the form of content or pages that function as link bait. You can identify these pages by assessing the domain page by page, identifying the most useful, unique, and relevant content. You can also look at analytics data to figure out which pages have the lowest bounce rates, highest visitor numbers, longest time spent on the page, and even referrals back to that part of the site. These best performing pages are sure to feature in your links asset list.
Having identified your own assets, you can now start to think about the types of sites that would likely link to those pages or use that resource. Identify at category level and specific website level – it may be a blog post about a new mobile site for example or free software your firm has developed. This could be relevant to technology related sites, bloggers, review sites, etc.
4. Guest Blogging
A common side effect of link building is seeking out guest blogging opportunities. Writing a blog post for an existing blogger is a tried-and-tested method of getting your voice out there and getting a link back to your website. But if you’re finding link building tough, why wait for the opportunity to come to you? Offer to run guest blogs on your own site and you’ll have a pool of willing writers to choose from. Of course, each of these writers will be keen to promote their own site or product, but you can negotiate a link back to your site in return. Most will be happy to promote their guest blog spot by placing a link to your site anyway. You can also use the responses you receive to identify other types of websites and industries that you may not have thought of in any of the previous steps. It could be that a guest blogger has seen a potential link that you haven’t and simply by looking at their site, you’ll realize a whole other industry or vertical is out there just waiting to be targeted by your link building efforts.
There are a multitude of ways you can improve your link building success rate. If you’ve hit a brick wall in thinking of possibilities, consider these four tips. Thinking a little outside the box and using the power of brainstorming can be just the ticket for coming up with new ways to add to your link profile.