The best way to approach link building is with extensive and creative content. But sometimes that’s just not feasible time or budget-wise.
We wanted to share with you some predictable and reliable ways to build links that don’t rely too heavily on content.
Content is always the best long term plan but that doesn’t mean you should ignore these tried and tested techniques.
Leveraging Existing Relationships
Often, the people or businesses you are already connected with pose as a useful starting point when looking to gain links into a site. In addition to this, undertaking this review of your existing connections is useful to ensuring you are connected with friends, customers and colleagues across social networks.
List People You Know and their Websites
You will have immediate connections such as friends, family and close peers who have websites may be a great place to start in respect of acquiring inbound links to your site.
These websites do not necessarily have to be directly related to the same industry, but if they are, that’s a bonus.
Initial routes through to link acquisition may not be obvious and it may be useful for your PR team to be involved if you have that kind of resource.
A few good places to start include
- A Joint press release projects or studies
- Exploring opportunities for guest post topics
- Interviews with members of your staff
- Collaborative competitions
In addition to the above, it’s a good time to ensure you are following these people on social media.
Following the instructions found at this link will enable you to download your LinkedIn connections which is a great way to start exploring opportunities you may not have initially considered.
Sometimes you will already have dedicated sections of your websites where you link out to partner companies and useful resources.
List out all of the clients you work with, their associated websites and then as a first step, look for these partner or resource pages.
If they link out to other partners, but do not link out to your website email your connections to see if there is a possibility they will add you.
Similarly to client websites, if you are working with any existing charities, they often have pages where they will link out to partners or charity supporters.
If you are actively working with any existing charities, checking whether the charities you support have websites and whether you are listed on these websites may be a useful task for you to undertake.
If they do not have “supporter” or “partner” pages, but they do have a blog, note this down as it may be that you can contribute to their website in other ways in the future. For example, you may contribute photos or write ups for any charity events you attend.
If you are attending or have stands at any events this year, look for associated event websites and then see if they have listings for attendees, members or exhibition stands. Often, these pages will have opportunities to link through to the websites of the associated businesses.
If you are posting any job listings in the next quarter and there is the opportunity to link through or provide a citation to the website from the job listing itself, this is recommended.
Chamber of Commerce and Organisation Links
If you are members of any trade organisations or local chambers of commerce, these also often have member directories providing company details and links through to associated websites.
It is recommended that you review the websites for any organisations you are a member of, ensuring any opportunities to link back to your website are utilised.
The following are recommendations for website’s can undertake which can support the acquisition of links through brand monitoring and contributing to articles that journalists are looking to produce.
Help a Report Out
Help a Reporter Out (known as HARO) is a service which looks to connect reporters with industry experts.
In summary, it’s a great way to potentially identify articles or news items that are being produced which you can contribute to. In return, there may be opportunities to acquire links or just generate some additional exposure for your brand.
It is recommended that you or your PR team sign up for this service at the website above. It is also recommended that you take a moment to read the rules outlined for using this service here.
Once signed up, you will receive 3 emails a day from reporters looking for contributors. It is recommended these emails are reviewed and replied to as soon as possible as the requests are usually fulfilled quickly.
HARO/Journalist Requests on Twitter
In addition to signing up for the daily newsletters from HARO, it is also recommended that you monitor the HARO Twitter account and associated hashtags for journalist requests on Twitter.
The easiest way to monitor this account and related hashtags is by setting up a feed in Tweetdeck.
Add the HARO Twitter Account
- Go to the website above and sign into Twitter with your log in details.
- Once logged in, click the “+ Add column” button at lower left of the page.
- When the pop-up screen appears, click the “User” option.
- Next, type “HARO” in the search box and click the “Help a Reporter Out” account that appears below the search box.
- The latest Tweets from this account will now appear on the right hand side. Click “Add Column” at the bottom of this selection.
- In the background of Tweetdeck you will see the column is now added to your account. To go back to the primary Tweetdeck feed, click the X at the top of the selection you are currently viewing.
- This feed will then be added to your Tweetdeck account and will update automatically when the account posts new Tweets.
Add Related Hashtags to Tweetdeck
In addition to monitoring the feeds of users on Twitter, Tweetdeck allows for feeds to be set up for hashtags or Twitter search queries.
Note: The process below should be repeated for the hashtags #journorequest and #urgHARO.
- On the main Tweetdeck screen, click “+ Add column”.
- On the pop-up selection screen, click the “Search” option.
- You will be taken back to the primary Tweetdeck screen, where you should now enter your hashtag or keyword search into the text box.
In this example, we will enter the hashtag “#HARO” which is often used by journalists and publications who also use the Help a Reporter Out service.
Enter the keyword and press return on your keyboard.
- Once you have entered your keyword and pressed return, a preview of your search query will appear in a column to the right.
Ensure that the preview is displaying the search query or hashtag that you specified and click “Add column” at the bottom of the preview.
- The column will now be added to your Tweetdeck feed. Repeat this process for any additional hashtags or search queries that you would like to monitor.
It is recommended that you review the #HARO, #urgHARO and #journorequest hashtags at least twice a day.
Google Alerts is a content notification service which provides email alerts for when new content is found that matches search terms that you specify.
It is recommended that Google Alerts are set up for the brand variations.
This will look for content which features the exact brand terms you set up.
Why This Is Useful
Monitoring your branded search results is a particularly useful way to keep track of where your are being mentioned. Often, this can lead to opportunities for earning links but more importantly, it may help you keep track of websites that mention your brand that you may not have been aware of.
You may then choose to contact these websites and request a link back to your website or simply ensure that your PR team is aware of that particular website for potential future opportunities.
Reverse Image Search Checks
Reverse image search is a process that uses Google search to find images matching an image that you upload from your computer or provide a URL for.
In respect of link acquisition, searching for your brand logo may reveal websites which have used your logo, but have not linked back to your website.
In cases where it appears relevant that a website should link back to your website you or your PR team may then contact the website and request a link back to the relevant page.
How to Do Undertake Image Search
- Go to http://google.co.uk and click the Images tab. Then click the camera icon at the end of the search bar.
- If you know the exact URL for the logo image file location, enter it here and press “Search by image”.
If not, click the “Upload an image” tab and upload the logo from your computer.
- Once the image has been uploaded, Google will revert to the primary search screen where it will feature search results containing images similar to the image you have uploaded.
- In the search box, remove the image file name from the search box.
Replace this with –site:yourdomain.com.
This will remove any search results that are from your own website. Click the search icon when you are done.
- Now, click the “Search Tools” option below the search box and then select “Time > Past Month”.
This will return search results from the last month.
- Now, run through each search results and where relevant, contact the website to request a link back to your website (if they are not already linking back).
- It is recommended that this process is repeated monthly
There we go, lots of ways to get links without having to rely on producing exceptional content!