Need to build links to your websites in order to increase your traffic and improve your rankings? Well, there’s article marketing, social bookmarking, and – blah, blah, blah…
Let’s face it – you’ve probably heard the same old link building strategies repeated ad nauseum around the net. So if you’re ready to try something new and really get noticed, check out the following 13 unconventional link building techniques:
Strategy #1 – Get listed with the library
Google and the other search engines recognize that public libraries have some of the best cultivated, most extensively researched collections of links on the internet, and they often place a priority on these links as a result. So if you can sweet talk your local librarian into adding a link to your website, you could see a substantial SEO benefit from it.
To get started, research the websites of the local libraries in your area and beyond, as the caliber of their websites will vary naturally. Look specifically for groups of reference links or recommended websites and see if the library offers any link categories that your site could fit into. Don’t try to force your link into categories where it doesn’t work (and definitely don’t try to get libraries to link to your thin affiliate niche site), but when you see a potential match, fire off a polite email to the reference librarian requesting a link back to your site be added.
Strategy #2 – Host a giveaway
People love free stuff, so one way to attract a lot of backlinks in a short amount of time is to host a free giveaway. For example, you could give away an iTunes gift card with the only entry fee being a link back to your website. Remember – the goofier or more outrageous your promotion is, the more viral attention you’ll gather (just imagine how many backlinks you could attract if you gave a way a car or similar big ticket item!).
Strategy #3 – Become a product reviewer
Sites like Amazon, Google Shopping and Epinions all rely on user-generated reviews in order to provide the social proof that drives their sales, but it’s not like they’re taking advantage of their reviewers. In many instances, writing product reviews for these and other similar sites gives you the opportunity to leave a reference link to support your research (which, conveniently enough, can lead back to your site). The more reviews you write, the more links you receive.
Strategy #4 – Set up a guest speaking gig
Limiting your link building efforts to the internet is short-sighted – there’s an entire world out there that can help your SEO efforts! For example, suppose you reserved a room at your local university and offered to give a free presentation on a topic in your niche. Assuming you advertised your speaking gig correctly, you could see a surge of backlinks from local news sources or other local publications covering your event (not to mention the participants who share word about your presentation on various social networking sites).
Strategy #5 – Build an app
Building and releasing an app can be a time-consuming, expensive proposition, but if you come up with something really good, you could find your company featured on various app review sites (along with that coveted backlink to your site). To get started, research the types of apps that are currently doing well on the iPhone and Android platforms, then find a developer via Guru or eLance who can help you create your own mobile product.
Strategy #6 – Set up a 1-800 number
Search Google for any 1-800 number and you’ll see a number of directories pop up offering to provide more information about the company you’re searching for. Consider the flip side – as a business owner, you may be able to contact these directories and provide additional information about your business’s 1-800 number, including a link back to your site. The directory owners benefit from the additional details they can provide searchers while you get a link back to your site for your efforts.
Strategy #7 – Release a coupon code
Coupon code sites – like Retailmenot or CouponCabin – are incredibly popular with recession-era consumers, who often visit these sites before making purchases to ensure they’re getting the best possible deals. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this additional interest by releasing your own coupon codes, which will get you featured on these sites with a link back for consumers to use.
Strategy #8 – Alert the media
Make your site media-ready by networking on sites like Help a Reporter Out. Remember – it only takes one mention in a major media publication to result in a substantial amount of links back to your site!
Strategy #9 – Interview the experts
You’ll need to have a little clout in your industry (or a heck of a lot of chutzpah), but if you can snag an interview with an expert in your interview, just imagine how many people will want to link back to your published interview to spread the word.
Strategy #10 – Wine and dine ‘em
Trying to nail down some high PageRank links from major companies in your industry? Do business the old fashioned way by inviting them out to dinner! Wine them, dine them and then ask for a link back to your website when appropriate. You might be surprised by how receptive business owners are after a good meal and a few glasses of wine!
Strategy #11 – Post a job listing
Granted, this option only works if you actually plan to expand your business by taking on a new employee, but if you need to post a job listing, you’re in luck – these postings can result in hundreds of new links back to your site. Individual job listings are often syndicated across multiple sites through services like Indeed.com (in addition to the job seekers who forward your listing to friends and business contacts), resulting in a massive influx of links for your SEO campaigns.
Strategy #12 – Network locally
Brick and mortar stores aren’t the ones who can take advantage of local networking opportunities to boost business interest. Consider the following local networking options from Outspoken Media author Lisa Barone that website owners can use locally to increase traffic and backlinks back to their sites:
- Ask your vendors and local, non-competing businesses that you work with to link to you when it makes sense.
- Join the Better Business Bureau.
- Join your Chamber of Commerce.
- Support local charities.
Strategy #13 – Join industry trade organizations
Not only can joining industry trade organizations boost your perceived authority in your niche, you’re also usually entitled to a listing in the group’s directory – complete with a link back to your site. Yes, there are typically fees associated with this strategy, but you may find that these fees are reasonable when compared with the cost associated with paid directory links or other paid linking methods. You might also pick up business directly from people who access your professional profile!
Whichever strategy you decide to pursue, keep in mind that link building is a long term effort. You don’t need to try out all of these strategies at once – simply focus on adding a few new high-quality links every month and you’ll soon start to see the benefits of your linking campaigns.