It’s not a hidden secret that link building is an essential part of SEO, but how you go about building links can make a huge difference in your organic visibility. Having your company buy into the fact that actively building links to your site can help your bottom line can help make your efforts a lot easier. Instead of having an in-house SEO or marketing department focused on link building, why not leverage the power of the entire company and have everyone contribute.
Roles and Responsibilities
Depending on each department within your company and each employees roles and responsibilities, everyone will play a different part in your link building. Let’s break down different departments within an organization and see how each can help with the execution.
Your upper management will most likely not have the time to do the grunt work or heavy lifting of your link building. However they can provide direction and guidance into industry websites, key influencers, and overall messaging that will help with the messaging and places to acquire links from. Your executive team usually will have a key role in business development, so use their name and position in the industry for helping to finding opportunities and building links. We will discuss how in a bit.
Subject Matter Experts
If you add up all of the knowledge across your entire organization, that can be extremely powerful…you just need to know how to maximize it. Product Managers, Department Heads, and Specialists all have expert knowledge in their specific field of expertise. The idea is to get their knowledge and thoughts out on the web.
Admins usually are in charge of a lot of the day-to-day tasks and heavy lifting. Depending on the structure of your company, admins or interns can be a perfect fit for helping to promote content on the web and building the actual links.
Types of Link Building Content
1. Presentation Decks
If an employee creates a presentation deck or slideshow, spread that content across the web. If it was presented at a conference, see if they will add it to the appropriate section of the conference website. Submit it to sites like Scribd and Docstoc, post it on your blog, social bookmark it, share it on your twitter and facebook profiles. It may be that an executive or subject matter expert created this content, however someone like an admin could market it. The person that created the presentation should be aware that the content could be great link bait and to pass it off to someone that has more time to market and promote it.
2. Event/Seminar/Conference Participation
When employees participate in different industry events, usually there will be a website or page that gives more information about the event. Ensure that the website has all of the correct information about your company and the employee contributing. See if you can control the anchor text of the link pointing back to your site. Promote the fact that an employee from your company is speaking or participating at the event. Use different event websites, tweet it, tell other friends in the industry, etc.. to help spread the word.
3. Personal Profiles/Blogs
Now days, I’m sure many employees have their own personal website or blog. Encourage them to add a brief snippet about the company and a link back to the site. Also try and get all employees to create accounts on places like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and link to the company site.
4. Leverage Employee Networks
Everybody knows someone. Try to tap into your employees networks to see if there are opportunities to acquire links. Maybe someone is a member of the local chamber, is part of an organization, runs a directory, etc… See if there are ways you can get free marketing and inbound links.
5. Website Opportunities
It may seem almost too simple, but employees are visiting lots of websites whether they are at work or at home. If you consistently reinforce people to look for opportunities to gain a link, market the website, promote the company…by all means make sure they tell someone within the company about it.
6. Expert Article
Pull together company experts and create an authoritative article, whitepaper, or piece of content that can be a great form of linkbait.
7. Guest Blogging
Reach out to industry bloggers and see if they accept guest posts. If you setup a internal blogging schedule, try to work posts for guest blogs into the mix. The best results I have noticed is if the marketing department or admins spend the time reaching out to the these bloggers who accept posts, while subject matter experts focus strictly on writing posts. This helps to break up responsibilities and makes it easier to create more great content.
8. Blog/Forum Participation
Some employees already do this, but encourage employees to read industry blogs and forums. Not only encourage them to read these sites, but to participate. Ask them to leave insightful comments or answer a question someone may have about the industry. If people are going to take the time to stay up-to-date with their industry, you may as well maximize that time by asking them to contribute and act as an industry leader.
9. Re-purpose Old Content
If you company has been around for a while, you probably have tons of content just sitting around (in both electronic and hard copy formats). See what you can dig up and try to repurpose it. Gather all of your hard copy articles and content and put them into electronic format. Work that content into your blog and content submission sites.
10. Social Media
Encourage all employees to engage on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. If you launch a new blog post, have all employees share that content with their network of friends. Socially bookmark the content in hopes it goes viral on places like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious.
Constantly connect with people in your industry. If employees attend networking events, encourage them to start following the people they met on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Create a Social Media Monitoring plan and respond to people talking about your company, products, and industry.
I think that everyone needs to be a marketer to some degree. It does not necessarily mean that is going to be your full-time job, but it does mean that you need to keep in the back of your mind, how you can help market and promote the company.