The bright side of a new link building project is you don’t have to burden yourself with old-school SEO. Throw on a leather sportcoat, put on the business suit. Anything but the SEO tracksuit.
Cultivating natural citations that are given without asking is outside of the link building mainstream. It doesn’t have to be that way. These are five tips that don’t involve tedious link building outreach that should be mainstream.
I have used advertising to spread the word about a site, to build awareness for it. In my experience, ranking benefits followed.
In a Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller was asked about real-world advice for links. Mueller answered that some kind of promotion is necessary.
Here is what he said:
“So basically on the one hand that involves some amount of self-promotion from your side like you have to get some people to come and visit your website somehow so that they can recognize that this is actually a good website.
And there are lots of ways that you can do that. And then that also involves one of those people or some of those people going well, this is a really fantastic website and I have another website that I can link… from where I can link to your website.
So it’s not the case that every visitor coming to your website will say it’s a fantastic website and I also have a website and let me link to your website from my website, but some of these people they can.”
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What Kind of Advertising is Good for Promotion?
PPC advertising is a fine way to build awareness for useful content. The key, in my opinion, is to promote something useful.
I’ve had success expanding beyond Google AdWords.
But be careful. Some advertising networks can be prone to clickbot activity. Clickbot ad networks results in paying for non-existent traffic.
2. Social Media
Social media can be an effective way to build traffic, awareness, and sales. In my experience, the best way forward is to cultivate those who are popular on Social media.
That does not mean paying them. It means making them enthusiastic about what you offer. This has been a successful strategy for me. It has resulted in natural links.
3. Public Speaking and Industry Events
This is something that a business trapped in the link building box can not replicate.
I have attended conferences and events associated with a variety of niches. I cultivate relationships with people who are the leaders in their respective industries.
From there you can quote them or publish notes from their speech. Try to interview them. This is leveraging someone else’s popularity to gain traffic and awareness. There is also an inherent endorsement of your site involved.
Treat everyone you meet as if they are the most important person in the room. Listen to what they have to say about themselves. Ask questions. You have no idea who the person sharing a table with you is and the opportunity (or friendship!) that they may present.
If you have something to say, try public speaking a chance. You can start small with a local Meetup and once you’re comfortable move up to bigger events.
Podcasting is popular and growing more popular. Podcasts are now available on streaming services like Spotify.
If you have the opportunity to be interviewed by a podcaster, take it. This may or may not result in a link from the podcaster. That’s not the point. The point is to spread the word about your site and becoming known for whatever it is that sets your site apart.
5. Building Relationships
Try to connect with those who share similar audiences but are not competitors.
Link prospects are more open to linking to your site if you are connected to their peers. The connection can be through social media, endorsements, and testimonials. It can even be an article you published on an industry website.
Publishing articles without spammy links is a great way to be a part of the community you want a link from.
Building alliances is old school marketing that works. Many years ago I worked with a talented marketing department executive. She had a gift for cultivating relationships with other businesses.
What she did was build a community and a newsletter group around the product. Freebies like templates and how-to articles were the bait that compelled subscribers.
You can’t get “this” without giving me “that.” That’s the nature of transactions. Her strategy was to create a “this” so that she could build relationships and get “that.” She cultivated connections to turn them into sales channels for various promotions.
There’s a saying that to have a friend you have to be a friend. When it comes to links, to get a link it helps to be a friend to your niche or your customers.
Free Links are Not Free
The above methods help establish authority, cultivate traffic, and make your site known. It’s my experience that these approaches help avoid avoiding manual actions. The reason is because the links are natural and not arranged.
Promoting your site in a way that results in natural links takes effort. Everything worth having takes effort.
Building links by not actually building links seems counterintuitive. But in my experience, it works.