Shake Up Your Link Building Efforts

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Sometimes your link building efforts produce absolutely nothing at all of value. Sometimes you conduct the exact same research and use the exact same methods that have always worked for you, but they aren’t working right now. What do you do?

My link builders will occasionally run into stumbling blocks, even the most experienced and successful ones. What I always advise them is this: do something totally different.

Search Differently

Start from page 10 and work your way back in the Google SERPs. Grab a few of your competitors’ URLs and run them through a backlink checker, then go to the best backlinks and check their backlinks.

Follow the blogrolls for those sites, and maybe you’ll find something you haven’t seen before. Use Bing! Use directories. Do some totally random and crazy searches. If you use one tool for link research, use another one, or find one that you haven’t tried and try that one.

Reach Out In A New Way

Maybe you’re most successful with email outreach for link building. Try calling a webmaster instead. Try finding the webmaster on Twitter and engaging him or her in conversation, then ask for a link once you’re comfortable.

Realize That Less is Sometimes More

We’re all very busy people so recognize that no webmaster wants to read a thesis. Look over your introductory email and pare it down to the minimum. You want something so ask for it quickly and get to the point without it taking 4 email exchanges to do so. If you’re on the phone, don’t go on and on, just state your point and ask for your link without asking loads of questions and giving out information that no one really wants to know anyway.

Brainstorm

If you’re lucky enough to work with other link builders or marketers on your project, take a few moments to brainstorm new ideas and ways to solve problems. Sometimes someone who is not working on the same thing that you are can more easily see different avenues of opportunity, or identify new solutions to old problems.

Think In A Different Place

While I wouldn’t really recommend doing this, as it’s kind of unprofessional, we used to send a few of our staff out with money for a few drinks, and they did honestly come up with some truly amazing link building ideas that really worked well. One of my best link builders will occasionally work from home in the very early morning, just so he has a different perspective already there for him.

Have a meeting at the local coffee shop instead of in your office. Occasionally, just viewing different scenery is enough to trigger new and fresh ideas.

Get A Second Opinion

Have someone read over your link request and ask how you can make it better. Have someone who isn’t in the industry look over your email or content and ask for opinions on whether or not the points are clear. We recently did an amazing infographic that I showed to a good friend, and his first question was “what is the purpose of this?” I’d never considered that the purpose needed to be clear.

Silly, you might think, but it’s not always easy to recognize your own weaknesses. Sharing your work with someone else makes the trouble spots easier to locate and fix.

Persist In Your Efforts

Sometimes there are various reasons why you’re having a harder time. Perhaps you’re targeting a group in a country that’s enjoying a major holiday and that is why you’re not getting any responses. Maybe your emails are being sent to the spam folders, or you have an outdated phone number. Because you are experiencing a slowdown you might be tempted to stop completely or totally rethink what you’re doing, but sometimes simple persistence is the key.

All told, link building is really not that tricky but it is very, very tedious and time-consuming work. Shaking things up a bit can usually bring things to light and restore your optimism, so what do have to lose?

Julie Joyce
Julie Joyce owns the link development agency Link Fish Media, is one of SEO Chicks, and contributes to Search Engine Land and Search Marketing Gurus.
Julie Joyce

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  • http://www.rickhendershot.com Rickjh

    Thanks for the suggestions Julie. I'm a bit surprised that you focus on link exchange as the primary method of link building. I had pretty much dismissed this technique 4 or 5 years ago as being outdated and ineffective. I guess I should have another look at it.

  • Julie Joyce

    Link exchange? I didn't propose doing that…did I??

    • annsmarty

      Not sure what that comment is about either 🙂

      I see you mentioned email exchange, not link exchange 🙂

      • Julie Joyce

        Yes good, glad I am not losing my sanity!

  • http://www.bigjobsboard.com Steve Jobs

    With the ever changing algorithm of search engines, sometimes link building efforts are not responsive and needs to be changed. There are lots of going-ons nowadays with SEO and it needs to evolve.

  • http://twitter.com/mmhemani Moosa Hemani

    Nops Julie you didn't encourage to go for link exchange it was link building not exchanging.. i guess 🙂 Idea is good but don't you think its too much time taking i mean… let take this one “use the link research software you have never used before” may be after the 2 or 3 hours of analysis its comes out nothing, shit waste of time???

    i never discourage research and i think its GOD, but there should be a balance of new and the one we are considerably good or let me call them common.

    • Julie Joyce

      Since I am recommending all this be done when someone isn't hitting on much (meaning time is already being wasted and results are nonexistent) I don't think that trying something new is ever any MORE of a waste of time than sitting there banging your head against the wall.

      • http://twitter.com/mmhemani Moosa Hemani

        agreed! i didnt thought this way but yes!! i mean it seems you are right!

        Thanks for this thought!!

  • http://twitter.com/mmhemani Moosa Hemani

    Nops Julie you didn't encourage to go for link exchange it was link building not exchanging.. i guess 🙂 Idea is good but don't you think its too much time taking i mean… let take this one “use the link research software you have never used before” may be after the 2 or 3 hours of analysis its comes out nothing, shit waste of time???

    i never discourage research and i think its GOD, but there should be a balance of new and the one we are considerably good or let me call them common.

  • http://rhymes-nursery.editorial.co.in/ Prerna

    Nice tips ..will try to implement these from now on and see if these are worth or not…thanks anyways…

  • http://www.nagarro.com Dhiraj Kumar

    I love link exchange but it takes too much of time which is painful…

  • http://www.bronsonharrington.com/ Gnuboss

    Taking your link research off the beaten path often yield some gems.

    I also set up Google Alerts for my main keywords and keep an eye on what comes through and which sites get mentioned most often – it helps me build my new release distributions lists, find new blogs to partner with and also keeps me up to date.

  • Rahul @ MazaKaro

    Nice tips !! thank You

  • http://www.easyfiancevisa.com/ K3 Visa

    Very useful and helpful tips about link exchange. I love to work on link exchange. I will apply your useful tips. Thanks

  • Mazakaro

    Nice tips !! thank You

  • http://mazakaro.com mazakaro

    Nice tips !! thank Youuu

  • http://www.mazakaro.com Mazakaro

    nice tip !! Thank You

  • http://total-seo.blogspot.com Total SEO

    Excellent write up Julie. A lot of effort behind that post and some really good tips on improving Link Building – cheers.

  • http://total-seo.blogspot.com Total SEO

    Excellent write up Julie. A lot of effort behind that post and some really good tips on improving Link Building – cheers.

  • http://total-seo.blogspot.com Total SEO

    Excellent write up Julie. A lot of effort behind that post and some really good tips on improving Link Building – cheers.

  • http://www.bluebacklinks.com Backlink Checker

    Very good article, link exchange with relevant websites is still a very strong tool to boost rankings. Establish a relation ship with relevant sites and you have this link for the rest of your online life

  • Anonymous

    Ok I went ahead and spammed all other comments talking about link exchange. I figured those people just didn’t read the post 🙂

  • http://www.links-building.com/ scenium

    Link building is a simple concept that creates a powerful communication tool that can be harnessed to deliver your business or organisational objectives.The important part of any online marketing plan is to create an effective linking strategy.

  • http://www.yuregininsesi.com yuregininsesi

    With the ever changing algorithm of search engines, sometimes link building efforts are not responsive and needs to be changed. There are lots of going-ons nowadays with SEO and it needs to evolve.

  • http://www.bluebacklinks.com Backlink Checker

    Nice article, some things I didn’t think of yet, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • pradip gharpure

    Very interesting and informative article on link building. Useful for many.