Ways to integrate link building into your current marketing efforts
If you’ve spent any time on search engine optimization for your website, you probably know that link building is important. Every link pointing to your site is like a vote for your content—and the more links you have from different sites, the easier it can be to get your content to appear in search engines.
But link building is also hard! You can’t force people to link to your site. You have to create content worth linking to, and then bring it to the attention of those who will find it useful—without being spammy or manipulative. In fact, if you try what Google refers to as “link schemes”—exchanging money or products for links, for example—you can end up hurting your site and losing traffic.
So how do you do link building effectively? Luckily, there are ways you can integrate link building into your current marketing efforts without adding a lot of extra workload on your team. Here are a few strategies to consider:
Use Google Alerts to monitor brand mentions and ask for links when relevant.
You likely have loyal fans out there already who are sharing your name. Why not ask them if they could include a link when doing so? Set up a Google Alert to look for any mention of your brand name, and then review alerts as they come in to see if reaching out for a link makes sense.
Ensure your organization is listed in any relevant directories, including those for associations of which you’re a member.
There are lots of junky, spammy “SEO” directories out there—that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about directories people actually use, like on the websites of your local chamber of commerce, professional organizations, or local business groups. Maybe there’s a list of women-led businesses out there you could be on, or a resource helping people find sustainably-sourced products like yours. Or maybe you’re a member of an association, but you didn’t sign up to be included in their online member directory. Find the communities of which you’re a part offline, and make sure you’re a part of them online, too.
Ask for links from any relevant partnerships or community initiatives.
Your CEO is speaking to students at a local university next month. Did you ask them to announce the event in their online newsletter or blog? Or maybe you’re partnering with other regional companies to hold a job fair. Is each company promoting it appropriately on their sites and mentioning each of the participants? The initiatives you’re already undertaking in your marketing, HR, and community outreach efforts often have link building opportunities—but keep in mind that you’ll need to ensure you have an appropriate page for people to link to.
Serve as an expert resource for journalists and bloggers.
Serving as an expert resource for someone is a great way to get exposure for your organization, and it often can result in a link or a share of your content, too. Use resources like HARO (“help a reporter out”) to find journalists looking for expert sources related to your topics of expertise. PR in general has a strong connection with link building, and your PR manager should be aware of the importance of asking for links when it makes sense to the relationship.
Create resources that can be linked to and shared.
This is one of the best ways to get links (and to build credibility, and to gain traffic), but it’s also one of the hardest. If you create a valuable piece of content, you can get thousands of links and shares naturally, and you’ll continue to get links over time. But this only works if your content truly has something to offer and is better than the other resources out there—and it only works if you put in the effort to promote your content to get it in front of people in the first place.
You’re likely already doing activities to market and build your business that—with just a few tweaks—could help you build your link profile, as well. If you’re not sure how best to integrate link building into your strategy, reach out! We can help you create a link building plan that works for you.