One of the most important tenets of SEO is link building. Volumes have been written about the importance of establishing a good backlink profile—not only will it demonstrate your value and relevance to your audience, it will enable you to rank higher in the search engines so more people will be able to find you. It can be challenging at times to come up with new ideas for creating these links. Following are a few “outside of the box” ideas that can help you gain the brand recognition and high rankings you want.
The best way to entice people to link to you is by providing something tangible that will make their lives easier. For example, if you have the knowledge and the capabilities, you could try creating a free tool or software program that will help other website owners manage their sites easier and outrank their competition. You could also develop a Firefox or Chrome plugin. These plugins are very popular and, if done correctly, can be very useful. Before diving in and developing a new tool, program or plugin, make sure you carefully research what is already out there so you don’t simply copy something that’s already been done. Remember—you are trying to assert your brand’s value and relevance, so take the time to do your homework and create something that is unique and useful.
Get Out There
Sometimes you need to venture outside of the online world in order to take advantage of some good linking opportunities. Joining a business group will enable you to get “face time” with others who belong to the same niche as you and is a great way to create awareness of your brand. If you covet the difficult-to-earn .edu link, you should consider contacting local colleges in your area to see if you can book a speaking gig. Whether you decide to do a presentation on an industry topic for a specific class or if you choose to hold a seminar for the Career Center, you will probably get at least a few links back to your site from the college’s different departmental websites.
Effective link building requires constant effort and upkeep and if you want to be successful with it; you can’t just sit back and wait. Instead, you need to always be thinking of ways that you can improve your link juice. One thing you should do is set up a Google Alert to track any time one of your branded keywords is mentioned. Check out every site that mentions you to see if they are linking to you properly and if they’re not, contact the webmasters right away so you can get the link juice that’s rightfully yours. You may also want to consider purchasing an existing blog; this way, you don’t have to build up everything from scratch and you can link this back to the main page of your website. Although you will still need to update this blog regularly, you won’t have to take the time to build up an entirely new one.
The important thing to remember when it comes to link building is to not discount anything. Flexibility and creativity are key to successful link building; “juice” can be in the most unexpected places, so keep your options open!