5.5 Link Building Strategies You Aren’t Using

Wifi

Building back links

Article marketing, social bookmarks, forum signatures… are the standard link building techniques becoming boring? Has your site stalled in the search rankings? Looking for more diversity in your link building efforts?

I want to show you 5 (and a half) diversified strategies. My “secret weapons” that you are probably not using on a regular basis. These strategies might take some work, but I assure you, they can give you thousands of backlinks and the diversity that you need to boost your rankings.

Technique #1: Build Something Other People Want

This technique is truly powerful. It is my favorite way to build backlinks. The premise is simple. You create something other people want to use on their site and give it to them for free – with your link embedded.

Let’s take this scenario, for example. You hire someone on ODesk to build a simple, but usable, WordPress theme for $250. In the footer, you add “Created By: Your Site”. Then, you send this theme out to all the WP theme directories, post on forums, etc. Imagine just 100 people install this theme and each build 50 pages on their blog. You have built 5,000 quality backlinks for $.05 each.

You could apply the same principle with a nice industry-specific widget that bloggers in your industry might want. The opportunities in this area are limitless and you should be capitalizing on them.

Note: for those worried about sponsored links and/or spammy practices, this is fundamentally different. You are promoting your own site through something you created. The search engines can’t ding you for attributing your own work.

Technique #2: “Borrow” From Your Competition

I read about this strategy years ago and it’s so brilliantly simple. The idea is that you see who is linking to your competition and then find out how you can get a link from them too. The crazy thing about this is how incredibly well it works. The logic makes sense: if they are already linking to the competition, they have every reason to link to you as well.

To do this, you go to Google and type in: “url.com” -site:url.com. This gives you a search for every instance that url.com is mentioned on the web, minus all the pages from url.com itself. Leaving you with a clean list of all the pages that reference your competition.

Visit these sites, see how they linked to your competitor and find out how they can do the same for you. I have found dozens of quality, out-of-the-box link sources using this method.

Technique #3: Sponsor a Contest

Most people know about this technique, but few use it. If you have a blog or content site, contests are a sure-fire way to get tons of quality backlinks from around the web. The best strategy is to give away something that everyone wants, and require that each entrant write something (on their blog, Twitter, etc.) letting others know about the contest. This could give you hundreds of valuable links and make your site go viral.

Variation: Say your site is a web design service with no blog. What then? If you tried to run a contest directly on your site, it would probably fizzle out. Instead, find a blog that is relevant to your industry, and sponsor a contest on their site. Offer to give away one free design to the grand prize winner. The blog will be happy to give this opportunity to their readers, and just like on your site, it will give you viral buzz and backlinks (plus a link from the blog holding the contest).

This might cost you $100-200 but with the links, and the extra press, it will be well worth the cost.

Technique #4: Become an Official Authority

If you take a quick look at a random selection of blogs, many of them display badges that say something like “Ranked #12 in the Personal Finance Top 50”. They are proud to be ranked, and it shows their visitors that they have some authority in their industry. How can you take advantage of this?

There is one method that I have used and it works really well. It might seem impossible at first, but it’s so much easier than it sounds. Here is how it goes in 3 steps:

1. Add a new area of your site with a listing of the top 50 (or 100) resources/sites/blogs in your industry. Call it the “My Industry 50.” You can choose to rank them based on any criteria you like: size, your personal rating, etc.
2. Then, make a fancy, prestigious badge (linking back to your site). NOTE: If the badge is an image, be sure to include a link title attribute with your anchor text.
3. Send each of the top 50 winners a congratulations email with their badge that they can proudly display.

You will get at least 20% to display the badge site-wide: thousands of easy backlinks and extra exposure. Take this seriously, though. Don’t just add a bunch of sites haphazardly. This strategy will only work if you put the time and effort into building a quality resource of the top sites.

Technique #5: Write an Ebook Guide

Quick Case Study: The founder of CopyBlogger did something that we should all take notice of. He built a new site called AuthorityRules.com, which is a short marketing course that can be read online or downloaded as an eBook – with NO name or email required. The result was that the guide got an insane amount of links, plenty of buzz, and delivered thousands of new visitors to his main site.

Here is the method I suggest: Create a short, useful guide on your topic. Add this to a new area on your main site. Make an eBook version downloadable for free. Be sure to include easy social/share/link features. Post the eBook to sites like Scribd and other eBook directories (more backlinks). Promote this guide everywhere else you can. Watch the links and traffic roll in.

A Step Further: Do a press release about the guide you created above. Press releases are great ways to get backlinks, but most of the time, it’s hard to find something “press worthy.” This guide is your excuse.

Technique #5.5 Build Better Internal Links

Since this technique is not about building external links, I only counted it as 1/2 a point. There are many reasons why a site might rank highly. As we all know, rankings are built from an entire matrix of factors. However, take something like EzineArticles for example. They have an awesome internal linking structure and, as a result, this helps their overall rankings. Spend some time learning how sites like Ezine handle their internal links and begin to adopt a more SEO-friendly linking structure for your site. It will make a difference.

My hope is that this post will get your juices flowing, and that you will be able to come up with even more out of the box link building strategies. I am a big believer in link diversity. Search engines get more-than-a-little suspicious with 2,000 article backlinks and nothing from any other type of sites (major red flag!).

Begin this week to implement one of the strategies above. Do it, do it right, and move on to the others. Regardless of what you do, please diversify your search rankings beyond articles, social bookmarks and forum signatures. Your search rankings will thank me.

This is a guest post by Andrew Olson. Learn how you can “Make Money While You Sleep” with ZZZ Profits: Andrew’s Free 12-Week Internet Marketing Course. Contact us if you want to guest post on this blog. (Image credit: lover_boy11234)

Article by ZK

ZK has written 945 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Profit Addiction May 26, 2010, 12:26 pm

    I love the idea of a contest.

    What do people REALLY want to get from a contest though? Cash, electronics, services…? What do you think?
    .-= Profit Addiction´s last blog ..You Have Questions, I Have Answers =-.

    • Laptop Cases June 3, 2010, 3:24 pm

      I think it would depend on how much cash you have available for such a contest, as that is the most appealing prize. If the cash is too low, a physical prize may be more tempting. Depending on your companies services that might be even better.

  • Andrew Olson May 26, 2010, 4:33 pm

    For contests, what seems to work really well right now is Apple stuff. Everyone wants an iPad, or an iPod touch, or something like that. Or, if it’s really specific (i.e. you own a web design company), why not give away a free design to the winner. I’d go one of those two routes: tech/Apple stuff or some relevant service.
    .-= Andrew Olson´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • BlogBird May 26, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Great ideas. Now we have more creative reasons to build links.
    .-= BlogBird´s last blog ..The Online Potential To Earn Money =-.

  • Julius May 27, 2010, 9:01 pm

    You’re right – These techniques will indeed take lots of time to complete, but I think if we focus on just one at a time, we’ll get our goal of more back links.
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..The Challenges of People with Cognitive Disabilities Using the Internet =-.

  • Leo @ NetAccountant May 28, 2010, 5:05 am

    Internal linking is really important. Revisiting articles and linking to newer or older ones from some archived posts is a great way to improve the internal link structure. I tend to re-visit my previous posts every couple of month to do just that.
    .-= Leo @ NetAccountant´s last blog ..Twitter do’s and don’ts: 16 DO’s to get the most out of Twitter =-.

    • Andrew Olson June 2, 2010, 4:38 pm

      Exactly, that’s a good idea, and you can also setup things like plugins that display related posts, etc.

  • Komodo Dragon May 29, 2010, 12:06 pm

    In regards to technique number 2, I feel its better to use Yahoo whenever your looking at the competition to scope out their backlinks, since Google doesn’t display all the links 🙁

    • Laptop Cases June 3, 2010, 3:26 pm

      I agree that Yahoo is a little better at looking into a site’s backlinks. There are a lot of software programs that do this even better though. They retrieve backlinks from many smaller search engines too and compile it into one easy to use list.

  • limo hire Gold Coast June 1, 2010, 2:56 am

    I’ve always assumed that Google has a “blog comment detection” algorithm that completely (or heavily) discounts user generate blog comment links as non-editorial – whether they are followed or not – the same way they likely discount blocks of links in the footer about “Bad Viagra Loan Gambling.

    • Komodo Dragon June 1, 2010, 9:20 pm

      @Limo, I find that we can always speculate on what it is that Google does or doesn’t do. I think one of the best ways to test however, is by looking at the Google Webmaster’s tools for your website, and checking out what links Google has seen for your website.

    • Andrew Olson June 2, 2010, 4:41 pm

      I’m not so sure that they do either, actually. I’ve seen sites get results using both of those strategies you mentioned. However as Komodo referred to, it’s mostly speculation when it comes down to it 🙂
      .-= Andrew Olson´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

      • The Name You Know June 3, 2010, 8:53 am

        I’m sure Google DOES have such a blog comment detection” algorithm, and the same for article marketing, social bookmarks, forum signatures, etc. They judge your total linking profile. However, how your site ranks depends on what you do compared to your competitors. If they concentrate on high-quality links from authority sites, you just can’t rank with these easy links.

  • custom-web-design June 1, 2010, 6:02 am

    Great thoughts man. Building a sound strategy is really important to get success..

  • Web traffic June 1, 2010, 10:53 pm

    you send this theme out to all the WP theme directories, post on forums, etc. Imagine just 100 people install this theme and each build 50 pages on their blog….

  • Web Design June 2, 2010, 2:45 am

    Internal linking is something that is seldomly spoken about, yet which still counts loads to the search engines. Paying attention to detail here is key, with some SEO masters pulling out all the stops to “channel and flow” the link-love through their sites in the way that will impress the search bots the most.

    • Laptop Cases June 3, 2010, 3:29 pm

      Agreed, internal linking is huge. Why spend tons of resources building links offsite when you haven’t taken full advantage of your internal linking power. Yahoo in particular loves a good internal link scheme.

  • Mathew Day June 2, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Really great tips, it really got my mind thinking about trying some different link building techniques I have never tried before. 🙂
    .-= Mathew Day´s last blog ..Can You Make Money Online in a Recession? =-.

  • online university programs June 4, 2010, 5:53 am

    I like most ur 2nd and 3rd tips- borrow from competition and sponsor a contest.. Really good.

    • Andrew Olson June 4, 2010, 12:53 pm

      Thanks! I think my favorite of them all is #2 – borrowing from the competition. It’s so simple and it really works well.
      .-= Andrew Olson´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

      • online university programs June 4, 2010, 11:49 pm

        this gives a same link

        • Internet Marketing Course June 11, 2010, 10:32 am

          Right…but imagine doing that with EACH of the top 3-4 results for your term. Then you have 4x the number of links that all of your competition has and you will crush it.

  • online university programs June 4, 2010, 11:52 pm

    And also please suggest me some about how smo is beneficial.

  • Ileane @ Ms. Ileane's Blog June 15, 2010, 9:04 am

    Hi Andrew, this is a great post full of fresh ideas. I’ve never heard of Odesk before. Do you think I could find a WordPress plugin developer there too? It might not have the same link building impact but it should still have some impact if the plugin is successful. Maybe the price would be too high though.

    Thanks again!
    @Ileane

    • Andrew Olson June 15, 2010, 1:34 pm

      Oh yes, Wordpress plugins can be HUGE. Often, they can be even better than themes for backlinks. And yes, you can certainly find a WP developer on oDesk to build you a plugin.

  • Sun Storage July 3, 2010, 3:11 am

    I like to use Technique#2 as it can be easy for me now to do. I want free quality back links and i hope i can get this through the technique you specify.

  • Krinal Mehta July 22, 2011, 4:26 am

    Within 30 days of getting a domain registered , my site is on the top 3 on Google. No magic, it’s just the domain name factor that works.

    Link diversity is something which should be deeply integrated within the SEO strategy of any website. The more diversity, the more authority a site gets.

    Content Relevancy should also be highly considered while link building.

    I just have a question here ” Does submission to 1000’s of directory and 1000’s of Social Bookmarking still help ? Has anyone reaped any benefit doing that ? “

  • weight loss reviews September 6, 2011, 9:51 am

    Affiliate marketing programs can effectively promote your links.

  • best email marketing tool October 22, 2011, 8:23 am

    I think we should mention web 2.0 websites too here.These websites have great role to provide traffic as well as backlinks.
    BTW it was a different kind of blog post and I hope webmasters will like it.
    Thanks