Web Dev

Link Building When Link Building’s Hard


Link building isn’t easy everywhere. If you have some great, socially friendly website like Digg or Facebook, the links come in in droves. However, we don’t all have that luxury. Link building in the less social friendly niches becomes more of an arduous, detailed campaign of trial and tribulation the further south in friendliness you go. So, for the link builder, it takes extra skill and wherewithal to dig links out of the internet’s infrastructure. But it’s possible. And really, it’s easier than you think.

The only difference is how you reallocate your efforts.

In example, I do link building for Billy.com, a company that specializes in moving services. What would you do for a company of this kind? It’s not incredibly unsocially friendly, but I’m not exactly going to get it featured on TechCrunch or Reddit.

The first thing I did was assess the capabilities of my team. What are their strengths? I don’t have an SEO army, but I do have content writers. So, given that, what do you do? You can either create more on-page content or guest post. Since we’re in a vertical where great on-page content doesn’t necessarily create links, I assigned them each to go search out and find areas to guest post. They’re married females, so I had them focus on blogs they had expertise in – while I, on the other hand, leveraged my skills, finding blogs like this one to write about tech and SEO. So I leveraged their skills. And mine – to find link building opportunities. These guest post opportunities are numerous in number – if you have the skills to write, you can extract some great links.

If I had an SEO intern with poor writing skills, on the other hand, I’d have them do more straight link prospecting. You should find resources with websites of your type and locate broken links with software like Xenu – let the webmaster know and mention your website, and they’re likely to link back. Or, have them do article directories more often. These kinds of links are low quality, but they leverage the time of a low skilled SEO who wants to learn the industry but doesn’t particularly have writing skills.

If I had an intern or secretary who was social who didn’t have much to do, I’d barter for their time to make phone calls. Phone call link building is particularly effective – especially when you have value to exchange. E-mails rarely get picked up on, but when you have a friendly voice conveying a value exchange, you can get some great links.

If I had a well connected C-level executive, I’d buy them a beer and ask them to try to solicit their friends for a link on a great website. Maybe I’d buy them three. But can you imagine what it would do if my website got a link to my local movers page from some prominent Real Estate website? Well, I’m still working on that. But I also don’t have that employee type.

So the lesson here is assess your resources and find ways to allocate them in non-standard ways. In more social niches, think about creating great content and doing more straightforward outreach. In non-social, pry the skills out of your co-workers to wiggle out links where you can.

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