Link building is still a major part of an SEO’s job. Google says that we must build natural links – Google does not say that we must not build any links! The best link building generally involves creating content that people want and then telling a hell of a lot of people who it is there. There is still a lot of fun and games too.
The Link Building Session included three speakers:
- Matthew Barby : 10 Ways to Build a Link in 20 Minutes Flat
- Natalie Wright : The Power of Backlink Discovery
- Samuel Scott : Stop Thinking About Links. Start Thinking About Publicity!
Because these blog posts keep getting rather long, I will split link building into three pages, one for each speaker.
Matthew Barby : 10 Ways to Build a Link in 20 Minutes Flat
Matthew Barby @matthewbarby started with the promise to show us all easy ways to get great links. That is what we came for! Here are my notes….. You can find his presentation slides on Slideshare here, where there are many more visuals.
There are several platforms to connect with journalists, so use them! Journalists need good stories and companies can create them (or enhance). Some methods include using:
- HARO – Help a Reporter Out. Sign up and read the requests – if your client can provide a professional quote / advice, send a “pitch”.
- Response Source – a UK service.
- Muck Rack
- Press Quest (free service) – I think a part of Journalism.co.uk (not sure!)
- Source Bottle (free)
Matthew talked about the importance of writing good response templates so that you can get back to people quick – reporters are usually on a very short deadline, so spending an hour composing the perfect email can lose a great opportunity.
Wikipedia is an amazing resource and you can use it to find linking opportunities in several ways.
WikiGrabber.com is an online search tool that helps you “Find Wikipedia Pages That Need Citations And Dead Link Replacement”. Find a dead link and build a quality page – update the link in Wikipedia and tell everybody else who linked to the broken page of the update.
Many businesses are allowed to have a Wikipedia business page, so build one!
Reddit is a power social media / forum / networking platform. It is a digital marketers gem. The trick is to find or create focused sub-Reddits and get active. Build relationships with influencers and get sharing.
Sneaky trick – find relevant sub-Reddits that have been abandoned – your links will remain for a long time before the are pushed off the page.
Sponsorship is a great way to get publicity (it is something that my company does already, we sponsor the Essex Digital Awards!).
Sponsoring clubs and events is a good way to get publicity and this can earn some links. Look for forthcoming meetings on Meetups.com and offer to sponsor the event. Use tools such as Buzzstream as well a manual outreach to find email addresses to make direct contact.
Content Influencer Teams
Find industry leaders and influences and work with them – invite them to work on big content pieces and hope that they share the result with their extensive networks.
A good way to get an influencer on board is to hire them to write for you. Look at the author pages on sites such as Entrepreneur.com and invite top influencers to write for you. In return they will hopefully do some quality marketing by spreading the word about “their” content.
Create badges for contributors to use too – they will sometimes place them on their websites to show that they are a proud contributor to your website!
Matt Cutts may have told us to put a fork in it, because guest blogging is done. But guest blogging can still be an excellent way to build links and readers.
The big problem with guest blogging was that suddenly thousands of low quality articles spread across thousands of low quality domains. Well written features, published on quality websites, is still a good way to promote a business. Focus on creating good content for very relevant websites. Do not publish on the sites that your competitors publish on – focus on the sites that your customers read! The main purpose of guest blogging is traditional marketing – impress your customer base with your expert knowledge and build your brand.
Social Content Platforms
I cannot remember what Matthew called these, so I will call them social content platforms. He mentioned Hey.Press, Mention.com, Notifyly.com and Reddit AMA (ask me anything) – all places where you can market yourself or your clients.
BuzzFeed was also mentioned as a quality site to try to get on board. Matthews advice was simple – follow the rules, create great content and advertise your published pieces on social platforms (sponsored posts in FB etc) to give content a push.
Repurpose Interesting Data
This is really just about creating great content. There are essentially two ways to create content:
- 1. Decide on a topic and search for relevant articles and news items and create a new piece of content.
- 2. Do some original research by using interesting data and displaying it in a unique and engaging way
The second option is almost always the most effective way to generate a lot of discussion and links.
Research content ideas
Matthew’s final tip was to research you content ideas by using sites such as Quora, Twitter and Reddit. Ask yourself – do people really care about this information? If yes, create the content.