Regardless of what you may have heard, inbound links are still one of the most important ranking factors. Earning links that your competition cannot easily recreate will give you a competitive edge and the types of link building we are going to talk about below are going to be great for authority and traffic. Here are 20 ways to earn credible inbound links to your website.
1. Present at Conferences
In most industries there are conferences and seminars where you can present. Generally that conference will have a website of its own or be hosted on a related site. Just make sure the mention of you on that page is linked to your site, if it isn't just ask! If you are looking for a speaker in the SEO industry, drop me a line below! (See how easy that was?)
2. Community Involvement
I have mentioned this before and I am mentioning it again because it works. Simply volunteering in your local community can land you a ton of mentions from authority sites such as those of non-profit organizations.
3. Ask for Reviews
Many of us are now asking our clients for reviews and that is great. Take this tactic a step further and ask your suppliers for a review. If you have been ordering from them for years, they should have a good grasp on your abilities.
4. Write Testimonials For Products You Use
People love hearing how great of a product or service they have. If you use a product or service and have had a great experience, write a review and submit it. Many sites will publish the review and link back to you so potential customers can see it is a real review.
5. Get Interviewed
Radio stations and newspapers are always in need of sources for interviews. You can use a free site like radioguestlist.com to find radio interview opportunities. Reach out to the hosts and pitch them, you can land an interview in front of a targeted audience and a back link. We've also mentioned the many benefits of Help A Reporter Out (HARO) before.
6. Make an Industry Glossary
Many industries are filled with jargon that is hard for outsiders to understand. Take a cue from the SEO industry and create a glossary of terms in your industry and share it with those you interact with who do not understand your niche.
7. Make Quizzes
Quizzes are not a new concept but when done correctly they peak readers' interest and the result is an engaging and shareable asset. Here is a good example by Moz.
8. Create Games
Even a very simple game can be popular, one of my favorites is Whack-a-Cutts. As you can see, the game is very simple but it still got a lot of solid coverage, as did Chuckie Links.
9. Sponsor Contests/Clubs
Just like with events or conferences, contests can be ran by authority organizations like colleges, news stations or TV stations. Sometimes you can be a sponsor for as little as $20. I don't know about but I would pay $20 all day for a real .edu link.
10. Buy StumbleUpon or Outbrain Traffic
Sometimes you may have a great piece of content already on your website but it did not get the promotion it needed. Buying traffic is a great way to put your content in front of people likely to share or link to it. Outbrain is my favorite. With Outbrain, you can get your content featured as a promoted story on a site like CNN.
11. Speak At Universities
Live near a University? If you are an expert in your industry, many classes look for professionals with current industry insights to present to graduate students. Reach out to your local college and see if you can lend a hand.
12. Offer Scholarships
Really looking for a trusted link source? Sometimes for as little as $500 you can offer a scholarship to a local college or university. Aside from the college linking to you, you can also get a lot of authority links from other sources sharing the scholarship.
13. Alumni Directories
While we are talking about colleges, did you graduate from a university? Check to see if they have an alumni page and you can land a quick and easy authority link.
14. Get A Link From Community Newspapers
Even if you live in a big city there are probably some small newspapers in your area. Reach out to the writers who cover your industry and offer some insight or an interview. Even small papers are often trusted sites so take advantage and scoop up a solid link.
15. Ask Your Groups
Are you in the Rotary Club or a Networking Group? Ask the local site manager if you could contribute to the site or get a link in the members or resource sections.
16. Give Products To Bloggers
If you have a product people want, they will review it and link back to your site in exchange for a freebie. Select a few popular blogs in your niche and reach out to them.
17. Get A Link From the Chamber
No brainer! If you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce make sure they link to your site in the member directory.
18. Offline Marketing
Offline marketing is still useful for building brand awareness. When you are handing out print materials, speaking with others, or even presenting, be sure to mention a relevant piece of content or a resource on your website they may want to check out.
19. Create Your Own Affiliate Program
If you have product that is well suited for affiliate sales, you can get a lot of links in the process. If you use this strategy you MUST be sure to educate those in your program not to copy/paste information from your site. I recommend offering a training course so any links they send your way will be as beneficial as possible.
20. Write a Spoof Song
Last week Website Magazine shared a video on their Facebook page (you should like it) with a spoof version of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space". As I have done here, many people shared and linked to the video because it is funny and even somewhat informative. Forget about looking silly and give it your best shot. I am working on an SEO rap at the moment.
There you have it, 20 ways to build links that aren't spam. Next time you are struggling to get the link building process started, just give one of these a try.
What about you? What is your go to link building strategy?