Welcome back, class! If you’ve gotten started following the directions in our previous blog post on link building (Hey, high five, A+ student!), you’ve already got amazing content on your website, and have sought out the right kinds of sites you want linking back to that content: sites that are relevant, authoritative, and user-friendly.
So what do you do now?
So glad you asked!
The next step in link building is getting the word out to the owners of those perfect sites you’ve identified.
How is this accomplished? Well, it depends on the sites themselves.
To get bloggers to link to your site, write them a friendly, personalized email explaining the connection your company has with the topic of their blog, and asking whether they’d be willing to write a blog post featuring your company. Or better yet, ask them if they’d be open to letting you write a guest blog post for them. Be sure to sound as much like a human being as possible – templates are the kiss of death here!
To get news outlets to link to your site, contact industry news sites and pitch them an interesting story idea featuring your company. You can also send them a press release, already written for their convenience, which they can then either post verbatim or use to base their own article on.
To get customers in on the act, ask them to write a review of your product or service. Or ask them to list you as a partner on their website, with a link to your site.
To get links from all over the place, try hosting an event. When you spread the word about it to bloggers, news outlets, customers, and the rest of the world via social media, they’ll naturally start to share that information with their own audiences via links. Speaking of social media, that’s another great way to get links. Share your website content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, and even on social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit, Tumblr and Stumbleupon. Try participating in group discussions and forums on social media, as well, and answer questions on sites like Yahoo Answers, WikiAnswers, and Quora.
Submitting your website to quality industry lists or directories is yet another method of getting links. Just make sure the directories are truly relevant and authoritative – being part of a spammy link farm will instantly mark you as an untrustworthy site in the eyes of search engines.
And speaking of directories, submitting your information to online directories such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, Google Places, and Bing is also extremely beneficial. For these citations, include your company’s name, address, and phone number. To be effective, your information should be the same across the board on every site, enhanced with pictures and a description of your business.
Finally, try searching for your company’s name yourself. If you find articles referencing you that don’t link back to your site, send the writer a friendly email telling them how flattered you are to be mentioned, and asking if they’d be willing to link back – using your preferred keywords.
In any of these cases, as a part of your link building request or post, you’ll want to specify the keywords you’d like used as the anchor text for the link to your website.
Doing so will help your site’s search engine rankings when those specific keywords are searched for – so make sure they are keywords important to your business, as well as keywords that people are actually searching for.
Come up with a list of keywords you feel are representative of your company. Then plug them into Google’s Keyword Planner to find out how often they’re searched for.
Once you are confident that you’ve found the right keywords, simply ask the blogger, customer, or news outlet you’re pitching whether they would be willing to include a link to your site using those words as the anchor text, and voila! You’ve got your perfect link!
As you increase the number of quality links to your website, you’ll start to notice an increase in traffic, as your search engine ranking goes up. But whatever you do now, don’t stop your link building efforts! Just as you have to keep creating fresh, valuable content for your site, you need to continue reaching out to spread the word about that content, as well.
If all this sounds like a lot of work to you – it is! But it’s also what we here at Zen Media do best. So if you’d like a helping hand in your link building efforts, don’t hesitate to give us a call.