By Paweł Szulencki
Inbound links are one of the most important factors that determine your websites worth in the eyes of search engines. The more quality inbound links you have pointing to your website the higher you get in SERP’s. The more inbound links the higher your PageRank is. But how to make people to link naturally to your website?
Tip #1: Organize a contest.
Contests make a great link bait. Couple of hundred of dollars prize can result in thousands of dollars worth of traffic, inbound links and interest to the organizing body.
Me, by writing this and you, by reading this, are the best examples for that kind of link bait strategy. This article was written for the SEM Scholarship contest. The Marketing Pilgrim (the organizer) gets new quality content to their website, attract new users, get lots of new traffic to their website and promote the SEM industry. Us, the contestants, get the chance to win the grand prize ($10 000), become noticed among the industry specialists and improve our skills. It’s a Win/Win situation. So go ahead and hold a contest in your own industry. You won’t regret it.
Tip #2: Give out something for free.
Everyone loves to get something for free. And if its high quality, valuable and with no strings attached it becomes irresistible to people. They want to spread it, share it with others and they want to link back to it.
For example, if you are in SEM/SEO business design a tool valuable to the community and give it out for free. You may check how many SEO focused websites give out free tools. Almost all of them.
Make it clear to everyone who created the tool, include your websites address and let people insert it easily to their own websites. That way you are helping other people, gaining new users and inbound links to your website.
Another example: create a beautiful web design for one of popular open source CMS systems and spread it free of charge. Put the “Designed by example.com” in the footer and place your design on appropriate websites.
Remember: if you give something valuable to people, the community will give back to you.
Tip #3: Make a “101 list”.
Build a “101 list” about the subject you are most familiar with. It may be a list of 101 most common mistakes when buying a car (if you are in car industry), a 101 places on Earth you should visit before you die (if you are in travel business) or any other list you may think of. Such lists get searched all the time and may become documents with high authority.
Make a hint list with hidden tips and tricks about certain topic. If you are an expert in construction business make a list of 10 things you need to ask a construction company before you hire them or 10 tips on how to repair a computer infected with viruses if you are in computer security business. Tips & tricks are very useful to people and they are glad to link back to such sites to help other people that might have the same problems as they have.
Create a top 10 myths list about your industry. People love to read them and respond to them really well. You may bust some myths about your industry helping yourself by educating people and become cited in various sources with link to your site.
Tip #4: Submit articles to news sites.
Write an interesting article on some subject and submit it to the high traffic news sites. Articles get spread really fast on Internet, especially if it’s interesting. Insert your websites address and its short description. You may be surprised where your articles land and where people are coming from to your site.
Exchange topic related articles with other webmasters and publish them on your website. You can also ask guru/experts in your field to write guest articles to your site. You will gain authority to your site and you may become more trusted in your industry.
If you create a valuable and revealing article and it will become popular, people will start linking to it as a resource in their own articles passing their link juice to your website.
Tip #5: Sponsor non-profit organizations.
Sponsor an event for charity organization, design and build their new website with your link on the bottom or simply draw a cheque. Most non-profit organizations have a site with list of sponsors. You may also equip their office in new computers or furniture. They will show their appreciation for your gesture by linking to your site or mentioning about your business in any form. Anyhow, you market your website and gain a link back.
Gaining a link from .org domain is highly valuable for your company as search engines treat them as an authority websites, so your site should get higher ranks.
Tip #6: Community websites.
Write on various forums dedicated to your business, gain trust and help other users. Don’t actively promote your website, don’t say how good your company is or how amazing your products are. People will sense the marketing language and they will not interact with you. On contrary, help genuinely to solve their problems and don’t mention your website all the time.
Set up the signature in your forum profile at most. And don’t ask for anything right after you register on the forum. Instead answer several questions, gain respect from forum users and later ask them questions you may have. That way they will trust you and you may gain potentially much more links to your website.
Tip #7: Think.
Open your mind for new ideas. There are countless number of opportunities to gain inbound links to your website. You just need to think of them. Even if they sound impossible or stupid at first you should pursue to try different methods of getting links to your site. Diversify your efforts, be creative, help the community, be helpful and resourceful and you will see positive effects of your hard work.
Good luck in your link building campaigns. Please let me know of other methods you use in order to gain new links to your website.
This is an entry to Marketing Pilgrim’s 3rd Annual SEM Scholarship contest.