I visit most of the SEO forums at least once a week to keep up with what’s going on in the link building community. This past week was fairly quiet, but over on the HighRankings Forum, a thread on time management vs. link building efforts caught my eye. A webmaster wanted to know the best way to go about securing quality links if he only had a limited amount of time to do so. Since this is a good question and a situation many of us experience, I thought I’d add my two cents to the discussion.
How would you use your time to build links?
Here’s the gist of what the webmaster asked:
I’m currently working on a price comparison type site…We don’t have any competitors doing the same as us….I was hoping that people would be able to advise me on the best use of my time for this. If you had 2 days a week to devote to link-building for a site that you genuinely believed to be link-worthy then how would you use the time?
Here are 11 ways to build links efficiently:
1. Since this is a product comparison service, participating companies probably know their products are being showcased, but I’d make sure and contact each directly. Create marketing collateral which highlights the benefits of being included on the comparison site and send it to each company partner. Include copy and paste “link to us” code and encourage linking by offering an incentive to link. If you haven’t already, ask for permission to use their brand name in your advertising to avoid trademark issues down the road.
2. Find out if any of the participating companies sends a newsletter to its customers; if yes, offer to provide link embedded content and/or offer to purchase the mailing list for a promotional mailing of your own.
3. Use the content you created for the newsletter, lengthen (or shorten), embellish with additional facts and verbiage from other comparisons, distribute to the article directories.
4. Develop a list of media and blogger contacts who write about the types of products you’re comparing. Write to each, point out you have a comparison service and ask if they’d like to become a resident “expert” in their respective category. They’ll be featured on the site in return for providing “expert views” on the products you’re hosting. If they accept, issue a press release announcing their involvement, optimize it for industry keywords and the name of the journalist/blogger. Allow them to reprint the review on their blogs/sites with proper accreditation.
5. Create a Flickr stream using product images (only those you have permission for.) No link juice here, but great exposure. Issue press release when this resource is up and running.
6. Create a Facebook page for the comparison service, update through Twitter feed and daily with new comparisons. Encourage any company featured on comparison search to join.
7. Run keyword searches and brand name searches on Twitter, friend those people and engage. Create a special promotion for this group, email and ask for link. Use keywords in your Twitter bio to attract followers.
8. Invest in a tool to automatically tweet comparisons 24/7 by keyword and brand name. Use an occasional tweet to ask for a link.
9. Write content on everything you’re comparing and add it to a resource center on your site. Promote this content center through press releases, to your media database and your customers. Add “link to us” information on these pages.
And finally, the last one is a biggie, as it relates to your business and attracting high quality authority links.
10. Join and get involved in the industry associations your products represent, including the benchmarking associations. Create detailed, graphic rich reports from your statistics and customer feedback. Offer the reports to the associations to use and link to in their studies, blogs and newsletters. Here’s a directory listing of associations by industry to get you started.
11. Pitch industry journalists with your detailed comparison reports, offer to write a year-end wrap up and New Year forecast based on your research. Create a text version, a video version and an audio version.
If you’re strapped for time but need links, focus on getting the attention of people and sites who can channel their credibility to your business in short order. The media and bloggers will keep your information in the public eye and provide a little link juice as well, but industry authorities such as associations will give you the long-term public and algorithmic boost you need to rank well.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.