With so much of link building focused on creating actual relationships these days, the idea that you can build high-quality links without people seems preposterous. Yes, I know there are still things like directories and post submissions but, come on…  a real person has to approve those, right?

Building relationships can be tough, but trust me when I tell you — there are actually people out there who want to help you. Even better…you might already know them! You just have to know where to look:

1. The Person Talking About You

One of the most basic link building tactics is identifying existing brand mentions that don’t contain a link. Why? Because the author already chose to write about you! There’s no convincing them they should write about your brand or product and the only real effort they have to take is adding the link.

There are a couple of great posts out there around acquiring unlinked mentions and I suggest checking them out:

2. The Person Who Wants To Talk About You

With over 2 billion pages on the web and the constant push for fresh content, people are always in search of new things to write about. I know I am. The key is finding those people who are looking to write a story…about you! A few key tactics include:

  • Editorial monitoring
  • Twitter monitoring
  • HARO queries

Need some more ideas? Be sure to check out 5 PR Strategies You Can Use To Build Links Right Now and An Eight-Step Plan to Get PR-Driven Links for suggestions on how to find link opportunities from reporters and bloggers.

3. Employees 

Employees can be one of the most powerful link building assets a company can have. They (ideally) like their job, like the company, and want to tell their friends about where they work. If you can get your employees to blog, they are also extremely likely to share their posts across multiple platforms. 

LinkedIn Sharing

At my old company, we actually sent out an email giving people tips on how they could link to the company site. This included:

  • Email Signatures
  • Social Networks
  • Personal Sites

How else can you get your employees talking about you? Take a look at the following posts for some tips and motivation:

4. Friends & Family

Last year, Scarborough Research reported that there were 3.9 million moms in the US that identified themselves as bloggers. A Google search today for “mommy bloggers” shows over 8 million results. Is your mom one of those people? Is your friend one of those moms?

Friends and family can be the most underrated relationships used in link building. We likely hesitate to ask because they are our friends or family. But think about it — the average Facebook user has 130 friends while 21% of LinkedIn users have between 500-999 connections. The connections of your friends and family may go further than you think, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Full Infographic at SocialBarrel

Full Infographic at SocialBarrel

Oh, and don’t forget about your industry friends! One of my favorite parts about working in the search marketing industry is the people and their willingness to share relevant content.

5. Customers 

One of my favorite topics when it comes to link building is word-of-mouth and the power of the customer. Customers have a bigger voice than ever before and they aren’t afraid to use it. That being said, companies also have a bigger opportunity than ever before to get customers talking.

While creating “raving fans” takes work, the payoff goes way beyond links. A few posts worth checking out:

Get your customers talking and writing about you. It’s not only great for link building but it’s also great for business.

6. Brand Advocates

Similarly to customers and raving fans, your brand advocates are also people who want to help. Brand advocates are folks who like your brand but they aren’t necessarily customers.

For example, I am a big fan of MailChimp. I’m not currently a customer but I’ve used their product in the past. I love their blog; I like the company culture; and I think Freddie is awesome. When they have something new to say or a fresh post, I’m happy to share it. I’m also quick to recommend them to others.

Don't dress up Freddie!

Don’t dress up Freddie!

Looking to identify your brand advocates? In the same way you locate brand mentions, you can find people talking about you or sharing your content. Tools like Social Mention, Topsy, Fresh Web Explorer, and Google+ Ripples can get you started, but I definitely recommend a social listening tool.

7. Partners & Distributors

One of the first things we do when beginning an off-site campaign for clients is to start with the basics…one of those basics being partners and distributors.

For many companies, specifically those in the service industry, partners play a large role in driving new business and supplementing existing business. We can’t all be experts on everything right?

When evaluating existing partners:

  • Identify whether or not they have an existing partners page
  • Consider trading blog posts
  • Ask for a review
  • Hold a joint event
  • Interview them on your blog (or hold a hangout)

Each of these tactics can help build links but more importantly can help build better business relationships.

The same thing goes with distributors. Distributors feel comfortable selling your product and should feel comfortable linking to your brand. For manufacturers, take a look at distributor websites for line cards. Many of them will link to their manufacturers.

Line Card Links

Who Else Do You Know?

We all have networks and connections that we can use to build links. While it may not seem like a friend, family member, or customer is the best person to ask…you never know.

Start thinking about who you know and how you can kick your 2014 link building campaigns off right!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Beginner | Channel: SEO | How To | How To: Links | Link Week Column

Sponsored


About The Author: is the Director of Online Marketing at KoMarketing Associates, a B2B Internet marketing firm based in Boston, MA. She has been in the search industry for eight years and loves all things Internet-related.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.koozai.com/ Mike Essex

    Great post Casie. One of the things we used to send to clients was a checklist for every type of supplier they could have and possibly approach for a link. Sadly it’s not as effective now (e.g. a link from a stationary supplier to a manufacturer of eco friendly sofas would carry little weight) but I agree that the idea for people to look outside of just blogs for links is a great one.

  • http://www.koozai.com/ Mike Essex

    Great post Casie. One of the things we used to send to clients was a checklist for every type of supplier they could have and possibly approach for a link. Sadly it’s not as effective now (e.g. a link from a stationary supplier to a manufacturer of eco friendly sofas would carry little weight) but I agree that the idea for people to look outside of just blogs for links is a great one.

  • Henley Wing

    Great ideas, Casie. I love the idea of reaching out to customers. Most of the time you don’t need to ask them for a link directly. Just by nurturing a relationship they’ll write about you naturally since you’re often in their mind.

  • http://casiegillette.com Casie Gillette

    Definitely! I love reading about companies doing cool things for customers and even simple things matter. Thanks for the comment Henley!

  • http://casiegillette.com Casie Gillette

    Definitely! I love reading about companies doing cool things for customers and even simple things matter. Thanks for the comment Henley!

  • http://casiegillette.com Casie Gillette

    Good point Mike! The type of relationship obviously matters and a link from an irrelevant source isn’t helpful. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://alex-hemedinger.blogspot.com/ Alexander Hemedinger

    I usually do contests and giveaways. Such a positive and creative responses from others. And instantly indexed on an article with Google Authorship. Organically hit various keywords that became organic traffic driving to the blog post. Pretty neat things that Hummingbird does now.

    I hope more companies follow it. Engaging is huge, just like I see your doing with every comment on your article. :)

  • http://alex-hemedinger.blogspot.com/ Alexander Hemedinger

    I usually do contests and giveaways. Such a positive and creative responses from others. And instantly indexed on an article with Google Authorship. Organically hit various keywords that became organic traffic driving to the blog post. Pretty neat things that Hummingbird does now.

    I hope more companies follow it. Engaging is huge, just like I see your doing with every comment on your article. :)

  • Christina Gillick

    Hi Casie, Great article! Thank you for taking the time to put this resource together. And thank you for mentioning an article I wrote. :)

  • Christina Gillick

    Hi Casie, Great article! Thank you for taking the time to put this resource together. And thank you for mentioning an article I wrote. :)

  • http://casiegillette.com Casie Gillette

    Contests and giveaways can be a great thing, especially for customers. They don’t have to be high cost and they can really create good will. Thanks for commenting! And thanks…even though responses take a few days ;)

  • http://casiegillette.com Casie Gillette

    Thanks for the great article! :D Happy New Year!

  • http://alex-hemedinger.blogspot.com/ Alexander Hemedinger

    Not a problem, the point is you are responding. ;) Happy New Year!

  • http://www.thesofaandchair.co.uk/ Tom Goodwin

    So to paraphrase the great Wet Wet Wet: “links are all around – they are written on the web and everywhere you go”? (hope you know your 90s music Casie)

  • http://black-dog-consulting.com/ BlackDogConsulting

    Very through post, lots of useful information here.

  • http://casiegillette.com Casie Gillette

    Ha! That song to me says Love Actually Christmas song…still counts right?

  • alidaxla627

    My Uncle Declan just
    got Fiat 500 C Abarth by working part time off of a macbook air… Look At This
    B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

 

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide