Sir, Would You Like Fries With Those Links?
Recently in several SEO forums I noticed a number of threads discussing ways to find and build “economical” links. The forum participants wanted to know how they could initiate “safe” reciprocal linking as well as “fast” submissions to free article directories. They reasoned these tactics were worth doing because both linking methods were “economical” and “easy” to use.
I understand some linking techniques can be expensive, tedious to implement and extremely time consuming, but tying your online business success to linking tactics deemed “easy,” “fast” and “cheap” seems counter-productive. If you limit your linking to low-cost tactics or look at the practice as “link building” instead of “marketing for links” you’re almost guaranteed to fail.
Perhaps a better approach would be to add new, low-cost angles to old ways of linking. Find a method you’ve used in the past and expand on the technique. Let’s use article writing as our example and show how embellishing an old tactic will bring in new links.
If you’ve uploaded a number of articles, have blog posts and guest articles in other spots, consider bundling them all and creating an ebook. Once you have, you can start marketing:
- Place the ebook on your site, link/advertise to it from your home page. Include an email capture box.
- Ask a well known celebrity/personality in your industry to write the foreword and/or endorsement. Ask him to blog about the book as well.
- Place the book on your website and contact your customers, friends and business associates to let each know it’s there. Mention who penned the foreword.
- Encourage your customers, friends and associates to leave testimonials. Create a link embedded graphic and ask them to host it on their sites/blogs.
- Ask your friends, customers and associates to write a blog post announcing the new ebook. Visit their blogs and thank each of them and leave a link in comment.
- Post an announcement on Craigslist under the services category matching your ebook (do this for traffic).
- Post a question in Yahoo! Answers and cite your ebook as a reference source (do this for traffic).
- Issue a press release using your celebrity’s name in the title along with the title of your ebook. Use testimonials from customers, friends and associates in the release.
- Track who downloads the press release, and follow-up with a thank you. Create a media database and add journalists who downloaded the release to it.
- Email members of your industry association with a text link to your ebook. Encourage reading it and offer an incentive (discount coupon, free tee shirt) if they link to it. If the association has large list, send variations of the text link. Showcase testimonials from friends (especially if they belong to the Association) and mention celebrity endorsement.
- Use the same incentive process for your Chamber of Commerce membership.
- Repeat incentive process for any forum you belong to.
- Repeat incentive process for any social network you belong to.
- Add an incentive offer directly to the cover of the ebook and to the last page.
- Search on “ebook directories” and add your ebook to the directories you find.
- Add the ebook incentive to all customer service correspondence and encourage linking from the people who already trust you.
Of course there’s more you can do to market your new ebook, but use this list to get started. Instead of trying to find cheap and easy ways to build links, find one good way to market your products. Quality links will come quickly if you do.
Debra Mastaler offers link training and custom link building campaigns through her Williamsburg Virginia based firm Alliance-Link. She is also the author of the link building blog The Link Spiel. The Link Week column appears on Tuesdays at Search Engine Land.
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