It’s no secret that link building remains an important function of any SEOs job description, and with a focus put on quality of links by Google, it’s as important as ever to ensure you’re delivering.
However it’s easy to over complicate the concept of building your link profile by looking for increasingly more creative, and outrageous ways to drive links. In this article we take a step back and look at 6 ‘simple’ ideas to remind us that sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones.
Understanding our clients is not just about learning their business objectives and expectations, but also understanding more about their background and their position in the industry. Most business owners will have a wealth of experience you can tap into which are link building opportunities just waiting to happen.
In fact our very own business director Paul Egan, who worked as a Sound Engineer for years before joining Atom42, offered his words of wisdom to job switching site Career Shifters, gaining a link for Atom42.
Most companies will also have a wealth of customer data at their fingertips which, if you look closely enough, can provide unique insights into their audience. In order to sign up to Match.com, each user has to complete a survey indicating their preferences when it comes to dating. As one of our clients, we were able to work with the PR team to create totally unique and shareable content providing an insight into the dating preferences of the UK.
It’s not always possible to extract data from your client, and perhaps your client doesn’t want to become a case study in their own right. Thankfully that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
The government regularly release data on across a huge variety of industries, so stay close to updates in your industry to see how you can re-shape these findings with your own angle.
Combine this with opportunities for thought leadership from your client and you have some totally unique and linkable content.
The press will always be a ripe source of links, but you have to know how to approach them. By being reactive and prepared to comment on topical news stories, you’ll be presented with numerous opportunities to gain links from news sources. There are tools like Response Source or HARO which you can sign up to for these updates with the added benefit of only receiving requests from industries or areas of interest that you’ve subscribed to. Or for no budget at all it can be as simple as looking for #journorequests on Twitter, with hundreds of requests from people looking for comments, opinion and views to be used in articles and stories across the web.
If you can provide journalists with data from your client to support their news story then you’ve got even more chance of being featured, so ensure you’re always looking for a way to set yourself apart.
A few minutes work gained us a high quality link from The Telegraph for our client aspect.co.uk, thanks to a quick response to a Journo Request. No need for a lengthy new piece of content, no spend required, It really can be as easy as that.
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Most great ideas are borne out of nothing, and that’s okay providing you can build out your idea afterwards. Make sure all your content has an aim and a hook that you can link back to your client, otherwise it simply won’t work.
If you have an idea from nothing, build it out, use geographical or demographic hooks to give it an angle that works. We were able to use data from government statistics to create a run-down of best commuter towns for our client Vivo, gaining us a number of high authority links in the process.
To minimise your link building work load even more, you don’t even have to find your own list of link building opportunities; use someone else’s.
Found an article talking about something your client specialises in? Use their data set and contact all of the sites that originally linked to the primary articles asking them if they want to use your clients stats.
Driving links is all about creating the right kind of content, but it can be difficult to work out what this is. If you ever need inspiration in marketing, your first point of call should always be your competitors. Look at their social media conversations (as well as your own) to see what customers are asking and talking about.
Use forums across the internet to tap into important conversations in your industry. Even looking closer to home can help you understand the space you’re in and find some relevant insights to guide your content.
For our client Three, we’ve been able to access FAQs from call centre support teams to create interesting and relevant content that feeds right into the issues of the moment.
Driving links from content is great, but it’s important to remember that content is so much more than just a tool to increase your Domain Authority. If your content isn’t adding anything else to your site, then chances are Google will see the warning signs. Consider how your content contributes SEO value. Is it long form? Does it discuss topics relevant to your brand? Have you included internal links to improve onsite engagement and help bring more valuable information to the user? All of these factors give your content, and therefore your site, increased credibility.
Content isn’t just about SEO value either. By using clever targeting in paid media to amplify your content, you can introduce your brand to a new audience of users without using direct response messaging. As people are becoming increasingly aware of adverts online, offering them extended value through useful and engaging information might just be the prompt they need to come back and convert further down the line.