This is the way search engine optimization usually works – Google comes out with an update, people figure out how to manipulate the rankings and then Google publishes another update which punishes the manipulators. With the Big G getting stricter about the kind of links you can build to your website, it’s getting tougher to build links using old-fashioned techniques. Today, businesses need to get creative with their SEO. Here are some ways you can get links to your website without getting the Google slap.
1. Build software tools for your market.
This might sound like a counter-intuitive strategy. Unless you are a software company, why would you build tools which are useful to your competitors? And yet, these small tools can turn into a huge link-magnet for your business. For example, if you are a drywall contractor and you build a tool that automates business listings and offers one-click ordering, guess which website all the bloggers in your industry are going to link to? That’s right – yours. Creating handy tools which can be used by other people in your industry is a good way to get links to your website.
2. Use Facebook ads for press releases.
PR syndication services are usually expensive, and they don’t guarantee your work will be seen by all of the influencers in your industry. Instead, you can use a Facebook trick that lets you reach more people for a lower cost. What you need to do is make a list of the prominent bloggers or journalists in your market, and then search for them on Facebook. Once you’ve found their profiles, create a Facebook ad campaign which targets their profiles specifically. It’s easy and extremely effective.
3. Partner with local organizations.
If you want to get more backlinks to your website from a specific region, try partnering with local charities and organizations. Do some research and find out which organizations host events and conferences. Once you’ve found them, it’s simply a matter of reaching out and deciding on the sponsorship amount. Being a sponsor for charity runs, college events and local festivals is an effective way to earn some buzz and get some link juice.
4. Make some viral content.
Sometimes, thinking out-of-the-box can help you gain the Internet’s attention and pocket a handy bunch of links in the process. For example, Honda created the now-famous dual-sided advertisement for the Honda Civic R line. This advertisement had a video playing, and each time the viewer pressed R, the video would change to an alternate timeline showing a different version of the events on screen. It became wildly popular, earned millions of YouTube views, and was shared thousands of times over social media outlets. If you’re thinking “Well, Honda has a huge advertising budget,” think about this – how many other Honda Civic ads can you remember seeing?
5. Capitalize on openings left by dead businesses.
It’s a tough world – businesses are formed and die every single day. But sometimes, one entrepreneur’s misfortune is another person’s opportunity. Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, finds websites that have closed down, sends emails the websites which are linking to the dead ones, and then offers them a list of his own resources which the websites can link to instead of the dead links.
6. Capitalize on copyright violations.
Photographers and artists often face copyright violations on the Internet. Good artwork, photos and videos are routinely used by other people on their own blogs, Tumblr pages or other social media platforms. Instead of sending angry emails to the infringing parties, you can turn these pages into backlinks for your website. Just drag your image into the Google search bar and you will see where on the Internet the image is being shared.
7. Trade your services.
There are times when a single backlink is more valuable than payment for a service. If you find an opportunity in your industry to trade your services for a backlink from a reputable website, don’t be afraid to do so. For example, if you are a designer and a well-known website offers to purchase your image for an article, ask them if you can be compensated with a backlink instead.
As Google’s search algorithms get more complex, webmasters will have to come up with newer ways to build links to their websites. Most of the techniques mentioned above are relatively inexpensive. Use them in your business to gain quality backlinks for your website.