How to Start a Link-Building Campaign

Finding your external resources for audience development and discovering how they can help you get to page one in Google.

This week we’re going to talk a little about link-building. A great way to drive website traffic and the #1 way to get your pages listed on page one in any search engine is to have a substantial number of inbound and outbound links. A blog is clearly the best way to build both types of links, but how do you get people to link to your blog?

First, figure out who would benefit from linking to you.

Bloggers. You might be surprised to know that many bloggers rely on outside articles to supply their blog with updated, relevant information. Many blogs are a quick “copy & paste” of information with a link to the external source. However, even journalistic blogs will cite other blogs as references for their information.

Building relationships with bloggers isn’t an exclusive party that you need to be invited to. Any time you get an email or a comment from someone on an article that you’ve written, make sure you follow up with them. If they are reading your content, they clearly think you are a reliable resource and this could be the start of a great business relationship.

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Business Partners. These could be your blogger friends, your conference networking buddies, old colleagues, but they may also be your not-really-but-kind-of, competition. A strategic alliance is always beneficial to both parties (or it should be), and offering a link for a link isn’t unheard of, even with your competitors and many times your customers, if the shoe fits.

Customers. Who better to spread the word about you than your loyal clientele? Offering links in your thank-you emails to related articles, and even outwardly asking them to link to you is a great way to invite traffic to your site. Many people won’t even think about it until someone brings it to their attention. Remember, no matter how small, an incoming link is one more vote into Google presidency.

Suppliers. Bet you didn’t think of this one. How about offering testimonials (closing with a link to your site) on the testimonial pages of your dealers? Most every business can use constantly updated testimonials, so a good deed for a good deed is good business. Also, see if you can get listed if they have a “Partners” page.

Friends. If all else fails, talk to your friends. In the digital age, almost everyone has a blog or is part of some social network. Tell your friends to link to your site in their forum signatures, blogrolls, MySpace profiles, anywhere they can think of.

Overall, in order to get valuable links to your website, your blog must have useful informative content that people consider link-worthy. A great way to get noticed, without outwardly asking for links, is to get out into the blogging community and start commenting on other blogs. Most blogging platforms will link to your website when someone clicks on your alias.

So for today, start thinking of all the inbound link contacts you could be making, and on Wednesday we’ll tell you what to do with them.

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