3 Awesome Linkbuilding Tactics That You're Not Using
Most SEOs and amateur webmasters aren't taking the time to build effective backlinks. They're still chasing the easy links. Even after the Panda and Penguin updates, there is still a lot of link-wheeling, lame article marketing, and outright blackhat link buying going on. This stuff won't work over the long-term. In fact, webmasters are learning the hard way that Google means business. As the effectiveness of these tactics continues to decrease, you'll have to figure out new tricks. But, why not learn something with some staying power?
Too few people use this awesome keyword suggestion tool. When people go to Google, they tend to look for answers to problems they're having. That's the basic premise behind that boring white search box. You type in a question, and Google serves up an answer. We'd all like to type something into the search box and have awesome search results, and we know that it doesn't always happen. Here's your chance to make that happen and score some nice traffic.
Go to ubersuggest.org. You'll be presented with a screen that looks like this:
Then, you simply type in a keyword you want to search for. The way Ubersuggest is set up, you should type in a partial keyword. So, for example, if you were in the beef jerky business, you might type in something like "need beef jerky." The tool would give you these results:
From there you can drill down into second and third-tier keyword suggestions. In this example, let's choose they phrase "why doesn't beef jerky need to be refrigerated." That would make an excellent blog post:
Whoops! As you can see, the tool doesn't have any more suggestions. This is a good thing. It means that the keyword is long-tailed enough for you to write a good blog post about why beef jerky doesn't need to be refrigerated.
If you chose another keyword that could be drilled down further, it would look like this:
As you can see, there are a few more suggestions that you can use. Are these suggestions worth anything in terms of search volume? You bet they are. These aren't just randomly created search terms, they're actual terms people are using in Google. That means there's a real live human being on the other end of that phrase or question. Now all you have to do is compose a post titled: "How long does beef jerky take to dehydrate?"
Guess who will show up in G's SERPs for that phrase? You, that's who. If you're still skeptical about a given keyword using this method, just run it through Google's free keyword tool to check search volume. You can also use your favorite tool or search operator to check for competition in the search engine, but with long-tails like this, competition is likely to be pretty low.
Wil Reynolds runs SEER SEO and has come up with an unusual method of getting links: stalking. Seriously. He has an entire slide show about it: http://www.slideshare.net/wilreynolds/stalking-for-links
The idea is simple enough. Using a few nifty tools, and heightening your powers of observation, you find the person you want a backlink from and stalk them. Be it via foursquare checkins, Twitter, or even Facebook, it doesn't matter.
If your link target comes to your town, or is away on vacation and starts tweeting about it, follow their tweets and make helpful suggestions. Show them where the best burgers in town can be had. Help them find a 24 hour dry cleaner, or show them where the most exclusive nightclubs are and how to get in. When they return home, a bit for a bit and then send them an email about how awesome their site is and proposition them with your idea for a backlink. Make sure you offer them something of value in exchange for the link. Don't just ask for a backlink.
Buy Links (The Right Way)
Let's face it. Big companies like Forbes and J.C. Penny buy backlinks. Of course, sometimes, they get caught but there's a totally legit way to go about doing this. Call up a major player in your industry and ask about advertising. Pay to have your link appear on their site. This works well when there is a lot of traffic flowing to their site.
Set up your advertisement to look like an editorial piece (i.e. an "advertorial"). Include a link back to your site and you'll get two things: click-through traffic and a valuable citation on the major player's site. Now, if you want to protect yourself from the wrath of Google, you can even tell the other person that it's OK to make the link "nofollow" (if they know what that means). What you're really going for here is click-through traffic and a positive association with a big brand name in your niche.
Out of all of these tactics, the buying of backlinks represents the riskiest. To truly insulate yourself from a Google slap, you'll need the link to be nofollow'ed. However, that doesn't make the link worthless if there is enough click-through traffic. The important point in all of this is that you're building links in a way that isn't focused on manipulating the search engines. Because of that, those links will be around forever. In five years time, you'll find that your work has paid off. If you don't plan on being in business five years from now, then no linking strategy is really going to help you.