It’s the on-going dilemma for SEOs, link builders, marketers and digital strategists (or whatever you want to call yourself these days) everywhere.
Just how do you go about building links for clients in “boring” or, to put it slightly less bluntly, “unattractive” niches?
(Apart from writing articles on “Top 10 Best Ever Screwdrivers” for www.free-article-directory-online-for-screwdrivers.com*?)
*Not actually a real website at time of writing.
That’s where Eric and Garrett come in. And when it comes to links, these two are worth listening to. Eric has been building links before links were even considered “a thing” or, indeed, anyone had even contemplated “SEO”. And Garrett is the founder of Citation Labs – an agency specialising in link building tools.
At the end of last year, the two link building gurus combined their expertise to produce a 90 minute webinar on “speed link building” for Citation Labs.
The premise was fairly straight forward. The pair would have five minutes to analyse 10 different websites submitted by users and attempt to generate some linking strategies against the clock. Despite the time restrictions, Eric and Garrett came up with some very viable solutions.
In case you don’t have the time (or you simply can’t be bothered) to sit through the full webinar – which I thoroughly recommend – here are six things that we learned that could help you in your link building efforts.
1) Engage with your clients
Are you utilising your clients as best as you can? You could be surprised to learn just how much link value you can get from engaging with your client. Chances are, the client themselves are going to have many more firm contacts in their respective industries than you will. Consider the following:
- Ask your clients whether they are a member of any industry-specific associations or governing bodies. Do they have an online profile? Has their profile been filled out completely with accompanying URL?
- Is your client exhibiting in any trade events – or have they done in the past? Many exhibition websites have profiles for companies.
2) Focus on your local area
Building links “for local” is nothing new but perhaps it’s best to consider just how valuable local relationships can be. If you can establish solid local relationships with small businesses then you will instantly improve your brand reach and reputation.
- Identify local businesses in a similar niche to your own and offer to do them a favour; have they got any errors on their website? Typos? Broken links? Don’t assume you can attain a link immediately – focus on the relationship first.
3) Streamline your approach
Is your client competing in a saturated market? Try to identify a niche – or streamline your approach to link building – within your respective industry. Is there a certain product you could base your linking strategy around or a certain demographic of people?
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find low volume variations on your keywords and identify niche areas.
4) Utilise customers and key influencers
Does your client have a particularly good relationship with a business or set of customers that regularly use their product or service? Would they be open to an interview that could go on your blog? Additionally:
- Send out free samples/tasters of your product/service to key industry influencers. If they’re suitably impressed then they are likely to blog and tell their social following about it.
- (Here is a link we built for one of our clients, UltraLEDs, by doing exactly this! http://www.greensteve.com/4207/focus-on-saving-energy-instead-of-generating-it/)
5) Source buyers’ guides
Despite how monotonous you may consider your client’s product or service, the likelihood is that someone somewhere will have created a trade magazine or publication (or buyers’ guide) about it. These are ideal advertising opportunities that will specifically target the exact demographic that your client’s product or service is catered for. While many of these opportunities are likely to be paid-for, their targeted nature makes them exceptionally valuable.
6) Develop a human interest
While this final point may not necessarily be directly related to “SEO” as such, it does have CRO repercussions and, therefore, ought to be something that you, as a marketer (or whatever), should be looking at. Evaluate whether the client is selling themselves as well as their products and services. Attempt to persuade users to buy into the business and people behind it – rather than focussing solely on what you want to sell.
- Is there an interesting story behind the beginnings of the business? Make it a prominent feature of the website.
- Develop a friendly and approachable brand by putting the business owner at the front of the business; have them produce regular blog posts or Q&A videos.