When marketers and SEOs talk about link building, the major focus is usually on things like content distribution, guest blogging, directory submissions, and things like that. Yes, all of these are cool and make sense, but if you think about it, for most people, especially business owners, most of our time is not spent online.
When we are not online, we are in the real world; meeting and talking to people, building new relationships, etc. Since we spend most of our time off the computer, why not acquire links then? Building links offline? How? This is what this article is all about.
Tip #1: Reward People
I could really use an example to illustrate what I want to say here. Okay so let’s say you are a gym owner, and a basic membership to your gym costs $25/mo., and you have a $49 initiation fee. A nice way to get people to link to you would be to give them 50% off the initiation fee (or completely waive the fee) if they link to you. If they have a website or blog, great! If not, they could do it from their social accounts. This is an “expensive” example, I know. It’s not set in stone though; you can come up with your own ideas. An alternative to this would be to offer a free bottle of water or a free protein shake after a workout if they share your link (a one-time offer).
Tip #2: Interviews
Interview popular people in your industry. Most popular people LOVE having the spotlight and attention on them. They spread the word about it when that happens…often in the form of links! It doesn’t stop here. People who like them also tend to talk about the events their “idol” or “authority figure” feature in.
So here we are looking at a post on a popular blog maybe. Or a tweet from an account with tens of thousands of followers or more. Plus several retweets and blog posts of their own as well. Great potential here!
Tip #3: Host an Event
Hosting an event with multiple speakers is kind of like a ‘blown up’ version of tip #2. I say “kind of” because it’s not really an interview. It’s more like a lecture. Having multiple speakers means more linking potential with multiple authority figures. The opportunities do not end here. Let’s not forget about the audience. You can network with them too. Ask for links, it won’t hurt if you are not too pushy. Don’t have the money to rent out a large space? You don’t have to. You can host an event online, with Google+ Hangouts On Air.
Tip #4: Sponsor a Local Event
Local events are relatively cheap to sponsor. Plus, the fact that it’s local actually plays in your favor. People know your brand, business and location. It’s not like you are a new kid on the block. By sponsoring a local event, you can acquire links from the website of the event itself, from local news sites, as well as from social shares of the people you are helping out.
I would get into the non-SEO advantages of having people seeing your brand name at several local events multiple times, but this is beyond the scope of this article. But I just thought it was worth mentioning: It can only do good to your business.
Tip #5: Ask Friends
There are 87 million + Tumblr blogs and nearly 60 million WordPress blogs. Blogs are made by people. Some of them might be your friends. You might not be aware of a popular blog or page some of your friends might have. This is why you should just ask your offline friends for links if they can help. Even if your friends don’t have any online ‘property’, they might know someone who does. Real-life networking; who would have known, right? Depending on how good a friend you’ve been to them, you might get links just cause you asked.
Real-life links are a real thing. I’ve shared links myself because I was bribed to do so (I got a free mug saying ‘Like us on Facebook’ – I liked AND shared the link on my other social accounts). The good thing about the tactics above is that they are real, valuable techniques. They will never be flagged as being spammy or blackhat. They will always work, no matter the year or the name of the update. A technique that lasts long is a technique worth investing in.