October 25, 2013:
Link building campaigns are the #1 cause for search marketer balding in the U.S .
Ok maybe not, but they do require time, patience, and persistence to be effective. B2B marketers enjoy link building campaigns not only because of the referral traffic and positive brand awareness generated, but also the ultimate gratification which accompanies acquiring a spectacular link.
In the last five years, link building has evolved from mass directory submissions and paid links, to sophisticated long-term outreach plans. Nowadays it might take months for B2B search marketers to acquire high quality inbound links, the results of which won’t be realized until months on top of that. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take advantage of low-hanging opportunities which will support your long-term link objectives.
The following is a list of link building tactics perfect for B2B marketers who wish to keep their hair, and improve their inbound link portfolios.
Take Advantage of Distributors & Partnerships
Don’t be a call-center. One of the worst approaches to a link campaign is to email random websites for a link on their website. Webmasters won’t waste their time editing old pages if they aren’t going to receive something in return. That’s why it’s important to look for mutually beneficial situations where websites have an incentive to help you out. To find this, first look to websites that you already have a relationship with.
Distributor and supplier websites are a great place to start. You already have business relationships with them and often times they already mention your brand or logo. If they don’t provide a link – ask them! Partner websites and associations are additional places to consider for the same reasons. If you don’t have a list of them in front of you, try performing a Google image search for your logo or flagship products. This can bring up distributor websites that have dedicated “manufacturer” or “partnership” sections of their websites.
Optimize Trade Show & Event Listings
Have you exhibited at any trade shows lately? Large shows will have websites with a section dedicated to exhibitors; business listings include anything from logos to full company profiles. I highly recommend finding your company profile and making sure it’s optimized with a proper link, anchor text, and company description if applicable.
You can locate your company’s profile by searching for an “exhibitor list,” “floor plan,” or “directory” section of the website. If you have an existing listing which you want to update or change, try logging in through the exhibitor dashboard. Sometimes additional listing information can be found by looking through the online marketing/promotional kits.
Unfortunately some tradeshow websites take advantage of their search marketing leverage, and charge upwards of $200 to list a link. Try to stay patient and avoid this approach – there are plenty of sites that will include links free of charge.
Support Content Creation with Blog Syndication
If you are already publishing relevant and insightful content, you should look to build upon your audience with blog syndication. Submitting your blog articles to news aggregation websites such as Social Media Today and Business 2 Community can be a great way to build links organically.
You can get your blog syndicated by searching for relevant industry websites and blogs that pull information or headlines from multiple sources. From there, search for the “submission guidelines” or “submit a link” sections of the website. If there isn’t a dedicated section for submitting articles, try contacting a writer or web administrator and asking if there’s any opportunities to contribute. Be sure to have some content ready to send it as examples, and ask if they implement canonical tags. This is important so that search engines recognize the original source of the content.
Track Brand Mentions
One of the simplest and most effective link building tactic is to find websites that reference your brand but neglect to include a link. To start, use tools such as SocialMention and IceRocket to locate brand mentions on blogs, social media channels and forums. You can also proactively monitor mentions by setting up some Google Alerts for key industry and brand terms.
Once you locate websites which mention your company, thank them with a tweet or Facebook post. Social channels are integral parts of link building outreach because they help you establish a personal connection with websites. If a website recognizes your name and company, they will be much more likely to respond to your requests. After making contact on social media, send a follow-up email which thanks them again for the mention and asks for a link.
These link tactics are not meant to be a definitive guide, but a helpful supplement to long-term link building efforts. Easy wins bring important short-term successes while other opportunities continue to develop. Just remember to stay patient, polite, and make sure the websites you contact are relevant to your industry.
What are your favorite link building tactics? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!