Got a site with tens of thousands of pages? Chasing a lot of long tail terms? If you do, you are probably already aware that this means you need a lot more links than a smaller site, and you need to get deep links as well. In fact, it's likely that you need tens of thousands of links. You also need to obtain some really high quality links to boot.
This means that the rules of the game are quite different for you, and the only way you are going to win is through achieving some serious visibility. You also need to plan for a much higher level of investment in your web promotion strategy than smaller sites. It also goes without saying that the great majority of those pages need to contain interesting and different unique content. Assembling this horde of great content is by itself a hard task, but not the subject of this post.
To win at this game, you need to get to a place where your visibility produces links for you. Here are a few ways that can be done:
Main Stream Media: Become the darling of one or more major publications, such as Newsweek, Time Magazine, or any other of these larger magazines. Of course, focus on the major publications that are related to your space. How do you reach these people? The old fashioned way, and perhaps still the best way, is to use a PR agency to help you. Making headway with writers and editors are major publications is best achieved by leveraging trusted relationships. However, social media campaigns as outlined below, can help you get some visibility in these circles as well.
Blogs: Here the goals is to reach the major influencers among the bloggers (you could say the same about main stream media above). These are people who reach a large audience of people relevant to your product or service. Developing a relationship with them is exactly like a business development process. You need to earn their trust. You can try to do this directly, or, once again, there are many PR agencies that have trusted relationships with significant portions of the blogoshpere.
Social media: This has been one of the hottest areas in web marketing for a while. Sites like Digg, Reddit, and del.icio.us can deliver a lot of traffic and links. But there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, or social media sites out there. Many of these are targeted sites, and finding ones relevant to your site or business would be a great thing to do.
Getting to the home page of Digg can net you hundreds, or even thousands of links. So this can help with the volume game in a limited sort of way. It's limited because all the links go to one page, and ultimately, you want thousands of deep links to pages all over your site. So once again, it's a visibility game that you playing here. You need to reach the influencers, in main stream media, and in the blogoshpere, and a smart social media strategy can help you do that.
One last point about social media is that you can't just write and article that is good enough to make a social media site's home page. It also has to be good enough that an influencer will be interested in linking to it. This is a somewhat higher bar. The best social media strategies depend on content that is good enough for both purposes.
Facebook Applications, Widgets, and/or Gadgets: This is a relatively new hot area. A successful Facebook Ap/Widget/Gadget (referred to as a "Widget" from here on out) can achieve an awesome level of visibility. Many people are able to get their Widget installed by millions of people. That's impressive.
What makes the best type of widget is the subject of a long post all it's own, but for purposes of obtaining links, the visibility by itself is very helpful. A really good widget design could draw content from pages all over your large site, and expose that content to a huge audience. Used this way, it can help with drawing links to the deep pages on your site.
Even while you are doing all these great things to get lots of links, you also need to focus direct attention on getting very high value links. These are the sites that are potentially treated by the search engines as authority sites, and you need links from them to win. This is also a business development type effort, where you build a relationship with a major influencer, and get them to link to you.
Ultimately, if you have unique, great content, the search engines will be a help as well. As you start getting basic rankings in search engines people will begin to find you there. Then the content can do the selling for you, and help you get great deep links too.
The key is to find a balance of the types of strategies outlined above that will net you the high volume links, the influencer links, and the authoritative links. Once you have this process humming, you should be in good shape.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!