People Build Links

Begging for links with some good piece of content by email is what many companies call link-building nowadays. But I feel old-fashioned lobby work, networking, and people skills are much more effective, with or without that content. Knowing the right people in person and getting links based on goodwill can provide the best links, but it can also be very time-consuming. So how do you focus your networking activities on link acquisition?

Who Are the Right People to Know?

It is always good to know your competition in person, but most industries are too competitive to just link to a competitor. The use of intermediate websites is often the only way you can still benefit from your contacts among competitors.

Knowing industry press and important freelance journalists that write about your topics is much more effective. Attend the events that they visit and just chat for a while. If it seems worth the effort, make a real connection with some of them. These contacts can be important for the links on news websites and for spreading newsworthy messages with their news sites as a starting point.

Industry bloggers are often used to attempts for bribery, but they might be less weary when you casually meet and treat them to a couple of drinks. More than once have I seen my clients achieve real friendships with important bloggers that eventually make their online business and SEO traffic skyrocket.

Related industries that aren’t in direct competition with your services probably have their own conferences and networking events. Attending these puts you in contact with their representatives, but you can also go to online marketing events that their online people will attend. A focus on their online team is often a much easier connection to get their links. Because they don’t directly compete with you, promoting each other’s services or doing a joint promotion are just a few of the options for link acquisition.

Sites with a lot more link value than yours, like those of large corporations and multi-nationals, are often just run by inexperienced online marketers. To be able to do a joint promotion with some of them, you need to get in contact with the business unit with some connection to what your website offers. Getting invited for an introduction will likely just require a phone call.

Charity organizations have great link value and those websites will probably mention fundraisers or promotional campaigns by your company, even unsuccessful ones. Having visited their office often allows for even bigger joint promotions and more media attention for them.

Link Acquisition Intent Is an Unknown Concept

Very few people in an organization understand the concept of link-building and its value to Google ranking. They will definitely not be weary of somebody getting in contact just for that reason. These are, however, the same people that can place links on the company website and for various reasons see no harm in doing so. Just provide them with a reason to do so.

Can you partner up and offer all their members a discount on your products? Can you write a great testimonial on their products? Are you able to bundle your services as a single package to offer on both of your websites? Can you co-sponsor one of their events? These and many other methods of collaboration all get you a link from their website. Just look for the easiest and cheapest way and use your personal connection as leverage. Knowing the right people is key for the highest quality of links. Attracting links of the masses requires a totally different strategy, but hard to get links requires your personal connection to the people behind that website.

Not a Very Good Networker? Send a Lobbyist!

A link-building service many online marketing agencies offer is contacting potential link partners by email and getting them to link to a client. This in a sense is online lobby work and there are already a couple of SEO firms that offer offline lobbyists for the same purpose. Will this become a future aspect of search engine optimization?

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