The daily grind of locating and trying to obtain links taxes the brain - it takes a certain kind of individual to actually enjoy building links <ahem>! The trawl and the digging leads to questions of how and why (not to mention how much of this should be personalised and how much can I automate without wasting my time). So today I have dug into the recesses of my mind for some techniques that you may not have tried yet...enjoy!
1. Chasing your brand
How successful this technique is dependant on how new (or old) your company or business is. Do a google search for your brand - but make sure your site never pops up, it will look like this:
This should give you a whole host of sites on which your brand name has featured - you just have to find out which ones are mentioning you but not linking. Get all of the information into your trusty spreadsheet and then set about contacting them. The more important the site and valuable the link - the more effort you put in. If there is a bunch of pretty low value sites merge their personal name and email en masse. Don't be afraid to follow up on the big ones!
2. Use your CEO or Managing Director for links
The boss quite often speaks at public events or at trade shows or dinners - general hob-knobbing (that's an English phrase for you!). Usually these will be at events that are organised by big companies or trade organisations (that are probably relevant to your niche) - verse your boss in how to ask for a link and then follow up yourself in an email. A little bit of gentle prodding never hurts...what's the worst that can happen?
3. Go the old fashioned route
Write a letter...did I just swear? In a world where everyone and their dog is sending link request that reads:
Dear Mr whoever,
I think your site is just super smashing and I would love link exchange with your site.
Kind regards Mrs Spamela Anderson
How much attention would you pay to a hand written letter. Of course this is something that should be retained for that special occasion as it isn't really scalable - remember it is a possibility and use it at the right time.
4. Create great 'about' pages
Invest a little time in your about pages and it may surprise you. These can be both about the company and about the prominent individuals within a company. It gives newspapers and other trusted sites relevant pages to link to if you speak at an event, or if they run a story about your company. In addition to this they are going to be deep links form trusted sources - nice!
5. Do real competitor research
By real I mean looking at the guys that higher than you (and lower than you) and work what is working (or isn't for them). You can look at whether anchor text works in that niche or whether it is branded links you need. Do they do a lot guest blogging or are they managing to succeed with comment spam. You can get a real sense of what it is that you need to do to get ahead of the competition and plan accordingly - time is precious, don't waste it. Something that I have started doing recently is giving myself visual reminders of what I need to be doing - like this:
Head over to Wordle to create your own link visualisations - you can use them for plenty of other reasons and they can be weighted for importance (on the example above 'guest blogging' is working within the niche and you may want to concentrate on this).
6. Be the first to cover a conference
Thi9s tactic can get you links when others cover the conference. Have one of your team writing whilst the other takes photos - then package it all together as quick as you can and publish. Although time is of the essence you have to remember that quality wins out. Don't be the first with rubbish content!
7. Use your website design
As Google seems to be moving towards great design (possibly) being a ranking factor - the Panda Update and site preview show they are paying attention- many people will be clamouring for new design. Use this for links, if you have a great design you can submit to a whole bunch of CSS galleries. These sites often have great authority and it takes hardly any work to submit them. Another idea would be to use all the design that you didn't go for - give them away, people will want them!
I hope this has fired you up and given you some ideas that are not just find site, email site, get rejected, start again.