There’s nothing I hate more than revamped and regurgitated content – and unfortunately, the SEO world is full of advice so often repeated that it only serves to waste your time.
In my last article – 13 Unconventional Link Building Strategies – I broke that mold by showing you some of the more unusual link building strategies that I use to help my clients’ websites gain traction. brand recognition and high rankings in search results pages.
Today I have a few more techniques to share with you. I hope you find them useful as you grow and develop your own web projects!
Strategy #1 – Build a free tool or software
Website owners are always on the lookout for new techniques that will help them outrank their competitors and tools that will make the website management process easier. As you’d expect, if you provide a tool or software that helps site owners manage either of these needs, you’ll end up with a lot of good press and, therefore, more backlinks to your site.
Strategy #2 – Build additional microsites
If you’ve worked in web marketing for a while, you know that one-way backlinks from highly relevant, high-quality sites are pretty much the best links you can get. But since it can be difficult to get other site owners to link to your pages, why not just create your own “microsites”? A small WordPress satellite site that slowly releases original content can gain PageRank fairly quickly, making it the perfect way to start redirecting strong links to your site.
Strategy #3 – Exchange services with local businesses in exchange for links
Barter has long been an acceptable form of payment, but in this case, instead of bartering goods or services, you will be bartering backlinks. To make this technique work, ask your existing business connections if they have any small projects you can help with. Instead of charging your usual rate, simply request a link back to your site.
(Of course, as with most of these techniques, you’ll get the best results if your links come from businesses that are relevant to you. For this reason, when researching potential link partners, try to focus your activities on companies within your same industry.)
Strategy #4 – Distribute content on Scribd, Slideshare and Docstoc
All of the sites listed above allow users to share information materials with others for free. Documents shared on these sites are generally well regarded by search engines, making it easy for users to find your content and share it with other users. Start by posting a few small reports on these sites and monitor the impact on your backlink profile. If you see good growth, expand your presence here to increase your total backlinks even more.
Strategy #5 – Buy an existing blog
This technique works like strategy #2, except instead of reinventing the wheel and building sites from scratch, you simply buy existing sites to link to your main pages. Although you should continue to update these additional sites regularly, you will save a lot of time on creating new pages. To find existing blogs, check Flippa.com for relevant listings or contact site owners who have let their blogs lapse over time.
Strategy #6 – Provide testimonials for popular products
Regardless of your industry, there are likely people selling physical and digital products online in your niche. When creating the sales copy needed to sell these products, retailers often look for good testimonial content to make their pitches even more effective. One way to leverage this need to your advantage is to offer to review products from these retailers in exchange for a backlink pointing to your own site.
Strategy #7 – Develop a Firefox or Chrome plugin
Similar to strategy #1, posting free Firefox or Chrome plug-ins can be a great way to quickly generate interest and backlinks to your site. However, for either of these strategies to work, your tool or plugin must be interesting enough that site owners want to share it with their audience. Take a look at the existing plugins available and find ways to improve their functionality, or create something entirely new based on an unmet need you discover.
Strategy #8 – Develop infographics
Infographics are a classic type of linkbait content, as they tend to be shared socially more often than standard articles. Unfortunately, too many people believe that creating these informative graphics is a difficult or even impossible task, which prevents them from taking advantage of this great opportunity. However, there are so many talented graphic designers working today that having infographics developed based on the stats you provide can be done efficiently and cheaply (although the total cost to do so often pales in comparison to the number of backlinks you will receive for a good infographic).
Strategy #9 – Publish Free WordPress Themes or Plugins
By publishing a free WordPress theme or plugin, you won’t just be building links through blog and forum mentions by people using your tools – you’ll also have the ability to embed a link on every site where your theme or plugin is installed. Just make sure you familiarize yourself with WordPress’ disclosure requirements, because tricking users into auto-deploying your links could get you kicked out of the blogging giant’s directory.
Strategy #10 – Recover missed link opportunities
Set up Google alerts that notify you whenever someone mentions your branded keywords and see every site that appears in your alerts. If you see people linking to your website, or if your 404 logs indicate that people who should be linking to you are no longer linking to you, contact those webmasters and ask them to link to your content to provide attribution. appropriate.
Strategy #11 – Organize a charity event
What goes around comes back – and that’s certainly true for link juice! A fun and useful way to get your website name out on the internet is to host a charity event or fundraiser online. Not only will you be able to help people with the donations and awareness you raise, but your site will benefit from all the press mentions your event receives.
Strategy #12 – Join a Business Networking Group
Business networking groups come in all shapes and sizes – from informal groups of local business owners to structured networking programs like BNI. Each of these meetings is a great way to put your business in front of others, as well as uncover potential backlink opportunities from business owners in related niches whose customers can benefit from your unique products or services.
Strategy #13 – Talk to Local College Classes
While .edu links can be incredibly valuable, they can also be difficult to earn. To grab a few of those powerful backlinks, reach out to colleges in your area to arrange gigs. Whether you’re giving a presentation on an industry topic to a specific class or hosting a seminar at the school’s career center about your field of work, chances are those presentations will earn you at least a handful of links to college departmental websites.
Strategy #14 – Recognize “power users” on your site
If you want your website visitors to become true advocates for your brand, consider implementing a system to recognize their contributions on your website. For example, you can award a “Power User” badge to the person who provides the most insightful comments on your company blog. By acknowledging readers in this way, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll mention your site – with a backlink – on their own pages.
Strategy #15 – Build business relationships with sites in your industry
Essentially, this strategy follows the “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” philosophy. By building relationships with other sites in your industry (especially ones that have large audiences and aren’t direct competitors), you should be able to uncover a few natural, organic opportunities to promote each other’s content. Don’t trade link for link, but find ways to promote your contact’s site and they’ll probably reciprocate at some point.
Strategy #16 – Sue someone or be sued
Alright, this one is pretty far out of the box – and there’s no doubt that become involved in a legal dispute will likely cost you more in legal fees than you would spend on most other backlinking techniques. However, you can’t deny that getting involved in a high-profile lawsuit can lead to thousands of backlinks being generated from the media coverage, making it a possible way to quickly increase the size of your backlink profile.
Strategy #17 – Hire a Publicist
If you want to court publicity in order to increase the number of links pointing to your site, suing someone isn’t the only way to do it. In fact, you’ll likely be able to achieve the same results by hiring a traditional PR agency to drive both brand interest and backlinks to your site.
What other unique link building techniques do you use when building link juice to your websites? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!