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Are you stuck in a rut with your link building programme? I'm in a sharing mood today so I thought I'd lift the lid on a selection of creative link building tactics I’ve been having success with...
I've yet to speak to any serious SEO that wouldn't want a little more 'link love' to power a specific keyword position, a section of a site or a domain's overall authority. So take a dash of customer insight, a pinch of target media knowledge, add a sprinkling of creative process and wash it down with some slick idea pitching, and the holy grail of editorial links can be yours (along with the natural search boost that comes with them).
Here’s a taste..
1. Interactive Video Content
Blog and specialist site owners love good editorial video content, so the fashion blogger community were going to love an interactive fashion show.
The creation of a digital catwalk meant that anyone that could not attend the event could watch the show from a virtual front row, while the ’hotspot’ element allowed viewers to click on any piece of clothing that catches their eye and instantly find out more information about the item.
2. Badge Schemes
A "badge" scheme involves the creation and promotion of a graphic link that third party sites are encouraged or incentivised to embed. This is a fantastic tactic to tap into advocates of your brand for the benefit of your natural search campaign.
But why would people but a badge on their site?
- They are massive fans of your brand. They want other people to know this. For example, here is a badge scheme we're promoting to customers of a water cooler supplier we work with:
- They are members of a group\club that you've created. Membership rules require the utilisation of the badge on the site. For example, a sportswear company offer free items of kit for running clubs for their members to test. In return for the kit the "official kit reviews" provide valuable independent reviews for the website as well as a link from the badge.
- They want to show off. For example, when we were fortunate enough to get a nomination from Econsultancy last year we were more than happy to place this badge on our site.
3. Feature Pitches
This involves developing exclusive content to a media partner. This is a tactic more traditionally associated with good old fashioned PR. However, as a link development tactic it's just as much (or I'd argue even more) value than the equivalent ad value that is often used to show ROI on this type of work.
To get a feature your story has to be super relevant to readers, be of high interest and be exclusive to your media target. The more exciting the collateral you can offer, the better your chances are off securing coverage.
You'll also need to know exactly who to speak to in order to pitch your idea. You'll want to know who looks after the online editorial as these people are often different to their offline counterparts. Rather than scrambling around to find the right contacts mercifully there are excellent media contact databases like www.gorkana.com that do the hard work for you.
You might even find services like www.responsesource.com useful. Sign up and you'll get requests directly from journalists for you to contribute to a feature. This might be an expert comment, images, a case study etc.
A feature pitch of "Dressing for the Recession" captured The Telegraph's imagination and they sent a journalist to interview our bespoke tailor client, giving them the chance to show off their expertise and showcase their suits. And…er… get a link from the Telegraph with some favourable anchor text.
SEOs: make friends with your PR Team, they are your best friends.
I think SEO is about to enter a creative era and shed the directory submissions and advertorial image of bygone link building days. It would be great to discuss these and any other examples the community would like to share.