When we think about building new links for a website, our thoughts naturally turn to finding fresh external sites from which to solicit valuable backlinks. Typically, webmasters will look to their competitors to find link building opportunities. They may also look to blog-sites that offer information they see as valuable to their customer base. These are all natural, and potentially productive, link building strategies. But they take time. You have to run an analysis of your competitors’ sites, or search for blog-sites that you think will appeal to your demographic. Then you must compile a list of sites you want to contact. Finally, you need to send out link requests to everyone on your list and wait for replies. Assuming the best possible scenario, you may send out 1000 requests, from which you will get possibly 200 responses. Perhaps 10% of the webmasters that reply will accept your link request. That’s 20 new links for your site. A good result, but it took quite a bit of time and effort. Now what if you could begin building solid links by looking closer to home?
Link Building from Within
Ultimately, every webmaster and SEO wants to build new relationships that offer fresh link building opportunities. That’s the name of the game when it comes to raising a business’ online profile, forging new relationships and expanding the business’ identity and reputation. But most companies have already built some solid working relationships close to home, in the business world as well as their local communities. Unfortunately, they may be failing to exploit the link building potential that these connections offer.
Let’s look at a few internal “relationship building” opportunities that many businesses may be ignoring to help build back links.
Most companies have already established working relationships with other organizations. They may be business partners, retailers, vendors or sub-contractors. These real world relationships offer valuable link building opportunities. Every company or organization that you do business with is likely to have their own online identity. More often than not they may be promoting your product or service through their own website, without linking back to you. These daily business contacts are prime sources of valuable backlinks. More over, your daily contact with these companies makes it easy to solicit links.
A business’ employee base also offers substantial link building opportunities. Today, most people have three or more social media profiles. They are also likely to be involved in a variety of other online communities, including industry specific forums and social platforms. Your employees’ online profiles can be scaled to provide valuable links to your business. Also consider the online and real world connections of your management team. Those that are involved in active alumni groups or local civic organizations can also be a prime source for links to your company.
Many successful businesses regularly take part in community service projects. These might take the form of charitable donations, sponsoring local events, or even offering open house tours or internships for local high school and college students. When a local business engages in any community service project, they typically get substantial advertising in return for their participation. It’s a good way for a business to build name recognition in their community. In addition to receiving a bit of free advertising for you donations, ask for a link from the project’s website. Once again, this is an easy get and most community service organizers will be more than happy to provide the backlinks you request.
Link building is one of the major tools in any successful SEO strategy. Generally, webmasters and SEOs look to external sources for valuable links that can help them build an authoritative online profile. It’s a tried and true technique, but it takes time. While you are waiting for those external link request to be answered, why not utilize that time to take advantage of the valuable link building opportunities that may be available close to home. For a larger list of ideas in “relationship building”, take a look at this article for 99 Ways to Build Links.