21 Link Building Ideas That Have Nothing To Do With Guest Posting


As an industry, I think we’ve gotten better at not relying completely on guest posting as the only way to get links. I think. At least, I sure hope we have.

Don’t get me wrong: Guest posting done correctly still works really well – note the emphasis on “done correctly.” I’m not recommending you remove it from your tactic list, but a little tactical diversity never hurt anyone.

Note: I’m keeping these high level and vague on purpose in order to inspire as many starter ideas as possible. I find this to be ideal for brainstorming. It’ll be up to you to take the ones you like, add your own twist, and flesh it out to make it work for your company. (C’mon, I can’t do all the work for you!)

PR Boilerplate. Press releases aren’t dead. Make sure you have an optimized boilerplate at the end of all of your news releases that talks about your company. It’s almost always included if/when your release gets picked up by another source.

Executive Bios. Make your executives available for interviews or Q&As with industry publications, and make sure all their standard bios have an optimized link.

Internal Linking. Don’t limit yourself just to external sources. Revise your internal linking strategy to make sure you’re giving Google all the right signals on what pages are most important.

Job/Internship Postings. Make sure any open positions you have live on your site, not just on Monster or Career Builder. Most colleges and high schools will link out to active listings, and you can refer traffic to your job posting from any of the listing sites.

Glossaries. Especially if you’re in a jargon-heavy industry, publish a glossary of terms or acronym list as a resource for others.

Reddit AMA. Especially if you’re in an interesting industry, participate in Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). You’ll get some great questions and start building a community of people. Then, compile the questions and answers in a blog post to share.

Crowdsourcing. Poll the experts in your industry and compile their thoughts about a recent news story or industry shift in a blog post of your own. You’re ego-baiting, and it’s likely they’ll do a quick write-up when they’re mentioned. If you’re asked to participate in a crowd-sourced article, always do it. You’ll get mentioned and a link.

Free-To-Use Images. If there’s one thing everyone needs, it’s copyright-free images. Create an image gallery that anyone can use as long as they attribute the source.

Chamber of Commerce. If you’re a local business, most chamber of commerce sites will include you in their business directory.

School Clubs. Volunteer to speak or help out at your local college or high school, especially if they have a student club that’s in your industry.

Work With Charities/Nonprofits. Especially with the holidays coming up, there are tons of opportunities for your company to give back to the community with a charity/nonprofit partnership. You can donate money or time to the cause – or, even better, co-host an event and help promote it. They’ll probably talk about and link back to you on their site. Make sure it’s something you have a passion for or something related to your industry. You’re not doing this for the link – you’re doing this to help a good cause.

Sponsor Events. The same tactic for charities but for events. Relevance is still critical here. Al’s Cigar Shop probably shouldn’t sponsoring the 5K Race to End Smoking. Don’t just give them money to sponsor – actually attend the event. Do a write-up of it afterward and ask the event to share it.

Contests/Giveaways. Pretty standard. Host a contest with a tasty prize and have people enter by writing on their blog why they should win.

Host Events/Meetups. Host an event or meetup. Invite influencers in your industry. Ask them to help spread the word. Most local newspapers or websites (like the chamber of commerce) have event and calendar listings that you can add to with a link back.

Broken Link Building. Still works, but refine your execution. No more “Dear Webmaster” email. Build the relationship. Position yourself as helping. Don’t necessarily ask for anything in return right away. Moz has the most comprehensive post on the best way to execute.

Testimonials. If you use a product or service (and really like said product or service), offer the company the ability for them to do a case study on you or if you can provide a testimonial on how much you like it. Again, make sure you actually A) use the product/service and B) really do vouch for it.

Data Insights. People love to link to anything rooted in data: “A new study found…” and “According to a recent survey…” are almost gold mines for content ideas and linkability because people want to report on findings. Use the data you already have, or ask your customers how they shop for your products.

User Research. Publish your own findings of any user research studies about how users shop/interact/buy within your industry. You can set up quick testing through UserTesting.com without a lot of cost.

A/B Testing. Did you make a change on your site that worked remarkably well? Tell people about it. If you use VWO or Optimizely, they frequently publish case studies of A/B tests that have worked well on their platform, so tell them about it and see if they’ll do a write up.

Keyword Research. Publish your keyword research for your industry in “Top Searched Terms For The Pretzel Industry.” It may seem counterproductive to be giving away keyword research to your competitors, but it’s not that hard to get anyway. This just puts in a readily available spot and provides an easy way for people to link to and share it.

Case Studies. Shoot, you don’t have to publish just digitally-driven things that you’ve done. Maybe you feng shui’d your cubicles or invoked Flannel Friday which increased morale 57%. If you’ve done something cool that others could mimic, write about it.

What are other some creative link building ideas you can think of that have nothing to do with guest blogging?

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