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John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, was captured in a Google+ hangout on February 13th saying that marketers should avoid focusing on link building, but instead focus on creating sharable content. While that is the main goal of content marketing, we still need to work at gaining links to get more traffic; we just have to be smarter about it.  Here are 10 “white hat” link building techniques that are still valuable:

  1. Continue to look for opportunities to contribute high-quality, audience-relevant blog posts to high-ranking websites, in order to become known over time as a thought leader in your industry.
    • Pro Tip: Sign up for Help-A-Reporter-Out (HARO) to monitor journalists’ needs for editorial that you can respond to, in order to get quoted. Create a folder and “rule” to move HARO emails automatically into it, otherwise they will fill up your inbox rather quickly as they send 3 emails per day.
  2. Sign up for Quora to respond to questions that people are asking on subject matters in your wheelhouse.
  3. Anywhere that you post – as a guest blogger, commenting on blog posts, responding to questions on social media, reviews of businesses you work with – be sure to include a link to your site in your bio or signature.
  4. Add your company to user review sites such as Yelp.
    • Pro Tip: Search on “[keyword] review” to find review sites in your industry.  Put in place an incentive program to encourage customers to leave an honest review on one of your approved sites, such as a discount off their bill, with proof of a link to their posted review.
  5. If your company has an interesting history in your industry, add an article on your company to Wikipedia.
    • Pro Tip: All information on a Wikipedia page needs to be sourced with third-party published links, so be sure you have enough content before you attempt it.
  6. Go through all your industry trade publications’ editorial calendars for the year and spreadsheet out what topics they will be covering.  Then reach out to them two months in advance of the publication’s editorial due date to provide information that may be of value to the assigned journalist.
    • Pro Tip: Trade mags are not interested in a sales pitch, but insight into the category or trends happening in your industry.  If you can tie-in your product by explaining how a current trend dictated development or an upgrade, that is acceptable.  Additionally, trade magazines are always open (and in some cases, only open) to case studies with a quote from your customer about their experience with your company.
  7. Turn your content into presentation format that can be published on slide-sharing sites like Slideshare, Brainshark, edocr and Slideboom.
  8. Take advantage of video marketing by working with us to create entertaining, brand-relevant content likely to be shared through social media, as well as, that integrates into your marketing automation platform for lead generation and trackable ROI.
    • Pro Tip: Utilizing our video production expert, we can right now distribute and monetize short-form video content through millions of mobile apps and “smart” devices (i.e. Samsung SMART TV and Blu-ray Players, Android, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Amazon Fire TV). Coming this summer, we will be able to offer distribution of short-form video as a live cable TV experience.
  9. Utilize paid and unpaid content syndication websites, such as NetLine Portal (has a cost-per-lead option called LeadFlow – for PDF’s, videos and webinars – and an unpaid option, ContentFlow – for PDFs only), Preview Networks, Taboola, Outbrain, Digital Relevance, Hexagram, Cadence9, Sharethrough, RealGravity (for video only), OneSpot, and Facebook and LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content (see also How To Target Your Audience on the Top 10 Social Media Websites)
  10. Utilize paid and unpaid social sharing tools, such as the HubSpot Social Monitoring and Publishing tool, Buffer (has paid and unpaid options), Hootsuite (has paid and unpaid options), Delicious and ServeSpring.

Did I miss any of your favorite link building techniques?  Let me know in the comments at bottom of the page.

If you don’t have in-house marketing resources to generate and distribute content, contact us to talk about how we can help. We’re flexible to work with you wherever you are at in creating an inbound program.