Link building today is not as easy pre-Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. It is not true that link building services are purely digital. In fact, link building is a creative undertaking that can be done online and offline. Here’s how.
1 Host an event
Small local events are a great way to build relationships given the right circumstances. Importantly, invite the right people to be on the event specifically those who can offer link opportunities such as local media, local influencers, famous bloggers in your niche and target audience.
Certainly, the local news team will cover the event and come up with a news story about the event. Just make sure that the media members will put a link to the story. Such links are valuable since Google mostly trust news sites.
Bloggers and influencers often have digital profiles where they can share the whereabouts of your about and perhaps a link or two. Links can be in a synopsis or review. Link opportunities are also high with these people.
The very reason you are hosting the event is your target audience. Hopefully, some of them have their respective blogs or sites where they can post a feature article or review about the event. Link opportunities are not that high but are still valuable for the purpose.
When organizing the event, consider these:
- Build a PR team (if you don’t have one) and think of ideas on how to connect with your ‘real’ world audience
- Research on who should go to your event before creating the invite list
- Solicit insights on who should be invited to the event by asking your employees and colleague
- Use a hashtag that all attendees can relate to and can be easily tracked once mentioned on various platforms
- Increase participation through conducting interactive games and activities
- Integrate the event promotion across various social platforms
- Provide attendees with collateral that they directly lift and publish or quote on their sites or blogs
While at it, you may give away branded merchandises. When we say ‘branded merchandise,’ it means your company logo and info are printed or embossed on the merchandise.
Events such as conferences are the perfect venue to give merchandises away since most of the attendees are within the same industry or niche as yours. These are the people who can talk about your company freely and encourage (or influence) others to visit your site.
Nevertheless, you need to give away something that the people need; something that they’d be excited to receive and brag. Give something that prompts conversations. Just don’t give the merchandise and ask for a link. That’s a no-no!
2 Sponsor an event
Not all companies are ready to commit to organize an event though there is the eagerness to get involved. The next best thing is to sponsor a local event. Link opportunities on sponsorship are plenty.
Not to mention, sponsorship builds brand exposure and awareness and promotes goodwill. Though this might depend on your choice of event to sponsor, remember, we love to associate ourselves with positive people, object, occasion, etc. More likely, those who will attend the event will mention your brand as a sponsor digitally or otherwise.
3 Attend an event
Link opportunities depend on whether you are an event attendee or speaker. Undeniably, opportunities are greater in the latter whether it is an online or offline event.
Industry experts are frequently invited during big events. Good thing if you are an industry expert since attendees will surely write and link back to you. If not, you can leverage the opportunity by writing an in-depth blog post about the event for the sake of those who are unable to attend the event and hopefully, the speakers and other attendees will link back to your site.
Again, if you are an industry authority, you may give interviews and provide quotes. The interviewer will link to you, and so are the attendees who will link to the interview. The process increases your link’s value even more.
If you are an attendee, you can do networking while at the event. You may even find potential partners, prospect vendors or niche association to join. All of these networks can lead to high-quality links. In fact, interacting with other companies’ representative can positively lead to a valuable link.
4 Be an advocate
Sometimes, events are more formal ways to link build. Start within your firm. Let your employees be your brand advocates. Encourage them to encourage others to visit the website when the relevant opportunity arises.
Have them wear a t-shirt with the company’s logo and URL in it. People will look at it and remember. Even when the practice does not lead to new links, it will bring more traffic to the site. So, it’s a win-win situation for your brand.
During events, just be nice and polite to other people. The nicest people at events usually gain more friends and yes, links. Conversations start with ‘who are you’ and midway, ‘what do you do’ or ‘where do you work.’ Exchange of business cards is often part of the conversation.
Offline as the new online link building
Many a reasons offline link building continue to be a good practice especially for startup companies.
– Establishing long-lasting personal and business relationships
– Receiving more natural links
– Receiving high-quality links
– Receiving more targeted traffic that can lead to conversions
– Building positive brand awareness
– Creating brand equity
– Obtaining more brand advocates
Evidently, there is nothing ground breaking about the strategies to build links offline. Nonetheless, the processes outlined above are sustainable. Your SEO company may take part on the event by researching for the right event for your niche and target audience.
Link builders need to squeeze their brains to let their creative juices flow. Pun intended. Kidding aside, the opportunities to link build are endless. Not just in the digital world, but also in the ‘real’ world. Above are some of the channels that you can exploit. Bear in mind it takes more than a keyboard and mouse. Good luck!