If You Don’t Ask For A Link You Won’t Get One – Get Your Staff Engaged In Link Building

Clive Lobo

Christopher KataAs the owner of a business trying to increase traffic and sales from your corporate website you and your employees need to be thinking about link building all the time. You should be meeting with key staff and ensuring they understand why a link is important, how easy it can be to get one, and While on page search engine optimization is important, it’s the quality links and anchor text that really get the rankings climbing. In sales the saying goes, if you don’t ask for the deal, you won’t get the deal. Link building is the same – you have to ask for the link, even if you think you’re going to get one any way. Don’t assume that you’ll get one.

Links can come from anywhere in your business and every employee is going to have the opportunity at some time to ask for one. Here is a list of examples where your employees could be getting you a link if they stop to think about it, and ask for one:

  1. Charitable Sponsorships. If you’re company sponsors charities, events, athletes, you name it – odds are there is a website setup with a page to thank sponsors. Know what your anchor text should be, and URL and be sure to ask them to put it on their website. They may not know the value of the link – but it’s a tremendous way to say thank you!
  2. Business Partners. If you’ve aligned yourself with other businesses to deliver services, or co marketing you need to get links from one another. While reciprocal links are not as powerful as one way links, they are still worth obtaining as they deliver some value, and also serve to keep the mix of links natural looking to the search engines.
  3. Reseller Agreements. If you’ve made arrangements to resell services you should definitely request a link or branded page on that resellers site.
  4. Business Awards. There are many business related awards at various levels including things such as Canada’s 50 Best, Brahnam 300, Profit 100, and I am sure there are many more in Canada and the US. Besides the obvious business benefit of being listed, you’ll get a link to your site! You should become familiar with the awards you may qualify for and actively pursue them.
  5. Press Releases. Most companies issue Press Releases. Some even post them on their website. However, you need to make sure you staff is including anchor text and hyperlinks to your site within these Press Releases, and issue them as PDF’s or HTML, both on your website, but also to the Online Press Release sites. Note: Search engines can index PDF content as long as the text is text based, and not a scanned graphic. Any hyperlinks in the document will be indexed as well!
  6. Industry Research. Some employees are engaged in researching online and perhaps even participating in forums. If they are reading blogs or forums these are perfect opportunities to leave blog comments pointing to your site, and forum responses with signatures that do the same.
  7. Interviews. From time to time your company, or staff may be interviewed about your business or your industry expertise. Whatever the case make sure you request a hyperlink with specific anchor text be included with the article as many of these stories wind up on websites.
  8. News Articles. Much like the Interviews, if you are referenced in an article be sure to ask for a link.
  9. White Papers / Articles. If you have staff writing whitepapers and articles be sure they know to include appropriate links and anchor text back to your site. They should also know to submit the articles to all of the relevant article submission sites.
  10. Customers. When the time is right, always approach your customers for a link from their website. If you’ve done your job well they won’t mind!

Now that we’ve established the various opportunities available to obtain a link, lets have a look at what a well constructed link should consist of. A well constructed link should consist of the following components:

  • Anchor Text: This is the text that the user reads and clicks to follow the link. You want to avoid using your company name if possible and use one of your more important keywords instead.
  • URL: The destination URL – this is the link. Try not to link directly to your home page but rather to a page in your site relevant to the topic of the Anchor Text.
  • Title: A short description of the link.

So, when you’re requesting a link be sure to provide the Anchor Text, Title, and Destination URL to be used – don’t leave it up to the person who is giving you the link!

Here is a picture of a what a well constructed hyperlink looks like with the above three elements. Click the thumbnail to see the full diagram.
Diagram of a well constructed link

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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