If you’ve been online for any length of time, chances are you already know you need inbound links if you want your website to be noticed by the search engines.
Some search engine specialists don’t even recommend submitting your sites manually anymore – just get links, links, and more links.
But, wait. Before you run out to the link farm nearest you, there is more to it.
The key is to get high quality inbound links. One-way links from well established sites should be your ultimate link building goal.
After setting that goal, you may realize achieving it is easier said than done. It requires effort. Often, creative effort.
People Love Freebies
Hardly seems fair, does it?
The reason this works well for Adagio is because people like the idea of getting something for free. And if you look closely at their link rewards program, you’ll notice what else they are doing.
Think about it – what is Adagio giving away for free and how much does it really cost them? Once people sample Adagio’s products and like them, naturally, they will want more and that translates into more orders.
Adagio is building a repeat customer base and their brand at the same time they are building their inbound links. Three birds, one stone — now that’s what I call really smart marketing.
Make Someone A Winner
If you don’t happen to have a large inventory laying around, another creative way to get inbound links is to hold a contest.
People inherently want to feel like winners. Just the possibility of winning is enough to prompt most people to take action – just look at the state Lotteries.
Mike Dammann of Blog Party Network held a contest for bloggers.
At first glance, it seemed like just another way for bloggers to win $250, but if you took a closer look at the entry rules, you’d have notice that it was a very clever link building campaign.
First, make a post to your blog about BlogParty with a link back to www.BlogParty.net. [emphasis added]
Before the end of the contest, Mike may have received hundreds of quality one-way links with a cost of only $250.
If cash is in short supply, then you could offer something else that is readily available to you as the prize.
When I ordered a new cell phone, the company sent me a free Jabra Bluetooth headset that I didn’t need. Instead of letting it sit on a desk collecting dust, I could use it as a prize. (I really can’t because I promised it to my sister, but you get the idea, right?)
It helps if the prize has a high perceived value, but something as simple as a tee-shirt may also work. It depends on how much work is required to enter. More work = higher value prize.
You’re An Expert In Something
When inventory and cash are both in short supply, then give away some of your knowledge for free.
In 2006 I wrote a short WordPress Quick Start Guide, which took about two days to complete and get online.
I posted a link to it in a couple of forums that I frequent and from there, it took off. People read the ebook, found it useful, and decided to link to it with no additional effort on my part. Years later, people are still linking to it as a helpful resource.
And ebooks aren’t the only way to share your knowledge — you could just as easily create a highly informative article or how-to guide. Anything people find value in and feel can help others, there is a very good chance they will link to it.
If you’re short on inventory, money, and time – then you have a serious problem.
Nick Reese also wrote a great article on building backlinks via finding broken links.