Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting Links on Autopilot - Tips & Tricks

If you send emails, use Twitter or other social media networks, and have a website of your own, then you can easily implement the following three strategies that (surprisingly) a lot of people do not do to get links back to your website. This applies to regular business owners, personal bloggers, and SEOs alike. 

Have a Great Email Signature
If you have a website or blog, it should be on your email signature. Think about all of the people you email throughout the day – they may not know that you have a website, and you might not know that they have one. Sending someone even a friendly, helpful email might spark them to want to give you public thanks for your help on their site and they might do so with a link!

You can do this simply by text, or by using a plug-in for your browser called WiseStamp that allows you to create a graphical signature including your social media icons as well as links to your website. It works with Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and Hotmail in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Include Your Link on All Social Profiles
I know it sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many profiles I come across on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other networks that have a perfect spot for your link that is often empty.

While you can only have your URL on Twitter and Facebook, you can actually include anchor text on LinkedIn. Granted, it's a redirect link, but the point isn't to get link juice from your profile – it's about making sure that if anyone wants to mention you on their website based on your social media connection, they will easily be able to find your link.

Also, it's not just about the main social networks. Most sites somewhere allow you a link – make sure to check every social network for a spot to put your website. If even one person connects with you and shares your link, it's worth something.

Create a Badge for Your Site
SEOmoz created a little page with a simple badge and HTML code so that fans of its site can share it. If your site has a lot of great content, or your business has a lot of satisfied customers, it can't hurt to create a nice graphic for people to use to help promote you!

Make It Easy to Link to Content
Just like you can create a badge and code to make linking to your site easy, you should also consider making it easy to link to specific pieces of content. This includes including HTML embed code for infographics or videos and simple links at the end of each article that have the call to action to link to this post if you like it. The simpler you make it, the more likely someone will do it!

Best Part About These Approaches
Obviously, they're not like link requests, so it's not like you can guarantee you'll get a certain amount of links per month. But the benefit is that because you are just leaving the door open to someone else adding the links, they will probably be great editorial links, or at least links on relevant sites.

Google loves natural links the best, and there's nothing more natural than someone volunteering to link to you because of something awesome you did for them, whether it's answering a question on LinkedIn or sending some good information via email.

Your Thoughts
Have you ever gotten a link without even trying thanks to an email, social profile, badge, or great content? What other tips do you have about this approach? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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