Three link building tips NO ONE EVER talks about

OK, there are so many posts on building great content to attract links, buying old domains, guest blogging, advanced queries like these, etc.

Of which we at SEER do them all. But after finding two links in my scanning of our web analytics tool, I wondered how did we get two links?

One link is from a PR 6 one is from a PR 0, but who cares about that. Both links came to us in two different ways without trying and there are hundreds more that have as well.

Remember this one fact, people like doing business with people they LIKE. Linking is no different.

Tip #1 - Karma & unselfishly helping others leads to unsolicited links

Sure the example above got a PR 0, whoo-hoo, but who cares about that, at one point all new sites are a PR zero. Stop using PageRank as the sole way to judge link value!

It is just my style to sit down with people trying to figure out SEO over coffee and seeing if I can help them…NOTE by help them I DON'T mean make them clients!!. I mean help them expecting NOTHING in return. I have found that this approach has led to more people linking to us than I ever expected. NOTE – I never asked for these people to link. (I do think it is smart to run an advanced query, because not everyone who thinks you are great links to you and they gladly would).

You get more when you give more.

I have been asked by 4 universities to speak to their students for either classes or conferences. How does this happen? Easily…people usually watch our youtube channel and realize that I am about helping people and giving it all OUT. If you can learn from me and never become a client, that is fine w/ me. So in conclusion, link tip #1 – Give of your knowledge freely and GO MAD DEEP in your area of expertise…by helping people out 10 minutes here, over coffee there, in the airport, you'll find that those people have sites, blogs, and friends and sometimes, just sometimes they link to you without you asking.

Ask yourself – when is the LAST time you used your knowledge or network to help someone else, and not to try to get their business. When is the last time you looked at someone's web site and offered 10 minutes of your time to help them out (thus alleviating them from the arduous process of getting that same knowledge by reading books and blogs for hours?)

Here's a starter, sign up for help a reporter out. You'll find opportunities for friends, colleagues, and clients to get press, they'll like you for that.

Tip #2 - Traveling & Going to Conferences Chris Winfield recently asked on twitter why do you go to conferences? Most people replied for the networking and connecting with people in our industry. There is a byproduct of connecting with people in your space AND taking Tip #1 – LINKS!!! If you meet people who share your same passion and you help them, and several others (and by help it could be something as simple as Todd Malicoat telling me to speak with Tamar at the last Pubcon). Everyone you meet won't link to you, so meet a lot of people and take time to LISTEN to their struggles, see if you can help or know someone who can.

At the last affiliate summit I referred someone to Jim Kukral who was having a hard time monetizing his site – I don't know what will come of it, but my goal is to help as many people as possible that I can in business and personally (yes everyone at SEER volunteers. Building your own network can help you help others so network!

You want 5 good on topic blogs to link to you and have a ton of fun in the process?

    Get on a plane, train, or automobile Go to a conference Ask 25 people you meet what their struggles are Help them if you can or connect them to your network if you know others who can help

I asked Todd Malicoat a question, he used his network to introduce me to Tamar, easy, he spent literally 30 seconds at a conference and got a link from our vastly important site :)

This is not easy, you can't walk around with a can I help you sign – you have to LISTEN.

The other part about using your network to help others is doing it with NO profit motive.

At SEER we have never accepted a referral fee and we never will. I like seeing people succeed and if I can be a part of that, then that's all I need.

So in conclusion, link tip #2 – Get on a plane or train, meet some people on the conference floor and in the sessions, listen to them, see if you can help them or know someone who can. Do this as often as you can, at the bar grabbing drinks, in the registration lines, etc. You can't help everyone immediately, but follow them on twitter, linkedin, etc and some day they may just reach out for help in a way that you can help them.

PS: buying a lot of drinks and hanging late is also a great way, as people post photos and their discussions of how much fun they had at the hotel bar to their blogs often. This happens at a lot of tech events and networking sessions.

Tip #3 doing a great freaking job The first link I mentioned above came from an OLD client (we worked with them some years ago), who gave us a massive shout out on their website credits sometime in the last few weeks…we never asked for it, and I am just now finding it. They have about 51,000 inbounds, of which 1,500+ are from .edu's and 200 from .gov's. This is a great link…how did we get it? We did a great job, we pushed and pushed and pushed for them to analyze our impact beyond rankings and traffic but to leads and even though they couldn't do it, they knew we wanted to track our efforts from the beginning. We were good guys and girls who wanted to make sure they they got a great ROI and we also kicked their traffic up a notch or two :)

The best thing about these strategies is that not only are they ways to get links, but they actually get CLICKS – when is the last time you got a click from a low quality directory site? Hardly ever. Even the PR 0 site is sending us a little traffic.

So I guess at the end of the day its the golden rule that wins out. Watch this to get you pumped.

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Wil Reynolds
Wil Reynolds
CEO & Vice President