While it is often more effective to actively pursue links to your content, there are things you can do to encourage people to link to your site without having to ask them to. Natural links are more scalable and less expensive to acquire which can help you grow your search traffic faster. You can also build links passively by outsourcing activities to talented interns and freelancers. Read on to learn about six effective ways to passively build links.
Zemanta is an excellent tool for bloggers that dynamically recommends related articles that bloggers can link to while they are writing in WordPress. Often bloggers will have a section at the end of their article that links to related articles. As a content publisher you want to submit your site to Zemanta so that it can be recommended to bloggers who are in the middle of writing about similar topics. There is also a sponsored option that will recommend you more often. Once your site has been approved, you can hire writers to write articles on popular topics or news so it is more likely to be picked up by a blogger using Zemanta. You can submit your site through the preferences section of your Zemanta account.
2. Write Catchy Titles
You may have heard the tip that you should spend as much time on the headline as you spend writing the article. People make snap judgements on whether your article is worth reading and a great title can attract a lot more readers even if the content is just okay. In the same way, linkers often choose to link to articles with great titles that make the content sound epic. For example “The Ultimate Guide to Landing Page Optimization” sounds like it is an epic piece of content and earned 28 linking root domains. “12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time” by Neil Patel earned 163 linking root domains. Read this post by Dan Shure of Evolving SEO for some great tips on writing great article titles: Are Your Titles Irresistibly Click Worthy & Viral?!
3. Hire an Online Marketing Intern
Interns are a great resource for building links because they are inexpensive but hungry to do great work and prove themselves. You can post a job on Craigslist for $25 for an online marketing intern or part-time marketing assistant and receive dozens of motivated applicants. College career centers will also promote your internship for free if you contact them. One of the best tasks to utilize interns is to have them research a list of link targets and conduct link outreach (this is what I did during my first SEO internship). It helps if you provide some good one-on-one training at the beginning of the internship and a healthy dose of feedback throughout. You can also direct them to link building resources like Link Building Strategies – The Complete List by Point Blank SEO to help generate ideas for building links to your content.
4. Hire a Team of Freelance Writers
The number of freelancers has exploded in recent years and you can find many talented freelance writers on marketplaces like Elance or oDesk. Once you have found some great writers, have them create guides and long-form content that can attract links by providing great utility to readers. The more high quality content you produce, the more likely people are to naturally link to you. You can also have your interns conduct outreach and request links to your best content from fitting sites. Another idea is to have your team of writers work on guest posts on high authority sites like the Huffington Post or leading blogs in your industry.
5. Become an Industry Thought Leader
In Paddy Moogan’s 2012 Mozcon presentation, he said that Rand Fishkin’s favorite link building tool is the publish button. When Rand Fishkin publishes an article, people immediately start linking to it as if it is content gold. Becoming a trusted and leading authority in your field can have a similar effect and lead to quotations, citations, and natural links. You can also be contacted by press for quotes in news articles or be interviewed by bloggers in your industry.
6. Create Definitive Guides on a Topic
People love helpful and comprehensive guides that help them learn essential information about a specific topic. The classic example in the marketing industry is Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide to SEO.” This epic guide has been hugely successful with over 2,000 sites linking to it. Tap into the expertise of your staff to develop a great guide for relevant topics in your industry. If the guide is high quality, it will be shared by people in your industry and also potential customers.