For websites that have been around for a while, starting a link marketing campaign is much easier than you might think. There’s no need to go out and hunt for new links straight ahead, because it’s usually much easier, faster and more effective to take a look at nearby data.
1. Internal linking structure
Optimizing the internal link structure of a website can be highly effective, but is often underestimated and therefore neglected. Check out Jim Boykin’s post about optimizing internal links and Aaron Wall’s follow up on that post for some great tips.
2. 404 page statistics
Are people linking to non existing pages on your domain? Use Google Webmaster Tools (or your own web stats) to find out which URLs have received links (and /or clicks), but return a 404 page. Contacting the webmasters of the sites that are linking to the non existing pages and letting them know what the correct location should be is a guarantee for success.
3. URL search queries
Contacting websites that mention your URL, but didn’t make it a clickable link, might result in a few easy links as well. If they list your URL, they’re probably willing to make it clickable (and perhaps change the anchor text?) as well.
4. Company name search queries
See #3, but search for web pages that mention your company name (but don’t link to you) in stead. After you contacted about every webmaster that mentioned either your URL or your company name without providing a link to your site, don’t forget to add both queries as a Google Alert or something similar. It’s not only a great tool to monitor your online reputation, but you can use it as a link building support tool as well.
5. Optimizing existing links
Another strategy that can be very effective is optimizing your existing links. There are two ways to do this; either by making the link more attractive for visitors or by making the link more appealing to search engines. Investigate which links send you a reasonable amount of traffic and see if you can improve this by altering the anchor text to something that encourages clicking the link. Investigate which links are the most important ones according to Google and see if you can improve the relevance by altering the anchor text to something that adds even more value. Keep in mind not to overdo this in both cases; “Now with a 6% discount!” isn’t a great anchor text for search engines, and a “keyword keyword keyword” anchor text probably doesn’t attract a bucket load of visitors in most cases, so finding a balance is important.
See? Five easy link building strategies that don’t involve scavenging, hunting, baiting or other work intensive tactics. Using easily accessible data and contacting people that are already familiar with your website in some kind of way is not only efficient, but can be very effective as well.
Do you have more strategies to add?