Last week, my good friend Jill Whalen asked people, “What’s a good tip for marketing a link-worthy website which in turn might actually garner links?”
She must not have received many responses because she didn’t post her “Question of the Week” showing people’s answers. (Her Question of the Week is my favorite part of the newsletter!)
Ever since, I’ve been thinking of the myriad ways you can market your Website to generate links. I’ve posted 50 of them below.
None of these are earth shattering or complicated — and not all of them will generate a boat load of links all the time. But, I’ve been doing this stuff since 1998; I know these tips work because they work for me.
You can check out my Press Room for proof — you’ll see all the links I’ve garnered — organically and with very little effort on my part.
In fact, I found one of my earliest links — from 2003 — on WebProNews. I had written a newsletter article, “Email vs. E-mail.” I always posted the latest newsletter on my Website and told people they could reprint it as long as they included a link back to my site. (See, nothing complicated.) For months, WebProNews would reprint my articles — making me, a newbie, feel like a total rockstar.
Herewith, 50 ways to market your Website that over time will generate some pretty fabulous links. I’ve included links to some examples. Enjoy!
Add your URL to everything
1. Email signature
2. Business cards / Letterhead / Note cards
3. Social media profiles
4. YouTube video descriptions
5. Blog comments
6. Print ads (See: Infor Ad Catches My Eye, Integrated with Social Media, Too)
7. Radio ads (See: UTC Radio Ad Gets Me to Their Website)
8. TV ads (See: Pella Uses Offline Channel to Drive Online Conversions)
7. Packaging (See: Integrating Online Content with Offline Tactics)
10. Shipping: packing tape, envelopes, boxes (See: Link Building and the Power of the Customer by Casie Gillette for Search Engine Land)
11. PowerPoint presentations
12. Proposals / Quotes
13. Invoices / Checks
Create an offer and market the hell out of it
14. Write blog posts about it (See: The Top B2B Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them)
15. Write guest blog posts about it
16. Write e-newsletter posts about it
17. Write guest e-newsletter posts about it (See: Three Mistakes Business-to-Business Writers Make . . and How You Can Avoid Them for Mac McIntosh’s Sales Lead Report)
18. Write a press release about it
19. Post it on social media
20. Create a mini PPT and upload it to SlideShare; include the offer URL in the PPT
21. Do a Webinar and use your offer as incentive for registering
22. Offer to speak at a local organization; tell people how to download your offer at the end of your presentation
23. Use the offer as an incentive for a direct mail or email lead gen campaign
24. Submit your offer for an award then write a press release when you win; include the offer URL in the release
25. Write a blog post or give a presentation on what you learned — or the results you achieved — from this campaign (See: Facebook B2B Campaign Increases Reach)
26. Do it all over again with another offer
Do more with your blog
27. Instead of one post a month, write two. Instead of two, write three, etc.
28. Ask people for their comments and feedback
29. Respond to people when they comment — and with more than a mere “Thanks!”
30. Include a link back to your blog in your e-newsletter
31. Add your blog URL to your LinkedIn profile
32. Get Google Authorship up and running — nothing beats your smiling face in the SERPs
33. Write posts for your target audience and industry (See: Why Blogging Benefits Your Business — Exposure, Exposure, Exposure)
34. Interview smart people in your industry and showcase their work (See my favorite blog category: Interviews with Fabulous Peeps)
35. Use a good social commenting tool, such as Disqus
36. Follow a few really smart people and get to know them; post comments and RT their stuff (without being a sycophant) (See: 10 Things You Need to Know About Mobile Marketing by Eric Whittlake)
37. Write posts as soon as you see something good (if you wait, you’ll lose your idea)
Send out an e-newsletter
38. Repurpose your blog posts; include a link back to your post and ask people to comment
39. Ask people to share your content on social media and thank them when they do
40. Include links to content on your site: case studies, offers, FAQs, etc.
41. Segment your list and create multiple versions of your newsletter; let people sign up for what they want
Create content for your site on a continual basis
42. When you do proposals, include a paragraph about showcasing the result of working with you; when the project or job is complete, write a case study (even if you have to leave off the client’s name due to NDAs etc.).
43. Add FAQs — Jot down all the questions you get on a regular basis and add those to your site
44. Create offers — white papers, Webinars, apps, videos, podcasts — whatever works for you and your audience (ask them what they want)
45. Add articles that you’ve written for other sites or publications
46. Add a Learning or Resource Center and constantly add to it
47. Tell everyone via blog, e-newsletter and social media when you’ve added something new
Be your own best brand advocate
48. Say “yes” when someone wants to interview you and be sure they include your URL and other info in the interview and blog post (See: B2B Marketing Communications: Thought Leadership with Dianna Huff)
49. Say “yes” if someone asks you to write a guest post or article (as long as it fits with your target audience); include your URL in your bio (See: Ghostwriters: Publishing’s Unsung Heroes)
50. Pitch a niche publication in your industry and offer to write an article on a new trend, innovation, case study of your work, app note, etc.; include a URL in the bio (See: Content Marketing Design: 3 Guidelines for Creating E-books and Tablets)
As you can see, nothing complicated. Just good original content, consistently.
Have additional tips to add? Please do in the comments. Thank you!
Edited to add: See Casie Gillette’s hot off the press post, 7 Real Life Ways to Build Links on Search Engine Land. These all work, too — my alumni association has posted about me on their blog a few times.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy 101 Ways to Market Your Website
A new guide published in March 2015 by the marketing and design duo Rachel Cunliffe and Dianna Huff, 101 Ways features expanded versions of many of the tips here in this post . . . plus 51 new ones.
Divided into four sections, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Miscellaneous, 101 Ways covers everything you need for marketing your website or blog. It’s the ideal guide for bloggers, freelancers, consultants . . . anyone with a website.
101 Ways is easy-to-read and well-formatted for mobile devices with illustrations included throughout.
“Between them, what Rachel and Dianna don’t know about the website business probably isn’t worth knowing. Their insights are current and clearly expressed and there are many resources to follow up for more details. This book is perfectly pitched for those just starting out in the website business but even seasoned website creators and publishers will find tips in here that will help them better market their sites.”
— Rochelle Gribble, founder of Kiwi Families website