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Let’s be clear – there aren’t any good tools that will build links. Spam and paid links are no good in the eyes of both search engines and people. Other tools help you research sites that you could get quality backlinks from, and see what backlinks you already have. But those aren’t the link-building tools we’re talking about here. Your most useful link building tools are people: your staff, your customers, your contacts, your readers. Take a look:
Brag on! Publish press releases when your employees reach significant achievements, both within work and outside of it. Help them feel like a part of a team – even if they just link back to the company website from their Facebook profiles or make sincere positive comments about the company to their friends, your name is getting out there.
Make sure there’s a way for staff to report relevant breaking news as they notice it. Even if they aren’t able to write blog posts or tweets, make sure they know who to tell if they see an article about an emerging technology or competitors. Knowledge is power, and the only way to capitalize on trending topics is to know about them in the moment.
What are your customers searching on to find you? Have you asked them? Pay attention to analytics, but also pay attention to the relationship, and make sure they have ways to communicate back with you. If you are in a niche that is bound by jargon, try asking one of your clients what keywords they associate with you (or what they would type into Google if they had to find you without using your business name). Maybe you should be optimizing more for a different set of words!
Hand out your business cards like they’re on fire! Recognize that face-to-face networking still has a powerful place in the business world, and being seen as a human face rather than a website has huge advantages in turning contacts into clients.
Build relationships with other site owners in your niche, and then look for opportunities to give them a guest post or exclusive interview, complete with links back to your own site and exposure to their readers. And be a team player – be generous with your links, too. You could even organize a guest post trade!
Write good articles – for your site and for other sites. Let your name and brand be associated with quality. Though there is no guarantee that a “linkbait” article will go viral, but here is a guarantee: a generic, forgettable article will not be shared.
Call your readers to action. Recognize how essential they are, and tell them how they can help you. Your post might have inspired them, but they won’t necessarily share it if an opportunity doesn’t present itself.
Does that ring true to you? Feel free to use those nice little Twitter and Facebook buttons below and tell us!