I was recently asked to contribute to Ahref’s monster expert roundup that ended up with 90 SEO experts contributing! It’s worth the read!
I thought I’d share my own response to the prompt:
1) Please tell us about your favourite “white hat link building strategy that scales”.
(What makes it your favourite one? How to execute it properly?)
2) How do you scale it?
(What tools do you use? Where do you hire people to scale it?)
Building Links For Boring Industries
People often think that building links is difficult in “boring” industries. However, there is a benefit to working for clients who’s peers and competitors are not at the top of their online marketing game. I’ve worked in plenty of boring niches: mortgage pre approval, Conference Center, poop scooping services in Delaware, hunting decoys and more.
A perfect example for being creative came from this idea I had for a Houston steel door company I’m working with on their marketing that could apply to other “boring industries” like a cleaning service, home care services or driving limos.
Leverage Your Non-Text Content
Build resources that go beyond basic informational content. Of course, you’re likely familiar with how to create great infographics, like this one on moving to St. Petersburg, but one of my favorites is making photo galleries readily available and easy to cite. Home services companies are a great example. With Tennessee Contracting & the Nashville roofer for example, I made it a priority to offer tons of detailed photos of metal roofs in a variety of colors and types of buildings. Then we reached out to pages like this Tiny House resource guide that mentioned “metal roofing,” but didn’t offer their readers a good photo to illustrate what they were talking about.
If you go this route, it’s important to make it clear on gallery and photo pages that the photos can be freely used in blog posts and other online content, so long as the user links back to the page of the site where they found the photo. Giving them an embed code box beneath the image is another great way to encourage this.
Leverage Your Product/Service’s Benefits For Links
One of the benefits for building to utilize steel doors is an improvement in fire safety. So that opens so many possibilities for links and visibility!
Let’s open up BuzzSumo to find some of the top influencers when it comes to fire safety.
From here there are a couple of different paths you can take to turn that concept into links and social shares here’s my favorite way.
Come up with a “question” you want to get answered about fire safety. Then you do need to dig for some contact information.
For NFPA, I went to their Press Room page to get their media email. For the question I came up with this:
“We’re putting together some resources for our metal door customers about fire safety, specifically around steel doors but general research and statistics could help too, can you point us to your best resources or have a quote from one of your officials that we could include?”
Once they reply with a resource, keep that conversation open with a thank you, and let them know you’ll share that resource when it becomes available online.
Repeat this process with other influencers until you have sufficient content to make a page, post or infographic and then share it with the contributors, who now have a vested interest in sharing it.
Since they’re not direct competitors, they will not feel anything holding them back from sharing it and often mentioning it on their own site or blog as well.
Remember to tailor your question’s difficulty and focus based on your target, and the less sophisticated the website the less sophisticated your question should be!