Link building is an art that has been perfected by SEO‘s all around the world and it is commonly expected that any website looking to increase their online presence will invest in link building. Link building usually consists of a range of practices including infographic creation, linkbait creation and even contacting webmasters directly asking for a link in return for guest posts and whatnot. However, have you ever thought about how you could build links without actually link building in these traditional ways? Well, there are a number of different ways that you can build links in the offline world and increase your visibility both online and offline.
Here are a few of the things you could do.
#1 – Hold An Event For Bloggers
This is a technique that has been discussed a few times on various websites but it is still something that not a lot of people actually do. Sure, this is probably something that might take a little more work than a lot of the more traditional link building techniques but it will also build a lot of good links if it is done correctly.
Perhaps one of the best industries to use this technique within is the restaurant industry. You can invite local food bloggers (of which there will probably be many) to your restaurant to sample your food, on the condition that they write an honest review on their food blog. Sure, this will cost you a fair bit in food costs but it will also get you some good links from a lot of the bloggers, highly regarded websites.
Not only this, but you will also experience a range of other offline benefits from this type of marketing. For example, if a blogger is willing to write a review of your restaurant, they more than likely have a good fan base so if you can impress them, they will get the word out about your restaurant to their followers.
Of course, you can do this with almost any business, you just have to be more inventive. If you have a website design business, you might want to hold an event for local bloggers where you give them some tips on improving their website free of charge. Again, you might experience a boost in sales just from giving them tips, as well as the links they provide on their website.
#2 – Create A Scholarship Program
I recently came across this idea and thought it was ingenious. We all want those high powered links from .edu sites and as you will know, they are pretty hard to get. One way to get them however is to create a scholarship program on your website. Let’s say you run a website design company, you could hold a scholarship program that offers a prize for the student who creates the best website or blog post by certain date. By giving a good prize such as $500 towards further education for that student, you can attract attention from universities and other educational bodies from around the country.
All you need to do is to create the page on your website and then contact the Universities in your area explaining what you are offering. It is likely that they will advertise your program on their website and will link to your website, giving you an amazing link. It will also raise awareness of your brand.
#3 – Hold A Media-Attracting Event
This is where you have to get creative with link building as you’ll actually have to put some thought into an idea that is going to work here. Let’s say that you own a coffee shop that has just opened, you could hold an event in your town on a busy Saturday afternoon where you hand out free coffee to passersby. Not only will this create a buzz around your brand, but if the local media picks up on your antics, you will also get a few links from highly-respected websites.
Of course, you could even be more creative than this and hold any kind of event you like, you could even invite the media if you like. This really is about creating something that people are going to be interested in and is kind-of an offline form of link bait.
#4 – Create Controversy
Controversy has always been one of the best ways to attract links online and it works in the offline world too. One event that springs to mind when I think of this tactic is the event that was held by PETA animal rights protest that was held in the busy Piccadilly Circus in London no so long ago. This event used naked women to protest for animal rights and it created quite a stir. It was picked up not only by passing local but also the media as the event was so controversial.
Of course, you don’t always have to go this far, but controversy will always be a great way to attract attention for your brand, you just need to ensure that your chosen method doesn’t result in a negative brand image of any kind.
Basically, there are a lot of ways to generate links in the offline world as it is all about getting your brand and your message out there. Holding events and communicating with real people that also have a web presence will often lead to great online links and most of these tactics are tactics that your competitors will not be using at all, as many do not think outside of the box.
If you are struggling for ideas, it might pay to hire a brand expert or PR company to come up with some ideas for your brand.