Can art students learn digital marketing
8 SEO Link Building Tips That Will Improve Your Google Rankings
The SEO landscape has evolved tremendously over the past 5 years. In the past, “stuffing” with keywords helped with ranking. Now that is being ignored by Google.
Fictitious articles of poor quality were accepted. Now will be yours Website punished for it.
Spam backlinks from article directories and comments in forums increased your ranking. Now only qualitative backlinks from reliable sources will increase the authority of your website.
Backlinks still play a huge role in Google search rankings. A good position in the ranking is difficult to achieve for a specific page of a webpage if there are no contextually relevant backlinks that refer to this page or domain.
Matt Cutts believes that links will remain part of Google's algorithm in the future. Maybe they just become less important.
Getting reliable websites to link to you is difficult. You can't automate SEO link building. Friendly contact becomes even more important for building backlinks, and thus also for SEO.
The most common SEO link building strategies that are currently widely used by marketing folks include - broken link building, round-up posts, and the skyscraper technique.
But in this article I would like to introduce you to some unusual tips. You'll see link building in a different light after viewing these live examples.
Hopefully these tips will spur your creativity. Then you can start brainstorming for your next creative link building campaign.
Without further ado, here are 8 uncommon link building tips.
1. Wake up the joker in you to generate more backlinks
Do you like practical jokes?
Do you play pranks on everyone on April 1st?
Then this strategy will interest you.
You can make a fun fake product. Or create a spoof website for a big name in the industry. The possibilities are endless.
But you also have to be careful not to overdo it. You can get harsh criticism and negative publicity for your brand if you go too far.
Let's take a look at 4 live examples.
Example 1. Ivar’s Billboard Hoax
Ivar’s is a Seattle seafood restaurant chain.
In 2009 the restaurant's founder, Ivar Haglund, announced that he had sunk billboards in Puget Sound in 1954.
Well, he believed that in the future customers would drive submarines and wanted to be the first to promote this demographic.
The campaign started with sailors who were an authentic weathered Billboard lifted from the bottom of the Puget Sound. It said “Plate of mussel soup for only 75 cents” (the retail price from the 1950s).
The restaurant chain also managed to recruit a recognized Washington national historian, Paul Dorpat, to support its marketing campaign. He confirmed the authenticity of the documents.
It soon emerged that the billboard was a wooden prop and the documents were forged. The company suffered from Negative advertising.
However, they managed to increase their sales by 400% and got tons of backlinks from media channels and marketing blogs like this one.
Example 2. Parody website Johncow.com
You must have heard of the money maker and online blogger John Chow.
Bob Jones made a spoof version of his website - John Cow. She became extremely popular, raising $ 1,000 in the first month. He even got a $ 10,000 offer for his blog.
Here is a screenshot of the homepage from 2007.
Bob published hoaxes and launched creative linkbait campaigns. Let's look at some of them.
First, he demanded ransom from his own readers. The website link is spreading like crazy and many bloggers have reported that John Chow has been hacked.
Next, he started $ 500 gift competitions.
And what did he want from the reader in return?
Check it out here.
Correct. Links to his websites with appropriate anchor texts.
Remember, it was 2007. Google's algorithm wasn't as advanced as it is today.
So John Cow wasn't punished.
Today you can no longer start such a campaign with these anchor texts to increase the ranking of your keywords.
The last prank I want to introduce is:
John Cow pretended to have received a personal violation letter from John Chow.
Here is the post that mentions that they have legal issues and so will have to give up the blog.
Eventually Bob sold the website and started writing for John Chow.
You are currently being redirected from the JohnCow.com website directly to JohnChow.com.
But the site still has 27,500 backlinks and 764 domain referrals.
Example 3.5.11 tactical designed an army kilt on April 1st.
It was the plan of 5.11 tactical to create a page for a fake product with good pictures, a great product description and a launch video for April 1st, 2012.
They advertised the army kilt on their website.
But the unimaginable happened.
The fake product page was subject to the snowball effect.
It was discussed extensively on social media and forums and linked from websites. All of a sudden people wanted to know how to buy the product.
As a result, 5.11 tactical actually announced the possibility of pre-ordering on April 3rd.
After that, the kilt could be ordered every year - 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Oh, and the product page still has 69 active backlinks.
2. Offer student discounts or interview well-known university members
Backlinks from educational sites are the ultimate. Google prefers them to everyone else.
The use of .edu domains is intended for educational institutions.
What does it take to be mentioned by a university ... academic research?
No. You don't have to know by heart the courses offered at the university.
Sujan Patel gave a lecture in a course on “Business and Hotel Hospitality” with no knowledge of the hospitality industry.
Are you inspired?
Here are 4 creative techniques for getting links from a university website.
1. Offer your products to students and university staff at a special price
Have you created any design software that can help art students make it into a local university's art class?
Plan a special discount offer of your software for the students and contact the professors responsible for the art course.
You probably agree, because who hates discounts?
Then you can inquire whether your product range could be published on the university's official website. You will be mentioned on the perks page and given a link to your website. Like this one.
Like Sujan, you can round off the discount offer by giving a talk on the latest trends and career advice.
If the professors responsible think your proposal is good, a lecture can be the start of an important partnership with the university and bring you new customers.
If you have an ecommerce website, you can offer discounts on your products at as many universities as you want. In exchange, you get backlinks.
2. Offer scholarships for students
Choose a course from a local university that is relevant to your business and plan a scholarship program for high performing students.
Contact the responsible authorities and present your scholarship. They will appreciate your offer of financial aid to their students and link your website to their scholarship page.
Below you can see the website of the UTSA Scholarship Office. In the External Services section, you can see the JustJobs and LatPro $ 1,000 scholarships.
Use the search query “site: .edu scholarship external support” to find more such scholarships.
You should direct the .edu scholarship backlink to a specific landing page on your website.
Take a look at the JustJobs special scholarship page.
Is there an alternative if you don't want to link to an extra scholarship page?
You can use a 301 redirect. However, you will lose some link juice.
Pro tip: Would you like to discover more .edu backlink options with one click?
Then take apart the backlinks of that JustJobs Scholarship page we just found.
Run them through the Ahrefs.com Site Explorer:
I found that the site has an amazing 246 backlinks and 186 are from educational institutions.
Congratulation! You just found 186 new university leads for an .edu backlink.
3. Lure well-known university employees
Another effective way to generate .edu backlinks is to interview well-known university members who are related to your business or industry.
How does that help
It gets attention. It's a classic example ofEgobait.
As soon as you have published the interview on your website, you can ask the university member to publish the link to the interview on the university website.
Use the search query “site: .edu professor interviewed by” to find these interview links.
As you can see, Voice of America, The Mix, Washington Times, and others have conducted such interviews with professors.
I clicked the first link - lasell.edu ...
... and found this announcement with a link to the Voice of America Voice if America interview.
4. Pay students to post a blog on their university's website and have a link on your page
Did you know that many universities offer the possibility to set up your own blog with the university's domain?
Check out the "Writing Studio" at Colorado State University.
They let their students post blogs. When you find a student at Colorado University, you could ask them to blog and link to your website.
Of course, you'd have to pay him or her $ 25-50.
You probably have two questions:
- How do I find universities that allow their students to blog?
- And where can I find students from these universities?
To find universities, you can use a search query like this: “site: .edu create your blog.”
To find students from a specific university, you can use the Facebook graph search or search for the university's Facebook group and contact the group manager.
You can also post jobs on Craigslist and Reddit. You can find details on both in this advanced link building guide.
3. Create a job board and let companies post job postings
Would you like to upgrade your community and gain high quality backlinks for your website at the same time?
Then create a job portal for your industry. It's a brilliant SEO link building strategy, even though it is very labor-intensive.
As soon as job advertisements from well-known companies appear, your job exchange increases in popularity.
Then you can contact the career centers of universities that offer relevant courses in your industry and apply for your job exchange to be included on their page for career opportunities.
The School of Global Policy and Strategy careers center staff has three relevant job pages listed on their industry resources page.
UC San Diego has a similar list of job sites.
There is another advantage if you create a job portal:
Sometimes the media report on the latest career opportunities and link to the vacancies on your website.
RSS feed aggregators could also list some of the positions on your job board.
A great example of a job exchange in the content marketing industry is the ProBlogger job exchange.
The portal's success was driven by the existing traffic.
The job exchange also brought great added value for the blogging community - both for companies and authors.
No wonder that the site (according to Ahrefs) has 70,000+ backlinks including 8 .edu domains.
And it is regularly mentioned as the best address in many blog posts. I have mentioned and linked it myself in many of my articles.
There are many themes and plugins for WordPress that will help you create a job portal. Read this article from Elegant Themes to find the best ones.
4. Start a meetup campaign for your community, travel around and have fun
Recently, well-known Indian blogger Harsh Agarwal planned a massive blogging get-together for Indian bloggers from multiple cities.
As part of this ShoutMeet campaign, he drove across India, 13 states (6,400 km). He asked local bloggers to help organize the meetings in their city.
The meetings were enthusiastically received and bloggers felt inspired to be part of the campaign.
Harsh was also enthusiastic about the publicity and the nice reception in all cities. Here's a quick interview he gave during ShoutMeet.
But besides good publicity, are we not forgetting an important aspect?
Many participants in these meetings have their own own website.
Bloggers from all over India have shared their experiences on their website and linked to ShoutMeLoud.
Here are a few articles from bloggers on Yellow Bell and Hack Pundit sharing their ShoutMeet experience.
Here are three more experiences from fellow bloggers.
Did Harsh plan this travel campaign to get links?
I do not think so.
His goal was to add value to the Indian blogging community and have fun. The links were a by-product.
What can you learn from it? Use brainstorming to create creative campaigns that add value to your community.
5. Publish your original take on an industry myth or problem
What is the secret recipe for blogging success?
Yours voice to find.
Your audience visits your blog because they want to hear from you. They appreciate its authenticity and don't want you to sound like anyone else.
If you observe successful bloggers:
They all have something charming about them that appeals to their readers.
How do you like your voice?
By being yourself and finding your rhythm.
Stop filling your mind with prevailing opinions and start seeing events from your own unique perspective.
Let me show you a few blog posts that contain views of my own that have had tremendous success.
1. Be average - Mark Manson
Blogger Mark Manson only posts something on his blog every now and then. For 2015, his blog archive only shows 12 posts. In 2014 he only released 20.
But the blog is extremely successful. It had almost a million visitors in the last month.
What is Mark’s secret?
On his blog you can find his view of life, be it dating, self-fulfillment or culture.
One of his latest successful articles is the defense of mediocrity.
Mark argues that we're all pretty average, but the media only shows us extremes - front and rear.
The truth is that we should be mediocre for the majority of our lives and accept that.
He ends the article with positive news - we should cherish the simple experiences in life.
The article was incredibly successful. People were given a whole new perspective on their lives. Just look at the number of shares and backlinks to the post.
2. Why Generation Y is unhappy - Wait But Why
Another blog that has had success in posting exclusive and unique opinions is Wait But Why.
They used to publish one post a week. Now they don't even post regularly.
The writer, Tim Urban, has a fresh and comical style, and supports his posts with stick figures like this one.
A very successful blog post by Wait But Why discusses why Generation Y is unhappy.
He introduces the article by giving Generation Y a unique acronym - GYPSY (which stands for Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies). He uses stick figures to assign properties to them.
With some amazing stick figure graphics and a story, Tim explains why Generation Y is dissatisfied.
He ends the article with advice to help Generation Y overcome their fears.
So, did the article resonate with Generation Y?
Judge it for yourself.
Yes, you've read that correctly.
The article was shared over half a million times on Facebook and received 1.9 thousand backlinks from 369 domains.
It's amazing how solving other people's problems get your blog up, right?
3. Content shock - Mark Schaefer
Are you a content marketer?
Then you won't like this post.
Social media consultant Mark Schaefer argues that content marketing is unsustainable because a huge amount of the free content that is produced cannot be consumed.
He created his own term for it - Content Shock.
He uses a graph to explain how your time invested in creating quality content is not translating into equivalent business value.
Not only was the article shared thousands of times on social media, it took the content marketing industry by storm.
700+ articles have been written about content shock and how we can overcome it. After his article, Mark also published strategies on how to combat shock and how it can be beneficial for customers.
While we're at the point of discussing strategies for building backlinks, let's check the article's performance using the Ahrefs Site Explorer.
Whether or not the content shock is real, controversy is a great strategy for getting attention and fueling debate in your industry.
Did you discover a key element in all of the extremely successful blog posts mentioned above?
All bloggers created their own pictures and used statistics to support their point of view.
You always earn plus points by writing data-driven articles.
6. Create added value or offer a free tool
Do you remember how the Problogger job exchange was called by numerous bloggers?
I'm talking about creating similar added value.
You need to create a resource that maintains your industry or provides information with added value, or a free tool that helps solve a problem.
Blogs and media never miss a chance to report on added value.
Do not you believe me?
Let me show you 4 examples.
1. The story of the visualization of rock that touched rock music fans
Are you a rock music fan?
If so, you have probably seen this visualization from 100 years of rock music. The Facebook news feeds were full of it.
She brings you back to the roots of rock, from before 1900,
up to 2000.
Some features that make this visualization so great are -
- It takes less than a minute
- You can hear an example from any genre by clicking on it. I heard “Peace Sells” as an example of dark metal.
- You can also see the development of a specific genre with one click.
Has this visualization rocked music fans all over the world?
It exploded and was shared over 122,000 times on Facebook alone.
And for backlinks, check out the numbers below.
2. The global database of a digital nomad
Are you a blogger or digital marketing consultant?
It's such a cool job.
You can work from anywhere in the world.
There's only one problem - you don't know of affordable places with reliable internet connections.
Nomadlist has solved this problem.
It's a brilliant resource for digital nomads looking to discover and compare different locations. The tool shows 500+ locations, 25,000+ locations (cafés, co-working spaces, hostels, hotels) and uses 50,000+ data points.
There are even nifty filters you can use to sort the results by cost of living, internet availability, nightlife, and climate.
Here is a sample map that shows all the necessary information for a location.
The list was welcomed with open arms by the digital nomad community.
It was mentioned by About.com and has a whopping 41,000 backlinks.
3. Headline analyzer tool adapted in the headline tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute
The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer Tool has been a successful tool that has been used by many marketers.
CoSchedule saw a way to combine the core of this tool with its own research and released its own free headline analysis tool.
It is a valuable tool that was quickly reported on. CoSchedule shows the score of the headings of each blog post (which is calculated by the tool).
The tool is used by many bloggers and has generated tons of backlinks.
4. My free website analysis tool
If you read my blog posts on Quick Sprout, you must have entered the URL of your website into the free tool on the homepage.
It gives you recommendations on how to improve your website.
Such as SEO analysis.
A comparison table that compares up to 4 websites.
Page level performance and recommendations to speed up your website.
I can't disconnect the backlinks Quick Sprout gained through this tool.
It has been mentioned by a lot of bloggers.
7. Choose a professional design and elegant presentation for your content
Building tools like the ones I mentioned in the previous section takes a huge investment (if you can't code).
Sometimes it is not possible to implement original ideas, as Mark Manson or Mark Schaefer did.
So I have a simpler solution that doesn't require you to reinvent the wheel.
Create a post with quality content, but improve its readability and visual appearance by hiring a professional designer.
Here are a few examples.
1. Jimmy Daly’s email marketing guide
Jimmy Daly wrote a high quality 5000+ word article on best practice examples in email marketing.
But that was not the end of it
He created a visual and clickable table of contents for his post.
The post generated 36,282 page views and 953 email subscribers for Vero.
Jimmy's strategic email contacts ensured the post was featured on Inc. and many other roundup posts.
2. My 12th free manuals about internet marketing
The manuals I've written have 40,000+ words. In addition to writing high quality content, I pay special attention to colors, format and design.
My advanced content marketing guide generated 361,494 visitors and 8,421 email opt-ins.
And it generated 257 backlinks.
Remember, the above statistics are for a manual only. I wrote twelve of them.
I recently published 5 advanced formatting tips that you can use to design your content like my manuals.
8. Share your successful case studies with influencers
Perhaps you like to read an influencer's blog and use one of their marketing strategies on your own blog.
The traffic comes in and you're excited about the results.
What should you do next?
Share your success with the influencer and thank them for showing you this strategy.
He will be happy to hear how his advice has helped you.
After all, adding value and educating readers are the two main goals of blogging.
If your results are convincing:
You have a good chance of appearing as a success story on the influencer's blog.
You do not believe me?
Here are a few examples.
1. Mike Bonadio Guestographics Case Study
Brian Dean publishes two main types of content - his own marketing strategies and case studies of his successful readers.
The Guestographics Method is one such strategy he developed for building backlinks.
His reader Mike Bonadio is the head of an SEO agency. He applied the strategy for his client and had great success generating 12 backlinks in 2 weeks.
Not only did Mike get a massive amount of publicity for his brand, but he also got a content backlink from the article.
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