We usually hear about inbound link-building in reference to SEO, and while ranking well in searches is an important aspect of marketing your community, inbound links have real value in the sense that they bring organic (and relevant) traffic to your site – which is your ultimate goal.
The most obvious way to get inbound links is to create great content that stimulates viral sharing. The more defined your niche, the more likely you are to become the go-to person or organisation for that information. Once you’ve created that content, you need to market it and then optimise for conversion. Many of the networking strategies that we talked about last week will assist in this cause.
Make sure you set up an RSS feed for your content so that it’s easy for others to syndicate.
Here are a few other things that might work for your community:
- Offer partnership badges or logos to organisations that you have close relationships with to put on their site, linking back to yours (like Get Satisfaction do with their certification badge).
- Take advantage of reciprocity and link to other blogs in your content (the more influential, the better).
- Build partnerships with other (related) organisations. Offer them affiliate income for marketing your products or services.
- Do something that gets lots of attention. Launch a new product, write a controversial post, or give something away. Get people talking about you.
- Write a comprehensive resource list. One of our most popular pages ever is this resource list, and look at the pages that rank best on this community site:
- People love content about themselves. Write (relevant) case studies about other organisations or people and they’ll share that content to their own networks.
- Create free tools or browser add-ons.
- Build a strong social media following so that your content is shared on your behalf. Note: social links are not worth very much (especially in relative terms to other links) but they do have a part to play. Make it easy for people to share your content with social sharing buttons, and tweet highlighting plugins (see half-way down this post).
Don’t forget to track which links are successful. If possible, give people a custom link which you can track as a campaign (see the post from Week 4 for instructions on how to do that). If that’s not feasible, you can still monitor referrals in Google Analytics (go Acquisitions --> Referrals):
See what your platform has to offer in this regard.