Link diversity is never a bad thing.
You don’t want 100% of your links coming from guest posts, that could get you in trouble with Google.
The problem is that many other links have been devalued over time, so it might seem hard to come up with other ways to build links.
That’s where you need to get a little creative. And it’s where good link builders are molded and can really show their worth.
I’ve compiled 5 link building tactics that are less common than other mainstream tactics. They can still pack a punch and add some much need diversity to your link profile.
Building Links With Discounts
If your site sells a product, running a temporary discount can quickly get you several decent backlinks.
There’s a huge community of people looking for deals.
Some are in forums, but there are many “deal bloggers” as well.
So when you run a deal you can:
- Post it on these forums with a link
- Contact deal bloggers and they’ll likely link to your deal
Put the deal details on your homepage so that all the links point there, instead of a temporary page that you set-up for the sale.
Where you post about your deal?
Let’s start with the big forums:
You can also find dozens of more sites by Googling footprints like:
- Submit deal
- Submit coupon
- Add deal
Finally, search for niche specific forums. For example, if you sell a tech product, search for “tech deal site”.
Same goes for bloggers.
Use a footprint like:
[niche] + deal blog
Most will have a contact form that you can use to alert them about your deal. Do it a few days in advance so they have time to add a link to your site.
Getting Links From Job Boards
This is a particularly good strategy if you have a job where you’re looking to hire a student or new graduate.
The idea is that you contact nearby universities and colleges that have a job board for students, and they’ll add your posting with a nice link to the information on your site about it.
If your job can be done remotely, you’ll have hundreds of potential targets to get links from, and you should have a solid conversion rate.
Once you have a job page ready, use this handy footprint to find educational sites that have a job board page: “site:.edu internships job openings”
Feel free to add a keyword of your city or state if you need to refine the results.
Additionally, you can also find some niche job boards just by searching for “[niche] + job board”.
There’s usually 5-10 for most niches, although you may have to pay a small fee to get listed. Double-check that the links are dofollow before paying anything, and aren’t deleted after a certain time period.
Alumni Spotlight Links
This tactic does not scale at all, but is creative and a pretty cool one nonetheless.
Many colleges, universities, and even some high schools have an “alumni spotlight” on their website.
They write about the life and accomplishments of a different alumni each month.
Typically, not too many people care about this, so it can be hard for the school to find people who want to get written about.
So if your school(s) have a page like this, you can usually ask to be written about and it’s not a problem (although you may have to wait a bit).
During your “spotlight” you can link back to your current business site and personal website if you have one:
These are contextual links on strong domains, so even though it’s a one-time thing, it can have a decent impact.
If you have multiple employees, perhaps they can do the same and link to the site you’re all working on.
Conduct a Survey and Publish the Data
If you want natural, high quality links flowing in on a regular basis, almost nothing beats original research.
Bloggers and freelance writers like to link to proof whenever possible. It strengthens their points, and helps raise the perceived value of their content.
Proof comes from research.
If you write something like “flooding is the biggest worry of homeowners,” it’s nice to be able to link to a survey that found those results.
Here’s an example of a blogger survey that Orbit Media conducted.
It’s filled with great graphs and has tons of links to it.
You’ll need to promote your research, but it’s a lot easier to promote original research than yet another “ultimate guide” to a topic.
The challenge is finding the right topic.
Try to find a claim that writers in your niche often make, but isn’t linked to any proof. Then you can contact these writers and tell them about your research.
You’ll get direct links right away from that promotion, and your research will start ranking in Google and pick up natural links over time.
Get Links From Funding Crowdsourced Projects
Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are a great source of creative links that can’t easily be games by other SEOs.
The idea is to find projects that will give you a link from their site in return for funding.
This amount is usually way cheaper than a typical link you would buy, plus you usually get other stuff as well.
The challenge is finding these opportunities.
Obviously you want links from related industries, so check projects related to your niche.
Some projects, although not too many, will explicitly offer links in exchange for funding in one of their tiers:
It’s a bit grey-hat in terms of buying links, but I think it’s unlikely for the link to ever be penalized or ignored by Google.
You can take this further by asking other projects that don’t explicitly offer this if they’d be willing to give you a link for funding.
If you want to do it completely in private, contact a business through their website and ask about it. Otherwise, leave a comment on their funding page asking about a link.
It’s best to aim to get links from smaller projects. They’re more flexible about giving you custom extras like a backlink because your individual donation is more important to them than a project that’s already raised 6 figures.
No great SEO relies solely on one or two link building tactics.
They think outside of the box and are familiar with creative tactics like the ones on this page, and always keep them ready for situations where they could be effective.
By all means, try the tactics on this page, but don’t stop there.
Try to come up with your own link building tactics that no one else has thought of. If you’re willing to share any ideas publicly, I’d love to hear what you come up with.