Perhaps those link building efforts are paying off, but there’s still room for improvement. New companies sometimes have limited budgets and would like to be smart about improving links without breaking the bank. Ever heard of offline link building? It may not sound easy, but if done correctly is an effective way to build connections for an online business. While gathering tips on how to make a business succeed during our free webinar training, also consider looking into leveraging offline events for link building. Here’s how:
A user on Quora did an excellent job at explaining what offline link building is all about and what you can do to make it happen.
Let’s break this term in two parts to quickly understand its meaning
1. Offline – It’s self explanatory. Offline, real life, real people in the real world. Nothing crazy on the internet.
2. Link building: Again self explanatory. Building useful links to our online portal to help us in SEO & reach more people on all other digital platforms.
So, there are multiple ways to mix both of these:
o Bloggers Meet
o Using Paid Print Advertising
o Using connections with editors & journalist to get featured on newspaper & TV.
o Placing your URL on the stationary
o Business Cards, Brochures that explain your business & distribute them to as many people as possible.
o Booth conferences. Book a booth at a related conference.
o And many more like these
Also, Moz explains why joining a variety of event sites is a good idea. After checking out a few sites, take a look at different event options. There might be a few events you could go to to promote your business. While you're at events or during separate outings, keep your eye out for influencers who can also help your brand grow.
Once you have your pages and domains set up, you can take that page to event listing sites, which offer easy link opportunities. The location of your event will determine where you choose to post. For instance, if you’re hosting a small event, region-specific event sites will earn you links that increase your visibility in local search results.
If you’re hosting a larger event with a national or global draw, Eventful or Meetup are two sites that will link out directly to your event page. As an added bonus, some larger sites will get scraped by other sources, meaning you could potentially get multiple links from one post.
Connect with influencers
Connecting with bloggers in your industry and asking them to share your event details with their followers is another way to gain links.
Before you reach out, do some research to see what types of bloggers and influencers are best suited for this; you want to make sure the backlinks you receive are valuable, from credible sites that will help you build authority and enhance your organic search visibility. While it may be more difficult to obtain links from the experts in your industry who have higher domain authorities, they'll be the most beneficial for brand building.
Once you establish your list of target industry bloggers, reach out and explain why your event is relevant to their audience and why sharing or posting about it would add value to their content.
A big mistake people often make is expecting content without contributing anything in return. Would you show up to a potluck without a dish and eat all of the food? Consider offering an incentive, like an opportunity for cross-site promotion so that the partnership isn’t just transactional, but mutually beneficial. Not only will this help you acquire a new link, but it will also help you get more exposure to people in your target market that you may not have been able to reach previously.
After you get a substantial audience on your site, Search Engine Journal recommends approaching them. See if they’d be willing to promote your site on their blog or during offline events. It never hurts to ask and befriend people who can help your business grow.
Members of Your Target Audience
Finally, you need to ensure members from your target audience attend your event. It’s obvious that you should invite your target audience as they are typically the whole reason you are hosting the event, but it may be less obvious that link opportunities lie with this audience as well.
Although this group may not be as influential as the one listed above, it is likely that some members of this group have their own sites/blogs and could possibly write a review of your event (complete with a link back to your site). Remember to always monitor brand mentions, as you can reach out to those who cover your event but aren’t linking to your site.
Sponsor an Event
Companies often don’t have the time, energy, or resources to host an event themselves, but still want to be involved in their community. If you’re planning on sponsoring an event, there are plenty of link opportunities.
If the event you are sponsoring has a “Sponsors” page on the event’s website, you will typically receive a link. For example, here is a “Sponsors” page for a local music festival:
This is both a great way to build brand awareness and backlinks. If you’re sponsoring an event, and there’s a page listing sponsors, it’s worth having a link and the brand exposure.
During an event, Moz reminds us not to forget about letting your audience know about the event. Sure, you’re trying to get new people interested, but you should still include your existing audience. Who knows, existing customers may help spread the word on their site, and thus, improving the outcome at the event.
Whether your company is hosting an event or someone from your team is speaking at one, there are many opportunities to support your site’s link building efforts. Attendees can have a positive effect on your organization’s backlink profile. As the old saying goes, if you didn't post about it, were you even there? Professionals and brands alike love sharing thought leadership insights and event recaps in the form of blogs and social posts. When they do, there's a good chance they'll be sharing a link to your company's site.
Write about it
Even if you’re only attending an event, there are link building opportunities to take advantage of. Post daily blogs highlighting the key takeaways from that day's sessions or share your take on a memorable keynote. Event-specific content has a good chance of making its way to and being shared by the speakers, event host, other attendees, and your team back at the office.
“Consider offering an incentive, like an opportunity for cross-site promotion so that the partnership isn’t just transactional, but mutually beneficial.”
To increase your chances of getting your content out in front of the right people, share it in a quick email or LinkedIn message to a presenter or marketing lead from the company hosting the event. Of course, you should always share your post on your own and your company’s social media channels and tag the relevant players. The hope is that, by being included and getting free publicity, these high-quality sources will feel inclined to share your content.
Wordtracker says you should look into talks and speaking events. Even if public speaking is not your cup of tea, public speaking can lead to promotional opportunities. An example is to mention an article from your site.
A TED talk will certainly get you places, although it’s a somewhat exclusive club. No worries, there are many other valuable opportunities for public speaking – a tactic that every business leader is encouraged to seek out as often as possible. But how can you acquire backlinks by public speaking?
Provide the exclusive: Partner with a well-respected blog to feature the original (and unique) video content from your talk. These sites are hungry for good video and they’ll be receptive if you take on the bulk of the work. This also works for podcasts and audio shows. First and foremost, the content of your talk must be valuable to their audience and not overloaded with self-promotion or sales pitches.
Insist on a preview article: Wherever you’re lined up to talk should create a preview blog post or web page, where attendees can register interest and learn about speakers. This is prime backlink territory, and you could even write your own preview blog post solely based on the themes in the upcoming talk.
Help with roundups and reviews: Relay your ability to help attendees with their roundup or review posts. Supply the presentation deck, offer additional quotes, and make it as easy as possible for those watching your talk to summarize it on their own website.
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