Getting Buy In For Link Building

If you’re working in-house, it can be difficult to convince managers that you should be spending your time doing link building. There are many possible reasons for this, a number of which are misconceptions. Some of the more common reasons that I have heard are:

  • “I don’t want you spending your time on something that has uncertain results”
  • “We are too big of a site to do manual link building”
  • “It’s hard to prove the links caused the increase in rankings”
  • “I’m not convinced that link building has value”

If you’re in this situation, you can either keep trying to convince your manager to let you build links, or you can build links and then show them the results. To be clear, I’m not saying that you should quit or deprioritize the work that you’re responsible for, but frequently hard proof on a small scale will work better than any argument or blog posts you send their way.

But what if you were to try something like the following:

  1. Find a page that is targeting a fairly noncompetitive keyword (< SEOmoz difficulty score of 50)
  2. Make sure that there aren’t any projects going on that would potentially impact the rankings of this page (so you can definitely tell your manager the link building improved the rankings)
  3. Build some links minimal resources (no budget)
  4. Start link building whenever you have a chance (lunch breaks, before or after work)
  5. Track your rankings, traffic, and revenue to build your case and get buy in or budget to scale up your link building

Pro Tip: Make sure that you have a solid rank tracking program. I really like the one in SEOmoz campaigns, Authority Labs, and AWR.

While that might sound nice and easy enough, the hard part becomes how to build links without any real budget or resources (other than yourself). This is why we have the next section in this post:

Links That Don’t Require Resources

Presentations

Look for meet-up groups or college clubs that have presentations. Many meet-ups and clubs have websites for the associated organization. In most cases if you present at one of their meetings, they would love for you to write up a recap to put on their blog or site. Know what that means? Links for you!

Example: I gave a presentation at the Seattle SEO Network and wrote this follow up post.

Pro Tip: Use Slideshare to easily embed your slides in your presentation.

Testimonials

Testimonials help convey trust and influence people to purchase s a product or review (duh). Inherently, a lot of companies, especially startups and small businesses, have testimonial/review pages; many of these pages link to the person/company giving the testimonial. See if any of the companies you work for or with have review pages that offer links. If they do, write a killer (and honest) review. Make sure it’s well thought out and specific!

Examples: AYTM Market Research has an extensive testimonials page

Begging

Ok, you shouldn’t steal but there is no shame in begging for links.

There is no shame in begging – well it depends what you are begging for, but there is no shame in begging for links. Beg your friends, family, and anyone you know that has a website for a link.

Pro Tip: The amount of begging required is inversely related to the amount of beer you and, more importantly, your friend have had.

Create Your Own IG

Infographics are popular but odds are you aren’t a graphic designer. This doesn’t rule infographics out though. Sites like Infogr.am will let you design your own infographic pretty easily and they look way better than anything I could do on my own.

If you don’t have time to do outreach to bloggers, you can submit to infographic submission sites. To help you out, I’ve curated a list of 42 infographic submission sites.

 While these are only a handful of ideas, it should give you the ability to build enough links to see some improvements in the SERPs, especially when targeting less competitive keywords. If you have more suggestions for link building tactics that require minimal resources, share them in the comments!

Geoff Kenyon

Geoff Kenyon

Geoff Kenyon is a senior consultant at Distilled where he leads the strategy and execution of online marketing strategies to drive traffic and revenue for his clients.  Geoffh264 // Geoff joined Distilled in 2010 after working in-house and...   read more

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15 Comments

  1. Jon

    Thanks for the share to kickstart ideas on where to submit the IG.

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  2. Hey Geoff,

    Thanks for mentioning infographicsonly.com, much appreciated!

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  3. Nice post Geoff. I have a question-Isnt Google going to discount Infographic links soon? If yes, is there a good reason/value for creating them JUST for getting links? (Not including the fact that they might help a person on his/her own site)

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    • I think there are a lot of different ways that Google will do this that will determine how links from submission sites are handled. I could see it going a number of ways but I think that marketers will still be able to use infographics to get links (though their implementation might look a bit different), especially if text accompanies them, like many infographic submissions sites. This is all subjective though right, so there is not going to be any definitive answer until Google does something.

  4. Sean

    Article submission sites (2010) = Infographic submission sites (2013)

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  5. I really doubt that Google would discount infographics links. Its up to the content of the infographic to build traffic and therefore determine link value.

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    • Sean

      You're probably right Thomas. Google are unlikely to discount infographic links but they are likely to discount link weight passed via infographic submission sites.

  6. Great post, agree with what you're saying in regards to link building.

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  7. Great list for infographic submissions. I agree that in order to get buy in, sometimes you really just need to "show me the money" (prove that link building works).

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  8. Thanks for the insight and for the listings. I find it highly valuable as I am just starting out to learn new stuffs to complement current marketing strategies.

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  9. Joe

    I agree that it may reduce link juice but I wouldn't totally neglect infographics just yet. They're quite versatile for blogs/webpages and remember, it's content, content with information, value and most of all engaging to readers. However, there are some terrible ones out there!

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  10. @Geoff - thanks for tip on - Infogr.am
    I am giving it a try right away!

    @Sean - very interesting point you made about the likely link weight discount on submission sites. Infographics may need to hit mainstream sites/blogs to gain traction in the future.

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  11. Ethel

    I'll try your advice with my boss! Is Page Rank still relevant when looking for sites to post comments?

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  12. I like the infographic submission idea..how about free pr site submissions?

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