Low Hanging Fruit #2: Leverage Relationships

The next step in your link acquisition effort is to leverage existing relationships to get links. This means talking to anyone you know or have a working relationship with who has a website, and asking them to toss a link to you (to your home page, with the site name as the anchor text).

If you have a new site, you want to ask all of your friends to link to you even if they don’t have a site: they can link to you via social media or in forums they frequent. Keep in mind a new site needs a healthy mix of nofollow links.

Business Relationships

Remember to consider all of your business relationships at this stage. Often vendors or suppliers will be willing to link to you from somewhere on their site. Manufacturers often have “where to buy” pages listing their retailers. Some will refuse to link to you — and that’s fine, you won’t get them all (you probably won’t even get most of them). But every one that you do get will help.

Every company you do business with — with the likely exception of banks or other financial institutions — is a company that might be willing to link to yours. Any company that you pay for a service or product is even more likely to link to you, because they want your money and want you to be happy. If you exhibit at trade shows, or contribute to conventions, those will almost always include a link to your site.

Other Relationships

If your business sponsors a little league team or participates in any kind of charitable work, ask for a link from those places. Local charities are particularly good about this: sponsoring local walks or 5ks or bike rides are all great opportunities to be recognized and to build up your domain authority by doing the kinds of things that real companies do.

Be vigilant about leveraging all options. Perhaps you volunteer at a non-profit that has a bio of you up on their site. Get a link from that bio. Talk to the company that cleans your office: offer to give them a glowing testimonial to put on their site and there’s good odds that they’ll link to you when they post it.

A few things to remember when leveraging relationships for links:

  • Ask for a link to your homepage. Don’t go trying to get sneaky and use this to build links to money pages. The goal here is to build domain authority and help build an organic link profile.
  • The anchor text of the link should be your site name, your URL, or an image (your logo). Absolutely do not ask for money keywords in the anchor text — that will look spammy.

Never offer compensation for links. If the site owner says no, that’s fine, just move on. If they offer to put the link up for a price, let them know that your company/site policy forbids you from compensating anyone in exchange for a link.

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