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November 16, 2012

Uncovering Missed Link Building Opportunities

White-hat link building is a slow and arduous process at times, especially when you feel like you’ve run out of opportunities. But the Internet has millions of websites with billions of pages of content – it’s pretty much impossible to run out of link building opportunities. The key is just to keep at it day after day and look not only for brand new link opportunities, but also missed link building opportunities that you can easily take advantage of.

Here are four places site owners might find some missed link building opportunities:

Online Press Releases

I see so many companies that fail to fully leverage online press releases for SEO and white-hat link building. Online news sites are a great boon to any link profile, plus they provide you with a great opportunity to target a variety of anchor text, helping to keep your link building as natural as possible. Don’t just limit yourself to one link in the boilerplate-get links in the body of the press release (a good rule of thumb is one link per 100 words), including a full http link and various anchor text links.

One great way to ensure that you are targeting a variety of anchor text is to come up with several variations of your boilerplate and rotate them with each press release. This is a great idea for companies (usually larger brands) that issue a lot of press public relations.

You never know who is going to pick up your press release, so ensuring you are getting its full link building potential is essential to long-term success. If a major news site runs your release you want to make sure to get as much value from that site as you can. Even a smaller, community news site can provide valuable links and help drive quality, targeted traffic to your website.

Guest Blog Posts

Guest blogging is undoubtedly a great way to build quality inbound links, increase your online brand presence, build your industry authority and drive targeted traffic over to your site-but are you getting all the value you can from your guest blogging opportunities?

Let’s say you have a team of three bloggers that regularly contribute content to your company blog. Maybe they are employees but they could also be freelance industry writers you’ve contracted some content creation work to. If they are any good at what they do (and let’s hope they are) chances are they also write for other industry sites, right? A freelance writer is bound to be sending content to several sites/publications at once. And they probably link to other sources in their guest blog posts (a good way to back up their own opinions), but why not have them link back to your blog as a source from time to time? Have them link to specific blog posts related to the guest post they are working on and get one more link from that industry site without being spammy about it.

Industry Associations

Most industry associations have a member directory in which you can list your website. But is that the only possible link you can get from that association? See if they have a blog they allow members to contribute to; it’s a great way to build your authority and get a few extra links from a trusted domain. See if that association is hosting any local or national events that you can sponsor on some level; even the basic sponsors typically get a link and little mention at the event (plus the event might have its own website, which means one more domain in your link profile). Does the association have any sister sites that you can get discounted rates for banner ads on? Can you submit company news somewhere? Look in every nook and cranny on an industry association website to ensure you are reaping all the possible benefits.

Competitor Links

A competitive link audit is a great way to uncover undiscovered links. While you never want to copycat the competition’s link building efforts, it’s definitely worth doing a little digging to see if they have great links that you might have missed. Where are they getting their content published? What niche directories is their site listed in? Keep your eyes peeled for .gov and .edu (the best domains) links the competition may have and see if they are a good fit for your own website.

Just keep in mind; what works for one company might not work well for another. Just because the competition has a link, that doesn’t mean you have to have it too. Always make sure a link is worth it before going for it.

Whatever you do online, always ask yourself how can I get a link? Just about everything you do online and offline can be leveraged for SEO in one way or another, as long as you keep looking at it with a link-building frame of mind.

Nick Stamoulis is the president of Brick Marketing, a Boston-based SEO services and content marketing agency. With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by more than 150,000 opt-in subscribers, and writing for the Brick Marketing Blog. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or