Link Building Principle 3: Help Someone Out

4 Basic Link Building Strategies: Part 3 – Helping

avatar Accelerate Media | Staff Piece

These four strategies will be released as individual posts.

If you missed our first two posts in the series, you might want to start with the link building opportunities that come from being informative and how to use your connections to get new backlinks.

The third principle is all about helping! 

Principle #3: Help Someone Out

People love to give a helping hand and love getting a helping hand in return. And that’s not just us saying that, it’s backed by science. 

Studies show that being shown kindness releases dopamine and serotonin in our brains, making us feel good when others are nice to us. Not a shocker, but nice to have scientific proof. 

The real surprise is that showing kindness to others releases the same chemicals. Giving and getting are truly two sides of the same coin. When someone does something nice for you, you want to repay the favor and do something nice for them. 

So, what does being nice mean in terms of link building? Simple: If you can find a way to help someone out, they will naturally be more inclined to link back to you. Below are six ways that being nice to someone can potentially lead to a link to your website.

1) Fix a Broken Link  

If you’ve ever come across a broken link while on the internet, then you probably have a clue as to what this method is trying to solve.  

Let’s say you’re searching the internet on sites related to your business or niche audience and you find a broken link in an article. By using tools like the Wayback Machine you can find out what the broken link used to be and recreate that content. 

Now, we’re not saying to take the content from the broken page and copy it word for word—that’s plagiarism. But you can get a good sense of what the page was about and then discuss the same topic or offer your own suggestions and viewpoints. The goal is to make what you’re writing about better than what you’re trying to replace. Adding valuable information about the topic will only increase the chances of getting a link back to your site.  

Next, you can go to every site that links to the broken page and offer them your content to replace it with. There are plenty of websites that can help you find the domains that are linking to the broken page (Ahrefs and SEMRush, for example). Just take your pick and get your list. Send them all an email, or fill out a form on their website that highlights the broken link and explains the benefit that their readers would get if they replaced that broken link with your new content. 

Fixing a broken link can be a long process, but luckily it’s not hard work. And, if you get the right links from high authority websites in your niche, then the effort will be well worth it.

Here are three pro-tips to help guide you in fixing broken links, because casually coming across a broken link that relates to your business isn’t exactly a strategy:

  1. Get a list together of the top websites in your niche. Use your preferred website scanning tool to find a list of every 404 on their website.

  2. Once you have your list of dead links, see which ones you can easily write an article on and have a decent amount of domains linking to it.

  3. If there are a lot of pages that link to the broken page, prioritize your outreach using the site’s domain authority.

2) Do Some Pre-outreach

If you’ve read our second principle, making connections, then you’re already familiar with the importance of reaching out to your sources and letting them know that you’re going to be linking to them.

Maybe you’re writing a piece for your website and you’re going to reference another great article you saw during your research. Or maybe you’re going to pull a quote from their article, or a statistic that they presented. Let them know! Do some pre-outreach and tell them to keep an eye out for your piece and offer to send them a link to it when it’s published. 

If they like your article, maybe they’ll link to it from their own website (especially if you feature a quote from them, because who wouldn’t want to share that with their audience?!).

This method is more passive than fixing a broken link, but it’s a great habit to get into when it comes to writing your own content. If you’re going to be using quotes and statistics in your content anyways, you may as well let the source of that data know about it and send them the final version. 

3) Search for Giving Opportunities

Partnering with charities and other organizations through sponsorship opportunities or by offering a scholarship is a great way to get a ton of quality backlinks. Let’s say there’s a big conference coming up in your market. What kind of sponsorship opportunities does that event have? Most events host a list of sponsors on their website with links back to the sponsor’s sites. If you have the capital, it may be worth becoming a sponsor—especially if you’re already planning on attending the conference. It’s a great opportunity to get more involved in that event and continue to build your connections.

Towards the end of the calendar year, every type of business–from solo entrepreneurs to corporations–is looking to make more charitable donations. This means it’s prime fundraising time for nonprofits and charity organizations and typically when most they’ll host their yearly gala or release their annual report. In both cases, donating to the charity of your choice in one of their larger events may guarantee you a link on their website as a supporter. Not only will you be helping a charity that speaks to you, but you’ll be getting a quality link on a .org site – and a nice tax break for the next year! 

As for sponsoring scholarships, they can be pricey. But, depending on which organization or school you choose to work with, they can be a great source of high-quality .edu links. And if your company has the means, reaching out to set up a scholarship is a great way to build an alumni connection at your alma mater. 

4) Get Involved in Your Community

This is the easiest way to get great local links to your website because the possibilities are endless! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Does your town have a local softball league? Do they link to their various team sponsors on their website? Think about becoming a sponsor. 
  • If there are any local awards shows in your industry, submit your company for the award. The award committee website will most likely add your logo and a link to your website if you’re picked to be a finalist.
  • Get affiliated with your local business associations. It’s usually pretty easy to get connected with them and they’re a great source of high-quality local links.
  • Hosting or joining local events is also a good way to get links. If a nonprofit or town organization is hosting an open event for the public, see what it would take to have a presence there.
  • Are you a consumer-facing business? Reach out to any local blogs or websites with guides on the city and places to visit and see if you can get your website listed. 

Do what makes sense and have some fun with it! In addition to getting quality links, it can be beneficial to get more involved in your community, as it helps establish your business credibility.

5) HARO: Help a Reporter Out   

HARO is a great website to help get your expertise out in the world. Become a source for reporters writing stories in your industry and see what happens. It’s against the site’s policies to specifically ask for backlinks from the reporter, but if you’re knowledgeable and offer great details, quotes, or statistics for their story, you may naturally get linked from the reporter. 

6) Offer Testimonials

Consider offering testimonials to companies or products that your business uses. This can be anything from the large SaaS companies you may be working with daily or your local lawn and garden maintenance company. If you’re a user or customer of their product or service, then you have a legitimate opportunity to offer a testimonial. 

Now, this isn’t to say that the company will readily take your testimonial and put it on their homepage with a link to your site, but reaching out and sincerely offering your thoughts on their product will at least get you started. 

And there you have it! Six tips on how being nice to others can lead to more links to your site. 

If you have any questions, comments, or insight on link building, reach out to [email protected] and share your thoughts.