The search marketing space is almost like a melting pot of knowledge from different industries coming together to a full blossom. Think about it, many search marketing gurus these days are self-wwwght, bringing expertise from their previous roles to build a unique recipe to excel in search. Here I’m sharing some tips to potentially get your clients some free high-authority links from the wisdom of traditional offline marketing.

No such thing as free publicity/ free high quality links?

Seeing how those ‘infotainment’ TV shows still dominate prime time television, no one can deny that the power of PR is still a far-reaching one. One of the smart kids here in Search Factory, Nick, has recently demonstrated how you can score some powerful links for free and build a PR6 website in under a month’s time with his project The Warmest 100. Nick described it as one of the most accurate prediction of Australia’s popular music countdown, Triple J’s Hottest 100, by pulling in votes from every person who has shared their votes publicly on social media.

Warmest100

The project has all the elements that tick the boxes of what makes an interesting news article – it’s innovative, it’s connected to the big names (Triple J is one of the country’s top music countdown), and it’s timely (The Warmest 100 website launched just 6 days before the countdown took place on Australia Day, when conversations and speculations started flooding social media).

Nick started with approaching a journalist friend with his big ideas, and eventually made his debut in the press on a music magazine TheVine from referral. The project then started to gain its momentum. The next day he was approached by the big names including the Sydney Morning Herald and The Courier Mail, and, viola! Two free backlinks to Warmest100 site of DA94 and DA85 each.

Just when Nick was still trying to get over the overwhelming 5 minutes fame (and a couple of abusive emails!) from the press exposure, this time he was approached by the national radio station and scored himself another DA 96 free link on their site ABC.net.au.

Let’s look at a few takeaways from Nick’s social experiment that SEO agencies can share with their clients:

1. Grab every interview opportunity: Never turn down any requests from anyone wanting to speak to your business. Even if the person is from a small community newspaper, always make sure you check if they publish online and review the quality of their site. Some of the community news sites carries your local domain which makes it a highly desirable link from local searches’ point of view.

2. Be generous and share your knowledge: A free link from the PR6 ABC.net.au and the radio interview all started with Nick’s willingness to share his methodology on how he collected the social data. If your business has an innovative idea, don’t keep it to yourself  just because you’re afraid there’ll be copycats. In the online space there’s certainly more value seen in people who are inspiring and leading the trend.  Most corporate sites would have an ‘About Us’ page. Why not share your secret recipe to your business successes and turn it into a link bait? Consider structuring the page as a Q&A style ‘how to’ guide, for example, subjects like ‘How Did My Business Facebook Fan Page Achieve 5000 Likes In One Month’ might serve as resources for industry knowledge as well as help capturing some long-tail searches.

Helpareporter.com, HARO, is potentially another gold mine of opportunity for those businesses who are more press-savvy.  HARO claims to have nearly 30,000 members in the media looking for individuals or businesses who can be sources for their stories. Your clients might be able to score a backlink from reputable sites such as HuffingtonPost.com and New York Times by sharing their expertise and providing insights to the journalists’ subject of interest.

3. Leverage your personal networks and connections: Totally self-explanatory! This is especially important for your smaller clients who do not have the budget or resources to run a press release or a big PR stunt. Get your clients to speak to other businesses in their networks, chances are that there might be some similar businesses out there who love to get inspired by success stories in their industry and are happy to run a post or an interview of your client’s business.

Just like traditional PR strategies, some of these link-building tactics may take time and effort to deliver their ROIs, but it’s definitely worth-exploring with your clients and get them to keep these opportunities on top of their mind.

Free links anyone?