Howdy ho, all you SEO heroes out there! Search Engine Academy is busy keeping up with new link strategies that will keep you sites on Google’s good side, what with Penguin being rolled out last year and a new update coming any day now. Search engine optimization changes all the time–particularly link building, so I’m always telling every “Semper Gumby”–Always Flexible.

Quick refresher for those who may be new: a backlink is a link on a website that links back to your site, while an outbound link leads from your site to another site. Expanding your link profile–increasing the amount of sites that link back to your site–used to be easier before Google stepped in (as it always does.)

Basically, submitting pages to directories is gone, gone, gone. Stick a fork in it, it’s done like a dinner. So how else can you do SEO backlinking? The funnel is getting very narrow, no doubt about that. Automated link building strategies no longer work.

The bad news is, you have to roll up your sleeves and do it the old-fashioned way–one link at a time. Sorry, I’m stuck with it as well, and I like it just as much as you do. Ugh.

Anyways, whining about it doesn’t get the job done, so I want to offer up a few things you can try to get some links for you and your clients. Ready? Here goes!

Where to Expand Your SEO Backlink Strategy

Your Local Business Organizations

If you belong to any specialized Chamber of Commerce organizations, business networking groups, the Rotary, what have you, then you’ve got a relationship going with those business members. Depending upon your business vertical and theirs, these business groups offer good linking partnerships. Take advantage of the friendships you have, and ask to put links on each other’s webpages, but remember–only link with businesses whose businesses compliment yours.

For example, it does me no good to put a link on the local heating, plumbing, air conditioning and electrical repair guy’s website because his business and mine don’t compliment each other.

The nice thing about doing backlinks for SEO this way is that these are easy to ask for and justify. You can educate other business owners about the importance of proper link building as you ask for one yourself.

LinkedIn

Did you know LinkedIn now has company pages as well as individual profiles? They do, and you should totally, definitely set yours up and optimize it for more chances of getting found on LinkedIn, umkay? But that’s a post for another day.

That being said…

Cruise on over to your LinkedIn profile page. Eyeball the upper right hand corner and click on the drop down menu that’s available to you.

Search LinkedIn for companies to send link requests

Let’s say you have a client who provides home health care aides to seniors who still want to live at home, but need some daily assistance. Your client should have already given you a list of keywords to research. Use this list to find companies that compliment your client. So, use LinkedIn’s new company webpages by KWP, and start reviewing the list.

LinkedIn search bar for "home remodeling"

You may need to narrow down the locations, if your client (or you) depend upon local customers and prospects. If so, use the search box function on the left to get specific geographic results:

LinkedIn geographical search filter for off-site SEO link building

You can also continue to define your search with more filters on the left hand side for industries, relationship, company size, and more.

Now it’s a process of reviewing the company pages, clicking on their website and reviewing it as a potential link partner. Do they have a links or resources page? How does the site look? Has it been kept up to date? You can also use various SEO tools to analyze the domain and link authority of the site. You will need to craft a highly personalized link request. Point out something specific and unique about their site that will boost your chances of getting a link to your website.

Yahoo! Directory

Finally, you can use Yahoo! Directory to search for websites. It’s still very handy, but remember, type in the local area if that’s important for your link building efforts.

Yahoo Directory search bar

You can also use the Yellow Pages, Super Pages and other business directories. As always, your mileage and experience may vary.

Do you use any other resources for creating a SEO backlinks strategy? If so, share them with us in the comments!

As I like to say…keep it between the ditches!

Best to you,