(originally posted on DesignBigger)
All the time, we’re told that all of our efforts should push traffic only to our site. We should be building links to try to raise domain authority, take advantage of referral traffic, and building up rankings for our site. While we can’t abandon those ideas altogether, sometimes there are moments where stepping outside of that thought pattern can really help us in the long run.
1. Great PR, Bad SEO
If you’re doing content marketing the way you should be, chances are, you’ll have some writeups in various publications. Ideally, if you get a great review from the local newpaper calling your business the best in town, you’d want that to show up when someone searches your brand name, right? Unfortunately, most of the traditional-media-turned-online-media are still pretty bad at search optimization.
Getting a branded search to show that glowing writeup will do great things for your conversion rate, so take some time to point some branded links towards that resource. You’ll help build up the link profile (and the authority) for that page, which hopefully will flow back down to your site. But, more importantly, that site will show up for someone searching for information about you, and perhaps be a little more convinced that you have what they’re looking for.
2. Pass The Authority
Sometimes there are keywords you really want to go after, but they’re just too competitive, or you’ve got a brand new site that hasn’t quite taken off yet. That doesn’t mean that you’re left high and dry. Just because your site doesn’t have the weight to show for that keyword, there are plenty of properties you can control that do.
This is where social media properties can be a great asset. Not just your company page on Twitter and Facebook (although properly optimizing those can help out), but the “second tier” stuff like Eventbrite and Slideshare. If you do ANY sort of presentations, upload them to Slideshare. You can control nearly any aspect of the page, and optimize it pretty nicely. If you get a fair amount of action on that Slideshare presentation, you’ll show up on the front page of the site. That will get your presentation ranked for some pretty competitive keywords, and in turn, drive some educated and interested traffic back to your site.
You could do something similar for Eventbrite if you’re in a business that does events. Create your event invite, and optimize the page for the keywords you’d like to rank for. Tying the Eventbrite into your social networks will promote action on that page, and in turn, will push it up, giving it a solid chance to rank well.
Here’s where it starts getting even more meta: guest posting. If you don’t have much in the way of blogging, or an already established authority, it might be a little more difficult, but if you can swing it, it’s worth it.
Find a blogger that ranks well for your niche, particularly, a keyword or two you’d like to rank for. Offer a guest post, but don’t ask for a link back. Yes, you read that correctly. You’re much more likely to get a “yes” to a guest post if you make sure that you aren’t asking for a link. You simply want to provide an awesome post that’s associated with you and your brand name (an unstructured citation). When you’re shopping for guest-posting opportunities in the future, this will give you a leg up on the link-hungry wolves going after every blogger out there.
Six Two Degrees Of Seperation
This is a little bit of the first tactic, mixed in with a little bit of black-hat tactic, but cleaned up a bit to keep your site safe from harm.
Sometimes, you’ll get what should be a great link from a great, high-authority site. But, you’re just not getting the traffic you think you should from it. Maybe it just wasn’t a relevant or a popular idea yet, and kind of got buried in the noise. It might not have even been indexed. If it’s on a high-authority domain, it may be worth it to point some links at it to give it a bump. Once you help it get indexed and show the search engines a little bit of traction on it, often, it’ll start to inherit some of that high authority and begin to rank much better. It’s a great case for re-posting on your social media profiles, dropping a comment on a forum you frequent already if it’s a pertinent article, or (and here’s the little bit of black-hat for you) testing out that directory that you aren’t really quite sure about yet.
Just remember though, what goes around, comes around. Don’t get crazy and blast it with spammy links. As Wil Reynolds could tell you, that sort of thing can come back to haunt you.
This all boils down to one idea: increasing and enhancing the rankability of other sites that can directly affect you in a positive way. The better those guys do in search, the more business that’ll be pushed your way. Search engine marketing sometimes takes some odd and unique ideas, and this is one that can work for you.