For most people link building is all about words.
Press releases, articles, blog posts, etc. While words do have their place in a link building strategy, it's possible that by focusing entirely on word-based strategies you are missing out on one of the most powerful link building tools available--images.
Images are one of the simplest and most effective means of building links to your website. Everyone loves images, they add value to any content, and a good image will often be the first thing the reader notices, and the thing that draws them in to read the text.
Here are some of the most effective ways you can use images for link building.
Be Creative: Use Images in Your Guest Posts
Guest posting is a well-established strategy for building authority within a particular niche. It has in the past been a popular way to build links to a website or product page, however in recent days many site owners have become less willing to allow links to the authors site within the text of the article.
One easy way to still get the all-important link is to your site is to add it to the image credit links. Next time you write a guest post all you need to do is include an image from your website with a back-link to the appropriate page on your website.
To learn more about this see this great post from Matthew Barby.
Reap the Benefits of Image Sharing
Sharing images with other websites is a great way to build quality links to your website. Many businesses struggle to find high quality images, which they can use for their site. Providing them with free use of your images in exchange for a link back to your site allows you to build a large quantity of links very quickly. It does require a little effort to find suitable sites and offer them the use of your images but this method allows you to carefully target those you approach so the results are generally very effective.
Adam Vowles suggests using Flickr as a variation on this technique.
Give An Award, and See Rewards Yourself
Custom badges can be a highly effective way of building links. There are two main approaches that work well.
Host the Blog Awards
If you are in possession of a well-known brand or blog then running 'a best blog awards' or a similar ranking competition can be highly effective. All that you need to do is identify the top 50 or 100 sites in your particular niche and produce a write-up on each of them for your 'winners' page. Once you have chosen your winners you need to email the webmasters for each site and send them a badge to display on their site. Naturally they will be keen to display any award, which their blog has earned, and the badge will contain a link back to your site, gaining you 100 quality links.
The Contributor's Badge
The second way in which custom badges can be used works for any blog and doesn't require you to already be an authority site. In this case you ask some bloggers to write for your site, and make it a condition of their writing being accepted that they display a 'contributor' badge on their site. In this way, the number of links you receive is limited only by the number of contributors to your blog. A similar approach can be seen with the GrantChat contributors badge pictured below:
Share your Knowledge by Creating a Viral Infographic
Before you decide to produce a particular infographic take the time to research existing infographics on the subject. If you want your graphic to spread across the Internet then it has to present something new and original. If you produce an infographic that doesn't add anything new then don't be surprised if no one wants to share it.
Before you start working on your infographic make sure you have a fresh subject, or at least a new slant on known information.
Find an infographic directory that allows users to search the infographics by popularity so you can see at a glance which topics generate the greatest amount of interaction from users. This is vital information, as a successful infographic needs to be extensively shared to build up a large number of links.
One of the best ways of finding shareable content is to search authority sites within your own industry. This has a double benefit for graphic creators. By searching authority sites within your industry you can clearly attribute any tips, tricks, or statistics there, which you use on your infographic to the site they came from. This gives your infographic an instant appearance of authority, but more importantly from a linking perspective it gives those sites attributed a good incentive to include your infographic on their own sites.
Getting Links from your Infographic
When you have created your infographic the next stage is to promote it to the widest possible audience. This may include:
- Using social media to contact influencers in your industry
- Paid-for advertising on social media
- Manually reaching out to well known bloggers in your niche
To read a detailed guide to producing great infographics, see: http://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-link-building/
Save Time: Make a Graphic
There are many processes in daily life that are repeated time after time, and yet are frequently featured in how-to manuals, often as the first step of a longer process. One obvious example of this is cookery, where the base of a cake or pizza is often the same, although later stages of the recipe can be very different.
Why not create a simple image that demonstrates all the steps of the initial process and invite webmasters to add the image to their site? Reaching out to these site owners should not prove too difficult. There are lots of sites which feature sets of text based instructions, and would benefit from the graphics you can provide. It's simply a matter of choosing the niche that is most appropriate for the images you have at your disposal. Just be sure that each graphic includes a link back to your site.
Building image based links to your website takes time, but if done well it will produce excellent long-term results. These are some of the more effective ways of using images for link building, by following these techniques you can start establishing a solid foundation for the ranking of your website.