Years ago when we had retail shop, we needed to increase business. I devised simple method. We created a flyer, newspaper adds and large sign on the shop window. It was about winning $10 000 in cash. Anybody spending more than $150 was eligible to win. The whole thing was for 6 months and our turnover increased to a point where we strugled to keep up. The thing was we didn't offer price or some object from IT, we gave cash. Do what you want with the cash. Not sure how to incorporate this into link building. Just an idea. You free to delete if this doesn't fit.
By the way, I like the guts to start this subject, away with ego trips, down to the nity grity. stuff. Good call.
Cash prizes are always a good motivator, but I would propose a slightly different way of doing it than you were thinking if I am correct in how I read your idea. I would say the way to make your idea fit linkbuilding is not in links for a prize, but in the links you would get from news sources and blogs talking about your contest itself. These would also be extremely valuable links, so kudos on bringing it up. This has been done with several SEO contests in the past and has always worked quite well for them I might add.
Here's a couple of alternate methods I've used:
1) Pick up the phone & actually ring people up to suggest a reciprocal link. Well worth spending a few hours to hook up with some good targets.
2) Redirect an expired domain with backlinks toward your site
3) Run a link checker on a persons links page & send them an email pointing out the inevitable broken links. Then politely suggest that in return for the favour you've done them they might add your link in instead of one of the broken ones.
I would add that the 301 method might work better by putting up a page with a single link to your main site with the anchor text you wish to target instead of a 301, UNLESS the domains inbound links already target that keyword.
Have you covered managing the inbound links you already have?
1. check those server error logs - do you have inbound links to pages that no longer exist/ or never existed as the person linking to you misstyped....?
301 redirect those inbound links to the correct URL or most relevant page in your website.
2. Are there pages linking to you that are not indexed in the search engine? Cross reference you inbound links between Google, Yahoo and Bing make sure that the search engines know about the websites linking to you
3. Look for authority links - What are the common links between the websites you are competing with in the search results? Do they all have a link from a specific directory, review site, industry association, etc - if they link to numerous competitors they may also link to you if contacted in the appropriate manner (see comments from the guys above)
4. Check for websites that mention your brand and do not link back to you. If they are already talking about you and know who you are the chances of aquiring a link are greater
Hi Rich, welcome to WPW forums, and while not spot on for this thread, your post does hold merit and does raise points that should be addressed. Nice contribution.
As for #4 I am actually already working on a free service for that purpose (I read the moz article too).
This is an idea I have been sitting on for a while. You could offer a prize, depending on what you do for a living, give away a newly designed logo, or a free website redesign, or free optimisation or something similar.
It would work on the same principles as a prize draw, except that in order to enter people would have to build a link to your website from theirs using the link code that you provide. You make sure that you use the exact anchor text that you want, and stipulate the rules about where the link may be placed etc.
They then submit their details using a form on your website, stating their name and contact details and the location of the link. You can let the competition run for quite a while, you could even advertise it on blogs and forums and pligg sites. (As well as a nice big advert on your own website of course...)
Then when you have accumalated a decent number of links you randomly select a live link and give away your prize. Then you post an article or "prize winner" details on your website and run the competition again...
I have a really out of box method to acquire links. I am sure most of you did not think about this one.
Well, you know that artists, illustrators and graphic designers have portfolios and blogs. I have a friend and partner who has recently become a freelance illustrator and artist. Every time he gets an interesting project he writes a post about the project and the customer with a link to the customerís website. What is interesting is that this link is in the text rich with some keywords which have something to do with customerís activity. More over the guy puts a watermark link to the customer website on the images which are highly optimized for image search engines. He recently was sponsored by a company which supplied him with some drawing tools and he not only placed links leading to the companyís website on his blog but also shows the companyís URL in his drawing videos he creates for YouTube (and which, by the way, are becoming more and more popular). He also uses Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, freelance website where he reveals who was the customer with a link to customerís website if the customer does not mind. What I want to say here is that a lot of businesses order logos, web design, custom illustrations etc. or outsource freelance artists or graphic designers to create some project as sub-contractors but not a lot of people know that artists and illustrator constantly develop their portfolio and try to create buzz about themselves all over the Internet and it is a good idea for people who order something from an illustrator or web/graphic designer to ask if he/she could mention customerís company with a link in a portfolio or even demand the artist to show the work in the portfolio only when there is the customerís name or a URL watermark in it, of course if the customer does not mind other people knowing this information.
Please do not delete the following links to my friendís blog as they clearly demonstrate what I am talking about:
American wildlife illustrations for an apparel company
Panda illustrations for a US teacher's website