Get Found in Google (Part III): Link Building

You’ve done your keyword research and on-page SEO, so it’s time for the third and final step: getting other websites to post links that lead to your website. This is called link building. When Google uses its algorithm to rank websites, links are the most important factor (both quality and quantity of the links, as well as words used in the link). Simply put, you need other websites to point at your event through links. Here’s how:

1. Check who already links to you and optimize
To find out which websites link to yours, visit Open Site Explorer and enter your event website URL. Once you have that list in hand, approach the owners of those websites. First, thank them for the link; and second, ask if they would be willing to change the anchor text. Anchor text is the text that sits on top of the link (in other words, the hyperlink such as the Open Site Explorer link above). Change the anchor text to a keyword that describes your event.

2. Start a blog
Blogs should ideally be helpful articles for your target market to read. If you write excellent content about your event (e.g. course updates, new sponsor announcements, overall thoughts from an event director’s perspective), the links will follow.

3. Mention sponsors, charities, and people in articles
From time to time on your blog and website, you should feature any organizations or people who are supporting you. From there, the people you feature may choose to link back to the article because it is good press for them.

4. Guest blog for other relevant sites
You should approach influential blogs in your industry and ask to cover a specific topic for their blog. If they say yes, be sure to include links back to your website.

5. Subscribe to HARO
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is company that connects journalists and sources through daily emails. If you are chosen to be a source for a story, you’ll be featured in that article and will most likely receive a link.

6. Add social sharing buttons
Give people an easy way to share your event listing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more.

7. Set up social profiles
Set up social networking profiles for your company and share your articles/links through those networks.

8. Ask partners and clients for links
Ask your sponsors and charities to include a link to your race on their website.  Most don’t mind and appreciate showing that they are involved with a community event.

9. Write press releases
Press releases are powerful because they get submitted to and picked up by many different publications. Any publication that picks up your story will include links back to your website.

10. Submit your blog to Alltop
Alltop.com organizes the internet into different categories. Each category has automatic feeds to blogs and information sources that stay up to date with trends and changes within that topic. When you submit your blog feed to Alltop, each new article will be listed on the Alltop category page. Those live as links back to your website, getting you even more exposure.

You’ve made it through our three-part series on Get Found in Google! Congratulations –your search engine expertise is sure to get your event website more exposure online.