Link building hasn’t had the easiest of rides over the last few years.
But there’s little doubt that it’s still an incredibly important practice in the world of organic search. Even Google’s very own Head of Webspam Matt Cutts has underlined that the practice still holds incredible value for Google.
Link building isn’t just a Google thing. All search engines rely on links and – believe it or not – links are actually there for people to click on them to find further content!
There are all sorts of ways to build links ethically and in the right way. One of those ways is through a technique called link reclamation.
As the name suggests it revolves around reclaiming links to your site. But category-wise it sits better under the umbrella of relationship building.
Building for the future
Why relationship building, though?
As I’ve mentioned before the best, most ethical links can be gained by creating unique and interesting content, and building a positive relationship with the people that share and mention it.
What do you do though if somebody has mentioned your content or your website and not given you credit for it with a link?
The answer is link reclamation – getting in touch with site owners to request that they complement that mention with a link back to the website in question.
That can be an incredibly tough ask. The approach is crucial when it comes to link reclamation. You’re not just looking to build links but also build relationships with people that have already taken the time to feature your content.
Do you indulge in link reclamation? If so how do you go about it and how has it improved your online business? Let me know in the comments section below.
Let’s take a look at an example. Say you’re selling trainers and have some new stock in. You’re able to sell them at a better price than your competitors and post a blog about it.
Somebody else sees it and makes a post about it on their blog: “Have just seen trainers are being sold for £9.99 at Mike’s Trainers, bought a pair yesterday and they’re perfect for football!.”
That’s a great little bit of exposure but the message could be working for you a lot more through reclamation.
Mike’s Trainers could be anybody. Not only that but visitors to the blog that are interested only have a name to go on and not a link to your site.
So how do you go about turning that mention into a highly-beneficial organic link? Because that’s what it is, a link back to your site from an independent, natural and happy source that’s worth more in the long run than a dodgy paid link from an unrelated site.
There are two things I feel you should remember in a situation like the above example:
- If they’re publishing posts on a blog or elsewhere online then they know how to upload content onto the internet and how to create a link.
- They don’t owe you anything.
With link reclamation you will always be asking for a favour from somebody you probably don’t know.
But if you approach the person the right way and make it clear you’re looking to build a relationship with them then you have a much better chance of reclaiming a link than if you just outright ask for one.
Link building is far from dead, but it still faces problems. What methods are you using to build organic links? Let me know below!
Reaching out in the right way
Reclaiming links boils down to a simple philosophy. Treat others how you yourself expect to be treated.
Being as nice and polite as possible, whether over the phone or with an email, should be pretty obvious.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago though about incentives, so in the above situation it would be worth thanking the customer for using your website and making them feel valued.
Open a dialogue with them before raising the possibility of reclaiming the link and get across your human side instead of going all out demanding a link back to your site.
Let them feel like part of your business. Give them access to exclusive content and tell them more about the savings they could make with you. Point them in the direction of other offers and try to build a solid relationship with them.
That relationship is key. They’ve already talked about you online so there’s every chance they’ll do it again in the future. Like social media word of mouth is the best form of marketing out there. Getting it right can be priceless.
A link to the past
There are other forms of link reclamation, too. Somebody may have tried linking to you but have accidentally got the URL wrong.
If the name of your company is quite common then they may have linked to the wrong website. Over time the link on their website may have become broken if you’ve been shuffling your pages around without correctly implementing redirects from the old webpages.
The same principle applies. There’s absolutely no harm at all in getting in touch with webmasters and requesting them to make a slight change to the link so that it works. That’s also beneficial for all concerned – you get a link back to your site and they remove a broken one!
There are other forms of reclamation out there but, as you can see, the process of doing it is very relationship-heavy. That’s not a problem though if making friends is something that comes naturally to you.
If you struggle on that side though it can be outsourced, such is the length of time it takes to discover potential reclaimed links on a daily basis and build relationships.
Link reclamation is an incredibly positive practice if done the right way. Always remember that the relationship is a two-way one, and don’t forget to keep in touch with them as time passes.
If you want to find out more about link building and reclamation and how it can help your website contact the Webpresence team today!