The holidays for many of us is a joyous time but also a dreaded time in some industries. Businesses that earn the majority of their revenue between the months of November and January put their all into succeeding. But who has time to do marketing during the holidays, besides those of us who do it as a profession? How about saving it for the post holiday slump?
There are many benefits to capitalizing on the holiday season or your busiest season whenever that might be. Link building opportunities are a’plenty and I’m here to share some of them with you. Links these days are hard to come by, so it’s important to look for opportunities whenever and wherever you can. Use the post holiday slump to get your site ranking well in the new year!
Holiday Unlinked Brand Mentions
Some of THE best links I’ve ever earned were as a result of using the unlinked brand mention strategy for clients and our own site. What is an unlinked brand mention strategy? This is the process of combing through search results to find pages that mention your brand, your website, your employees, etc… Since a site is already talking about you it makes it somewhat “easy” to reach out and ask them to mention your website as well. This often results in linking your branded anchor to your website. And tah dah! A link!
I’ve written about this link building strategy we offer to clients quite a bit, you can find a guide to discovering unlinked brand mentions featured on Moz from October to help get you acquainted. Below I share a few additional ways you can use unlinked brand mentions to find opportunities for link building after the holidays.
It’s not uncommon to see sites listing coupons for online retailers. Did you know that many of these sites will also provide do follow links? After your busy season consider doing a search for your brand name. You may uncover some unlinked brand mentions you didn’t realize existed. Reach out and ask to have your brand name linked to your site. Search your brand name along with phrases such as: “coupons,” “printable coupons,” “online coupons” or “coupon codes.”
Certain promotions you’ve previously done whether it’s around the holidays or even at other times of the year can drum up a decent amount of brand mentions without links. Bloggers and journalists are often writing about promotions, contests, sweepstakes and deals during. There’s no telling when an authoritative writer will mention your deal, and many of these mentions are unlinked. Find them, reach out to them and acquire those links. Search your brand name along with phrases such as: the name of your promotion, the name of your sweepstakes or contest, the name of your “special deal.”
The holidays and demanding times in your industry when online users are purchasing products and services bring out brand advocates. Brand advocates are those unpaid peeps who actively promote your brand. Whether it’s through social media or their own website, individuals DO exist that will naturally recommend and share information about good brands. If you happen to be one of those brands reach out to those brand advocates, thank them and think about partnering with them. Additionally, if they do not link to you ask that they mention the site. Search your brand name along with phrases such as: “I recommend,” “I love,” or “just bought.”
If you sell one of the hottest gifts out right now there’s no doubt someone, somewhere is talking about your brand. Maybe they received it as a holiday gift and just couldn’t wait to share on their personal blog. Maybe they got it as a bonus from their employer. Either way, conduct some searches to discover these unlinked brand mentions to acquire additional links after the holidays. Search your brand name along with phrases such as: “Christmas gift,” “holiday gift,” “Hanukkah present,” or “just received.”
Leveraging for Links
Have you been successful at leveraging your assets for links? After the holiday is the best time to continue these efforts. Whether through content marketing or specific outreach, you should be able to leverage the holidays and your assets for link opportunities such as those listed below.
A huge contest giving away prizes, discounts or other items may present link building opportunities during and after the holidays. Not only are these great marketing tactics to drive traffic and visibility around your brand, but they can also help you earn links. This article on Moz from 2010 still has great information about running giveaways and competitions for links and SEO value. If you’ve run a contest, discount or revealed insider info around the holidays look to acquire links on pages that list contests or discounts. A search command like inurl:links “contests” generates a few potential opportunities, such as this one on IncredibleArt.org – a list of art contests around the world. The metrics for the site are Domain Authority 63, Page Authority 49, PR 3 on the page and PR 6 domain. This is just one example of an authoritative contest link page. Do some advanced searching to find some in your industry and ask they link to your contest or giveaway.
The type of content that you develop over the holiday season may be evergreen content as well as seasonal. Look for opportunities to leverage each of these types of content for links after the holidays. In the past I’ve written content about getting the most out of your marketing around the holidays. After the holidays I would consider reaching out to bloggers and journalists who have written about holiday marketing and see about getting my resource added to their article or blog post on the topic. Surely I’m not the only one who has written about marketing around the holidays so why not find others who have and share my resource? If the site is authoritative it’s sure to get some additional eyeballs next holiday season, all the more reason to pitch the blogger to get your resource added to their content in the form of a link.
The process of competitive analysis is one that often is the first step when building links. Reviewing competitor backlinks to find “low hanging fruit” opportunities provides for great links. This is no different after the holidays. See how exactly your competitors fared over the holidays and if any of those links represent link prospects. Here are some examples of what to look for in competitor backlinks.
What links have your competitors acquired recently? Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool will tell you that in their “Just Discovered” Tab. Check out links that competitors are getting as soon as the Moz crawl finds them. After the holidays go back and see these links as well. What strategy did they use? How did they acquire these links? Ask yourself how and take the time to implement the successful tactics you observed. Go after some of the links they’ve already acquired, no harm in that!
Start researching some of the press that your competitors may have received online during the holidays. Observe the strategies and results used by competitors that can help you next year. Additionally, it may uncover a few sites you can pitch today to get a link. Sure, you might not be leveraging any of your own holiday marketing efforts for this post-holiday pitch but you discovered it as a result of looking at competitor’s holiday efforts. Don’t miss out on these types of opportunities!
Similar to the above tactic of finding unlinked brand mentions this suggestion is to do a brand search, but for your competitors instead of your own site. Who is mentioning their brand? Are these sites you might be able to pitch? Review what you can find using advanced search commands for competitor brand mentions.
Have you successfully built a link building strategy around your busiest time of year? Share your success and strategies in the comments below!