7 min read
Despite what everyone may want to think about SEO, links are still dominating as a ranking factor.
In fact, Moz’s most recent search engine ranking factors revealed that the number of links to a given page has one of the highest correlations to rankings.
That said, link building should always be a top priority in any digital marketing campaign.
Whether you are in an industry where links are nearly impossible to come by or an industry where they’re flying around like mosquitoes in the Everglades, your ability to get links will still be relative to how you rank and ultimately how much qualified traffic you can drive to your site.
Twitter can be a great place to find link building opportunities for your SEO.
Here are three ways to use Twitter for link building.
1. Outreach based on curated content
This is one of my favorite and perhaps the most effective of all link building techniques there is on this list. In fact, it’s how I built a relationship with Social Quant and how I wrote my first blog for this site (and earned a link).
Here’s how it works.
First, you come up with a really bad-ass piece of content – like a blog, article, or infographic – and start to let people know about it through Twitter. Sounds simple right? It gets a little more involved than that.
For the example of how I connected with Social Quant’s CEO, Michael Kawula, it all started with a blog post I wrote on my site (which is why this section is called “outreach based on curated content”) titled How I Bat 50 Percent at Getting Haro links. This is a beast of a post, coming in at over 2,600 words.
I found out that Mike had published a post on a similar topic, making him a good candidate for outreach and to possibly get a social share. Here’s how my initial outreach went on Twitter to Mike:
This started the initial conversation with Mike and it evolved from there, naturally. Before I tell you how I got a link from all this, you’re probably wondering how I knew he published a post on a similar topic that I wrote on, right?
As my post was on how to build links through HARO, I simply Googled “how to build links through HARO” to see who else had covered this topic.
What do you know, dozens of blogs had covered this topic (all which were targets for outreach) and Mike’s was one of them, so I did the following:
- Visited all the sites
- Found out who the author of the specific post was
- Found their Twitter information on the site or via search (or just contacted the general brand’s handle if there wasn’t one associated with the author)
- Told them I covered a similar topic (like I did above with Mike)
- Kept my fingers crossed for a retweet
Naturally, some people will be more inclined to have a conversation than others (such was the case with Mike and me). Eventually, this conversation went from Twitter to email and eventually we had a good ol’ fashioned phone conversation and decided that we liked each other’s writing style and thought we could help contribute to the readership of each other’s blogs.
This earned me a link and helped me build a relationship with someone I respect in the industry.
The takeaway for you, and to recap all of the above, is to write a great piece of content, see who else has covered something similar, tweet at them and let them know about it, and spark a conversation.
Ultimately it can lead to a relationship and if you, and they, feel good about it, ask them if you can contribute a post to their blog to earn a link and get some exposure.
It’s not as time-consuming as it sounds.
You can even use this technique with old blogs you’ve written to see if you can find candidates to do outreach to.
The more people you reach out to the more social shares you are likely to get, the more Twitter followers you’ll attract, and the better chance you’ll have of forming relationships with potential bloggers.
2. Link suggestion based on content/product/service
By now you know Twitter is all about connecting with current and potential customers. As such, there are a lot of ongoing conversations in your industry that you can get involved in and pitch your content, product or service to try and get a link.
The first step is to find conversations in your niche that also include a link within the tweet. The link is important because it means that the tweeter (likely) has a website that they own or manage in which they can put your link up.
Below is an example of what you could try to do and get a link to your product.
For this example, let’s say you have a vacuum cleaner page you need to build links to.
Using Twitter’s internal search feature, I used “best vacuum cleaner” to look for conversations about vacuums. You can get more specific with your search if you want, and this might actually be a better approach to target your exact niche.
As you can see, there are some good conversations to be had. The first conversation, with Susan Russo, would merely be to send her a link to your product and try to open up some dialogue about good pet vacuum cleaners.
But the other conversation, the one with Home Garden Tools (which is the same company as the link they have listed there), can be an opportunity. I’d try to start a conversation with Home Garden Tools about including your vacuum cleaner on their list or discussing how you could get it on future lists.
This type of link outreach can be done for content and services too.
If you come across a conversation on Twitter that includes a blog on a specific topic that is related to your niche, spark up a conversation with the blog owner to see if they will mention your product in their post.
Of course you want to make sure that whatever link you’re suggesting provides value to their site. Don’t go aimlessly suggesting every site that mentions vacuum cleaners should link to your site.
3. Guest posting for people who share/like your tweets
Sometimes guest blogging opportunities (a solid way of building links) are right under your nose. On Twitter, people who are in your niche will often follow you after you post something they like or they find valuable.
If you post something related to your industry and some of your followers retweet, favorite or reply to you, these might be good candidates to do some guest blog outreach to.
The first thing you do after a follower retweets, favorites or replies to your tweet is qualify them for a guest blogging opportunity.
Here are some quick criteria:
- User must be in your niche
- User must have a website
- User must have some modicum of credibility
Your criteria may be different than that, but that is a good starting place.
For example, here’s a person that I would consider doing some guest blog outreach to based on her response to one of my tweets.
Above I mentioned a HARO link building blog post I wrote and that I used to connect with Mike of Social Quant.
This post gained some decent traction and HARO itself picked up the piece and began to share it to my delight.
This traction resulted in the @mention of me by Kaleigh Moore which was really cool.
Now, Kaleigh is on my radar as someone who might be worthy of reaching out to for a guest post opportunity on her site. I want to vet her before I go for this though based on my three criteria above. This is really easy to do on Twitter by looking at her profile.
Looking at Kaleigh’s profile, I can quickly see that yes, she is in my niche as she mentions she is a copywriter and social media consultant.
Those industries complement SEO very well. Secondly, I see that she has a link to a website, which I visited and determined that it is professional-looking, is well-maintained, and has a blog that I may be able to contribute to.
The other thing I notice is that Kaleigh is a contributor to Entrepreneur which gives her a TON of credibility. I’ve always wanted to get featured there. Maybe she’s my ticket?!
All in all, she’d likely get the nod for someone I’d approach for a guest post and to earn a link. If you know a little bit more about SEO, you’d probably want to look at a prospect’s PageRank and Domain Authority to vet them. That’s another topic though that I covered here.
So, to recap, what I’m doing here is looking for people who have already expressed that they like what I have published. Then you see if you can reach out to them to contribute a post (on their site) on a similar topic you are knowledgeable in.
Link Building with Twitter
Above we went through three really great ways to use Twitter to help you build links.
In the first method, outreach through content curation, you create great content then look for others who have covered similar topics that you think may like it. Then, you see what conversations are sparked and eventually try to get a guest post like I did with Mike.
In the second approach, link suggestion based on content/product/service, you find conversations where you feel that a reference to your website could provide more value. These conversations have to include a blog so that you can suggest a possible link back to your website.
Thirdly, we are looking for people who already seem to have some sort of relationship with you through Twitter. The people who engage with your tweets that include links may be perfect candidates to approach for guest posts on their sites as you already know, from their engagement, that they are interested in that topic.
What is your experience with link building and have you had any success with link building through Twitter?
Let me know in the comments.