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