6 Bullying tactics for large enterprise link building

Let’s face it, if you’re a large enterprise you have advantages over the little guy when it comes to link building.  Big businesses naturally attract links from news, blogs and many other sources.
And why shouldn’t you take advantage of the size of your connections and resources?  In every school yard altercation I’ve ever seen the big kid always used their size to heir advantage, so if you’ve got the muscles why shouldn’t you use them?
Today I’m going to share with you 6 link building strategies that large enterprises can use to get links on their own, free of charge.
1: Get Franchisees to link to you.
If you’re a Franchisor then you’re sitting pretty when it comes to getting links from Franchisees.  You can simply make franchisees link to your website as part of the franchise agreement.  Better yet create some valuable resources that they will want to link to for the benefit of their own customers.
And if there is any pushback then you have the valid justification that those links help rank the franchise brand nationally which then helps drive traffic to the local franchisee. A win-win in my book.
Depending on the number of franchisees you have there are potentially several hundred diverse back links you just made on your own.
2: Get two way testimonials from happy customers

Many companies always tread lightly when requesting testimonials but if you have happy customers then you’re doing them and yourself a disservice by not asking for a testimonial.
However instead of asking for them to link back to you, make it a two way testimonial where on your site you write about how awesome they were in the use or implementation of your product or service and in return ask them to write about their experiences with your product and service.
By going first you are leveraging the rule of reciprocity where they may very well feel obligated to give you that testimonial and link with little fuss.
Don’t forget to give them a heads up first, be authentic (i.e. don’t make up fake stuff just for the link) and don’t forget to help them link to you by providing the link target or link code.  Sometimes you just gotta help people along.
3: Be Newsworthy and let the right people know about it.
If you are a fast growing company and you are doing anything interesting at all then you probably have a bunch of business blogs, news websites and forums following what you do. Do a google search of your business name or your competitors name and see who is writing about you or them.
Then it’s simply a process of blogger and or writer outreach to start the conversation and the ball rolling.
If you want some ideas why don’t you check out Smart Company, Anthill, Business Spectator and Flying Solo.  Looking for specific industry opportunities?  What about CIOCNet  for IT,  Asia Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence for franchising info, and Power Retail for Online and multi channel retail. Just do a google search for Your Industry + news, start connecting with people, and remember the first rule of newsworthy content: it has to be either new or interesting.
4: Get Social and start engaging
If you are a big business then you should be implementing a social media strategy. It’s never too late and you should have the budget and resources. Social Media is where your customers are talking about you, so you might as well jump in and let them talk to you.
Social media works with SEO like this:  Build relationships, engage and then get links.  The idea is that social media channels are currently the #1 way that you can share your content and encourage others to re share it and hopefully link to it.
Yes social media may very well influence organic rankings once Google figures out how to stop the spammers but right now it is the #1 tool for connecting with people who are going to link to you, share your stuff and talk about you. Dive in!
5: Sponsorships
This strategy is as old as the hills.  If you do local store marketing then allocate a percentage of your marketing budget to sponsoring local community organisations, schools, colleges and charities and request that they list you on their website.  Make sure you or your SEO company gets the links though.
6: Get links from partners
Big companies have lots of partners.  Depending on the type of relationship many of these will be willing to link to you in some way shape or form.  Brainstorm with your marketing team and put together a list of prospects.  The obvious ones are suppliers, customers, your accountant, lawyer, bank, advertising agency.
Then its simply a process of pitting on the thinking cap and working out how to get a link that makes sense.
Oh and finally, in the old days your SEO company would tell you to ask for links with “MAGIC KEYWORD” as the anchor text and you would sensibly argue back that it was going to be a hell of a job getting your customer to link to you with the keyword “Best Insurance Ever”.
Don’t stress about it.  Google’s over reliance on exact match anchor text to rank pages, whilst its still works like gang busters is coming to an end.  Just ask for the link with your company name or URL.
The process of getting these links is about building diversity, gaining authority and hopefully a natural-looking back link profile.
Have you got any great tips you would like to add?  Please comment below.
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