Want to take a new approach at link building in 2013? One way to do it is by taking the focus off of building links for rankings and start focusing on building links that lead to direct traffic and sales. Here are some ways to build conversion-oriented links for your 2013 link building campaign.

Look For Advertising Networks / Directories with Real Customer Traffic

There are lots of directories out there that receive tons of traffic, but that traffic isn’t necessarily the kind that will lead to click throughs and conversions for your website. So instead of looking for SEO directories, you’ll want to look for those whose traffic is made up of potential customers.

For example, wedding vendors can start an advertising account with The Knot. This site is not only a huge hotbed of potential-customer traffic, but also allows a dofollow link back to your website. Depending on your niche, you’ll likely find similar advertising networks / directories that allow you to build links and customers simultaneously.

Give Free Trials / Samples to Bloggers

When you find blogs that have your potential customers as readers, don’t just reach out to them for a guest blog post. Instead, look to establish a relationship with them. If you give bloggers the chance to try out your products or services and create a great experience with them, you are likely to create new brand advocates for your business.

This can lead to more positive reviews with links from their blog to your website as well as links from other blogs the blogger writes for. And as an added bonus, the more often the blogger mention you, the more likely their audience is to invest in your products or services.

Partner with Related Businesses

Know some businesses that would make the perfect partners in your industry who aren’t competitors? Partner up with them. The simplest way is to offer a mutually beneficial referral option – you’ll link to their website as one of your partners if they do the same.

This is different from the standard “link exchange” in the sense that they are actually relevant to your business and you are both referring to each other as business partners, not just link partners. To increase the likelihood of conversions, look at other ways to partner with them such as offering their customers a discount for your products or services.

Offer Discounts

Want to really cement a converting link? Offer a discount! Create special discounts for the advertising networks / directories you sign up for, bloggers you offer free trials to, business partners, local directories that allow you to create coupons like Yelp, and any other place you can think of. Especially when it comes to bloggers and business partners, if you offer a discount they can share with their visitors, it will make them that much more likely to publish a link back to your website.

The key is to ensure relevance and vary the anchor text / description for each offer. You don’t want to be like Overstock and get busted for offering discounts to EDU sites for links. While it was a great strategy to grab valuable EDU links, it really only makes sense if you have a legitimate relevance to students. Discounts for bookstores, local businesses by the college itself, and products / services relevant to students or faculty would work. Links to vacuum cleaners, gift baskets, ceiling fans, and other items (as shown in the example above) with very specific anchor text can cue Google in to a possible link scheme.

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