Getting back links to a government blog is more difficult than you’d think. If you run a government blog, Facebook or Social Media account you need to use different tactics to get back links than B2C and non-commercial websites.
Link Building Tactics For Government Agencies
Here’s a suggested approach to get links to your site without upsetting or alienating others in the process.
- Create sample link pages. Use these ‘template’ pages to show the people you’re connecting with how you link to others. This reduces their anxiety and shows that you have a professional, non-spammy approach to link exchanges. it may also help them get started.
- Setup Link Categories. One approach is to create a set of pages, each of which includes a set of link to different websites. For example, if you were running the Dept of Transport, you might create different pages for trains, buses, cars, automobiles, standards, policies etc. Each of these would include a bullet list of the top ten resources you recommend. This shows other parties how you link out to others. Hopefully, they’ll copy or adapt your style.
- Do your homework. When you contact the site you want to link to, make sure who the person is or at least their job title. If you don’t know, phone them. Yes, pick up the phone 🙂
- Be Honest. When you send your request for a link to your site, get straight to the point. Don’t fudge the issue. Introduce yourself, explain why you have contacted them, and include the sample code for them to add.
- Transparent. Send the email from an authorized government email account, not your webmaster’s gmail. Include your name, title, department, tel number and cell phone.
Your aim is to reduce as much anxiety as possible in the reader. Give them a compelling reason to link back to you and make yourself available for followup emails. Actually, expect followup emails.
It usually takes three or four communications before others implement the code on their site. If they make a mistake, point it out immediately. For example, if there is a typo or they chopped off some of the code. Don’t simmer in anger. Let them know and they’ll take care of it.
Remember to send them a short hand-written ‘Thank You’ note. It only takes a few minutes but has a huge impact 🙂
If you work for a government agency, what problems have you had getting links to your site? What’s the main problem you’ve encountered? How did you get around it?