Topics: Search Engine Optimization (Seo) Content Marketing Public Relations

5 Ways to Earn More Links with Great Content (or, How to Avoid Getting Punched in the Face by Google)

Picture of Chris Heiler Author: Chris Heiler

Forget about link building. Now is the time to start earning your links.

At least so says SEO expert, Rand Fishkin, who discusses in the video embedded below, how Google has been laser-focused on eliminating spam from their search results over the past two years.

We don’t expect small and medium-sized businesses in the green industry to keep up with all of Google’s search algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda. Just understand that what may have boosted your company’s website to the front page of Google Search only three years ago may now drop you in the rankings like a ton of pea gravel.

Some call it the “Google Slap”. I think it’s more like getting punched in the face.

Here are a few of the link building practices I’m talking about:

  1. Article marketing directories like and others.
  2. Generic business and web directory listings
  3. Link exchanges and, worse yet, actually buying links
  4. Blog comment spam and message board spam
  5. Spam blog networks (These are blogs set up with the sole purpose of linking to external websites. We’ve seen SEO companies employ this tactic for many of their clients. Not smart.)

As you’ll hear Rand talk about in the video below, your business should be focused on organic, non-manipulative link earning strategies. This means earning inbound links from credible, highly authoritative sites. In simpler terms: Quality over quantity.

Relevance and authority matters now. Earning an inbound link from Lawn & Landscape magazine or even your local hardscaping supplier is worth 100 to 1000 times that link you’re getting from

As an inbound marketing agency who offers SEO services, we don’t guarantee a specific number of links each month like many SEOs do. Instead, we only guarantee quality. And this is the approach your business needs to take whether you’re managing your SEO in-house or outsourcing it to an agency like Landscape Leadership.

Earning links with your content

Inbound links are critical to your SEO success. They impact your search rankings more than any other factor. And as I’ve written before, if your business is not creating original content on a regular basis then no one is linking to your website (and thus, potential clients are not finding your website).

Here are five ways to earn more inbound links with your content:


A recent Lawn & Landscape magazine survey revealed that only 27% of landscape contractors and lawn care operators have a blog, yet 95% are on Facebook.

Facebook is a terrific way to connect with your customers and other people that already “like” your company. If you want to earn more inbound links and generate leads for your business then you need to be blogging instead of Facebook-ing (probably not a real word).

hubspot impact of blogging

Guest blogging

Successful, well-rounded link earning campaigns will use guest blogging and writing opportunities as an off-page complement to a company blog.

This is a critical part of our marketing strategy at Landscape Leadership. Sure, we maintain this blog on a weekly basis, but we also write for other industry publications like Turf Magazine and Landscape Management magazine when we get an opportunity.

What authoritative sites and blogs can your company contribute to? Consider these:

  • Industry publications
  • Your influential industry peers who maintain a blog
  • National, regional and state association blogs
  • Local media outlets
  • Your suppliers and vendors who may have a blog


Newsjacking, defined by marketing strategist and author David Meerman Scott, is “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business”.

Newsjacking typically comes in the form of a press release but can also be accomplished via blogging.

Here’s the key: Your press release is not about you or your business. It’s not a promotional tool like a traditional, biased press release. You are not the story. You are simply sharing your insights related to the story.

Sending a non-biased, timely and relevant press release like this to the media is a great way to get published and pick up inbound links. And because the news is timely, the press release is very share-worthy.

The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) handled a delicate situation like Hurricane Sandy with class by issuing a press release offering advice to pool and spa owners who may have suffered property damage from the storm. Neave Pools (client) in New York picked up the release and re-published it on their blog.

We used Facebook’s IPO as a newsjacking opportunity to earn links and a bit of free publicity from industry trade publications.

Premium content

We refer to infographics, white papers, e-books, press releases, case studies, videos, webinars, etc as “premium content”. This premium content is unique and typically more substantial than a simple blog post.

Because of the uniqueness and substance behind the content, it is typically very shareable and link-worthy.

Our client, Neave Decor, was able to pick up numerous inbound links after creating an infographic about Christmas decorating (What do you know, there's another link for them).

Free online tools

Offering free online tools like calculators, templates, spreadsheets and even simple apps are a great way to draw visitors to your site as well as earn inbound links. 

The collection of Landscape Design Style sheets from (client) is a great example of this. The Benchmarking Your Business Virtual Budget Calculator from Lawn & Landscape magazine is another good example of a free online tool.

If your company needs more help with your content marketing strategy, be sure to download our FREE workbook, "Create a Compelling Content Plan & Editorial Calendar".

Picture of Chris Heiler

About Chris Heiler

Chris is the founder and CEO of Landscape Leadership. He has been in the green industry for over 20 years. Aside from leading the team at Landscape Leadership he enjoys speaking at green industry events across the country sharing his insights on marketing and sales. Chris now lives in Austin, TX, a transplant from the midwest and the great state of Michigan.

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