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How to bake SEO into traditional ad buys

This past week, a colleague of mine named William Alvarez reminded me a of tried and true technique for securing SEO-friendly inbound links when purchasing traditional display ads.

It’s a technique that I used quite often back in my CBS Sports days and it’s also something that we’ve recommended to our interactive agency clients, so I know it works.

It’s really a quite simple process:

-When negotiating a display ad buy (banner ads, etc) ask the person you’re dealing with if they can throw in a static HTML link or two (with specific, keyword-rich anchor text of course) on their site to help sweeten the deal.

AND/OR

-When negotiating a display ad buy, ask the person you’re dealing with to include some editorial content on their site (this works best when dealing with publishing sites) and make sure that said editorial content includes contextual links pointing back to your website.

As William pointed out, and I can personally attest to, most folks trying to sell display will do almost anything to help seal the deal, and so a few permanent links and/or some editorial content with embedded links is not a big deal for them.

So if the company you work for engages in display ad buys, take this little technique for a test drive. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with your success rate as well as the long-term SEO equity those inbound links will bring long after the display buy has run it’s course.

P.S. A big thanks to William for jogging my memory!

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