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A key part of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to get high quality backlinks to your website – and .edu links can be particularly powerful. So how do you go about getting these backlinks to your website?

Any SEO strategy should include multiple aspects and approaches. This includes identifying your target key words and key phrases, publishing high quality content that is optimized, and ensuring your website is working well from a technical perspective. Gaining backlinks is the other aspect that is an absolute necessity in the world of SEO.

Why do EDU links matter?

When working on a link building strategy, you are looking to build links from multiple different websites you’d love to link to you. Most links will be useful to bring customers directly to your website. But for links to impact your position in search engines, you want to gain links on websites that have a high domain authority (DA) too. These are websites that search engines such as Google already know are credible – because they have a lot of engaged traffic, a lot of links to them from other websites with a high DA, and are generally trusted on the internet.

Many people try to gain media coverage in order to get links like these, as the credible news outlets have a good DA. But .edu websites are often overlooked as high quality backlinks. Some people think that unless your business is related to education somehow, they wouldn’t have a hope of getting a link on a .edu website. In fact, educational organizations tend to have a diversity of content to put out there.

This ranges from information for students and details about their programs, to academic research, work experience opportunities for students and special deals that students can take advantage of. When you start thinking about .edu websites from this perspective, you may find many synergies between your business and an educational institution.

Any .edu website must be run by a certified educational institution – which is one reason why they have good DA in the first place. But it is also worth remembering that educational institutions can come in many forms. As well as colleges and universities, there are also training colleges for specific trades, libraries and organizations that offer vocational training. When you look at the diversity of .edu links out there, you will certainly find at least a handful that you can find some business synergy with.

So how do you go about getting backlinks on .edu websites?

Get Listed on Resource Pages

All colleges and educational institutions aim to provide as much help to their students and other audiences as possible. This means that many .edu pages have resources pages and sections with lists of useful links. These are prime spots for you to try to get backlinks, because you can see the .edu website is already open to including links on these pages.

To find resources pages that might be relevant to your business niche, put the relevant key words into a search engine such as Google, e.g. ‘mental health resources edu’ or ‘work experience resources edu’. Look at Google’s resources for how to refine your results better if you’re looking for even higher quality results. Once you have come up with a list of possible .edu websites that look suitable, get in touch to ask for the link. Make sure you have some great resources to offer before you pitch, as this will dramatically increase your chance of success. And write some great resources if they don’t already exist – you’ll need them if you’re serious about getting high quality backlinks.

Offer a Scholarship

Another brilliant way to ensure you get links on a .edu website of your choice is to offer a student scholarship. Colleges are always on the look-out for being able to offer their students financial benefits, and scholarships are extremely sought after. Have a look at what other scholarships are already on offer so you can come up with something that is competitive. Even part-funding towards a college program will go a long way. You may even be able to request some extra coverage or links on the .edu website off the back of this – for example a case study write up of the student your scholarship helped at the end of the year.

Offer Discounts for Students and Staff

Another sure way of getting your link on a prominent page of a .edu website is to offer a discount to students and staff. This could be a percentage off your products or services, or a limited time offer. You’ll just need to ensure that you are offering something that students or staff will be interested in, otherwise the .edu website may not want to include it.

Find Broken Links

A highly effective way of gaining a powerful .edu backlink is to seek out the broken links on .edu websites. These are links a .edu website has already published to another website, but they have become broken without them realizing. There are various broken link checker tools you can add onto your browser, which can make finding these links easier.

If you find a broken link that relates to your business or industry, this is a ready-made opportunity to pitch your link as a replacement. Before you get in touch with the relevant staff member, make sure you have the perfect content already published that can be the ideal replacement for them. This will make it difficult for them to say no!