If you own a website, you’re most likely well aware of the importance of domain authority and how high-quality backlinks can increase it and help you build a profitable online business. Incoming links from a .edu domain are some of the most useful in terms of making your website appear authoritative and important.
What are .EDU Domains?
The .edu top-level domain is reserved for educational institutions. The search engines look for several things when rating backlinks and .edu domains tend to be older, have lots of incoming links and be spam-free, making them high quality for SEO purposes.
How to Get Backlinks from .EDU Domains
Compared to earning links from a blogger or a commercial website, earning links from a .edu domain is not going to be easy. If your website is purely informational and is related to a topic that’s studied at schools or colleges then getting listed on their resource pages may simply be a matter of contacting the head of that subject at local institutions. Those who operate in niches less closely associated with education may struggle with this method, however.
So how can a webmaster get those much sought-after backlinks?
Find the Domain Owner
Challenge one is finding a .edu domain owner that’s willing to link to you. It’s highly unlikely you’d get backlinks from one of the top colleges, but there are lots of smaller vocational schools, continuing education programs and other less well-known establishments that may be willing to link to you. Start with those.
Give them Something of Value
Next, you need to give that domain owner a reason to link to you. If you sell car parts and you find a trade school in your area, you could publish some guides to fixing cars that the educator might be willing to share, for example.
If you can’t think of a way to create a useful resource in your niche, you’ll have to be creative. Contact professors and ask them to provide a quote for an article you write on your blog. The professor may well link to that article, since you’ve quoted them, from their own blog.
If quotes and citations don’t attract their attention, consider offering scholarships. Providing a couple of small scholarships per year in order to receive some links on the college website could well pay off as an investment in advertising. Scholarships usually start around $500 to $1000 per student per year, sometimes more, so choose the college you work with carefully and make sure it matches your networking and advertising goals.
Work With Students and Staff
If you run a restaurant, cab company, hair salon or something else that is likely to be used by a wide demographic, consider offering staff and student discounts in return for a mention on the college’s “student life” pages. This serves as effective marketing as well as being good for SEO.
Remember that a couple of .edu links alone won’t get you to the front page of the SERPs, but combined with other good practices you could see impressive results.