While some link building strategies are easier than others, building links is not simple; it takes time and effort–and a firm understanding of where to find the best opportunities.
But how do you improve link building efforts as a beginner? And which is the best link building type if you’re just starting out? First, let’s cover the basics of building backlinks.
A link building strategy encourages the growth of your website’s audience by placing links on sites that will improve traffic to your site. Great links drive traffic to your website. But there’s more to quality link building than that.
By getting other websites to link back to your website, you’re driving referral traffic and increasing your site’s authority. While Google’s algorithms continue to change, backlinks continue to add value as they contribute to how every search engine ranks sites.
Many link building case studies show that this is one of the most effective strategies to use in search engine optimisation (SEO). This is because quality, relevant links act as a signal to Google.
High-quality links show your site as a legitimate resource people trust. With this being the case, websites with more backlinks will usually rank higher.
Before you learn some of the advanced link building techniques, it’s best to understand the basics. Many types of link building exist. But it’s essential to establish a strong foundation to build on before you move on to the advanced strategies.
The following information includes link building strategies for new websites and those just getting started on their SEO journeys. But they’ll still work for your site, regardless of its age.
Performing outreach is part of nearly every link building campaign. But what exactly does outreach involve?
Outreach is when you contact people in your niche for link building purposes. Usually, this means showing them your content. However, some people are link building without content.
If you have something link-worthy, you could earn a backlink through outreach. For example, your product, service, business, or something else.
For instance, let’s say you have a tool that helps entrepreneurs and startups market their services. Since these two audiences are likely to use your tools, they might reference your site in their content. Thus, it’s probably worth performing outreach to members of these audiences.
While outreach can work if you have something cool or exciting, it usually works best if you have linkable assets.
This means creating high-quality content or tools people find valuable enough to link to. But you can be as creative as you’d like as you’re creating content for outreach purposes.
Building a high-quality link building campaign typically involves creating content assets that attract links. Some of the most common content pieces you’ll create include:
The idea here is to create these assets with link building in mind. This means appealing to the right audience and making sure the assets are engaging, informative, relevant, etc.
Once you make these assets, you’ll perform outreach to build your links. Eventually, you won’t have to perform outreach for each link you receive as your content begins attracting web traffic organically.
You’ll also want to find a few key influencers in your niche to start pushing each new piece to each time you publish.
Influencers will help spread your content across the niche community. While it might take some time and investment to build this group, these individuals will enhance your link building efforts.
All link building tactics don’t require outreach.
You can build backlinks simply by submitting content to the right places. But this could involve putting your content in a different format.
This is when it’s good to repurpose your content.
Infographic directories, video-sharing sites, and other places offer backlinking opportunities. If you have an incredible piece of content, you could repurpose it to make it work.
For example, let’s say you have an awesome interactive infographic. It covers every aspect of your topic, is aesthetically attractive, and offers information a particular audience will find valuable.
You can repurpose this content in a different format, like an infographic or video. You’d then submit it to an infographic or video-sharing site.
While these backlinks aren’t the most powerful, they still have value. This is especially the case when considering how little work it takes to repurpose content.
Besides a backlink, you’re also exposing your content to a wider audience. Thus, you’re increasing your chance of getting more links from this expanded audience.
Once you get your linkable assets in front of the right audience, you increase your chances of others linking to them. But how can you make this happen?
Getting links to your content means finding the right people and letting them know it exists.
The chance of someone linking to your content rises once it’s in front of the right audience.
You can conduct outreach. But this is time-intensive because you’re individually choosing each person to contact. While this is a useful link building strategy, it’s not the best way to get your content in front of many members of your target audience.
Some link building strategies involve paid promotion through Facebook ads or a comparable PPC advertising network (Pinterest Ads, Google AdWords, Reddit PPC, etc.)
PPC isn’t always expensive; you can spend between $50 and $100 to promote your content. If the content appeals to the audience you target, some of them will link to it.
Whether through a niche forum, a common on a blog, a discussion board, their website, or elsewhere, PPC can lead to links.
Guest blogging was one of the best link building strategies in 2019–and it’s still a highly relevant tactic today.
But what exactly does guest posting entail?
You find a website in your niche that accepts guest posts. Then, you create content for that website. The website publishes your article, and you link to your website from the article.
Usually, you’ll get a link to your website in your author bio.
But how do you find guest post opportunities? The most common method is to use Google search operators. Here’s what you’ll put in Google’s search bar:
topic + intitle:”write for us”
This command will give you a list of the “write for us” pages. These pages are created by other site owners to attract guest bloggers interested in offering content in exchange for a guest posting opportunity.
But this is something everyone is doing. So it’s safe to say, if the website is authoritative, it likely receives many guest post pitches each day.
One idea for uncovering high-quality guest posting opportunities is to pitch sites that don’t promote that they accept guest posts. Find sites in your niche, then send them a pitch. Even if the site doesn’t advertise they’re taking these posts, they’re probably open to accepting them.
As long as the content is well-written, it has the chance to attract web traffic to their site. And if the content is free, there’s no risk on their end.
While blog comments don’t directly lead to dofollow links, they’re still relevant for link building strategies. This is how you can initially establish relationships with bloggers in your niche.
Eventually, this can encourage links. But this is one of the long-term link building strategies that requires an investment of time.
As you continue to comment on these blogs consistently, the bloggers might spontaneously link to your content. Or, in some cases, they might ask you to write a guest post or contribute to a crowdsourced post for their site.
Let’s say you’ve built relationships with bloggers. Once you’ve established these relationships, there’s a good chance that these bloggers will reach out to ask if you’ll contribute to their posts.
Your answer should always be a “YES!”
Crowdsourced posts usually cover topics that you’re already familiar with. This means it’ll likely take you between five and ten minutes to write your part of the post.
While this link building strategy requires you to build relationships with bloggers first, it can prove rather fruitful when considering how it becomes passive over time.
Once you’re part of these bloggers’ networks, the relationships require minimal nurturing. The bloggers will then reach out to when they are crowdsourcing posts in your niche, allowing you to score a quality backlink with minimal effort.
Broken link building strategies involve finding a relevant broken link on a site in your niche. Once you find the broken link, you’ll create a similar piece of content to replace that broken resource.
Now that you have a piece of content to replace the broken link, you’ll perform outreach to the sites linking to the dead resource. This is when you’ll ask them to link to your content.
While this might seem like too much work for a single backlink, you’ll have an opportunity to get more backlinks with an interesting hack.
After you create a piece of content to replace the broken page, you can use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (or Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker) to find every other page linking to that page. You can then reach out to those linking pages to see who might be interested in swapping the dead link for your fresh content.
One of the more effective broken link building strategies is to uncover broken pages on your competitors’ websites. Ahrefs’ Site Explorer has a Best by links report feature that will help.
Since the report highlights how many referring domains are pointing to each broken page, it’s easy to find broken link building opportunities.
While backlinks are challenging to build, they’re also easy to lose. But you can offset the backlinks you lose by reclaiming lost links.
Most commonly, your link was either removed from the linking page or the linking page no longer exists. In instances where the link was removed due to a content rewrite, you can check if there’s still a spot for your link. If the link is still applicable, feel free to contact the webmaster and make a friendly suggestion that they add the link.
Sometimes, the page gets deleted in error. If you think this is what happened, you can try contacting the site owner about it. The page could get reinstated, including your link.
You might also start a new relationship with the site owner, resulting in other links as the relationship progresses.
There will be times that an article will mention you or your business without linking to your site. This is all too common. But it’s actually great when you’ve found an unlinked mention because you’re already close to earning a link.
You know that the author already knows about your website because they’ve mentioned it. So this is the perfect opportunity to contact them and, with a friendly message, convince them to add your link.
Mediocre content runs rampant on the internet, and pages still link to this content, despite the fact that better options are available.
For example, many websites might link to a short 250-word article that doesn’t go in-depth about the topic. Let’s say you have a massive, long-form piece of content covering every aspect of the topic.
You’re probably wondering,
Why would anyone link to the 250-word piece instead of yours?”
The likely answer is that the sites don’t know your content exists. This means it’s time to conduct outreach to request the sites to link to your piece instead.
If your content is a better resource, there’s no reason why the site owner would deny you of the link.
The main idea to keep in mind here is that site owners want to provide the best experience for their web traffic. This means offering your high-quality source instead of low-quality content.
RSS feeds are part of most popular Content Management Systems. For example, WordPress. If you don’t have an RSS feed, it’s best to create one.
But how will an RSS feed contribute to your link building efforts?
Sites scrape content from other sites, meaning they’re taking it without permission. Your RSS feed is how they’ll find your content.
It’s crucial to include internal links to pages throughout your site in your content. While the scrapers might not link to your original post, you’ll still get backlinks to the internal links you’ve included in your content.
Q&A and community sites allow you to build nofollow links as you’re directing traffic to your site. Whenever you answer a question on one of these sites, make sure to mention your website as a source in your answer.
While these links aren’t the highest quality, they can result in some targeted web traffic. Also, these links can contribute to creating a genuinely natural backlink profile.
These sites include forums, Reddit, Quora, message boards, and more. It’s simple to build relevant links that diversify your backlink profile on these websites. Even though most of these links are nofollow,
it’s best to have a combination of nofollowed and followed backlinks in your natural backlink profile.
For example, Quora is the go-to for finding questions to answer. You can answer peoples’ questions about your niche and include your site or content as an additional resource.
If you’re in the content marketing niche, you might want to find content marketing-related questions and answer them. You’ll then add a link to your content to give them extra information to answer their questions.
You can also leave blog comments for nofollow links. However, even though these are mostly nofollow links, you can get more eyes on your content by linking it in blog comments. Thus, this can result in more dofollow links as some people who see your content in the blog comments will link to it.
Ego bait content plays on peoples’ egos. The people featured in the content feel good about and have a greater chance of sharing the content in a link. This translates to more links to the piece.
This sort of content attracts the attention of any people and websites featured. So even though you can obtain some high-quality links and traffic, this method won’t always result in large volumes of links. Since the content is primarily targeted towards a few high-profile people or websites, it doesn’t usually attract links from anyone outside of those featured.
As far as link building strategies are concerned, this one involves four steps:
The first step is to determine the concept of your content. This will have to relate to your niche.
For instance, if your site sells handbags, you could choose one of these ideas:
The main idea here is to avoid overcomplicating your topics. Keep it simple.
After you’ve chosen your topic, you’ll have to research people to feature. Keep the following in mind as you look for people to include:
If you’re making a listicle that shows the top 10 of something, the person or site should be worthy of your list.
Don’t simply find people who’d be willing to share; find people who genuinely fit the article’s content. This is how you’ll provide the most value to the readers and the people you’re featuring.
You know which content you plan to create. Now, you’ll need to provide as much information about the people or websites you’re featuring.
Since you’re looking to attract bloggers’ attention and get them to share the post and link to it, you should include the following, if possible:
After you’ve published your post, you’ll need to email the bloggers or websites featured. This is how you’ll let them know they’ve been featured.
Keep your outreach as simple as possible, inviting them to check out the piece of content. Perhaps include some details about why they’ve been featured in the article.
Following up is crucial. You should also follow up with anyone featured in your content. Sometimes, it could take a few emails for you to get a response. But getting in touch with them is how you’ll reap the benefits of your efforts.
Every time you mention or link to someone in your content, this is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with that person. In turn, you might get some links and shares that could drive traffic to your site.
People love it when they’re mentioned; it’s flattering. So when they notice you’re linking to them, you could become a part of their network. At the very least, you’ll get on their radar, and when it comes time to link out, they’ll be more likely to link to your content.
How do you do link building in 2020? If you’re like most knowledgeable SEOs, you’re buying links.
Link building is no walk in the park, and while some easy link building strategies exist, the process is challenging and takes some serious dedication. This is why, in many cases, one of the best strategies for acquiring high-quality links is to buy them.
Buying backlinks from a trustworthy service takes the guesswork out of link building strategies. These purchased backlinks will fuel your other link building strategies, resulting in faster results without the tedious research and outreach.
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