Based on recent SEO statistics, 55.24% of pages on the Internet lack any backlinks at all. This only shows the need for more SEO campaigns to focus on getting more backlinks for websites.
Link building helps in two ways. First, in improving the site’s search performance by ranking their important pages targeted for industry keywords.
Second, backlinks can help build your brand authority. Given that it associates you with topically relevant and authoritative websites, it brings signals to search engines that your site is authoritative as well.
Now, those benefits of link building are astounding, but how can you build the right types of links in this day and forward?
This guide covers 11 link-building strategies to improve your website’s ranking well into the future.
- 1. Audience-First Guest Blogging
- 2. Resource Page Link Building
- 3. Broken Link Building
- 4. Local Linkbait Strategy
- 5. Strategic Content Partnerships
- 6. Link Reclamation
- 7. Infographic Promotion
- 8. Referential Content Asset Strategy
- 9. Image Library Linkbait
- 10. Where To Buy eCommerce Link Building
- 11. Podcast Guesting
1. Audience-First Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is nothing new. Most marketers and SEOs back in the day use this link building technique to quickly add more links to their website, with given keyword-rich anchor texts.
As more people are inclined to follow what everyone else is doing, the effectiveness of some guest blogging practices has declined.
Though guest blogging is still an effective link building strategy, the execution of its processes must not remain the same.
Audience-first guest blogging is geared towards getting external content published on relevant blogs where your audience resides.
Compared to conventional guest blogging, where it often starts with metrics itself — i.e., collecting blogs with Moz’ Domain Authority of 30 and above, audience-first guest blogging begins by creating your target persona.
Define your audience persona. Ask yourself (or with your SEO team) this question: who are the right people who’ll benefit from our messaging, stories, and content?
You want to make sure that you only place guest posts on websites that your site can benefit from to drive potential customers.
Another way to know your target audience for guest blogging is to reverse engineer your competitor’s site and see the topics they cover on their top pages. From topics, you’ll know exactly who are their target audience.
You can use Ahrefs to plug in a competitor’s site. Then, go over to Top Pages or Best By Links pages. Click on each top page and quickly identify their topics.
In our given example, we can list down the audience targeted by Tuck based on its site’s top pages:
- Eco-friendly enthusiasts (from “Mattress Disposal Guide”)
- People living with PTSD (from “PTSD and Sleeping Guide”)
Once you identify your audience persona, it’s time to prospect for target guest blogs in your industry.
You can either do Google searches and grab any relevant blogs from search results. Here are some search queries for guest blog prospecting:
- “write for us” “TOPIC/AUDIENCE”
- “become a contributor” “TOPIC/AUDIENCE”
- inurl:”write for us” “TOPIC/AUDIENCE”
- intitle:”write for us” “TOPIC/AUDIENCE”
Another method to populate your list of guest blogs is to discover a relevant blog’s past and recent guest posts.
For example, I’ve checked Grit PH for any recent guest posts they did for the site. Through Ahrefs’ Backlinks feature, I was able to gather this list of business and career blogs.
Pro Tip: Check anchor texts and left surrounding texts to determine if a backlink is a guest post type. Usually, you’ll find similar phrasing of co-citation and/ anchor texts along the lines of “is the [Position] of [Brand]”.
After making a list of target guest blogs and qualifying them based on your preferred metrics (e.g., Ahrefs Domain Rating of 50 and above), your next phase is email outreach.
Pitch to each of the guest blogs with your list of topics, preferably three content ideas.
It is best to submit guest blog topics that are useful for their audience. One way to identify suitable content ideas is by using Ahrefs’ Content Gap feature. This allows you to find keywords your competitors are currently ranking for (with their pages), but your site hasn’t ranked yet.
As you submit this type of topic (target keywords), you are allowing the publisher to publish an article that can rank for a keyword their site isn’t gaining search traffic yet. This is a solid value proposition compared to just sending random content ideas to them.
For more tips on guest blogging, you can check out this helpful guide on how to get backlinks to your website.
Editor’s Note: If you have digital / content / influencer / social media marketing content to share, please reach out to me regarding guest blogging on this website.
Further Reading: How To Invite Influencers To Guest Post On Your Blog
2. Resource Page Link Building
Another scalable and effective link building strategy is resource page link building.
The process for this strategy starts by aligning your topics with linkable audiences.
Linkable audiences are groups of curators with the intent of linking to recommended academic (informative) resources.
Linkable audiences include:
- Job seekers
- People with disabilities
- PTSD sufferers
You can also find linkable audiences that match your site’s topics by doing a quick Google search for: “TOPIC” “for” inurl:links.html.
This will show you topical resource pages targeted to a specific linkable audience.
The next phase of resource page link building is to create the content itself. The content must be an industry guide (long-form) to provide the best information for its target audience.
It is best to make your resource guide more comprehensive than its similar content assets — so you can increase the likelihood of link placements when you start to do content promotion.
Create a list of all resource or links pages. You can find them by reverse engineering all linking pages to a similar content asset using Ahrefs.
You can also use Google search to find available topical resource pages. Use variations of these search queries:
- inurl:links “TOPIC”
- inurl:resources “TOPIC”
- inurl:links.html “TOPIC”
- intitle:TOPIC “resources”
Reach out to owners and curators of these resource pages. Let them know you have an additional resource that will serve the needs of their target audience.
3. Broken Link Building
On top of the resource page link building strategy, you can also apply the broken link building technique.
When looking for resource pages, you’ll often see that some of the links listed here aren’t working well — which means it’s a broken page (404).
Now that is an opportunity to take advantage of.
First, you add notes to your spreadsheet (or to your outreach platform) of any broken links you find on the links page. You can use LinkMiner to check resource pages for defunct links quickly.
Then, let the curator (or webmaster) know of these broken links when you reach out to them. Give them replacements for those broken links, wherein one good replacement is your resource guide.
Given that you’re also helping curators or webmasters fix technical errors on their sites, you can expect an increase in response and link placement rates using broken link building strategy.
You can check out this useful guide on broken link building to get more tips from link prospecting to email outreach.
Further Reading: 11 SEO Best Practices to Follow in 2023
4. Local Linkbait Strategy
Local link building is crucial for small business owners to help their local business rank for industry keywords within their city or location.
Local links are easy to find but hard to replicate for an SEO campaign.
One scalable local link building technique is writing a content piece featuring the top non-competing brands in your city.
This is a form of linkbait as you help those local brands to get more exposure — add new customers for their businesses. While at the same time, you allow them to promote your content piece across their networks — which helps you absorb new followers and visitors to your website.
For example, if you’re building backlinks to a hotel website in New York, you can check out top local cafes you can feature in a listicle content (e.g., “Best New York Cafes”).
If you’re more into niche targeting, you can be more specific with your link bait piece. For example, if you’re doing SEO for a veterinarian site, one content example is an article about “Top Pet-Friendly Coffee Shops in New York”).
It is best to get buy-in first from local businesses you’ll feature in your article. This means that you initially reach out to them and ask if they want to be part of your content. Usually, they’ll respond positively to your request, as it adds benefits to their branding.
From that, you know they’ll be promoting your local content if you get them to respond first to your participation request.
Publish the local linkbait content and let your featured local businesses know about it.
Further Reading: 7 Local SEO Tips For Small Business Owners
5. Strategic Content Partnerships
Co-marketing is a solid marketing style to get more reach, visitors and build your brand authority faster than anyone else.
Given that you’ll be banking on other people’s authority and following, you can quickly gain the authority you need to hit your business’ bottom line figures (i.e., leads and sales).
One of the ways you can apply co-marketing is by reciprocally exchanging backlinks with like-minded industry blogs.
Link exchange is often perceived as a negative link building strategy. But the truth is, top industry blogs naturally exchange backlinks from each other’s articles with no manipulation involved. They externally link to each other, given that they know it would be best for their readers to learn more references through links on their articles.
Make a list of all industry blogs with similar domain authority. You can use Moz or Ahrefs to check the website’s overall authority (Moz’ Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating).
For example, if your site has Domain Rating 63, find industry blogs with 60 or 70 Domain Rating.
The reason for having this standard for prospecting is to gain mutual benefits when you start exchanging links to each other’s articles.
It is best to find a topical article where you want to link from to your blog post and offer to link back to any of their relevant articles.
If done right, you can get more backlinks with this strategy by simply partnering with industry blogs.
6. Link Reclamation
Link reclamation is the process of getting backlinks from websites that mention your product, brand, or any content, without linking to your page.
You reach out to them and request to credit their mentions with links. Any brand, especially enterprise sites, can benefit a lot from this link building strategy.
The more your website gains popularity, the more publishers and bloggers will mention you across their articles. And the more your product gains more word-of-mouth marketing; you can expect several months coming up month over month.
You can set up alerts for any keywords you want. Make sure your keyword refers only to your content or brand. Otherwise, you have to filter web mentions that only speak about your website.
Send emails to publishers and ask them to credit you with links—a subtle message in your email pitch best works, as they are already familiar with your website.
7. Infographic Promotion
For more than a decade, we’ve seen publishers and brands investing in infographics as a content type to generate traffic, links, and social shares to their website.
While there are many visual assets that have been successful, there are some that flopped.
One way to overcome failures in promoting infographics is to have a ready list of people who will do the early promotion.
You start by knowing who’ll be your partner publishers who can exclusively republish your infographics. This is a good way to guarantee eyeballs for your content, as well as initial backlinks to get the ball rolling for content promotion.
You can use Buzzsumo or quick Google searches for industry blogs that have recently published infographics about simlar topics.
Pro Tip: The key to a successful infographic promotion is by adding exclusivity factor to your email pitch. When publishers see that they are the ones to publish a good content piece, they will likely buy in to your offer.
8. Referential Content Asset Strategy
Manual outreach to promote a content asset is one way to get backlinks to your website. But there’s another way to acquire new links — that is passively getting them by ranking for referential keywords.
Referential keywords are basically phrases people use when they’re looking for resources to cite on their own content (during the writing phase).
Examples include phrases with “templates”, “statistics”, “tools’ or question-like searches such as “how many startups fail in [INSERT YEAR]”.
If you create a content piece that gets referenced by other publishers and content creators, you get the benefits of passive link building. This means that as you rank for these keywords and when other people find it useful to add to their content piece, you acquire new links from their sites.
Add referential content asset strategy to your list of link building strategies today. As you build new links through manual content promotion, you get natural passive links to your content as well.
9. Image Library Linkbait
Another type of linkbait is image libraries. These are collections of images that couldn’t be easily pulled from top stock photos available on the web.
Non-stock image libraries have high in-demand, as content publishers want to make their blog posts uniquely stand out — by inserting images people haven’t used yet on their blogs.
If you’re into photography or your business staff has taken many photos recently, create an image library on your blog.
The offer is exclusive to publishers in your industry. This will help them produce content pieces with visually appealing images their audience hasn’t seen yet.
10. Where To Buy eCommerce Link Building
You know how difficult it is to build backlinks to product and product category pages if you’re doing eCommerce SEO.
If your products get much attention from publishers (as the one being useful for the community), you won’t get many mentions from other sites.
One way to overcome this link building challenge is to look for where to buy pages.
This is a page type that you often see on vendors’ sites (suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, or other types of business partners). On this page, you see the list of stores and online places to purchase the product.
Go through your inventory list. Determine who are your partner retailers or suppliers, if you’re a manufacturer. See if these partners have their own websites and dedicated “where to buy” pages.
Reach out to them and get your product or product category page to be added to their pages.
Further Reading: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites
11. Podcast Guesting
More and more businesses and individuals take advantage of podcasts to reach a wider audience and build their authority online.
In link building, a podcast is an excellent way to gain new links to your website. There are two link building techniques using podcasts:
First, by hosting your own podcast and interviewing industry influencers and practitioners. And when these people start promoting the audio content to their networks, you get the benefits of more exposure and new natural links from their blogs (or their audiences’ sites).
A second way to leverage podcasts is to get interview opportunities from podcast hosts in your industry.
Make a list of podcasts in your niche. See which one of them has episodes that interviews industry practitioners. Reach out to them and ask them to become part of their show.
The value proposition in your email pitch must include your credibility as a business person and a list of topics or ideas you can share with their audience.
There are many ways to build backlinks to your website these days. In addition, you can opt to execute scalable link building strategies that will stand the test of time and give you the right way to rank your website.
In this guide, you’ve seen 11 actionable strategies to help you get new backlinks to your important pages. If you apply them step-by-step, you’ll see progress in your SEO campaign.
Venchito Tampon is the CEO and Co-Founder of SharpRocket, an SEO company providing link building services to SEO agencies, eCommerce, and Enterprise brands. He has delivered over 200 hundred speaking engagements, including digital marketing events such as Affiliate Summit Asia Pacific, SEO Zraz, and Search Marketing Summit Australia.
Hero photo by Karine Avetisyan on Unsplash