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There are almost as many link building strategies out there as there are links on the web.
Okay, maybe not quite that many – but you definitely have a lot of options to build links and grow total organic traffic to your website!
As the internet has grown, some tactics have fallen by the wayside, but here are seven link building strategies that still work.
1) Skyscraper Method
If you’ve been involved in online marketing and SEO for a while, you’ll probably recognise the gold standard in link building: Brian Dean’s popular “skyscraper method” for content.
In effect, your job is to create content that’s irresistible on a particular topic – ideally one that you’ve validated has a lot of links. Your resulting post has to be head and shoulders above any other content on that topic: longer, more in-depth, better media, more entertaining, new research…
For a listicle, try turning 10 items into 20. For a how-to post, add an exclusive infographic or video. And go beyond the obvious information by providing something truly novel!
I like the skyscraper method approach because it’s aligned with what Google wants: delivering the most value to searchers. Once you’ve written the best possible article on a topic, then you’re ready to use your SEO tool of choice, scrape the links of all of the sites linking to the original post, and contact them yourself. Even getting a small percentage of them to link to you could be a gamechanger for your rankings!
2) Cold Outreach
Outreach plays an important role in most link building strategies, and it pays to get creative. You probably are familiar with the many bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and social media influencers in your space. These are the people whose audiences will be most receptive to your content, since they’re your direct competitors.
But go a step beyond that by thinking of complementary topics or subjects that might be a good fit for your message. For example, if you’re a doctor in orthopedic care, you could get your content onto orthopedic blogs and journals, but what about related fields of medicine like pain management, sports medicine, physical therapy, and holistic medicine?
By creating content and reaching out to people who aren’t in the exact same space, you can build your authority and draw in brand-new readers and followers. Open your mind to all of the different topics and audiences your content could target. Where is there an overlap you can take advantage of?
3) Guest Posts
Rather than simply promoting the content you’ve already created, another tried-and-true link building strategy is to get your content onto other people’s sites or media channels. This is commonly referred to as guest blogging or guest posting, but it’s a valid strategy for video, social media, and podcasts too.
This is usually a win-win, because a guest post gives you more exposure and a link back to your website, while the other party gets free content for their audience!
Fortunately, it’s simple to get started with guest posting. A search for your type of content plus the phrase “write for us” will get you plenty of related blogs that actually want guest posts. As you grow, you should expand your potential guest post targets to include influencers – but it helps to cultivate a relationship with them before you start begging for a guest post slot.
The best way to reach people is through an email, if you can find it – but a social media message or contact form is better than nothing. Include links to some of your other guest posts in your pitch for greater credibility and some social proof!
4) Broken Links
Another of the common link building strategies is finding broken links on relevant webpages. When you do, you can contact the webmaster or site owner and suggest a piece of content that you wrote instead. Just make sure your suggested replacement is highly relevant, or you won’t get a good response.
Nobody wants dead links, so this tactic will often net you a new link – or at least help you establish a connection with someone for future opportunities.
There aren’t a lot of easy ways to find broken links. One way is to focus on resource pages, manually checking each link. Another option is to use a tool like the Check My Links browser plugin, which will help you pinpoint promising broken links automatically.
5) Blog and Forum Commenting
A lower-value way to build links is with comments on related blogs and forums. You can find them just by searching for your topic and the word blog or forum. You might also look for subreddits on Reddit or dedicated groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Many blogs and forums will let your username or signature be a hyperlink to your own website. Others won’t have this, but will allow you to post comments that includes links.
Of course, once you’ve found places to comment, keep the 80/20 rule in mind. Basically, 80 percent of the time, you should be providing value to the community, answering people’s questions, and making a good faith effort to contribute. Then, about 20 percent of the time, you can probably get away with promoting yourself or your content.
There’s a graceful way to do this. Answer someone’s question thoroughly, and then say you made a full video or blog post on this topic if they still want to learn more. And remember, it’s important to follow any guidelines for that group – don’t do self-promotion if they don’t allow it, or your link building efforts could backfire.
6) Professional Organisations
Have you ever noticed that speakers at a trade show usually get a link back to their website? Or that your local chamber of commerce provides links to its members? Sometimes, you’ll even get a dedicated page on an industry website. This can also happen if you become an official sponsor for somebody.
There are all kinds of associations, institutes, and organisations that you might want to join or contribute to. Here are just a few possibilities:
- Alumni groups
- Chambers of commerce
- Industry conferences and trade shows
- Trade organisations
- Certification bodies
- Regulatory bodies
In addition to possible backlinks, these groups can connect you with other professionals in your field. It’s worth looking into organisations and choosing a handful that could give your credibility (and link profile) a boost!
7) Public Relations
It’s not always easy to achieve, but reaching out to mainstream press publications can be a huge win for your brand. As part of that effort, you’ll often get a link from articles about your company that are published online.
Like other strategies, this one involves reaching out to editors, writers, and contributors for prominent online publications. If you’re having trouble getting any traction with the press, a public relations firm might be able to help you get your foot in the door. Having some stories out there will help you get new ones – and it adds a lot of credibility for your website as well.
Like with blogs or podcasts, just start by making a list of publications that you want to break into by topic and location. You might have to do some sleuthing, but you should be able to put together some target publications and keywords, then pitch them.
Just keep in mind that traditional press can be “picky” and stringent with guidelines. Do your homework and abide by those requirements!
Execute Link Building Strategies Today
There are many link building approaches out there, but focusing on these seven link building strategies can get you a huge leg up on the competition. A combination of targeted content, outreach with influencers, and increased visibility will do wonders for your traffic, and ultimately your rankings in the SERPs.
But these techniques do take time, and it’s not always easy to get the momentum going. Why not work with an experienced SEO agency like Common Ground to make the progress you need on your link building strategies?
Ready to get started? Request your free proposal today!