Even today, backlinks are still the #1 ranking factor. That’s why everyone that does SEO is so focused on getting more links. In the last years, Google has done many algorithmic updates and that’s why some ways of earning backlinks that worked great a few years ago don’t work anymore or even can get your site penalized. All these changes forced the SEO world to evolve and come up with new and creative link building strategies.
The SEO community wears many hats: the black, the grey, the white, and the money hat. All of these have advantages and disadvantages. In today’s post, we are going to focus on discovering efficient but often overlooked link building methods.
With this goal in mind, we reached out to 30 SEO experts and asked them:
What is an underused (or less common) link building strategy that has brought you great results?
We received a variety of answers. Although some of the techniques recommended below require some financial investments or a strong brand, others can be used by anyone, even by someone that just started a new site, with no budget.
The experts we selected are all successful SEO agency owners and a part of them are international speakers at SEO conferences and events. So rest assured we’ve got you covered with the best experts in the field. Without further introduction let’s read below what they had to say.
Olga Andrienko – Semrush
You’ve probably heard people say, “great content and authentic researches” bring the utmost results when it comes to link-building. But actually…it’s not that clear-cut. What we found at SEMrush (from our own experience) is that it takes much more than great and authentic content to make sure your content brings you any high-quality links at all.
We worked relentlessly over the years to make sure that the SEMrush brand is recognized and trusted as a reliable data provider. So, just conducting a research and giving away some numbers won’t cut in today’s world that’s already oversaturated with data. You have to build enough brand prestige and brand awareness to make sure your “research” efforts actually bring great results.
So only by initially building some quality brand awareness and reliability, will providing numbers and figures actually become the link-building strategy you can leverage. It’s totally white-hat, it increases brand prestige, creates wide brand awareness, and gives you the so-desired backlinks without actual link-building efforts.
Just to give you an example – our research on 40 most common SEO mistakes organically attracted over 200 high-quality backlinks.
What we do differently is we diversify the kind of data we both provide on demand and pitch ourselves – from information on the World Cup or the most recent fashion trends to industry-specific researches on fintech or site performance issues.
That way, we ensure the widest brand exposure possible, and a constant flow of new audience that interacts with our brand. And backlinks, of course!
Eric Enge – Perficient Digital
Here is one that will work for any business that has a decent budget to pursue it. This is the idea of publishing data-rich studies. It does require some real investment of either money or time or both, but it can bring in large-scale dividends. We used it to great affect at Stone Temple Consulting, and now that we’re part of Perficient Digital, we’ll keep on using it to promote our business.
There are many ways to execute these types of studies, but one of them is to interview 1,000 plus consumers on a topic closely related to your business. You can conduct the survey through a platform like SurveyMonkey. Key things you need to do to produce a winning survey:
* Pick a topic that’s of great interest to many people.
* Pick a topic that has not been comprehensively covered by someone else’s survey.
* Create a great question set. This is part art and part science and does take experience to get right.
* Treat the data with great care and integrity. Let the data tell the story. Your pre-conceived bias of what the data would tell you actually mean nothing. Learn from the data, and write your story based on what it tells you.
* Put together a great list of media people who have written about closely related topics.
* Customize each and every single pitch you send out so you maximize your yield from your campaign.
Be prepared for the fact that this is a significant investment, and that results are not guaranteed. And, not every one of these you do will be a big hit. But, we’ve had successes with surveys that have netted 50 or more DA 50 and higher links. Now that’s a home run.
Bonus 2nd idea: Here is one that works surprisingly well for major brands. It’s an old concept, that of finding mentions of your brand that were not implemented as a link, and reaching out to those folks and asking them if they would turn it into a link.
Those of us that have been involved in SEO for 5 years or more know it well, and it works for any site, but most major brands don’t do it at all. And, most major brands have hundreds (or more) unlinked mentions out there, with much of it pointing to high-value deep pages on their site. Turning 10% of those unlinked mentions into links is pure gold!
Publish data-rich studies:
– Build a strong and trustworthy brand.
– Publish data-rich studies that are based on in-depth research and extensive surveys.
– Analyze those data and then provide efficient solutions to the problems you’ve encountered.
– Pitch these studies to other authority sites from your industry.
Tim Soulo – Ahrefs
Our marketing team at Ahrefs is mostly focused on “earning” links, as opposed to proactively “building” them.
But one of the underused strategies that we’re working on at this very moment is called “unlinked mentions.”
We recently did a search for mentions of our brand name – “Ahrefs” – and were quite surprised how many websites have mentioned us while never linking to our website. Which is a huge low-hanging opportunity.
And besides our main brand name, there are smaller “mentions” that we decided to dig.
For example mentions of my own name – Tim Soulo – there are quite a few articles online where I was mentioned without any link to ahrefs.com. Or mentions of our proprietary metrics: “Domain Rating,” “URL Rating,” etc. Or mentions of the tools from our toolset: “Content Explorer,” “Keywords Explorer,” etc.
In other words, there’s a very good chance that your business (or parts of it) are mentioned online without proper attribution. And, as a link builder, you cannot waste this amazing opportunity.
One underused tactic is claiming brand mentions where you are not actually getting a link from. For example, by running a few searches on Google you can see who mentions your brand. You can then view the page that mentions you and see if they actually link to your site. If they aren’t, you can reach out to the website and ask for a link to your site.
What’s nice about this approach is that it helps build branded links to your site and reduce the likelihood of having too many keyword rich backlinks.
Of course, not everyone will link to you (just like any other outreach approach), but over time you’ll have an easy way to increase your branded links.
I personally see link building as something that needs to be done with care. The old way of simply amassing a huge number of backlinks from any site is no longer a viable strategy. In fact, it will get your site penalized.
What you want is a series of relevant backlinks from quality sites. You can actually create a bigger impact SEO-wise with fewer backlinks, as long as they are of the highest quality. Every little detail matters, from how well your keywords are distributed to whether a reference to your site blends well with the rest of the host site.
In my view, there are two underused link building strategies that you can implement today to get great results. The first one starts with a bit of a research on your brand name and generic keywords that relate well to it. You can use brand tracking tools to find sites that mention your brand name and those keywords; Brand24 does a very good job in most cases.
With the list of mentions in hand, start reaching out to the site owners and webmasters. Thank them for mentioning your brand. Don’t just use a pre-written email. Be sincere and actually talk about the content in which your brand name or keywords appear. You can then ask if those mentions can be converted into links to your site.
The second strategy involves checking incoming links to your social media pages. It is easy to find sites that link to your social media pages, particularly Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you have an active YouTube channel or Instagram, capture external links to these pages too.
You will then have a list of sites again, and you can repeat the same process of contacting the webmasters and thanking them. Ask them if these links can be repointed to your main site instead. With these two strategies, you’ll end up with new backlinks that will impact your SEO performance in a big and positive way.
Unlinked brand mentions:
– Research your brand name using a monitoring tool and identify websites that have mentioned your brand without linking to your site.
– Do the same search for your name and your main keywords
– Contact the site owners and ask them to include a link to your site in the articles where they mention your brand.
– Apply the same strategy to sites that link to your social profiles instead of your site.
Andy Crestodina – Orbit Media
My standard answer is very common. Build link-worthy content and build relationships with people who create content on authoritative websites. Together these two elements create the potential for links to appear organically. It’s been my philosophy for years, it’s fundamental to the basics of SEO, it’s led to thousands of links and many close friendships, and I’ve taught it to lots of companies.
But here’s a true story and a more unusual approach. A few years ago, I was working with two companies who both build and manage senior living communities. They both had SEO goals and both needed off-site, link building plans of some kind. I explained my approach to both of them.
- The first company produced a bit of content, built a few relationships and a few people linked to them
- The second company ignored my advice… and took 10 senior citizens to Burning Man, a huge art party in the desert. Everyone linked to them.
So there are tricks, tactics and best practices. You can make things, do outreach and pitch to the media. Or… you can do something awesome. Be original and make a splash. Which would you rather do?
Aaron Wall – SEO Book
Reaching out to people in a way that is not obviously automated or scaled works quite well.
For instance, if you wanted to interview someone you could mention having read their book, read some of their prior interviews before interviewing them, etc.
Basically, my advice is to do the opposite of everything that is easily outsourced if you are trying to make a good impression with someone you really care to connect with.
Link building comes in many forms but what works best are the genuine contextual topically-relevant links to your target pages. Personally, I never trust pure chance and I always put the manual effort to use. Natural links can and do happen but just making great content and pray for links is not a viable option.
I myself have done a ton of outreach and let me tell you I really do that a lot:
– cold outreach, tier outreach (contacts of contacts), force outreach (“the dark side is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural” and implementing that dash of evilness can really work well for people refusing to collaborate), multifront outreach (1:1 has nothing to do with how things happen when 2:1 or 3:1)
– answering “input requests” as I call them, such as Haro, Response Source, Source Bottle, Journorequests, the many other Twitter hashtags, Facebook blogging and link building groups, slack channels, Reddit threads, and etc. etc. etc my list goes on.
But the one thing that really matters is to just be an honest and caring human being.
Of course, if you want to do my “force reach” mojo, arm yourself with “weapons” such as ddos, spam links and etc. tools for repression and go crazy terrorizing people (be careful tho, for somebody might fight back.
Once I had my entire domain and website suspended from the registrar, lol), or start outreaching in teams of 2 or 3 (if you manage to pare well, that multifront outreaching can work wonders). These are more of methods than strategies but still are concepts that I’ve never seen anybody mention.
But again, if you’re not “real” and honest to what you do, you’ll most likely end up being ignored. The web is run by machines but ultimately meant for humans and showing compassion and care for the person on the other end does and will always do more than “work”.
I’ve nailed quite a few beast domains with history and metrics off the chart, where one link can cost you a kidney if sold at all, but what’s the really valuable “thing” are all the good friends I’ve met.
People I can have a meaningful conversation with and collaborate way beyond one stupid link. This is the most underused “strategy” of all. Sadly, most people in the link building game cannot see beyond that.
So my most honest and sincere advice would be to build real and meaningful relations and care for more than your own well-being and self.
Adam Connell – Blogging Wizard
One of the more underused link building tactics I’ve used is networking – particularly creating a network of influential folks in your niche.
I’ve had a good bit of success with this and scored some great links.
And on the flip side, it’s easy to see why acquiring links from your contacts works better than cold outreach.
I get loads of link requests (most outreach emails suck). But if I get a link request from someone I know and trust – the decision of whether to link out gets a whole lot easier. So I’m more likely to say yes because the trust is already established.
And in some cases, you may not even need to ask for the link.
The only challenge with this technique is that it does not scale, and it takes a lot of time to develop these relationships and even more time to maintain them.
Is it worth it? Definitely – even if it can only be done on a small scale.
Justin Morgan – Dental Marketing Guy
When it comes to link building, it’s as much who you know as it is what you know. I’ve found that teaming up with SEO and marketing experts in other industries can yield great collaboration and results.
Teaming up with people in my industry who help dentists in different ways (things other than SEO and web design) can prove useful with link building.
At the end of the day, if you can’t convince someone else to link to you, all the SEO skills in the world will fail against someone who has great relationships with the right people.
As I’ve ascended through the ranks in the dental industry, I’ve noticed that making a favorable impression with well-respected and influential people can carry amazing link-building potential!
– Reach out to people in an authentic, personalized way.
– Network with influencers and build genuine relationships with other site owners from your niche.
– Although some of your friends may link to your site without you asking them, it’s always best to ask them for a link when it’s appropriate.
– Create partnerships with other internet marketers from your industry. Always offer a win-win situation where both parts can benefit.
Link building is all about creating relationships with other bloggers and giving them a reason to link to your content. The type of content that you publish matters a lot. My favorite articles are, obviously, expert roundups.
This type of posts gets a lot of engagement, social shares, and backlinks. Although some say that they are a bit overdone in some niches but if you know how to make them right roundups bring excellent results. Start by building a strong brand and a good image as an expert in your niche.
Connect with other bloggers and influencers from your niche to learn from them and to make friends. This attitude is much better than seeing everyone else as competitors or potential clients for your services or products.
Invite your friends and mentors to a roundup. If they know you and respect you, then most of them will accept. After the post goes live, ask them to help you promote it by sharing and linking to the post. It’s very important the way you ask. Don’t write a template email and cc everyone in it. Talk with each person in particular and ask them for a favor. Don’t try to take advantage of them and don’t be too pushy.
Another one of my favorite ways of getting backlinks is by featuring in roundups. There are many posts like this where you can send an answer, get a backlink and improve your image.
It’s so easy. Instead of spending time doing cold outreach for guest posts, it’s much more efficient to write 200-300 words and get a link. Make a habit to not refuse any roundups, interviews or podcasts. It doesn’t matter if the site is new or it has a low DA. A site with a low DA today that is offering you for free a backlink, can have a high DA next year and then it could be much more difficult to get a link from it.
There are many ways of getting featured in roundups. Use resources like Source Bottle, HARO, MyBlogU.
I have done over 40 roundups in lots of different niches. They work for any site (e-Commerce, affiliate, authority site etc), in any niche.
Aaron Lee – Ask Aaron Lee
We all know that link building is still play a role in SEO, When done correctly, it will boost ranking and will 100% help improve website traffic. One of the underused link building strategies that I personally do for one of my blogs is to collect influencer opinions for a roundup post (just like this one).
Once I’ve collected. created and published the roundup post, I’ll send an email to all the people I’ve interviewed and politely mention that they could share it with their followers or link to it on their website. Some will just share, some will do both. Either way, it’s better to mention it rather than just asking them to share the post.
You’ll be surprised with the results.
According to Google executive Andrey Lipattsev, content and links are the top two factors that Google considers when determining search rankings. Reason enough for people to give a lot of emphasis to their link-building efforts.
Now, there are several ways you can go about earning backlinks, but I’d like to talk about one of the more underused ones. I can personally attest to its efficacy as it has served me well.
Expert Roundups – It’s common knowledge that interviewing industry influencers and experts is a good way to earn authority backlinks. Many websites leverage this, but often only in one post involving a single interview. That earns you just the one backlink from the influencer.
Why settle for just the one? If you want to earn more backlinks and fast, conduct regular expert roundups. Ask multiple influencers one maybe two questions and quote them in your roundup posts. This way you’ll earn a good 10 or 20 backlinks (or more) from high-authority sites and industry experts.
Compile a sizeable list of experts you want to interview and email them your questions. Subtly mention they can share the roundup with their followers or even link back to it on their page if they want to.
The advantage here is two-fold. Not only will you gain several quality backlinks, but a roundup like this will rake in engagement for you. After all, it’s being shared with your audience as well as those of your experts.
I’d go so far as to recommend making it a regular thing. I publish one or two every month, for instance.
– Publish expert roundups where you feature opinions of the top influencers from your niche.
– Through a roundup, you provide high-quality content to your readers, and you get to connect with many other industry experts.
– Organize and design the layout of the post in a very appealing way that will make it a valuable resource.
– Reach out to the experts from the post and ask them if they can help you promote the post and link to it.
– Be friendly and helpful. Focus on building a long-term relationship, not only on chasing a link
Artëm Klimkin – LinksHero
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? 😉
So…I have been fairly successful with something that’s been overused during the last 2-3 years and therefore labeled with “doesn’t work”.
The something is – infographics.
Infographics helped me to build links to affiliate money pages.
Infographics got my clients into respectable publications.
Infographics even got a stream of people looking for me to contribute on their websites.
Yes, they work.
Yes, there is a caveat.
Infographics are just a medium, so you need a solid idea that your audience will find useful.
A good question to ask here is – if someone shared your work, would you find it useful?
I recommend using this medium to:
· Condense research and findings into a bite-size information
· Include specific details and numbers into it
· Keep it up to a point
And here is a little bonus.
If you want to find a proven topic for an infographic, find a listicle type post with many backlinks pointing at it.
Create an infographic about the subject.
You can now pitch the infographic to all those people linking to the original article + anyone else interested in the subject.
Jon Dykstra – Fat Stacks Blog
One of my favorite underused link building strategies is coming up with and commissioning informative graphics and illustrations that I let other bloggers use as long as they provide an attribution link. These are not infographics. Instead, they’re an illustration or a design or some form of unique graphic that provides information that only an illustration can provide.
I’ve produced over 50 of these for one niche site and they attract links. If I were to promote these I’d probably get more links, but I don’t bother and still attract natural links from these.
The cost to produce these is less than you think. I hire skilled graphic designers in the Philippines and my main designer can do one to two per week which ends up costing me $50 to $100 per illustration. If ever you’ve commissioned an infographic, you know that $50 to $100 is much less than a professionally created infographic.
Another favorite method for attracting links naturally is to collect poll data from website visitors and email subscribers and then publishing the results in my content. Data and statistics attract links quite nicely and it’s the easiest content to create because it’s the result of a very simple poll or survey.
Infographics & illustrations
– Infographics are a popular type of content that gets backlinks.
– To be successful, your infographics should have a beautiful design and be based on detailed research.
– Alternatively, you can publish informative graphics and illustrations. These are similar to infographics but you can get them at a lower price.
James Reynolds – SEO Sherpa
Here’s an underutilized link building strategy; testimonials
No matter what the industry or the size of the company, businesses love to publish testimonials. Often, these testimonials appear on the website homepage because everybody loves to show off when a good word is said about them.
And, since businesses also want to prove their testimonials are real, they will often provide a link back to the source (you) to verify. This means high-power links from the website’s most authoritative page.
Here are the steps:
-Make a list of every product you recently purchased or service you recently used.-Check each of the sites of these services or products for the opportunity to provide a testimonial.-Submit or email a short written testimonial letting the site know you are happy for it to appear on their website.-Don’t forget to ask that they include a link to your site alongside it.
In the future, keep an eye out for relevant sites that include testimonials, and seriously consider buying their product so that you can submit a recommendation. The value of the resulting link can be well worth the cash outlay.
Quentin Aisbett – OnQ Marketing
Here’s a couple of quick link building tips:
1. We’ve had great success providing testimonials to relevant services within the same industry. It’s a great way to get a contextual link and further promote yourself as an authority to a new audience.
Not to mention, the conversion rate is much higher because the website publishing your testimonial is getting something valuable. I should note though, not every site with testimonials is going to provide a link.
2. While not a tactic for every situation. Look at the sites that are ranking for your target search terms. Do any of them feature outdated research or still have last year in their title? If so you’ve got a great opportunity.
Look at the sites that link to them still and reach out with your post, demonstrating that it’s more up to date and relevant to their readers.
Steve Wiideman – Wiideman Consulting Group
Creative link bait ideas have always been a hallmark of a successful link-earning campaign with our clients.
When a business serves their local area, one strategy that has worked well is a quarterly event, such as Free CPR Lessons, Blood Drive, Backpacks for Kids, Stockings for the Homeless, and Disaster Readiness Workshops.
Getting neighboring businesses and charities to link to this type of content yields a much higher response rate than referencing an article, and allows for structured markup opportunities where event names and dates can appear within organic results. Those are our favorite link-earning ideas at Wiideman Consulting Group.
– Write testimonials for services and products that you have used.
– The companies that will feature your testimonial on their site will most likely link to you as a way of proving that you are a real consumer.
– If your business is local, create events a few times per year, and ask other local businesses and charities for a link.
David Krauter – Websites That Sell
Real News Exposure!
I’m not talking about getting your release on thousands of news websites via PR Web, NewsWire or even some cheap Fiverr gig.
Coming up with a REAL interesting story about your business, finding a hook for this story that’s going to make it newsworthy and get real coverage by a local journalist and the local paper.
Why are these links powerful?
You get topic relevance, geo-relevance on high authority, high traffic sites.
Yes, you may only get coverage on a few, but these few links have stuck some of our clients to the top of the No.1 positions for years (among other activities of course) however it’s the local, topic and real traffic relevance that makes these links powerful.
Will it require a little more work, a little outside the box thinking?
Yes of course… but if it didn’t – everyone would be doing it 😉
Nedelina Payaneva – Asian Absolute
Local Business Citations
Local link building is an ideal back-linking opportunity for you. You can get great links and you can draw additional traffic from the many people who routinely use local searches to find businesses near them.
Local Business Citations are key factors if you want to improve your positions in local search results. While creating your local business citation, make sure to add the same “NAP” i.e. Name, Address and Phone number you feature on the website.
These citation links are important for local rankings and help search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) to verify your business location.
Links from Yelp, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Bing Local etc. create authority for your website and can help improve your rankings in local search results.
Effective Guest Blogging
Building quality links is all about providing unique and helpful content. You need to show those high authority sites why they should link back to you.
One effective way to earn high-quality backlinks is through guest posting. Some say guest posting is a dead practice, but it still has some bearing if you know how to do it right.
You are showing the users and the search engines that you are an expert in your niche by establishing authority in high domain guest posting sites.
The most important thing to remember when creating content for other sites is that you are doing it for more than a link. You are aiming to educate and add value to your target audience. That should be the main goal of guest blogging.
A link back and any clicks from the blog to your site should be secondary. Taking this approach will help keep your practice ethical and within Google’s guidelines.
Andrew Lowen – Next Level Web
Although this may sound controversial to some people, utilizing web valuation sites are a quick and simple way to help build links and brand awareness to your website. These types of sites not only help new sites get indexed quickly, but they also help strengthen established sites and improve keyword ranking. Utilizing these types of sites takes very little time and can bring in a lot of value.
For example, the valuation site cubestat.com has a domain authority (MOZ DA) of 60. When a URL is submitted to cubestat, a profile page is created and featured on the cubestat.com homepage. Sites like this are crawled multiple times a day by search engines and can directly benefit your website.
But not all valuation sites are beneficial. There are quite a few out there that have little-to-no value and have even been flagged by some search engines as spam. You definitely do not want to get your website tied up with these sites as it may harm you in the process. The best thing to do is to follow these three tips:
1. Make sure the site is indexed and prominently listed in the major search engines. Simply, go to your search engine and type in “website valuation sites.” The valuation sites that appear on the first few pages have high value and are ranked well in the search.
2. Check the authority of the valuation site you are interested in. A high domain authority score (MOZ DA) is another good factor in determining how much value that site has.
3. Trust your instincts. If you have looked over an evaluation site and are still not comfortable with using it, simply leave the site and search out others.
By utilizing these high authority websites, you can leverage their power to help boost the success of your website and invest the extra time you save into building more links.
News Exposure & Local Business Citations
– Come up with an interesting story about your business and pitch it to local reporters. Links from newspapers bring a lot of traffic and improve your rankings.
– Get links from local business citations sites like Yelp, Yellow pages, Yahoo local. These links are very useful for traditional businesses that provide services in a certain area.
– Use web valuation sites to grow your brand awareness and get some quick links.
– Do in-depth research before submitting your site to such websites. Links from some web valuation sites can hurt your rankings so be careful and use this method with moderation.
Steven Kang – SEO Signals Lab
Internal linking is often underutilized by SEOs and its power is often underestimated. I’ve been testing this on a large scale and I’ve witnessed over 80% positive rankings. It seems Google is forgiving with the exact match anchor text as well which is a big plus.
Here is an example. After getting 1,000 pages of content indexed, I’ve added 3 exact match internal links on the footer of each page targeting a specific page to see what happens.
After 3 months, all three keywords with several thousand searches a month moved up from page 2 to page 1. I was then able to replicate the process on other sites. You are missing out if you don’t take advantage of it.
Dave Schneider – LessChurn.io
Buying websites. It’s somewhat of a little-known fact that you can buy existing websites/domains, transfer the content, if there is any, and redirect all of the links to your main domain.
What’s difficult about this strategy is finding quality websites for sale at a price that you feel is worth it.
You want to make sure that your site monetizes the traffic better than the one that’s selling, and that the traffic is relevant. You can look on sites like Flippa to find options.
Dennis Seymour – LeapFroggr
I have a simple answer to this.
I offered free web design work in exchange for being able to place links or an opportunity to place them in the future because I built a relationship with the owner, usually government, influencers or celebrities.
It’s underused because resources are needed but you can’t deny the results.
Less common link building strategies
– Take advantage of the power of internal linking. Many people focus only on getting links from other sites so they forget or neglect the value that internal links have.
– Buy sites, transfer their content on your blog, and redirect all of their links.
– Consider offering free services in exchange for backlinks.
– The two strategies mentioned above can be quite pricey so make sure that you’re applying these tips only on very good sites.
Julien Raby – Combustible
Utilize job posting websites.
In most industries, there are local job posting/directory sites and most of them still have dofollow links. We find this tactic to be very scalable. We have 100+ clients and we’ve been able to get easy, strong links for the better part of them.
We recommend posting an offer for an intern as sometimes the ad will be free.
And as an added bonus, some clients have found value in having interns in their company and now make it a recurring tactic.
Link building is the foundation for increasing SEO, and now possibilities are exponential with the use of images and video on social media.
As the second largest referrer of traffic to websites, Pinterest presents amazing opportunities to share quality content and simultaneously reap SEO rewards. On this platform, when you link an image back to your website it counts as a backlink, and that link can be measured in the Google Search console.
Furthermore, every time the image is re-pinned (shared), the link duplicates. This means that a picture that is relevant to your business can create hundreds of backlinks, which is huge for SEO and rankings.
We’ve built tens of thousands of links from Pinterest by creating customized photos that have subsequently gone viral. Some of our best-performing pins have been for a dog rescue organization where we’ve received over 36,000 re-pins on original funny Corgi memes we created.
Because the photos on Pinterest link back to our website, each time they are repinned, we receive another link to our site.
Job posting sites & Pinterest links:
– Use job posting sites and directories when searching for interns or new employees. Some of these links may be do follow.
– Although, backlinks from social media are no follow, getting a post viral helps with your SEO.
– A post that is reshared thousands of times will bring you an increase in traffic and social signals that will indicate to Google that your content is great.
Link building and SEO is still relatively misunderstood by many site owners and bloggers. While the concept is clear enough, too many people are focusing on just content creation and expect to get ranked.
With more than a billion active sites on the internet today — all of which are creating content — it’s extremely tough to rank a website or blog against the competition and established sites that have already been ranking for years.
In order to successfully compete in this online world of search, social, and SEO, you must do the following:
- Create better content than the competition (and have at least 2,000+ words)
- Go for long tail keywords and use them in sub-sections of your content
- Include references, original images/charts, or even create infographics
- Promote the heck out of your articles through social, backlinking and guest blogging
At the end of the day, it really comes down to these few simple steps. As you can see, most of these are accomplished through time and effort, and not just throwing freelancers or money at the problem. Follow them, and you will find success with ranking in the search results.
Sean Si – SEO Hacker
Based on my experience, along with the experience of our skilled link building team, there are truly no underused link building tactics, as we use a varying amount of link building strategies to our clients and tend to use a combination of them in order to become successful.
Important elements of a successful link building strategy include sticking to the right niche, building relationships with webmasters, stealing quality competitor links, and thorough research and experimentation.
With our clients coming from different kinds of industries, sticking to the same link building strategies might spell disaster and bad results. Being adaptive to current trends bodes well for our link building, as we are able to generate great results that leave our clients satisfied.
Like other digital marketing strategies, link building is a diverse world that requires a lot of trial and error in order to become successful.
Greg Elfrink – Empire Flippers
Guest posting is tried and true, and it is something we do A LOT. It is not as sexy as other link building methods, but it is a great way to build real relationships with influential people in your space that can really help grow your brand.
We also look for more than just a backlink from our guest posting. We’re looking to do deeper collaborations that will get us mentioned over and over again to the influencer’s audience.
A good example of this is with Matt Diggity’s The Lab course, we did a module all about buying and selling online businesses. This piece of content doesn’t provide backlinks in the traditional sense, but it gives us an awesome amount of credibility for anyone that buys the course.
Also, this kind of collaboration makes us more on the influencer’s mind, which leads to many natural links occurring in their normal content.
Matt Brooks – SEOteric
1. Authenticity Wins
– When we reach out for links, our first step is to make sure the subject of the link we are trying to create matches the publication. Google isn’t dumb, so if it sees a link to a trucking service in an article about lipstick on a health and a beauty site, you better believe red flags are going up.
Once we are sure there is a logic behind the link, we reach out to the publication owners and offer value- not in the form of money, but in the form of knowledge and expertise. We represent over 100 different companies who all have their own specialties, so when we try to find links for, say, a pizza franchise, we offer ourselves as experts on the topic.
If there is interest, we then look for opportunities to either contribute to existing content or contribute an entirely new post. At this point, the publication owners will usually quote a price for adding content, and if it’s reasonable, we proceed.
When we add the link, we make sure the content surrounding it flows with the article and actually provides value. This way everyone is happy, even Google!
2. Build Partnerships
– If you serve multiple clients, try to reuse a publication as many times as possible. It is way easier reaching out to someone you’ve already worked with and you are giving them more business.
We have put links for 10 different clients on the same publication, which is only possible because the subject matter on the publication’s site is diverse enough to relate to all 10 clients. Remember, the subject of the link should match the publication.
Quality content & guest posting
– Create in-depth quality content for your blog. Include visual elements.
– Promote your articles on social media and then start a guest blogging campaign to get links to it.
– Reach out to sites from the same niche, so the links you get make sense.
– Experiment with different link building strategies to see what works best and build a diverse link profile.
Link building can be completely soul destroying but using a mix of strategies that involve working smarter instead of harder is the key to success.
The strategy I’m suggesting is quite simple, spy on your competitors and get the links they get. Otherwise known as reverse engineering competitor backlinks.
Reverse engineering is simple, yet it takes a bit of creativity.
You need to complete an analysis to figure out why your competitor got its links, using these steps.
- Start by making a list of your competitors in the top 10 search results.
- Ignore those that have few links as well as those that have a strong brand and get links exclusively due to their fame.
- Then analyze the backlinks with the help of Ahrefs or Serped.
- In Ahrefs, go to the Site Explorer, add your competitor, and once you have the results, click on the link that says Backlinks.
- There, click on the Link type button, and export the whole list of URLs you get.
- With this list, you want to open each link and figure out how and why they got the link.
I explain these steps in more detail here Ecommerce Link Building Made Easy With This Simple Strategy.
Then you need to ask yourself, is it because of the quality of their content? Is it because they offer something unique and valuable? You want to know the why behind the link.
Then replicate it.
It would be remiss of me to discuss link building strategies though, without first ensuring that you have a site worth linking to. See the steps in my Ecommerce SEO Guide to ensure your site is built on strong foundations and has made friends with the search engine bots.
When you are trying to increase the number of backlinks your website receives, you need to implement a variety of strategies simultaneously. However, all the strategies in the realm of possibility will barely produce any results if there is nothing worthy of a backlink.
Solid, well-written content and copy is the foundation of any backlink campaign. It must be interesting and informative, capable of answering a question that customers may have. Additionally and importantly, it must be well-written, and not just in terms of SEO (though that is vital, of course). When most people see copy riddled with confused grammar, syntax errors and poor diction, they immediately assume that the website is a scam.
Remember that websites do not decide to give backlinks to other websites through an algorithm. This decision rests solely with a human being, meaning your content must be relevant to that human being and what they do. If they like what they see, then you will have an easier time of persuading them to throw you a backlink.
Naturally, producing high-quality content and copy is not the only action required in your strategy. However, it is an essential and valuable step that can make or break your attempts. You can only receive backlinks if you earn them.
“Steal” your competitors’ links
– Research the sites of your main competitors. See who links to them.
– Create better, more in-depth and up to date content than them.
– Reach out to the sites that link to your competitors and inform them that you wrote a piece on the same topic that is much better than the one they are linking to.
Thank you so much to all the experts that contributed to this post! There are many golden nuggets here. Link building is part science, part art. You have to try and experiment with different techniques and see what work best in your niche.
If you have any questions let us know in the comments below and we will soon answer.
Don’t forget sharing is caring.
13 thoughts on “Link Building Strategies: 30+ SEO Experts Share Their Secrets”
Thank you Łukasz for mentioning and recommending us! 🙂 Brand24 Team appreciates <3!
This is an amazing compilation of link building tactics. Some are common, others I forgot about, and some have never crossed my mind. Great read!
Thank you, Jason! I’m glad I helped you learn something new with this post.
This is a wonderful roundup. Different and a breath of fresh air.
I feel that most roundups are just excuses for link throwing. I mean answers are repetitive, short, and there’s hardly any value to glean from them.
Your roundup is different.
It offers a wealth of knowledge and I’ll have to read it 3 more times to gather it all, Thanks for writing it and thank you all who contributed.
As for link building tactics that appeal to me the most, I choose two that are evergreen (for obvious reason) and hard (so there’s less competition):
1. Relationship building.
Connecting with fellow bloggers is an honest way to approach link building, And it involves giving value first and then receiving later.
So it can last forever because it builds on helping each other out.
2. Backlink “stealing”. I like this because it forces you to outdo your competition (and yourself) by creating something that is truly better and deserves to rank.
(This makes the web a better place too).
And I like it because it requires creativity to be successful, And being creative is a wall too high for most to jump over, So it makes life easier for us who try.
Thank you for the roundup, have a nice day:)
Thank you for your comment! Building relationships with other bloggers and influencers can bring you many benefits besides backlinks. It matters a lot how you perceive them. Don’t think that if somebody doesn’t link to you then you wasted your time. You can help each other and collaborate in other ways. That’s the most important lesson I learnt about influencer marketing.
Definitely still working on this whole SEO thing, so this is super helpful! Especially when it comes to backlinking
Thanks for stopping by.
I hope this roundup gets you a lot of links!
Bring it. 🙂
You did a great job in gathering all these experts to share their thoughts and knowledge with us. Some techniques I’ve already heard of, others I haven’t heard of at all, but all in all it was worth reading. Now I can try these link building techniques myself and hopefully enjoy good results. We have a similar article dealing with the easy link building techniques that is also worth reading.
Wow, thank you for sharing valuable information…
Well you have shared this concept very clearly. keep sharing the quality content.