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December 15, 2016

15 Link Types and How to Build Them

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you know anything about SEO and how Google rank websites, you’ll know that having quality links to your website from other industry-related sites is of huge importance.

There’s lots of link opportunities for your website and I’m going to show you the ones that matter.

In this post I’m going to cover:

• All of the link acquisition strategies that will help your website gain more organic traffic.

• What each link looks like and how you are able to find it.

• How you can secure that link for your website.

1. Resource Pages

As you can guess by the name, a resource page on a website is a page that links to content that the site owner deems important for the audience.

Although this may sound like a link roundup, which is another technique discussed in this list, there are differences:

• Link roundups take place regularly and feature content that was recently published (weekly, monthly, etc)

• Resource pages are a static page that links out to evergreen content in the industry.

But the biggest different between getting resource page links and link roundup links is the pitch:

• Link roundup pitches take place before a blogger creates a post.

• Resource page pitches take place after the resource page is already in place. You ask the site owner to add a link to your content on the page.

Resource page pitches have a lower success rate generally, due to the fact that you’re asking someone to update their content (read: do some work) whereas a link in a roundup post is you providing a link where they are actively seeking it.

What do resource page opportunities look like?

Below is an example from Smashing Magazine.

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Other examples:

• A solicitor may have a resource page that links to government documentation and forms that aren’t featured on their own site.

• An Internet marketing agency may link out to the various tools that they use.

How to find resource page opportunities:

It’s very important to ensure that you find relevant opportunities. It would be a waste of time pitching to a resource page about gardening if you’re an accountant and the content you would like to link to is a VAT calculator.

The example below shows a search operator that can be used. You can replace “Web design” with your own phrase.

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How to secure a link on the resource page:

Once you’ve found a great resource page link opportunity, you then need to look for a way to contact the person. We prefer e-mail, but you could try via a form or social media.

Here’s the kind of e-mail we use to land resource page links.

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Pitching for resource page links generally has a low success rate we find. This is probably because you’re asking someone to actually go out of their way and go back and edit old content to add a link.

One thing you can do is give them an incentive to add your link:

Offer to share the content with your own followers on social media and your e-mail list. This is a great incentive because it means you will be driving new visitors to their website.

2. Link Roundups

A link roundup is a post on a blog that links to the writer’s favorite pieces of content over a certain period of time (monthly is the most common).

Your job is to now find these opportunities and send them a pitch suggesting they link to a piece of your content in their next link roundup.

Link roundups are a great way to get links in large quantities providing you’ve got something that is valuable to share.

The success of landing link roundup links depends entirely on the quality of the content that you’re submitting.

What do link roundups look like?

Below is an example from Caktus Group.

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How to find link roundup opportunities:

Use search operators in Google.

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Use Twitter to search for them using #hashtags and keywords.

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3. Guest Posting

Guest posting is one of the best ways to get quality links for your website. Aside from the SEO benefits, you can expect to get a significant increase in traffic, brand exposure and the opportunity to build relationships with influencers in your industry.

The only downside to guest posting is for those of you that don’t like creating content – it requires you to create content on a regular basis.

What do guest posts look like?

Guest posts often don’t look any different than the standard blog posts you’re already used to seeing.

Here is an example of a guest post that I had published on an industry blog.

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Within this post I was able to link to the content that I chose.

This single post helped push my SEO agency up the rankings in Google for competitive keywords, drove a lot of traffic to our site and also helped us land a client.

How to find guest post opportunities:

You can find guest post opportunities by using Google search operators. In the example below, I have chosen to search for guest blogging opportunities relating to gardening.

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You can use the same search operator, just swap out “gardening” for your industry. I used this example to show that you can find guest posting opportunities for ANY industry.

How to secure a guest post:

Once you’ve found a great guest post opportunity, you then need to look for a way to contact the person. Here is the kind of outreach e-mail we use to land guest posts for ourselves and for clients.

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This may sound obvious, but in the e-mail you should always link to your best posts.

4. Link Reclamation

Over the span of time that your website is live it is bound to lose links. While this is a natural occurrence, you are able to find links that you’ve lost and ask site owners to replace them.

What does a link reclamation opportunity look like?

A link reclamation opportunity presents itself when a website that has previously linked to yours has removed the link.

This happens for a number of reasons:

• It has changed the URL on its website.

• It has migrated its website or it is down.

It’s incredibly important to understand why your link was removed.

How to find link reclamation opportunities:

To find a link reclamation opportunity, you will need a tool to help you crawl the backlinks of your website. My favorite tool to use for this is Ahrefs, but Majestic, SEMRush and Moz are great as well. I mainly use Ahrefs for this. I find that the database of backlinks is much larger than its competitors.

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In Ahrefs you have to simply enter your domain and navigate to “lost” links. You can then examine your lost links and determine if it’s a good opportunity to contact the site’s webmaster and get your link back.

How to secure a link reclamation links:

To get your link back you have to contact the site that removed the link.

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5. Sponsored Posts

This is a bit of a “grey hat” tactic. You need to find websites that accept advertisers and pitch to them.

Instead of buying banner ads, we recommend sending a pitch and asking them if you can sponsor a post instead.

What does a sponsored post opportunity look like?

You need to work out with the publisher to be able to create a piece of content that fits in well with the rest of their site. You would also benefit from telling them that you will not pay for a post that has been tagged as a sponsored post or paid placement.

If it isn’t already happening, I can see Google looking at these sorts of tags in the future and decreasing this link type’s value.

How to find sponsored post opportunities:

You can find sponsored post opportunities by using search operators in Google.

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How to secure a sponsored post link:

The best way to get sponsored post links is to e-mail sites in your industry and let them know that you’re looking to buy space on their websites. Just make sure that you are clear that you’re not looking for banner ads and are looking for only native placements.

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6. Claim Unlinked Mentions

There’s no doubt that when you start creating engaging content, using social media and doing PR activities that your website will be mentioned.

This is great, but what’s common is that your site will get a mention but without a link to you.

It’s your job to monitor these mentions, contact sites and make sure that they include a link to your site.

What does an unlinked mention opportunity look like?

Any time that a website mentions your website, brand or your name without linking to your site.

How to find unlinked mentions:

Google Alerts: You can find unlinked mentions by using Google Alerts. You have to track “your brand” and “your name.” You’ll then be sent e-mail alerts whenever they are mentioned.

Search Operators: You can also find unlinked mentions by using search operators.

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This tells Google to search the Web for your brand and to not include your website in the search. You can also play around with the search tools and select different timeframes.

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How to secure an unclaimed mention link:

Once you’ve found a mention of you or your brand without a link you then need to look for a way to contact the person. For example:

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7. Forum Commenting

At SearchUp, we use forum commenting for two things:

• Promoting content to drive traffic.

• Creating pillow links for brand new sites.

Aside from link opportunities, forum commenting gives you a way of driving huge amounts of traffic to your site.

Your job is to find industry-related forums to join and participate in.

What does a forum commenting opportunity look like?

We want to find an industry-related forum to join and then search for threads relating to the content we want to promote.

After you’ve found this opportunity, you just simply have to craft a message and add a link to your content.

Your forum signature also gives you the opportunity to drive a lot of traffic to your website.

How to find forum commenting opportunities:

There are many search operators you can use in Google to find forum commenting opportunities. Here’s one.

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How to secure a forum commenting link:

No pitch is needed for this type of link. You simply need to leave a relevant message and link to your content.

8. Blog Commenting

OK, I know what you’re thinking and no, blog comments are NOT spam.

The fact is that blog commenting is one of the best growth hacking techniques that can be used to promote content and drive huge amounts of traffic to a website.

Blog commenting generally works best when you’re promoting content and not a sales page. Being too “salesy” in a blog comment is a great way to make sure that your blog comment is either never approved or is removed as spam.

When you use blog commenting to promote content it becomes a natural link and is a great opportunity for you to build an audience.

See Google’s Matt Cutts video on blog commenting.

What does a blog commenting opportunity look like?

Any website that is relevant to your industry and has a blog is a blog commenting opportunity to you. Website owners and editors aren’t going to accept terrible comments that aren’t relevant to their content, though – they know they’re only there because someone wanted to drop a link.

The only way to ensure your blog comments get accepted is to write one that is well thought out, relevant to the article and generally provides some value and observation. Once you’ve done this you can add in a link to a relevant piece of your own content.

How to find blog commenting opportunities:

We have a list of hundreds of search operators that we use to find blog commenting opportunities. Here’s an example.

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You can also use the search tools in Google to find opportunities that are in a more recent timeframe.

How to secure a blog commenting link:

There’s no pitch needed for blog commenting links. You simply have to find a relevant article to comment on, write a comment that’s around 100-500 words long and add a link in to a relevant piece of content on your site.

9. Local Blogger Outreach

If you sat down and drew a five-mile radius around where you’re sitting right now you’d likely find hundreds of local bloggers. You just need to find them and pitch to them.

What does a local blogger outreach opportunity look like?

The majority of local bloggers cover things like local news, fashion, music, technology and any other viral news.

You just need to work on finding a connection to between your website and theirs.

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How to find local blogger outreach opportunities:

We have many search operators that we use to find these opportunities in Google.

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You can also look for local bloggers on social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

How to secure a local blogger link:

There are two different types of pitches you can send for a link like this:

• Pitching a piece of great content on your site for them to write about (low success rate)

• Offering them money to write a piece (incredibly high success rate)

• The fact is that most bloggers aren’t making any money from their blog, so when you offer it to them they jump at the chance.

10. Directory Links

Directories are huge websites which are basically business phonebooks but online. They are often very old domains and have high domain authority and because there’s so many of them, you can build a large amounts of links in a short space of time.

Directory links have gotten a bad reputation over the past few years due to them being spammed to death by SEOs. They key to building quality directory links is to manually find them and NOT outsource them to someone on Fiverr!

What does a directory link opportunity look like?

Most of the time directory link opportunities look like online phonebooks.

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How to find directory link opportunities:

We have hundreds of search operators that we use in Google to find directory link opportunities.

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How to secure a directory link:

Look for a place on the directory to submit a business.

11. Professional Organisations

Whatever industry your business is in, you can guarantee that there’s lots of organisations that are dedicated to it.

You just have to find and join them.

What does a professional organisation link look like?

A professional organisation link essentially looks like a profile page of your company on the organisation’s website.

How to find professional organisations:

We use many search operators to find professional organisations in Google.

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Here are some more you can use. Just replace “marketing” with your industry:

• Marketing association

• Marketing  establishments groups

• Marketing institutes

• Marketing  organisations

• Marketing  professional organizations

How to secure a professional organization links:

You just have to follow the instructions on joining the organisztion.

12. Video Links

Video links are another type of pillowing links that we use. These types of links are essential in building a natural link profile and are the types of links you should always build before building contextual links to your site.

While around 99 percent of these links will be nofollow, we love building these types of links on video sites because these pad out your anchor text profile and also drive a lot of traffic to your website.

What does a video link opportunity look like?

Below is a screenshot from a video I use to promote our agency. In the video description I added a link to our website.

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How to find video link opportunities:

You can use search operators in Google to find video sharing sites. Here’s a list of some to get you started:

  • youtube.com
  • vimeo.com
  • tubetorial.com
  • ustream.tv
  • myspace.com/video
  • stupidvideos.com
  • metacafe.com
  • liveleak.com
  • flixya.com
  • grindtv.com
  • blip.tv
  • dailymotion.com
  • break.com

How to secure a video link:

To get a video link you first need to have a video to upload to the video sharing sites. Once you have uploaded the video to the sites you can add a link to your website in the description.

13. Infographics

Creating an infographic is the process of aggregating data in the form of an image. We like to use infographics in two ways:

  • Use the infographic to pitch as a guest post
  • Submitting them to infographic sharing sites such as visual.ly

We like to think of infographics as the link builder’s Trojan Horse. Authority sites that would normally ignore you embrace you with open arms and are willing to link to your content.

How to find infographic link opportunities:

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You can use search operators in Google to find blogs in your industry that have previously used infographics. It’s important to make sure that the infographics are as parts of blog posts and not submission sites.

If you’re using infographics as pillow links…

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You can use search operators in Google to find infographic submission sites.

How to secure an infographic link:

If you’re using infographics to pitch as guest posts…

Once you have found a website that has previously use an infographic in a blog post you have to contact them. We prefer to do this via e-mail.

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If you’re using infographics as pillow links…

Simply follow the instructions on the infographic submission site.

14. Skyscraper Technique

This is a method created by Brian Dean. I’m including it here because it’s a killer method for link building that we use for clients.

The basics of the technique are:

• Find a piece of content in your industry that has lots of great links

• Create a better version of the content

• Contact sites linking to the old content letting them know you created a better version

How to find skyscraper opportunities:

To find skyscraper opportunities we use Ahrefs Content Explorer and BuzzSumo to find URLs with lots of backlinks and social shares.

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You then need to check out the content and figure out if you can improve it. You could also see if there is an opportunity to turn it into an infographic.

How to secure a link using the Skyscraper Technique:

Once you have created a better version of the content, scrape the links and contact information of all the sites that link to the original content. You then need to send an outreach email to those sites informing them of the better content you have created.

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15. Event and Conference Links

We’re going to admit it – these types of links take a lot of effort to get. You’ll have to either:

• Speak at an event or conference

•  Host a meeting

• Attend or host an event

• Sponsor an event or conference

Although these links take a lot of effort to get, they are definitely one of the best links to get not only for link building, but for growing your business.

Speaking at conferences, local events and getting involved in your community is a great way to grow your business. Like networking, it helps you build relationships with people and also allows you to demonstrate expertise.

What does a event and conference link look like?

When you sign up to speak at events and conferences you’re going to get links from a variety of places:

  • The host’s website
  • Sponsors and partner websites
  • Bloggers who attend the event and write about it.

How to find event and conference opportunities:

You can find event and conference opportunities by using search operators in Google.

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How to secure an event and conference link:

If you’re hosting the event or conference you can create the link easily on Meetup.

If you’re looking to speak at an event or conference you’ll have to get in touch and apply for the speaking gig.

Recommended Tools

Ninja Outreach is a tool that helps to automate finding these opportunities and outreach at scale

Ahrefs Content Explorer – The whole Ahrefs suite is a must for any SEO and the Content Explorer is incredibly useful for the Skyscraper Technique.

Conclusion

Craig Griffiths hopes you’ve been able to learn something from this list and are able to put it to action. These are techniques that we use day in – day out to help our clients rank higher in Search Engines to generate more sales, leads and ultimately make more money from their websites.


avatar

3 Responses to “15 Link Types and How to Build Them

    avatar Jamshed says:

    Thanks for the sharing. I will use build them now 🙂

    Amazing this SEO strategy is one of my favorite, I like to build link instead of on page SEO because during link building I meet lot of good friends and blogs to follow.

    I’m just starting out on the link building journey for my new site. Thanks for listing these methods, there’s a few new ideas here to try.

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