December 11, 2018
One of the key ways to win the SEO war is to refine your link-building strategy. Link building might not be everything, but Google assesses the link profile of a website to determine how trustworthy and authoritative it is — as well as how spammy it might be. Then, it ranks it accordingly.
We get it, though. Link building is yet another task you need to cross off in your already huge SEO to-do-list. Not just this but link building — despite being just one of many SEO strategies — itself requires lots of time, dedication and effort from you.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier when you know exactly what needs to be done. In this article, we’re going to take you through 7 of the best link-building techniques and show you how to implement them.
Let’s begin with arguably the most popular link-building technique there is. Back in 2014, Google’s main man Matt Cutts basically said that guest blogging was dead. Eh? Fast-forward to 2018, and it’s still as popular as ever.
This is because links and ranking are still inseparable, and guest blogging is a great way to acquire more links.
Essentially, your aim as a guest blogger is to get more authoritative, high-traffic, related websites to link out to you. Guest blogging is the reason so many brands want to get published on The Huffington Post, despite the Huff Post’s former infamous stance on not paying most of its contributors.
Who the heck cares about $$$ when you can get a link from the Huff Post?!
To launch an effective guest blogging campaign, you need to first come up with some blog ideas related to your niche. Then, you need to identify a clutch of websites/blogs before pitching them your idea. Upon acceptance, you’ll write the blog post — while including a link within the content to your own website — and wait for the website to publish it to their page.
Once it’s published, you’ve secured a strong link and you’ve also exposed your website to a whole new audience. It’s literally a win/win, but the key is coming up with great blog ideas and actually writing an awesome blog post that’s stuffed with value. If you do that consistently, more and more websites will want to work with you.
Offer Lots of Value to Forum Communities
An easy peasy way of securing more links is to start posting regularly on forums.
However, there’s a right and a wrong way to do this. The wrong way is to join a forum related to your niche, before adding a link to your website in your signature right away. Then, you literally add your link to every single worthless, 2 sentence comments you make in the hope that people will check you out.
They probably won’t, and it’s highly likely that you’ll get kicked,
The right thing to do is to join a forum and to focus on giving as much as you can. This means commenting loads, offering lots of value, and sharing your expert opinion with people. Be a shining light in the community; become a voice people can trust.
Then — and only then — add a link to your signature, and start adding it now and then to your posts.
Create Skyscraper Pages
Skyscraper pages sound awesome! But what are they?
A skyscraper page is when you take an existing piece of content (not yours but someone else’s) that’s already performing well — and make it even better. This means adding more value, more tips, more data, more facts.
Basically, more everything.
A skyscraper page is a long-form piece of content, and research has shown that long-form content outperforms short form content. The reasons for this are varied, but one of them is that long-form content gets shared more — and thus linked to more.
We share long-form content more simply because it offers us more value. It educates, informs and engages us.
Moreover, the more data-filled your content is, the higher the chances are that other websites related to your niche will link out to it when citing research/sources.
To find content that’s performing well in your niche, you can use a tool like Buzz Sumo. Then, you need to go through the content and spot its weaknesses. What areas can you improve on? What tips and statistics has it missed out?
The beauty of a skyscraper page is that you’re taking a piece of content that you already know people want to see. Then, all you have to do is expand it and make it better.
90% of the information that’s sent to the brain is visual, while research has shown that infographics can boost your web traffic by as much as 12%.
More importantly, infographics are shared 3x more than any other type of content on social media.
This means that infographics create opportunities for backlinks. They educate and inform your audience in a fun and engaging way, and because they’re so rich in data, facts, and figures, they help to position you as an authority in your niche.
You can also submit your infographic to infographic sites for more links. To find these sites, simply type “submit infographic” into Google.
This sub-heading is a tad provocative, but stealing your rivals backlinks is an often-used link building technique that can really see you climb the rankings.
It might sound devious but it really isn’t — at least, not in the dog-eat-dog world of SEO.
It is going to require some major time and effort from you, though.
Essentially, what you’re going to do is find out where your rivals get their backlinks from… and then you’re going to steal them from them.
To do this, type your main keyword into Google. Then, copy and past the top ten search results (their URLs) into a spreadsheet.
Next, use an SEO tool that comes with a backlink analysis feature to discover where each website is getting their backlinks from.
Identify your best targets and then spend some major time reaching out to them via email. Basically, your aim here is to convince them with a personable, friendly and short email that, while the website they’re linking out to is okay, you’ve just produced an even better, more up-to-date and more relevant piece of content that they should be linking to instead!
If they care about relevance, there’s a good chance they’ll swap your rivals link for yours.
Identify Resource Pages
What is a resource page? A resource page contains a list of resources that a website believes will be most helpful to their readers. For example, a travel website might have a list of resources of the best hotel comparison blogs.
What you want to do here is to find resource pages related to your niche, before getting your own website included on them. It’s easier — but time consuming — than you might think.
Start by using a search string like this in Google:
“Keyword” + “helpful resources.”
This will bring up a page full of useful resource pages related to your keyword/niche.
Next, you need to find the right website that’s the best fit for your content, before reaching out to the webmaster. Send them a polite and personable email that briefly explains why you think your blog should be included in their list of resources. What value can you offer their readers?
If this sounds super simple, that’s because it is. But it will take some time.
Find Broken Links
We’re going to end on a really easy but oh so powerful link building technique.
Broken links exist and they’re a real pain. If a website is linking out to a page that no longer exists, it reflects badly on them and their ranking might take a hit.
Because you’re such a nice person, you’re going to find broken links for people before offering to replace them with a link to your amazing, up-to-date content.
How to find broken links? It’s easy — all you need to do is use a tool, such as Check My Links, a Chrome from Google. Then, input a phrase like “Travel top articles” (if you run a travel-related website) before checking all the relevant pages for broken links.
There will definitely be a few. Once you’ve found them, it’s time to shoot the webmaster a friendly email that highlights the broken link, before offering to replace it with yours.
Most — surely all! — webmasters will be so grateful to you for highlighting the broken link that they’ll definitely link out to you. Well, provided that your content is awesome that is!
These are 7 of the best link-building techniques that you should include in your SEO strategy. Implementing these will take time and effort from you, but the rewards can be huge. Remember that it’s all about creating value for people — both for your audience and other websites. Once you start putting in more effort, the links will come.
Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of Nightwatch — a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out Nightwatch blog and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut