how-to-get-editorial-links-to-your-website

How to Get Editorial Links to Your Website

Editorial links are the most powerful type of links given that it signals Google that the brand being linked to is a trusted resource/reference (either it is targeting the homepage of the site or its inner pages/contents).

how-to-get-editorial-links-to-your-website

There are three primary elements that can intensify your chances of getting in-content links for your website:

  • Strong direct relationships with bloggers and content publishers in the industry.
  • Content seen has a uniquely useful information and unexpected hook, which edges the content piece over pages hosted on competitors’ sites.
  • The brand has a large influence over its community through its published high quality content and coverage/mentions from popular news/media outlets – which makes it easy for the brand to be remembered by top media/content publishers when writing posts for their blogs/sites.

Acquiring contextual links editorially from content creators requires extensive amount of effort and time especially for websites who’re still starting out to build their influence and authority from scratch.

Tactics that aim to consistently attract editorial links to your content/site would usually take 4 to 6 weeks or even months for brand new websites. Though they’re all time-consuming, these tactics that I’ll be sharing to you are not impossible to do.

1. Trust marketing

Without trust, it is almost impossible to earn and editorial links, simply because content creators are keen to choosing credible sources/pages that they’d like to mention in their future works.

Trust marketing brings edges to new brands without enough to content to compete in the industry. With proper engagement and content development, new websites can now attract in-content backlinks from industry-related publishers with trust as its main component of link attraction.

Personalize your brand by choosing one team member (prefer it to be your site’s content creator) to spend most of his/her time producing high quality content pieces that’ll be published inside and outside of your company website.

leo-wildrich
Leo Widrich

 

Get him/her engage in niche-specific community platforms like forums and Q&A sites by providing direct and useful answers to topical questions in your industry. Spend at least hour every week for community engagement, because you’ll learn great insights from this activity – i.e. understanding the deepest needs of your target users, which you can use to create a user-generated content that targets a specific group of users (mostly potential linkers).

Wil Reynolds shared a very interesting presentation on conversion-oriented forum link building. He specifically discussed one ecommerce client who generated $11,000 revenue from a simple one-hour a week forum engagement.

Trust marketing can also yield contextual links from brands (with pre-existed relationships) through interviewing one of your brand publishers in their own blogs.

matthew-woodward-roundup

forum-roundup

2. Invest in scholarships programs

For brands with big marketing budgets, setting up a scholarship program and publishing a page on it is one of the effective ways to earn reputable backlinks nowadays. Educational institution sites and government pages tend to link to scholarship programs that provides intrinsic value to their target visitors and users.

Though most of the time there’s only link that can be built from a single domain using this link acquisition technique (scholarship link building), still the relevant traffic and assisted conversion it can bring to the website are very much promising for the business.

This client of mine in the education niche acquired 62 .edu links through its scholarship program – which adds hundreds of referral traffic to his website and helps the site rank for relevant industry keywords.

ahrefs-education

You can request for a profile section from your target linker to explain more details about your program. This will entice users from other sites to visit your scholarship page and contact you for future partnership programs (this might get you additional editorial links from potential linkers).

education-site-edu-links

3. Do secondary-competitor reverse engineering

Competitor backlink building is not just creating a huge list of backlinks earned/built by competitors but also understanding the relationships of linking pages and the page/site being linked to.

Reverse engineering (other term for competitor backlink building) can provide you an easy way to earn your first set of links (without need to prospect for targets from scratch).

The most common reverse engineering method is finding websites that currently rank in search results for your target keywords (either these keywords are commercial, transactional or blog-related).

Though this approach is pretty much powerful for local-based businesses, adding a few more ways to improve your reverse engineering process is definitely worth to try out in order to lessen footprints caused by building links also gained by your competitors.

Target links seen in resource pages as your secondary competitors when doing reverse engineering activity.

other-link-opps

You can build a larger list of link prospects using this approach given that most of the time, links in those resource pages are not visible in search results.

Use Ahrefs, OSE or other third-party link analysis tools to track existing links of those secondary competitors. You can apply any of the following link tactics to acquire those editorial links:

  • Pitch webmasters who have resource pages with broken links in them and ask if they’ll be interested to replace their defunct links with hyperlinks pointing to your website and to your other suggested resources (choose non-competitor links as your other suggested links, so as not to help your competitors gain the same amount of links your brand is getting).
  • Contribute on industry blogs that have high search share and engagement level to build recurring links to your content(s) every week/month. Ask their content managers if you can apply to become their regular content contributors.
  • Understand how your primary competitors (prospected from search results) and secondary competitors (other links in your target resource pages) acquired their current editorial links. They may have used any of these tactics: moving man method, press pitching or social link building.

Once you’ve created a giant list of link prospects through reverse engineering, you can now create a link strategy/plan to build those in-content links.

4. Profile editorial links from content contributor/speaking opportunities

A brand ambassador with a superb expertise in an industry often receives speaking and content contribution opportunities because he is recognized as one of the top influencers through his valuable contribution on top industry blogs and his non-profit social and community engagement.

Target corporate speaking and authority blogs for speaking and content contribution opportunities since most of the time, they allow individual profile pages for each of their contributors/speakers which’ll make it easy for target participants and readers to know more about their authors/speakers.

glen-dimaandal-smx

Other opportunities to earn editorial links from profile pages include:

  • Sponsorship and exhibit programs for local and international events, which allows sponsors to expose their brand to a wide variety of potential customers/clients both offline and online.
  • Local or international volunteerism on popular events with an opportunity to be mentioned in a volunteers’ list (specific brands) in a separate page of their website (there are cases that they also publish profile pages for brands who volunteered to the event).

Invest in networking with other brands in your industry (should be non-competitors) to earn unexpected in-content links from voluntary events in industry-related events and seminars.

5. Quoted insights

In today’s digital marketing, content creation is now a requirement for every brand who wants to build and earn non-manipulative links from reputable websites/blogs.

When producing high quality content, it is imperative to add unique insights/quotes coming from your brand ambassadors and content creators in order to make your content comprehensive to read or to consume.

This approach allows you to earn voluntary-given backlinks from bloggers and researchers who want to use your content creator’s quotes/insights contained in your content.

quotes-cited

Make a consistent effort to produce high quality content on your website that have information that is found nowhere else (this element is commonly called unexpected hook).

6. Optimize your pages for natural language optimization type

Natural language patent was released last November as a method for Google to extract data from an authority page listed in search results in order to provide a direct answer to a specific search query.

This allows many authority pages to be seen by new search users as a recommended answer for a specific questions/query.

Add information to your page that is straightforward and that suits a specific search query or keyword phrase (e.g. symptoms of diabetes).

You can link to your page from other related internal pages in order for your new visitors to see your main target page. This will also help the page to increase its page authority and rank for that specific query.

This approach may help your page be seen by researchers or bloggers in that specific area, which will eventually help your content to earn editorial links from their blogs/sites.

symptoms-of-diabetes

Here are other resources that you can check out for more information on this topic:

More Resource: How To Promote Your Latest Blog Post Like A Boss


creative-content-promotion-strategies

25 Creative Content Promotion Strategies

If there is one thing you shouldn't forget about content marketing, it is implementing a solid and creative strategy to promote your content assets to your target audience.

A strategic content promotion plan would help you in so many branding activities, such as:

  • Building communities (sub-groups of your target audience) that are exposed to your brand, which can help your future content get social shares in its first days after launch.
  • Increasing the probability that bloggers in your space would link to your content (especially if your content is worth sharing to their readers).
  • Engaging with popular media outlets in your local and niche vertical who would be interested to cover news or stories about your brand, which would be made easy if they’re attracted to new information or ideas from your content.
  • Generating leads/sales through referral links from popular blogs/sites and connections built with influencers during the process of promoting your content.

If you already decided to invest your time and effort in showing your content to your target audience (especially those who still don’t know your asset), then you can follow at least ten of the content promotion strategies I listed below.

1. Multiple-effect email outreach

Content promotion through outreach is done in a one to one person basis (unless you’re doing an email blast for your campaign).

If you send 100 emails and you get a 10% click through rate, it means that you have an additional 10 visitors on your site (assuming we exclude those people who were referred by your recipients to visit your site as well).

The chances of getting more visitors who will likely to share your content depend on the number of recipients and emails you send to them. The larger your list of recipients, the more new visitors you should expect to see in your Google Analytics account.

You can make this 1-to-1 email outreach work more effective by adding a few texts to your email template.

You can actually increase the chances of getting a few more visitors from a single email using this simple approach.

How?

Step 1: Find generic branded emails in your list of prospects. Examples of the types of emails you should look at are:

Step 2: Add these simple lines to your email template (beginning and end of your email).

I noticed that your team tweeted a [topic] post on [Site Name].

Happy to hear a feedback from your team.

Step 3: Add this subject line to your email.

A post that your team might want to see

Step 3: Click the send button (or schedule your email if you are used to it).

Because you allow your email to be read by a team, you have chances of getting more shares from each person in that group (once they passed it on to one another). Additional visitors to your website and followers would be possible if your content captures their interests.

2. Invest in building interview opportunities

Interviews are open doors to show off your expertise and improve your site discovery by allowing people to visit your best pages/content (which will help them decide if they want to follow your brand in a regular basis).

How to open interview opportunities?

Step 1: Create an interview page.

You don’t need a highly skilled graphic designer to create a well-designed interview page for your website.

You can do it by yourself. Here is an example of how a high quality interview page looks like:

interview page

An interview page should consist of the following:

  • Your expertise or topics you’d like to discuss about (you can use this as your introductory sentence)
  • Interview requirements including audience type and the topic of the interview (number of email list is optional).
  • Contact form

Step 2: Make this page visible to your visitors.

There are a few things you can do to add more visibility to your interview page:

  • Add a menu linking to your interview page.
  • Link to it from your about us
  • Design a simple advertisement and make it sticky in the sidebar of your website (you can use Q2W3Fixed Plugin).

interview menu

Step 3: Promote your interview page.

Share your page in your social profiles.

You can also link to your interview page from your newsletter, once in a while to boost its visibility.

As you consistently produce more high quality content on your blog, your chances of getting interview opportunities are higher.

Few more tips to maximize your interviews:

  • Build second-tier links to pages that are already linking to your site through referencing them from your interviews (add a descriptive call to action when linking to those pages to entice clicks and shares).
  • Use your interviews to capture subscribers from blogs where interviews are hosted.
  • Promote your contributions through linking to them from your about us page (this will add some trust and build stronger relationships with the interviewers, allowing you to get some more interviews).

about us page3. Guest blogging post benefits

Guest blogging has a lot of benefits even after you got a link and shares from the content distributed site.

You can promote your content to people who've shared your recent guest post and get them share your newest content as well. Given that they already know your brand through the caliber of your content, it’s easy to entice them to share your content (assuming you exceeded their expectations as readers).

How to do it?

Step 1: Identify social shares of your recent guest post using Topsy. Grab the URL of your guest post and paste it on the search box. Then click the search button.

copy-paste-topsy

topsy-social-sharers

Step 2: Check if those social sharers have their own websites or blogs. If they have, include them in your Twitter spreadsheet.

twitter spreadsheet

Step 3: Find their email addresses using any of the following tools.

  • Twitter Google search (inurl:twitter.com/venchito14 “email” OR “at” “dot”)
  • Whois
  • Basic email placement pages (about us, contact us, get in touch, etc..)
  • Rapportive in Gmail

Step 4: Send them outreach emails using the template below.

Hi [Name],

I noticed that you shared [topic post] on [Shared which post]. I appreciate your social sharing a lot.

Just wondering if you’d like to see my latest 4000-word ultimate guide about [topic].

Please let me know if you want to check it out.

Regards,

[Your Name]

Why this outreach works?

  • You thank the person who shared your post.
  • You make your description strategic and short (e. 4000-word ultimate guide).
  • Ask for feedback (indirect enticement of response)

 4. Send exclusive content to twitter list (list of followers who retweet/favorite your posts)

Your brand needs a community whether you’re a one man team or handling hundreds of team members.

Building a solid community these days is easy with social media marketing.

If you’re actively sharing posts on Twitter or at least engaging your followers through retweet and favorite activities, then you should start creating Twitter lists to leverage your engagement and increase social following even more.

You won’t just create a list and leave things behind.

You should think of an exclusive content that you’ll provide to them to strengthen connections and attract more social followers through their behaviors of sharing your content to their followers.

Here is a simple step by step guide to apply this content promotion method:

Step 1: Find all social followers who mentioned you in their tweets. Most of the time, these are your followers who also shared your content before.

You can use SnapBird to find them.

snapbird

Step 2: Create a twitter list. Include all followers whom you think you can share your content to.

create-twitter-listStep 3: Ask or find their email addresses. You have two options: send them personal messages and ask if they can give you their email addresses or manually search their contacts using email finder tools mentioned earlier.

Step 4: Send them exclusive content via email. You can use this email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m [Name], [Position] at [Company Name]. I saw that you tweeted my post on [Blog Name]. I appreciate it a lot.

I just want to ask if you’d been interested to check out an ultimate guide for [topic]. This is something that I’ve been working on for the past 3 months and would only want to share exclusively to my active followers.

Please let me know if you’re interested.

Happy tweeting!

Regards,

[Your Name]

5. Schedule your reply emails appropriately

If you've been doing outreach for content promotion for quite a long time now, you know that one of the important factors that affects email open rates is the timing of outreach.

If you schedule your initial outreach email at the best time your recipients would likely to open it, make sure that you also do the same thing with your reply emails.

The reason why conversations were stopped is that the second to third reply emails were received by prospects during non-peak hours. If you can schedule your reply email at the time your prospect replies to you in your initial outreach, you'll get much success from it.

To schedule your follow up emails, you can use Right Inbox.

Step 1: Open your Gmail account, then click the Compose button.

Step 2: Write your message and subject line then add your recipient’s email address.

Step 3: Schedule your email at the time your prospect replies to your initial outreach.

Step 4: Send your email.

 Further reading

6. Use your preferred anchor texts when describing your content

The old school way of letting your link prospect know about which anchor text you prefer to be used (in linking to your content) is to directly tell him the anchor text (e.g. Would you please link to me using this anchor text: payday loans).

That link building practice won’t get much success today as it will make your email look like spam.

One way to actually make this linking practice still work is to add some phrases to your email to describe the content that you want to promote.

How to do it?

Step 1: Edit your email template. Instead of only using these texts– if you want to check out my post, you can click on this link, you can actually add some descriptive phrase to your email.

If you want to check out my broken link building guide, you can check out this link: (link here).

Step 2: Add your subject line and your recipient’s email address.

Step 3: Click the send button.

7. Use popular hashtags in your tweets

Hashtags add more social visibility to your tweet, making it easy for your tweets to be seen by active social participants other than your followers.

If you will add popular and relevant hashtags to your tweets, you will have chances of increasing your tweets' social discovery.

How to do it?

Step 1: Go to Hashtags.org. Scroll down the page and look at the popular hashtags section.

popular hashtags

Step 2: Use relevant hashtags to your tweets. If you are in the business niche, you can regularly use the hashtag “sales".

Step 3: Do it religiously.

8. Reduce link noise ratio by estimating the number of external links

Obtaining a link from a resource page is tough these days as there are a lot of success factors that will make your broken and resource page link building works, including:

  • Relevancy and utility of the content suggested adding to the page.
  • Real purpose of the page listing all the links and resources in it.

Another success factor to consider is the number of external links in a resource page.

If there are too many listed links, the probability of earning the link is low and the value you’ll get from it (if in case, you earn that link) will be diminished by the dissemination of page authority to several external linking pages (the higher the number of external links, the lower link juice you’ll get).

The main point is to find a relevant resource page that have a fair amount of external links.

How to identify the number of external links in a resource page

Step 1: Plug in the URL of the resource page to Ahrefs.

ahrefs external link

Step 2: Go to Outgoing links tab Linked Domains.

outgoing links ahrefs

Step 3: Look at the number of results. If it is more than 100, then find another resource page to prospect on.

number of results ahrefs

 

The reason why you need to consider the number of external links is to increase the probability that you’ll going to get the link once you start reaching out to the target linker.  The higher the number of external links in a resource page, the lower the chances of earning your desired backlink.

9. Use manage subscriptions link instead of unsubscribe link in your newsletter

When people are not satisfied with your newsletter content (email), they usually want to find the unsubscribe link to get rid immediately of all your future promotional emails.

This will obviously decrease the number of your subscribers in your email list.

But you can avoid people to unsubscribe to your blog but at the same time allowing them to do it if they decided to do so.

How?

Step 1: Go to your email marketing tool settings (for this example, I use Mailchimp).

Step 2: Go to settings (for Mailchimp: Campaigns – Design). Then select a template.

Step 3: Edit the footer section by changing the unsubscribe text to manage subscription.

manage subscription

Step 4: Click Save & Close button.

 10. Build links from non-English blogs

If you limit your link building strategy to relevant niche and local blogs, you will be boxed with link opportunities surrounding your space only.

But if you go a step further and look for non-English blogs that can translate your content to other languages, you’ll find much success with it in terms of building high quality backlinks.

How to do it?

Step 1: Use your descriptive keywords as your search queries and add the site search operator to it (e.g. online marketing blog site:.fr).

non english site search

french website

Step 2: Populate your list by prospecting more related non-English blogs. Use the related search operator as your search query.

related french

Step 3: Reach out to your list of non-English blog owners and ask if they’d be interested to translate your content to other languages and publish it on their blogs. You can use this email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m [Name], [Position] at [Company Name]. Heads-up to your recent post about [topic]. Thanks for  sharing it.

By the way, I’d like to share my recent link building guide on [topic]. I’m wondering if you’d be interested to translate it to [language].

Please let me know your feedback.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

11. Interlink relevant client posts

If you’re working on several link development campaigns that are all in the same industry, you can maximize every post/page you’re getting links for each of those campaign.

However, you have to be careful with it because you don’t want Google to see some kind of footprint in your campaigns. Make sure you include your client’s domain to your other client’s target page when they are only relevant to each other.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Find a topic that will allow you to include two separate domains of your clients in a single blog post (assuming in this example it is a guest contributed article).

There’s no tool that you can use here. Use your brain.  Be creative and target a non-very specific topic as much as possible.

semrush post

Step 2: Write the post.

Here are a few things that you can consider when you want to apply this approach:

  • Use list post as your content format to make it easier for two domains to be included in that single post (just make sure both domains have the same offerings – e.g. both have Wordpress plugins).
  • Use one domain as your example (in case you want a case study type of post) and just link to the content page or category page of your other client’s domain.
  • Use one domain’s image (link to the homepage URL/post URL if possible, not to the attachment URL) as your featured or secondary image, then just contextually link to your other client’s domain from the same blog post.
  • If there’s no chance to include both domains, don’t try to do it (always remember that one post must have one message/information to discuss about).

Step 3: Publish and promote the post.

If you’re handling multiple clients (4 or more) all in the same industry, you can maximize all your linking opportunities by following this content promotion strategy.

Even if it is an image linking to a homepage URL of one of your client’s domain, it is still worth it, especially if the page/post is relevant to the domain.

12. Produce regular round-up posts on Google+

If you’re still not leveraging Google+ as one of your content promotion platforms for your brand, then you’re missing a lot of marketing opportunities.

Posting weekly roundups on your Google+ profile can help you in so many ways, such as:

  • Increasing your Google+ engaged followers.
  • Build connections with Google+ influencers particularly those authors of articles you’ve mentioned in your round-ups.
  • Amplify your content through link inclusion in the round-up, engagement (+1s, share, etc..) and sharing activities from Google+ influencers in your space.

Here’s how you can effectively apply this technique to your content promotion plan.

Step 1: Create a list of weekly popular content (slide decks, articles, guides, courses, etc..) in your industry. You can quickly find them on your niche community site (for online marketing niche, you can visit Inbound.org to find daily best articles).

spreadsheet-google-plus-roundup

Step 2: Write your Google+ post. You can follow this simple format.

Use categories to classify your list of resources and to add hashtags to your post (which can help  increase the post's visibility and popularity).

Write a call-to-action at the end of the post to encourage your social followers to check out your next roundup posts.

Step 3: Promote your Google+ weekly roundup.

To promote your roundups, you can share them to your email subscribers, site visitors (by linking to it from your blogroll links) and on your Twitter profile.

blogroll-google-plus

Posting weekly roundups with links pointing to your site’s internal pages is better compared to single posting of your article on Google+. Your roundups could earn more social shares and +1s than your self-promoting posting on that social platform.

 13. Increase homepage links with simple email outreach

Choosing between a homepage link and a deep link, when pursuing links, is still a debate today.

In my opinion, both have benefits to your website:

  • Building links to your homepage could pass authority and link juice to your sub-pages and posts.
  • Deeps links will prove that your other pages/posts aside from your homepage are serving your visitors appropriately.

Let’s move on to building homepage links to your website.

Here's how you can do it.

Step 1: Export all links pointing to your website (whether homepage or deep pages). You can use any of your favorite link building tools (Ahrefs, OSE or Monitor Backlinks).

raw data export

Step 2: Remove unnecessary columns and only remain columns for page rank (Ahrefs rank), referring page URL, referring page title,  number of external links, link URL and link title).

spreadsheet homepage link

Step 3: Sort by Ahrefs Rank and Domain Rank (highest to lowest).

Step 4: Check out corresponding referring page URLs of non-homepage links in the Link URL tab. (e.g. if you see a www.domain.com/blogpost in the Link URL column, and its corresponding referring page URL is www.referringdomain.com/blogpost1 , then visit the latter URL).

Step 5:  Identify if the deep link placed in the referring URL can still be changed to homepage URL. You can consider the following things:

  • If contextually placed within the content, check if it makes sense to replace the link with homepage URL, i.e. it will not deteriorate the overall message of that section of the content.
  • Identify descriptions to the link (e.g. According to Moz, the large portion [link]). If it mainly describes the content to the site’s inner page, then it could be impossible for content managers to edit the text and link.

Step 6: Reach out to the content manager and ask to change the deep link to homepage link. You can use this email template from Ross Hudgens.

Hey NAME,

Thanks so much for covering our recent article. QUICK CUSTOM RESPONSE TO COVERAGE.

Anyway, I’m reaching out today with a small request – is it possible to link to our homepage, http://WEBSITE.com where you mention BRANDNAME on the post? I think it would add additional value/context to your readers, and of course, would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks so much for considering and if nothing else, consider this email a thanks!

Cheers,

NAME

14. Tag and category-based infographic promotion

Infographic marketing is not a common content-based initiative today. Several brands had already invested into this content creation process because of the value infographic could provide to a certain brand or website (i.e. reach, branding and SEO benefits).

The common outreach practice for infographic promotion is asking the webmaster if he/she is interested to publish the infographic on his blog, share it to his social followers and get the link that the brand deserved.

There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you can add a few tweaks to your outreach email, you can help your infographic earn more shares and natural links from researchers and bloggers.

You can add these lines to your email:

Thank you for allowing us to publish our infographic on your blog. Could we request something? Is there a chance to put some tags on it (tag 1, tag 2, tag 3) and put it under [Site’s Category] to let your visitors find the image easily.

Thank you.

 The more your infographic becomes visible on several tags  and properly categorized on the hosted blog, the probability of earning more page views is higher.

15. Customize your site’s search box for most commonly used keywords

Optimizing your site search can help your visitors convert to customers (see this ConversionXL post for more information).

site search

Site search optimization is not only good for conversion rate optimization but also for adding visibility to your most important pages (those that already gained popularity and authority in your space).

When people search for specific terms that are visible in your search box, your authority pages (e.g. top blog post) will normally be placed in the top spots of search results and thus, can earn additional shares and links from people who’re digging information from those pages of your website.

Here is a great post on ConversionXL that will walk you through customizing your site’s search box.

16. Build relationships with active members in niche content-upvoting sites

This technique will depend on whether or not your industry has websites where you can submit your post and be upvoted by other users (when found to be of high quality and useful for them).

Examples of these content-upvoting websites are Reddit and Hacker News.

Getting your content to top page for those websites in the category of your choice would need connections with active memebers in order to rank easily in those sites.

You can follow this step by step guide.

Step 1: Search for active members in your niche’s community website.

niche community site

Step 2: Research on their personal blogs or websites, contact emails and social profiles (simply do a Google search for their names to find those basic details).

Step 3: Reach out to them and build relationships.

17. Monitor resource pages and discover newly founded broken links

If you are using broken link building for your marketing campaign, then this content promotion technique is for you.

Resource pages are not constant in nature. Webmasters and content managers constantly update links pages with new resources and remove any resources that have no content in them (404 pages).

If you already executed an outreach campaign for resource page link opportunities before, then you may want to go back again to your list of link prospects.

What to do?

Step 1: Visit each of the resource page included in your list and check for new broken links (you can use Domain Hunter or Check My Links tool).

Step 2: Update your list with new founded broken links.

Step 3: Reach out again to resource page owners with broken links in their pages.

Pro tip: Take note of newly added content to resource pages and discover pages linking to them. This will help you find more link opportunities for your website.

18. Community-based guest blogging

Guest blogging is not dead. SEOs are still using it in the right way to show their industry expertise and increase popularity for their websites through links acquired from referring domains.

Blogs with built in community are the best places to get links from given that you do not only get some SEO benefits but a ready to engage people that can help promote your content.

How to do it?

Step 1: Go to Reddit and look for the reddit sections that are related to your industry (simple type in your keyword in the search box).

reddit niche section

Step 2: Visit the top pages in your reddit niche section.

Step 3: Identify if there’s an opportunity to contribute content to those discovered blogs. Look for guest blogging guidelines or contribution page, or simply reach out to site owners and ask if they are interested for a free content (guest post).

Step 4: Contribute content to those websites.

19. Add print this page button to your page

Online marketers love to add social sharing buttons to their webpages but tend to forget adding print this page button to pages or content that can be used as references for educational purposes.

print page

A few benefits of adding that print button to your page:

  • Allows visitors to share your page offline to their colleagues (after printing it on hard copies), which puts more eyeballs to your page
  • Entices researchers to understand and learn information from the page, referencing it for their own content works.

Check out these resources to add print page button to your pages:

20. Strategic internal linking

Internal linking helps your non-ranking pages get promoted from pages that already have high page authority and have some domains already linking to them.

If you’re still new in blogging, you won’t get much success with it, but as time goes by, your readers or fans will begin to read more of your pages not just the blog post that they landed on the first time.

And this is where internal linking helps. It attracts people to read more of your content, which will later on translate to links and shares (when these people start to reference your works from their websites or just share it to their social followers).

Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Go to your Google Webmaster Tools account – Search Traffic – Search Queries

gwt search queries

Step 2: List down all search queries with high impressions and CTR but have low Average position (low average position means that they’re not ranking high in search results).

Step 3: Check what pages on your website are targeting those search queries or keywords. Then include them also in your spreadsheet.

Step 4: Go to Open Site Explorer. Plug in your website into the tool and check the Top Pages section.

top pages section

Step 5: Link to non-ranking pages (pages that have low average position) from your top pages in OSE. Ensure that linking pages are topically relevant to each other.

21. Entice engagement through Recent Comments plugin

One of the main goals of blogging is to increase page views and time spent by visitors on the site through engaging them in the conversation or comment platform (below each blog post).

You can achieve that goal for your campaign if you can add a recent comment section on your website.

Here is an example of a recent comment section on SEO by the Sea.

recent comments plugin

How to do it?

Step 1: Install Recent Comments plugin on your blog.

Step 2: Make your community aware that your comment section exist. Share it to your social followers.

Add these simple lines to your status updates.

Hey guys, you can now see recent comments on my blog [attach screenshot]. :)  Let’s talk in the comment section.

22. Fix two widgets on your sidebar

Remember the fixed widget plugin?

You will use it again in this content promotion strategy.

The process is very simple. You fix two widgets in your sidebar to increase your chances of achieving any of your two main brand-related goals.

For instance, if your goals are subscription growth and social following boost, then you may want to fix your email opt-in form and social profiles widgets.

How?

Step 1: Login to your Wordpress account. Go to Appearance – Widgets. (Make sure you install Q2W3 plugin)

Step 2: Click Primary or Secondary sidebar.

Step 3: Click on the widgets that you want to fix on your website. Then check the Fixed Widget check box.

fixed widget

Because you have two widgets to display on your website (which is very visible even if your visitor scrolls down to the bottom of the page), you have high probability that the visitor will click any of the two options: subscribe to your newsletter or click on your image pointing to your resource page (or content).

two options23. Regular content contribution for blogs with huge email lists

Bloggers are now revealing their email list numbers on their blogs (see examples below) to help them built trust to their target audience and capture their emails through the opt in forms.

tripleseo email list

optimize smart email list

If you’re planning to do regular content contribution on popular blogs, then email list number should be one of your deciding factor when identifying if a blog is worth submitting your guest posts to.

24. Use branded photos for content promotion efforts

Visuals or images help users to depict in their minds the information they consumed from your content. It also helps them understand easily the message being presented in the article or page.

You can actually use images (particularly branded images) to get more exposure for your content (image content promotion).

Take a look at this simple image below. Did you know that it has been used 700+ times on the web?

seo

tineye

Images can give you links that are properly attributed to your domain. With that benefit, it can help you increase your domain authority as well as the authority of the page being linked to (where the image is included).

Here is a step by step process on how to maximize images for link building and content promotion purposes:

Step 1: Find a non-licensed image to edit as your featured post image. Do a Google search for a term/phrase and click Images.

Click on Search Tools – Usage Rights – Labeled for reuse with Modification.

non licensed image

Step 2: Save the image of your choice and edit it using image editing tools like Pixlr and Canva.

Step 3: Include the image to your article, whether it is for your blog or guest blogging.

Step 4: Track non-attributed images using Tineye. Simply upload your image to see image results.upload your image

Step 5: Sort by newest links.

sort by newest

Step 5: Check each and every page if they have links pointing to your domain. If a page is not linking to you, find its email address and reach out to the site owner or blogger. You can use the email template below:

Hi [Name],

I’m [Your Name], the [Positon] of [Company Name]. I’d like to thank you for your including our image in your latest article about [topic]. Much appreciated.

Is there any chance you can mention our brand as the source of the image and link to our website? Please let me know if that is possible.

Thank you again. Hoping to hear feedback from you.

[Your Name]

25. Use list post for content distribution efforts

Brian Dean shared a very simple guest blogging process on Backlinko that will get you results for your SEO campaign.

It’s all about using expanded list posts for guest blogging. Just like a simple list, you curate things, tools, resources or tips that are useful for your readers. But in every item on the list, you include detailed sections or put a step by step guide on how to actually do it. This makes it easy for people to extract information or understand clearly each item on your list.

This image below is a screenshot of my old guest post on Search Engine Journal. It is a good example of an expanded list post.

It currently ranks for the phrase link building tips and white hat link building.

link building tips post

Conclusion

Creating content is only half the battle. You’ve got to figure out how you can win in the competition by executing any of the above content promotion strategies.

If you have a content promotion strategy in mind, let me know in the comment section below this post.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter and Google+.


12-link-search-tactics-prospect-thousands-link-opportunities

12 Link Search Tactics to Prospect Thousands of Link Opportunities

Link search is a phase in a brand’s link building campaign wherein most of the building efforts will highly depend on. This is where the success factors of link acquisition are noted, including:

  • Obtainability of links, considering the types of links being built (contextual/site-wide, local/international, homepage/deep link, etc..)
  • Standard or quality of content existed in various blogs/sites

When done right, link search will provide you thousands of link opportunities that your competitors may haven’t search for.

Below is a list of 12 link search tactics that you can use to create a giant spreadsheet of link prospects that you can later on reach out for link acquisition.

1. Advanced search query

There are many advanced search queries that you can use to prospect link opportunities based on the link building model you’re working on, but there’s only a handful of them that can help you find high quality link targets.

Thanks to Garett Brown that he took time to create this link search query builder. It is a very useful tool to semi-automate link prospecting targeting very niche-specific pages/sites, which are yielded from the keywords, search type, TLD and link type used in searching.

link-prospecting-query-builder

This is the most basic link search tactic that every new link builders must know. If you’re going advance, then you can read the following resources for more knowledge about link prospecting.

Useful Resources:

2. Topical blogs

If most of your efforts revolve around building relationships with bloggers, then finding topical blogs is the best link search method for you.

Simply do a Google search (“industry” blog) for niches that are not directly connected to your brand but have a community of bloggers who might be interested to link to your page(s).

For instance, this link building blog is focused more on content marketing and link building topics than other internet marketing themes. But even though, I got high quality links from related sub-niches such as CRO, blogging, web design, affiliate marketing and student blogs.

If I would want to expand my link territory, then I can use the following search terms when prospecting for link opportunities, knowing that other niches might find my posts useful for them and probably link to my blog from their own content:

  • “CRO” OR “conversion rate optimization” intitle:blog
  • “Web design” intitle:blog OR “blog”
  • “affiliate marketing” intitle:blog OR “blog”

In this link search method, you have to find the relevancy point between these niches and your brand, i.e. when you do outreach, you must be confident that they’re going to respond to your pitch because they are interested to what you offer.

3. List of lists

List posts are everywhere. And creating a list of these lists will give you hundreds of blogs that you can take advantage of for link building.

Searching for these list posts is easy. You can use the following search queries:

  • Top 10 “industry”
  • Top 50 “industry”
  • Best of “industry”
  • Ultimate list “industry”

If there are no list posts in your industry, then create one for your blog. You will have both a list of blogs/bloggers (that are potential linkers) and an added-value content that you can use for your pitch (telling bloggers that they’re one of your followers, as such, you included them in your latest content).

4. Brand partners

Putting brand partners in a list of link targets, for some marketers, would only be applicable for big companies who already had an opportunity to engage with other local and niche brands in the past. Since they had a database of existing partners, there’s a high chance to involve them into the company’s link development campaign.

However, for small to medium sized enterprises, there are still partners that they might consider for link acquisition such as the following groups of people:

  • Suppliers / manufacturers who are connected to the brand.
  • Local non-profit organizations where the brand had engaged in the past (i.e. sponsorships).
  • Local educational institutions with specific courses directly aligned to the company.
  • PR companies or news reporters who had just covered the brand for some good stories.

These groups of people can become your list of brand partners, wherein you can easily earn their trusts because of pre-existing relationships with these institutions.

For an ecommerce client, you won’t go anywhere else finding those brand partners. Just look at their website, find a page that says, “List of suppliers/manufacturers”. Start prospecting from there and add all potential link targets to your spreadsheet. However, if there are no existing pages like the example earlier, then simply do a Google search to find you brand partners.

5. Market-centered keywords

One of the key ways to collect profitable link prospects in your database is to understand your market and what your target audience is really looking for online.

For instance, if you’re working for a travel agency, you might consider industry phrases that’ll identify your market needs, such as:

  • Travel list
  • Travel guide in 2015
  • Travel guide in [city/location]
  • Best places to see in [location]
  • Travel blog with pictures

As you can see, these are the exact phrases people are searching for online to find relevant resources or content about travel, “why” and “what” type of search terms (what is travel) is insignificant to the market needs since people are more likely interested with how’s (map of going to specific location) and when’s (dates/times of best attraction in the city).

6. Search dependent on content contributors

Showcasing your brand’s expertise through blogging (i.e. regular contribution on other related blogs) can drive traffic and referral visitors to your website. When using this approach, the common way to find prospects for guest blogs is adding the terms (“write for us” or “guest post”) to search query, “industry”.

Though you can already find a handful of blogs using that link search method, it won’t guarantee that those blogs are high quality and could provide value to your site (referral visitors and potential conversions).

One profitable approach to prospect for content contribution blogs is finding the best author/blogger in the industry or determining the most active content manager/marketer of your competitor.

Adding the name to the following search queries will end up having a bunch of blogs where the author had contributed his content to:

  • “[Name] is a content contributor for [Competitor Domain].com”
  • “[Name] is the author of”
  • “[Name] is the blogger at”
  • “[Name] is the owner of”
  • [Name] “author” OR “blogger” OR “marketer”

link-search-content-contribution

So if you’re targeting 50 high quality niche-specific blogs, then using that link search approach above could easily help you achieve your goal.

7. Footprint prospecting

Finding footprints of your competitors can quickly help you search for low hanging fruits in link building. However, to some extent, if it is done in a regular basis and this is the only approach you’re executing, then you shouldn’t expect a higher competitive advantage over your competitors (since obviously, you’re just following what others had been doing in the past).

If you’re still building your brand from scratch, you can use footprint prospecting to find bloggers that you can connect with through blog commenting. This traditional link building technique still works when used as a pre-engagement activity before actually pitching bloggers for link requests or other content-led outreach methods.

A quick search query ([keyword] “leave a*” “comment”) could yield a good list of blogs where you can regularly check new posts and add useful and relevant insights in the comment section (to get into the radars of your target influencers).

You may also want to seek footprints of your competitors to find new link opportunities for your brand. Do Google searches for the following search strings:

  • [competitor] “interview”
  • [competitor] “news”
  • [competitor] “press”
  • [competitor] “author”

Then click “Search Tools” – Anytime – Past Month.

Here are a few things you can see in the search results:

  • Author updates in the blog posts (i.e. editing texts and/or adding internal or external links to improve the page’s ranking potential).
  • Text-based and video interviews.
  • Webinars, podcasts and press releases of the brand associated by the author/owner.
  • Social profiles of the author or the company.

backlinko-search

backlinko-search-2

Don’t just follow the brand and its existing authors/owners. You may also want to track the following brand elements and eventually track their future mentions in other blogs/sites.

  • Future staff members
  • Brand partnerships with relevant brands (supplier to manufacturer relationship)
  • Books names or other content assets published by the brand (i.e. whitepaper “author” OR “whitepaper” author).
  • Prominent interviewer always pop up in the search results when the search string (“competitor” OR “author” is used).

This link search method requires constant changes in search strings as it would need to adapt to updates happening in competitors’ brands and its industry.

8. Customer Defining Keywords

Customers when finding products or services in search are commonly using terms/phrases that define a target audience or their colleagues (fellow members) in the industry.

So gearing your link search towards what customers are defining their group members will help you discover highly qualified prospects instantly.

For example, if you own a running blog, you can use audience terms like:

  • Runner
  • Marathoner
  • Sprinter
  • Jogger
  • Trackman

You can add more customer-defined keywords to your list by going to Thesaurus and searching for available synonyms.

runner-thesaurus

You can also try visiting glossary pages in your niche and looking for specific terms that define groups of audience.

running-glossary-terms

Instead of using the head industry keyword to prospect for link opportunities, you can use those customer-defining keywords to build a large database of link targets. In our given example, you can have the following search strings:

  • Marathoner “blog”
  • Marathoner “resources”
  • Marathoner “guide”
  • Marathoner “links”

Changing the given customer-defined keyword to other industry audience groups (sprinter, trackman, jogger, etc..) will give you another hundreds of opportunities that you can’t find  by simply using the head term (running) in link prospecting.

9. Industry Thought Leaders

This is pretty much the same with footprint prospecting wherein you use names of authors from your competitors’ brands and add them to your advanced search operators to prospect for pages/sites where those authors had been mentioned.

Industry thought leaders do not only represent companies they’re working for but media outlets, content sites, branded pages and communities where thought leaders participated and are credited for their works (by linking to their brands using names as anchor texts).

Take note of brands with attached multiple authors and personalities since partnering with them can help amplify your content assets to a larger audience list (considering the number of followers each of the author has).

Consider Moz for example. The brand doesn’t just have one thought leader (Rand Fishkin) but three or more authors that are active in the community but represents one same company (Cyrus Shepard, Dr. Pete, Jen Lopez, etc..).

moz-leaders

In this case, learning from what the thought leaders are working to build their own personal brands will best help your campaign to identify opportunities that will give good impressions for your company as well.

You may also try to determine what topics each industry leader is focusing on. Then try to invest in certain themes (one content theme at a time), then reach out to certain thought leaders who might be interested to consume and share your content.

With Moz, authors have their own themes when creating content:

  • Rand Fishkin – videos, webinars and podcasts on advanced SEO and marketing topics (e.g. Whiteboard Friday).
  • Pete – data-based content with graphs/illustrations (e.g. Google Answer Boxes)
  • Cyrus Shepard – ultimate guides and curated content on advanced SEO topics (e.g. Advanced SEO Concepts)

Pro tip: Adding expertise phrases of authors to search strings (e.g. “guide” “Cyrus Shepard”) would give you pages/sites where content assets of authors had been mentioned.

10. Product/Category Keywords

One of the under-utilized approaches in searching for link targets is adding brand’s categories to search strings. This method will uncover hundreds of opportunities target each and every type of product your brand is able to sell.

Start by talking to your client on what types of products they are selling or simply go their website and look for brand categories.

In our earlier example, you can have these types of products:

  • Flat feet running shoes
  • High-arched feet running shoes
  • Neutral running shoes
  • Normal running shoes

Add your favorite keywords (reviews, forum, blogs) to categories (example above) to find loads of pages/websites that can potentially link to your content.

11. Local-specific Keywords

Making your search strings tailored to a local audience helps you discover and participate with local press outlets that have high chances of driving local traffic, resulting in an increase in sales.

Combine your favorite keywords (reviews, resources, blogs) and local areas (e.g. Brisbane) to find local pages or sites. You can also be specific with cities by adding region or state, as well as Zip Codes to prospect for easy link opportunities.

12. Resource Page Terms

Seeking for link opportunities especially resources/links pages requires creativity in brainstorming for new search strings. This is true for industries that don’t have many pages for resources.

In this case, you need to understand what industry terms webmasters are using or targeting in their existing links/resource pages.

In running niche, you can be as specific as possible when doing link search (to find resource pages).

Here is an example of using very specific search terms for resource pages:

  • intitle:resources OR inurl:resources “trail running”
  • intitle:resources OR inurl:resources “kids running”
  • intitle:resources OR inurl:resources “mountain running”

trail-running

The more specific your search is, the easier for you to filter out irrelevant pages in search results and only qualify those sites that are high quality.

Pro tip: Always check out related verticals as you go looking for link prospects. This might uncover opportunities that could otherwise be undiscovered. In our example, adding these keywords “fitness resources” or “personal training” resources will help you build a large database of link targets.

Other Useful Resources:

If you’re looking for a high quality link building service, then you can contact our team to help you create a link strategy that fits your brand and industry.


how-to-increase-blog-traffic

15 Insanely Actionable Tips to Increase Blog Traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of every website because this is where most business owners and bloggers depend their monthly online sales.

Since the more traffic you can generate on a regular basis, the likelihood of earning more profit is higher.

This is why there are tons of articles that brought up this topic – traffic generation - for the past several years and I’m constantly been seeing posts every week - where some of them are just duplicates of ideas shared on other blogs.

In this post, I’ll be sharing 15 effective strategies that will help you increase your blog traffic.

1. Earn non-paid social traffic from influencers

Nudging influencers to read your post and get them shared on social won’t be too easy if there is no initial analysis on the viral potential of your topic.

Most of the time, influencers don’t just share posts because they have resonated with the quality of the content. Instead, they saw their colleagues (fellow influencers) sharing one article on social platforms.

With that, you have to consider the number of influencers who have shared trending articles on social – as a determining factor of choosing that same topic for your next blog post.

For instance, if you are looking for trending finance articles in Buzzsumo, you will end up finding this post as the top content for the keyword – finance.

[entrepreneur-financial-decisions]

You should get away with that gigantic number of social shares, simply because authority blogs like Entrepreneur.com always have thousands of social shares for each of their articles regardless of the quality of the content produced.

Instead, use another tool - Topsy to determine the number of influencers who’ve shared that post.

topsy-finance-post

Use the same process for all ranking posts in Buzzsumo and consider that data (post –shared by # of influencers) to decide which topics/themes you’ll use for your next content (obviously, you’ll choose ones with the highest number of shares from influencers).

2. Build links from third party listings with high business value

Reviews from third-party sites always impact the business in terms of branding, value, vote of confidence and potential generation of leads.

For the past few months, my business has been acquiring several potential clients from a single referring web-based product site. And the most surprising part is that those 2 referring threads in one same website generated $14,000 worth of services to my business (one client – minimum of $500 conversion).

third-party-listings-business-value

This strategy is not solely applicable to internet marketing related industries, but for any type of niche, you’ll see tens even hundreds of websites that can bring potential industry customers/clients to your business.

If you’re existing for years, then go to your Google Analytics account and list down in a spreadsheet all referring sites/pages that brought conversion value to your company (make sure you’ve setup your conversion goals correctly).

If you’re new in the industry, find domains that have high referring potentials using Google search (inurl:forum “very specific industry” – for dental clinics, you can use inurl:forum OR “business listing” “teeth).

Nudge your existing customers (with high votes of confidence to your products/services) to business listings and let them write reviews about your offerings.

3. Pull up unexpected hooks in your content

If you’ve heard psychological triggers (which are clearly explained by Brian Dean in his recent post), utility is one of the topmost considerations when writing a post, primarily because practical tips (how to’s) are very easy to learn and apply. In turn, readers would instantly share it to their peers once they’ve found it useful.

One way to strengthen utility in your post is to pull up unexpected hooks in your content.

Unexpected hooks are basically tips that are very unique in information that almost surpass the quality of other tips listed in the content. So when you pull these tips up in your page, readers can easily notice them and they’ll be triggered to share the post after reading it (“aha” or “wow” moments).

Below are some examples of tips that I pulled up in my previous blog posts since I’ve found them very unique in nature and could actually nudge readers to share or even link to them from their future content pieces.

first-unexpected-hook-content-promotion-post

first-unexpected-hook-blog-post-ideas

4. Create non-branded Facebook pages

I’ve found this effective traffic generation strategy on my friend’s post which is basically creating Facebook pages that are not entitled with company names/services/products but instead labeled with simple non-commercial words/themes.

As you can see, below is an example of a Facebook page (Italy) that are not branded with a company name (except for the profile picture)

italy-facebook-page

When you use Facebook OpenGraph and search for the keyword, “Italy”, you’ll see the page ranking in the search result.

The Italy page now has 66,000+ Facebook likes and will consistently earn new likes each week probably because of its ranking position and affinity potential of fans who’d have shared the page on their accounts (multiplier effect).

Creating a non-branded page for your company targeting a specific industry would greatly impact your site’s social traffic every single month, since the more users finding your page through amplification/sharing and search, the more traffic you’ll be generating through simple act of sharing your new content assets.

5. Prioritize retention for low cost Facebook advertising

With Facebook advertising, the more targeted your ads are, the higher returns you’ll get from it.

My friend, Roel Manarang personally shared a very interesting case study on how a $1-$3 USD per day spent on Facebook advertising can help generate 540 email subscribers for the website and 8000 USD more sales for the business (an increase of 40%).

email-subscribers-case-study

The strategy is primarily focused on retention – those visitors/users who’ve engaged on the website through reading, subscribing and/or sharing posts on social platforms.

Instead of targeting new users that have low potentials of converting to a brand advocate/avid reader, the ads are targeted to already engaged users. This helps the campaign to become more effective since it actually triggers fans to become sharers of content and avid readers of the blog.

Two things that Roel is focusing on in his Facebook advertising campaign:

  • Facebook Page Likes – Remarketing, $1-$2 USD per day (targeting people who visited the website).
  • Facebook Engagement – Sponsored Story, $1USD (targeting people who already like the page or existing fans).

Try out this strategy for your blog and let me know in the comments section how effective it is in driving website visits/traffic, social followers and email subscribers.

Other useful resources:

6. Build an alliance for initial boost of traffic

Community sites such as Inbound.org have upvote systems that encourage people to engage simply by clicking up and down buttons on posts that had been shared.

Most of these sites consider the recency of sharing one specific post and # of votes given within hours after sharing, which boils down to one principle – the faster your post receive the highest number of votes, the easier it will rank in the list.

Having an initial set of votes to your post could trigger the system to rank it and in turn, bring significant amount of traffic to your page.

One strategy that you can use is building an alliance of engaged users within a specific community site – this will take a lot of effort in exchange for a consistent traffic generation.

I had an alliance with a few Inbound users that always upvote my posts when they were shared on Inbound.

umar-khan

umar-khan-facebook-engagement

This activity gives early boost of rankings to my posts and eventually helps my page earn its early referral traffic.

Every month, my site gets around 800 to 1500 from Inbound.org, which is a very good investment for a 5 minute traffic generation technique.

7. Use freely advertised pages for linker outreach

The value of outreach is becoming more saturated these days as more link developers/content marketers use it for one side benefit – sharing one content asset to a potential linker with the aim of acquiring a single link from the site’s resource/business listing page.

This often times result to lower responses and number of links from other relevant blogs/sites.

The most effective way to add value for both ends is to initiate creating content designed for other company pages or corporate sites.

To give you an example, we had a client who owns a tour deals website (travel niche), where its pages are mainly attractions and tours and have had lots of deals/discounts to give away to visitors.

Instead of reaching out to potential linkers and requesting for contextual links in their resource pages and business listings, we’ve decided to take a different proposition for outreach – prioritize hotel websites that have freely advertise pages published on the site.

overseas-attractions-hotel

overseas-attractions-siem-reap

Since we’ve given value first – creating a promotional page for them, there is a high likelihood that they’ll be returning the value – backlink.

8. Facebook comments on posts using branded pages

Facebook engagement is a no-brainer strategy to brand yourself in your target community.

However, most Facebook interactions still lack in one technique – using branded pages when commenting on other relevant pages.

This might not only add potential likes to your Facebook page but in turn, attract visitors/readers to your website as you can reference your post/page when interacting on relevant questions/discussions.

9. Post relevant Tweet quotes

Quotes are short and valuable easy-to-apply tips that can be spread widely in the social community.

With proper branding, posting quotes on Twitter would be an effective way to drive visitors to your target page (homepage or email capturing page).

relevant-tweet-quotes

Roel Manarang has been consistently posting Twitter quotes for the past several months, which are all relevant to his target community (marketing, startup and entrepreneurship).

As a result, his personal blog is attracting social signals as referral visits from social (Twitter).

10. Use email guessing to improve conversion rate

One barrier that gets outreach less and less effective for some brands is the improper guessing of personal/corporate emails of potential linkers.

Emails get stuck to wrong places when email addresses don’t fit to the right people – which will often result to lower responses and conversions (links).

One proper solution for this problem is the use of email guessing tools such as Thrust and VoilaNorbert.

exact-email-guessing

voilanorbert-email-guessing

Simply put the person’s name and his/her domain name then click the green button to trigger the system to find appropriate email addresses for you. Back it up with Rapportive to confirm the right address.

11. Weigh opportunities with LinkMiner

linkminer

LinkMiner is the newest chrome extension tool developed by Jon Cooper of PointblankSEO and has the following powerful features:

  • Check header response codes of pages faster than Check My Links
  • Quickly see metrics of a specific page (e.g. you’ll see the # of referring domains for a 404 page).
  • Export external links in a page with corresponding metrics, which are very useful in identifying which broken page has the highest number of referring domains.

Weighing link opportunities is one of the best things you can do with LinkMiner.

After exporting the list of external links, you can now sort them by highest to lowest referring domains to find broken pages that have high potential link sources.

This will validate your content as you can secure beforehand an approximate number of links you’ll earn from a broken link building approach.

12. Try out 30-day blogging challenge

30-day-blogging-challenge

There has been a trending strategy in the blogosphere nowadays – 30 day blogging challenge.

As the phrase implies, the blog will have to publish new blog post every single day for 30 days.

You have to test out the strategy throughout the month and analyze the results at the end of it – in terms of traffic, email subscribers and/or social signals.

This strategy would be possible for your blog by following these actionable tips:

  • Create an editorial calendar to confirm available resources and ensure consistency throughout the campaign.
  • Set goals for the whole campaign to motivate yourself and other blog writers (if you have multiple contributors) to provide the best quality of information in each and every article they publish (goals could be percentage of traffic increase and/or increase in email subscribers).
  • Ask other guest bloggers from relevant websites to write for your blog. Make sure you emphasize some incentives in order to sustain the quality of each blog post (incentives like brand exposure, getting exclusive access to premium products/services, additional email subscribers, direct lead generation, etc..).
  • Test other content formats to cope up with blogging frequency (i.e. videos and podcasts/audios).

Test out this strategy for your blog and see how it can gradually impact your blog traffic.

13. Reference older posts from industry engagements

whirlpool

Industry engagements are good branding strategy for newly established blogs especially if the engaged website has thousands of users that can potentially be targeted for sales.

Referencing older posts from community discussions/threads is one of the common techniques to engage yourself with other community users and eventually brand yourself as someone who’s adding enough value to every relevant discussion – a good noticeable element to attract followers from other sites.

With content referencing, the best way to engage is not just to include a link in one discussion but become like someone who’re also looking for answer to his question.

An inclusion of link with proper description of the resource/page is enough to drive clicks to your page and constantly bring new referencing visitors to your site when the discussion pikes up its trending potential.

14. Traffic-heavy guest blogging

traffic-heavy-guest-bloggingThere are hundreds of blog posts that discuss guest blogging both in shallow and deep levels.

But one thing that lacks in almost all these articles is the idea of clicks.

Guest blogging is an effective branding strategy (as you all know) but it’s also a great traffic generation tool for blogs that don’t have much exposure in the industry, considering that quality information produced in the guest post would trigger its current visitors to follow the contributor’s blog – which should be main reason why you do guest blogging.

Let’s take Brian Dean’s guest post as a good example of this strategy.

There are many key strategies we can absorb from his guest blogging strategy, and here are some of them:

  • Providing real life examples is better than just writing practical tips since these examples can easily nudge readers to apply the tips to their own daily activities because of the idea of proofs.
  • Special bonus section could increase potentials of absorbing potential email subscribers from the blog – it’s a direct lead generation approach after the readers consume the post.
  • Long form content triggers more active social sharing and amplification (distributing of one’s content from one platform to another).

Invest in creating at least one solid guest post every month with unexpected hooks pulled up in the post and see the results for yourself.

15. Create long tail data-based content

content-strategy-helper

For most content marketers, creating a content packed up with data and credible sources is an expensive activity, since it will mostly require money to gather this information.

As more and more authority blogs are publishing expertly-made content, sourcing references for data-based content is now possible.

With Builtvisible’s Content Strategy Helper, this becomes more doable and can be used in any of the following methods:

  • Consolidate trending topics from UK & US social networks, news sites and government data sources into one spreadsheet and validate topics that will best gain interest for your website.
  • Create a list of bloggers/editors/influencers that are associated to specific search queries. This would initially give you opportunities for potential outreach/press coverage.
  • Add credible references to your content in order to increase its credibility for readers/consumers.

Other useful resources you can check out:

If you are looking for a link building agency to partner with you, then don't hesitate to contact us today


link-research-campaigns

Mastering Link Research Campaigns

Link research is perhaps the most critical phase in link building as this is where your initial link building efforts will come into play.

Building a long list of link opportunities requires the use of search engines, link prospecting tools (e.g. Ahrefs/OSE) and creative mind – as you have to think outside of the box in order to pop up new link research methods that are more effective than your previous ones.

link-research-campaigns

This post is my presentation from last week’s MORCON (Master Online Rankings Conference) at Pampanga, Philippines, where different agency marketers, SEOs and managers had gathered to learn basic and advance strategies and tips on link acquisition, SEO and PPC.

Let’s get straight to the technical part of this post.

Advanced Search Operators

If you’re an advanced link builder, you are already familiar with common search operators (inurl and intitle) that filter page search results based on pages’ URLs and meta titles. This helps you prospect for pages closely related to your keyword and/or to content you’re likely to recommend to industry bloggers.

You may want to check out this guide on Google search operators, if you’re newbie in the industry.

These search operators (inurl and intitle) are commonly used in blogger outreach and resource page link building approaches.

But there are two search operators you may haven’t use for your link targeting campaigns or at least heard/read on other SEO and link building blogs.

Inanchor and tilde

Let me explain inanchor search operator first.

This search operator returns pages that have your target keyword as the anchor text.

In our internal research, we’ve found out that using inanchor search query may give a higher number of relevant pages than a simple inurl search query.

inanchor-write-for-us

inurl-write-for-us

Here are some tactics where the inanchor search operator is highly useful.

Content contribution using inanchor

Finding niche blogs to target for content contribution is easy if you’re just working on a few campaigns but scaling it to around 10 or 15 or even more requires additional and effective link prospecting methods. That’s where inanchor search comes in.

inanchor-write-for-us

Adding inanchor search operator to your current search phrases (write for us, become a contributor, submit a post, etc..) would help you gather new blog opportunities that aren’t discovered through inurl queries.

Ready to outreach opportunities

Response rate doesn’t only rely on how convincing your outreach templates and what details have you personalized for each specific link target, but in many cases, it depends on how ready the blogger/webmaster to respond to your pitch.

Inanchor search operator plus “contact me” allows you to find bloggers with high intent to respond to pitches. If you’re looking for quick blog prospecting, (e.g. 50 niche blogs in less than an hour), then maximizing the inanchor search is a good choice.

inanchor-me-fashion

inanchor and inurl combination

Combining inanchor with other search operators gives you relevant link opportunities. For instance, you can use both inanchor and inurl search operators in one search phrase (see the image below).

Inanchor:”start your own blog” inurl links OR inurl:resources returns niche-specific resource pages with the blogging anchor text.

inanchor-inurl

Link sourcing

If you plainly search for a target keyword/phrase with the inanchor search operator, you won’t get exact link prospects from the search results, but it would reveal new links pages of your competitors – which you can somehow consider for competitive link research analysis.

Head over to your favorite link building tool and look for pages/sites that are linked to resource pages of your competitors. Identify some footprints in URLs to initiate more link research phrases (useful-wordpress-links.html can turn to inurl:useful-wordpress-links.html).

inanchor-glossary

inanchor and minus site combination

If you’re looking to build high quality links to your branded pages (about me/us, our team, press page, etc..) from interview and roundup pages, then getting straight to mining those opportunities is a good place to start.

Use inanchor search operator to find branded linking pages (best if you can indicate the name of the industry influencer to populate more search pages). Make sure you add a minus site search operator to remove pages of the influencer’s website from the search results.

inanchor-moz

Tilde

Tilde is a search operator used to find synonyms of a particular keyword.

Tilde (~) and Minus ( - ) Search Operator

Combining tilde with minus search operator can pop up new pages targeting synonyms of a keyword, but doesn’t have the exact target keyword. But with our internal research, using this search operators combination would give you the opposite – Google will still reveal pages that include the keyword even if you use the minus search operator.

Even if that’s the case, I’ve found out that tilde search brings pages that are laterally related to your niche.

A tilde search operator for blogging phrase would reveal sites/pages about web writing, communication and wordpress.

Resource inclusion for general bloggers

Tapping into other niches aside from your main industry is critical since you don’t want to go too far away from the root theme of your brand.

However, there are products or tools that could be targeted to general bloggers of almost every numbered industry.

If you own a Wordpress plugin, theme or hosting, then it is likely to be included in the recommended resources of travel, fashion, health, beauty and entrepreneur blogs.

You can use the search query, [recommended resources for NICHE bloggers ~guide] to find this type of links pages. Change the niche with the industry of your choice, and you’ll mine new link opportunities for your website.

recommended-for-niche

Pro tip: If you have an affiliate program, then prioritize in outreach resource pages that have external affiliate links.

Tools

Tools speed up the process at some point, particularly when doing link research campaigns. They would help you to filter link opportunities based on set metrics as well as bring undiscovered link targets.

Here are two link prospecting tools you may want to check out for future research: Linkminer and Brandmentions.

Linkminer

This link building tool is mainly used for broken link building, its features are catered to resource pages, such as:

  • Finding broken links (404s) on specific pages
  • Seeing the number of external and internal links right on the search results (which minimizes the time you spend landing on pages with low linking potential). Pages with low to zero external links indicate that webmasters won’t consider linking to other references or resources.

linkminer

If you want to effectively use Linkminer, you can check out this link building tutorial on PointblankSEO.

BrandMentions

Mentions on the web, whether they are on forums, social or blogs, are proofs of your site’s branding, especially if they are actually earned.

Looking for those sites/blogs who recently mentioned your content (unlinked or linked) does help in analyzing the status level of your brand. Being top of the game means that you need to see which of your competitors are producing quality content (audience-targeted) and to identify new platforms where their content pieces are promoted.

brandmentions

Some cool benefits of using Brandmentions:

  • Allows you to spot influencers using the topical mentions research, which helps your content ideation process run smoothly, as you are able to target the content to these influencers - which increases the shareability of your page.
  • Notifies you of any mentions of your brand, staff member or page that you can leverage for relationship building – simply sending “thank you” messages to those who mentioned you makes a lot difference than pitching cold emails.
  • Helps you compare the number of web and social mentions between your brand and your competitors.

 brandmentions-email

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/influencer-outreach-in-content-marketing/

Metrics

Setting standards for your link development campaign helps you not only in filtering out low quality domains from your list but most importantly, in providing real value to your website or to your clients’ sites.

We're not using domain authority as our sole metric.

Let’s talk about some of the metrics that aren’t being used by link building firms today.

Engagement

What engagement does is that it validates the readership of a particular blog/site. The more engagement it receives (i.e. number of comments per post), the higher is the number of readers for each post (99% this is true).

When looking for blogs, try to set a benchmark for engagement. For instance, you would only want to consider blogs that have the average of 5 comments per post. This will help you ensure that you’ll absorb additional readers from the blog once you acquired a link from it (for newly contributed content).

 engagement-1

engagement-2

Social Shares

Numbers don’t lie. The same is true with social shares.

Using social shares as one of your base metrics give you the assurance that there is a community ready to read your content, once it has been published on other blogs.

This also amplifies links to your content, as you can build additional links from bloggers who would have read your content or see your link and cite you as one of their references from their own blogs.

social-shares

SEMRush Traffic

With Penguin 4.2 coming up at the end of this year, content creators and link developers should set organic traffic and link analysis as quality metrics/factors when performing link prospecting.

semrush-traffic

http://www.semrush.com/info/seedebtrun.com

SEMRush is a great tool of analyzing whether the site has been penalized in its recent years by simply looking at the organic traffic data (blue lines). Recovery that exceeds its latest drop should be considered, but those that have a steady downfall won’t be a good choice to add to your list.

One bonus tip… Create your own checklist

One of the agency hacks that will certainly develop your overall link building campaigns, which we’ve been using internally in our link building team is the use of checklist.

A checklist for every campaign removes inefficiencies in link research as well as it guarantees quality links in your lists. This is definitely you have to try for your company. Let me know in the comments if this works for you.


effective-link-building-techniques

How to Make Your Link Building Effective

The value of every marketing practice lies on its ability to generate results. Same goes to link building.

Engagement, social shares, referral visits and assisted conversions are some key results of an effective link building campaign.

However, there are websites that don’t necessarily require links to become major sections of the brand’s deliverables, as those sites could easily gain its own recognition (visits and conversions) using any of the following simple methods:

  • Fixing the basic on-page elements of key pages, as this is very beneficial for a site to let Google understand the context or theme of every individual webpage as well as the overall domain.
  • Offline marketing activities brought into natural online engagements could drive additional direct visits to the site, particularly if the brand has a huge following in the offline scene (brand sponsorship and appearance in industry seminars/conferences).
  • Websites that have diversified sources of visits/conversions (e.g. social, email, etc..) doesn’t require much of link building work, especially if their main visit-driving source isn’t organic.

At SharpRocket, we choose the clients that we work with. Here are some types of potential clients that we don’t usually entertain:

  • Clients whose websites that don’t have strong on-page elements won’t see much results in their organic traffic, even if we’ve built multiple links to their pages (improper keyword targeting, usability, coding issues, etc..).
  • Clients in industries that have low number of niche blogs and couldn’t tap other sectors because of its narrowed site/brand theme.
  • Clients who are primarily interested in building contextual links with commercial-focused anchor texts.
  • Clients whose main goal is to solely rank its homepage with no other interests to build links to its non-promotional pages.
  • Clients in illegal industries (gambling, porn/adult, etc..).

I firmly believe that link development should be an investment to every company, SEO agency and direct client, as they have to spend at least 6 months in order to see improvements in their organic traffic which will later on translate to conversions.

We’ve been working on several clients coming various industries, some invested in long term. Others just want to test the results for one month.

Below is the screenshot of the organic traffic of one of our clients (we’ve signed an NDA agreement so I can’t share the site’s URL, sorry guys!).

beauty-semrush-traffic

The client is in the beauty niche and had outsourced their link building work to us for 6 months.

Another graph is from a legal client whom we’ve helped to build links to its key pages from customer-based blogs (parenting and finance).

legal-website-organic-traffic

Today, I’ll be sharing to you actionable tips on how to make your link building work more effective for your brand.

  1. Set up valuable metrics

With so many big SEO tools out there, most search marketers couldn’t easily identify which metrics are worth looking at, and are worth to use for their site’s or clients’ link building campaigns.

These metrics shouldn’t just help set the benchmark for reporting purposes, but should also bring the real value to the clients.

At SharpRocket, we define metrics that best suit our clients based on what they need as a brand

We’ve realized that we can’t just rely on one metric, as using one SEO tool to qualify a certain link prospect isn’t a wise decision. No SEO tool is perfect.

There are websites in various industries that have high Domain Authority, but receive low search traffic every month (~100 to ~200 organic visits per month).

Journey to Millions (DA 43)

journey-to-millions-semrush-traffic

Money Reasons (DA 43)

money-reasons-semrush

Take a look at this website (Happy Schools). It has Domain Authority (DA) of 29 but is earning ~20,000 search traffic every month.

happy-schools-semrush

It’s up to what you and your client had agreed on the metrics, but as a company, it is better to understand and apply the real metrics that can certainly give real value to your clients.

  1. Target practical pages for better ROI in outreach

We’ve been contemplating recently on what made some of our projects perform better than other projects (with respect to the verticals they’re in, as some niches like fashion, travel and finance have higher response rates than others).

One thing we’ve drawn from our data is the higher link ROI in practical pages (how to’s, tips, tricks, strategies and related terms) than theory-based and news type pages (what, when, etc..).

The reason behind this is that bloggers/webmasters could easily insert an additional resources or mention a post in a practical type of page, compared to giving you a link from a “what” or “when” page as it would take more time in contextual editing.

Here’s one sample of data from one of our campaigns (marketing vertical).

marketing-data

So if you’re targeting existing pages/posts of blogs as potential link opportunities, then it would be better for you to find practical themes than simply any type of blog posts.

Practical pages could be any of the following:

  • List of “Topic X”
  • Getting, attracting, learning “Topic X”
  • Ultimate guide, definitive guide or minimalist guide to “Topic X”
  • “Topic X” strategy, techniques, tips or tricks
  • Solutions to “Topic X”
  • Ways to improve, gain or other related terms “Topic X”
  • Top 10 “Topic X” resources
  • “Topic X” ideas to use
  1. Identify linking audiences through topic analysis

When you executed a plan for a site’s link development campaign, you already know its target audience by looking at the site’s products/services pages or simply asking your client/manager/CEO or any person in charge in the overall management of your website.

However, when you use the site’s customer base as your search query, you are not guaranteed that the bloggers/webmasters of pages revealed from that particular keyword phrase are highly linkable audiences.

One of our client projects is working in the online store/sales niche, where we previously targeted verticals: ecommerce and social media.

After one month, we’ve tested another batch of prospects to target a related niche – money making - not primarily the target audience but is still part of the customer base of the brand (and was approved by the client himself).

online-stores-data

An increase of 9% in the placement rates from last month’s link acquisition rate of 13%, which we couldn’t achieve if we would be focusing on plain ecommerce and social media topics.

The point here is that as a link developer, you’ve got to strategize not only in thinking of additional search queries for link prospecting and creating email templates for blogger outreach, but in analyzing the right theme/topic/keyword that have high linking potentials.

If you're looking for an agency to outsource your link building work, you can contact us for an inquiry.


7-penguin-proof-link-building-tips

7 Penguin Proof Link Building Tips

In 2012, after Google released its link-spam filter Penguin, many businesses started cleaning up webspam signals in their backlink profiles to be able to recover from the tragic site demotion by Google (which is just a product of marketers/bloggers’ unnatural link practices).

fighting-spam-google

However, not all businesses had fully recovered from their previous downfall due to logical reasons, such as:

  • The website had other technical issues that pulled it down to the bottom of rankings.
  • Waiting for Google to refresh/re-ran its algorithm which will release sites that had previous link-related issues but were fixed thoroughly.
  • The website’s good rankings are highly dependent on the power of links to move it up to higher rankings – the site is obviously not deserved to rank.

Probably this year Google will release its algorithm refresh, which can help sites that have already cleaned up their link profiles and demote websites with newly discovered spam.

Whether it’s a Google Penguin refresh or update that is coming this month (or probably next month), search marketers, particularly those who are specialists in link development (link builder, link marketing consultants, etc..) should be able to constantly create quality controls in their link building processes/activities/tasks in order to sustain and grow their sites’ backlinks.

Link audit is one example of a necessary quality control process in link development.

The basic foundation of a link audit system, which are also possible elements of Google Penguin filter are the following:

  • Link source quality. This is best identified by looking at spammy and irrelevant sites, link networks, sites that contain artificial links and blogs with content that have low user activity.
  • Ratio of the number of good vs bad links.
  • Thematic relevance of linking sites/domains.
  • Amount of links with exact match anchor texts (over optimization of anchor text)
  • Positions of links in the linking pages (sitewide or non-sitewide such as contextual)..

Understanding deeply the said link-centric elements could help you properly execute a link audit process and/or build a link building campaign that can stand against any future Google Penguin updates.

In this post, I’ll be sharing to you 7 Penguin-proof link building tips.

1. Proper prospecting with advanced search operators

Link prospecting is the initial phase in link development where you collect a certain amount of link opportunities (blogs, sites, web communities, etc..) based on the industry’s competition level and demand.

One common way to gather a bunch of link targets is by using advanced search operators.

Search operators are phrases that can be added to searches to help narrow down the search results. They are highly useful tools in finding highly targeted domains/pages in search, as you can easily filter the pages based on opportunity types (blogs, .edu, .org, etc..) and based on thematic relevance.

For a full list of advanced search operators, you can check out this resource page on Google Guide.

In link development, there are only certain search operators that can help you pre-qualify backlink prospects in the link prospecting phase and they are as follows:

  • intitle
  • inurl
  • site
  • related

Let’s dig into each of these search tools.

intitle

The advanced search operator: intitle helps qualify pages based on thematic relevance.

On-page keywords (“swimming”) would only reveal pages that have the word, “swimming” in the body/context of the page, whereas if the intitle is added to that keyword, you would see topically-relevant pages with meta title “swimming”.

Bloggers or content creators would normally use the main topic of the article as the meta-title - giving us an idea that the whole page is highly relevant to the brand’s page/content.

Proper intitle: usage also helps you find specific audience types (swimmers, fitness instructors, etc..).

inurl

This advanced search operator is primarily used when looking for opportunity type footprints that only occur in the urls of pages.

You would normally see inurl usage in broken link building when finding links/resource pages that are relevant to the site’s content (e.g. inurl:links.html “driving safety” to find backlink prospects for a “senior’s guide to driving” content asset).

site:

Site search operator should basically be used to filter the page results based on TLDs (.us, .edu, .org, .gov, etc.).

This allows you to prioritize types of audience that you’re looking for. For instance, you want an audience of highly respected dentists in your local city, you would want to use site.org to only find dentist organizations.

related:

Related search function leaves you pages that are similar to the word(s) or domain after the colon (e.g. related:digitalphilippines.net).

There are two methods that you can use related search operator:

  • Finding similar websites of your brand and of your prospected site.
  • Researching for synonyms of search queries/keywords.

Advanced search operators isn’t only useful in filtering pages/content in search results but also in ensuring that prospect backlinks are topically relevant to the brand /site you want to build links to.

2. Build 10x content assets to attract editorial links

Rand Fishkin shared the principle of 10x content in one of his Whiteboard Fridays at Moz. He provided actionable tips on how to create or improve a content piece to make it 10 times greater than other brands’ similar pieces.

Here are some of his useful points:

  • Examine the quality of content piece based on its relevance to the search query – does your content answers a specific question by the user?
  • Improve your content in terms of site speed, mobile friendliness, rendering, layout, navigation and design quality – identify industry benchmarks regarding those technical sides to check the content’s performance on the web.
  • Thoroughness and details of the information provided in the content (credible sources, backed up with data, etc..).

There are a few reasons why I believe producing 10x content is a viable tactic in ensuring a Penguin proof link building campaign.

  • Data-driven and expertly-made content have higher possibilities of earning editorial links from bloggers and researchers who’ll be referencing useful references in their works (blog content). This will help diversify the site’s link profile, as you would have no control on the elements of the links earned (anchor texts, referring pages, link placements, etc..).
  • A 10x content asset produces hard to replicate links from websites/blogs only in primary industry and semi-niches. This maintains the thematic relevance of the site/content towards other pages, as you won’t get any irrelevant mentions/links if they are actually earned.

For the past two years, I’ve been constantly delivering quality content assets (10x content) on my blog that somehow marked my expertise in the link building scene.

Here are a few examples of content pieces that gained some traction in the past even up to now, as they have been ranking highly in search results for multiple keyword phrases.

43 Experts Share Their Most Actionable Link Building Tip

This post from 2013 is a compilation of different link building strategies, tactics, processes and tips coming from the well-known link building experts in the world.

It currently received 45 linking root domains and had been earning several mentions in blog roundups, interviews and forums.

One example of a forum mention is from this blog of Matthew Woodward, where someone had reference the 10x content to support his answer to the user’s question.

forum-matthew-woodward

One benefit of producing 10x content piece is its ability to amplify links and social shares even after seasonal periods (weeks/months after publication).

The said linkable asset earned an authority link from Neil Patel’s blog in his latest post on building powerful links with images.

neil-patel-new-link

Further Reading: 24 Untapped Ways to Get Ideas for Your Next Blog Post

This 2014 blog post caters to the huge audience of blogging (blogging newbies and practitioners) on the topic of blog ideation.

Few weeks after it was published on my website, it earned several contextual links (first tier links) from niche-specific posts of bloggers in the local and international scene.

Given that linking pages have been receiving direct and organic visits, the likelihood of getting potential linkers to mention the linking page from their own content as well as linking to my site’s content piece becomes higher.

Up until now, my blog ideation post is still receiving social shares and high quality backlinks from blogging-centric sites . A good example of this is a referential link from Blogelina, an authoritative website in the blogging industry.

blogelina-link

One advantage of a link earning activity of 10x content (or content pillars) is its ability to diversify the site’s link profile based on the location of the links on linking pages (or commonly referred as, “link placement”).

Given that links are earned, there would be a variety of link placements. Some links are located at the bottom of the content. Others would come the footer section of websites or best, links are located on the body of the page – contextual.

Google has an idea of where each backlink is located on the page. This allows them to target a lot of websites that have backlinks from a single page location (e.g. footer or widget links). On other behalf, Google also evaluates links placed higher up in a HTML code as powerful votes to the page it is referring to, for the obvious reason that they are likely editorial and are actually earned by the brand.

Producing 10x content assets on the blog doesn’t just help the site to attract hard to replicate links from niche relevant pages but also ensures that links earned/built are indeed, beneficial to the page’s performance on search (they add value in terms of relevance and authority).

Here are some useful resources on building 10x content assets:

When you're in active link building campaign it is important to know how and where to put the right anchor text so you won't harm your rankings, read more about it here.

3. Balance recency-based link building tactics

For the past several years, we’ve seen and heard various link building tactics that had been a common toolset for search marketing agencies today.

But the real question stands, is there any link building that would remain effective after a decade of use?

Link diversity is the key in content marketing, even in at using tactics to acquire links from industry sites.

There are two basic types of content based on the recency of the acquisition of links: new content and existing content.

Broken link building is a solid link acquisition tactic that simply involves reaching out to webmasters about broken links identified on their existing pages, with the hope of getting those defunct links replaced with links to the site’s content/page.

Guest blogging, alternatively, is focused on writing new articles with links placed in the, submitted to editors of blogs for publication review and hoping to build links from those content pieces when published in due time.

These two powerful link development tactics have different target pages, broken link building is focused on existing content whereas guest blogging targets new/dynamic pages of the site.

Having a moderated execution on these two tactics gives you a balanced link profile.

You can also use the following link building tactics to diversify your site’s link profile based on the recency of target link pages:

  • Reach out to webmasters and content creators who mentioned any content from your brand (images, stories, products/services, content assets, etc..) and ask to give your brand credits from their pages.
  • Integrate online marketing activities in your offline events (sponsorship, speaking, participation, etc..) by getting them share your latest content, providing feedback about it and/or covering your activity in their future posts (reference).
  • Create a landing page for discounts/coupons/freebies of your products/services and make it visible to your target audience by doing a press release / blogger outreach campaign (reference).

4. Use different footprints for link prospecting

Link prospecting footprints are patterns in search phase that gives Google an idea on the method and progress of the brand’s link development campaign.

Building a database of backlink targets with the same footprint puts the website at an unnecessary risk.

Don’t run a massive link building campaign with the same, common and basic footprints (e.g. inurl:guest-post to overall list of prospects).

You can use other niche search engines to build a spreadsheet of link targets (not just using Google in most cases). Below are some examples.

  • Finding industry bloggers on Twitter by simply doing a social search for “industry blog” OR “industry blogger”.
  • Using related search operator to easily find similar blogs of your listed link prospect(s).
  • Researching for niche blogs from blog search engines like Blogsearchengine.org.

Other useful resources:

5. Diversify link type through image-based link building

A variety of link types is not a big issue in link diversity. However, you have to get a feel of what your top ranking competitors are at.

If their ratios of image to text links are different from your site’s link profile, then you should be concerned on switching some of your image-based links to text ones, especially if all advertisements are linked through images.

Here are some ways to build image-based links using existing branded content:

  • Determine pages that embedded your brand logo as part of other websites’ sponsorship opportunities, media/press activities (e.g. interview) and other offline turned to online marketing activities. Reach out to webmasters and ask to replace those image links with branded text ones.
  • Look for industry related blogs that published copies of your infographic/visual content and tell them to link to your page using text-based approach.

Master image-based link building using the following references:

6. Create more brand awareness by targeting semi-relevant niches

Building links nowadays from semi-relevant niches is an effective way to improve your domain and brand authority, as you can increase the chances of getting new subscribers and readers as well as followers from other industries aside from your primary target group

For instance, if your company is selling wedding attires, you won’t just aim to target links from wedding blogs but you can also tap relationship and fashion blogs, which are considered semi-relevant niches.

Site relevance is an important factor that Google uses to detect spam websites/blogs that have several links coming from irrelevant verticals.

Aside from spam avoidance, targeting link prospects from semi-relevant niches also bring referral traffic to the site that could potentially convert to customers/clients.

7. Target appropriate pages in outreach

One of the simplest ways to break down your backlinks by target page is through seeing the ratio of home page links to deep links.

As you develop links over time, you don’t want to have all links go to your home page, as it would signal to Google that is the only essential and worthy of ranking page in your site.

Having most of your links point to your deep pages allows you to have a balanced link profile in terms of target page(s).

You can properly diversify your links by measuring via the Deep Link Ratio: # of deep links over # of total links.

You can calculate this by getting the total number of links using your favorite link building tool (I prefer you only look at referring domains instead of seeing the number of total links – since most of them are sitewides). Then get the number of homepage links and subtract it from your total # of referring domains to get the # of deep links.

A few practical tips to increase your number of deep links:

  • When performing link acquisition activities, it is best to refer your most relevant deep page to a potential linker as it won’t only balance your Deep Link ratio, but gives more authority/link value to your domain.
  • Invest in building branded links through interviews and round-ups that could link to your site’s branded pages (about us/our team, company, services, etc..).
  • Create expertly-made content on a regular basis that has unique value proposition and could attract editorial links from industry bloggers.

If you're looking for a link building service for your company, you can contact us for inquiry.


link-building-for-agency-level-seo

Link Building for Agency Level SEO

Links are still an important ranking factor in search algorithm, being considered as the most influential matter in search rankings (on a domain-level and page-level bases).

moz-survey-2015

Alongside the rise for competition in search performance is the increase in demand for high quality links from blogs/sites in relevant industries.

Coming from a link building agency (Hyperlynx Media owned by Jon Cooper) to starting my own link development company (SharpRocket), I’ve seen hundreds of companies from different verticals investing in link building for the sole purpose of seeing an improved organic traffic of their company websites.

link-building-for-agency-level-seo

A few other reasons why link development is a good investment for businesses (whether they are from small to medium scale or Fortune 500):

  • Links serve as a powerful branding tool to make websites more visible on high traffic publication websites.
  • Links can drive potential customers and clients to the website – making it as a sustainable lead generation strategy.
  • Links can build powerful relationships with both non-competing brands and competitors that can pursue beneficial partnerships on both parties.
  • Links are powerful signals for entity relationships that search engines and web users can use to determine if the site is authoritative and trusted (more editorial links from trusted websites could mean your website is also trusted too).

Link Building Process Models

Process model refers to a structure of activity with step by step detailed instructions.

Search marketing agencies use process models to scale search engine optimization campaigns, leading to greater results – more productivity and more output.

The more clients an agency accommodates, the more it will require for the business to improve its process models or create new business processes for additional tasks/activities.

I’ve tried and tested different link building models to earn and build high quality backlinks from blogs/sites in different authority levels and industries.

Among those models are the two processes that I’ll be sharing in this post: Blogger Outreach and Linkable Asset models.

Blogger Outreach Model

Blogger outreach is a process of building connections with niche bloggers and influencers that have subtle social following and considerable authority domain levels.

Blogger outreach’s main core competency from other link building models is its ability to create new relationships without the need for creation of new linkable assets.

How to execute blogger outreach model?

The reason behind contacting bloggers with high presence in social profiles is the idea of amplification. More active and real social followers could mean more exposure for the brand being linked to from new posts.

This exposure can result to additional shares and possible contextual links from industry-specific sites who will read new articles from the blog.

You can use Followerwonk to find bloggers with average amount of social followers.

Filter the list by no relationships to only search for bloggers that don’t have any connections to your Twitter profile.

no-relationship

Another method to find niche bloggers is through Buzzsumo.

buzzsumo-parenting

Type in any related industry terms in the search bar and click View Shares button to find social shares of the blog.

buzzsumo-sharers

List all blogs in a spreadsheet and filter the list by Trustflow and Domain Authority (set a benchmark for for these two metrics).

Your next step is to send emails to bloggers and ask if you can invest in their future content assets (blog posts) where you could get a mention(s) from them.

A few examples of link investments are:

  • Asking the format of their next content asset and seeing if you can invest in another content format (infographic for a long-form blog post). During publication, you can ask the blogger to mention you as one of their content partners in creating the overall content piece.
  • Identifying content promotions of your brand where the blogger could largely benefit from (a link/mention from your round-up email). Eventually, bloggers would naturally link to any of your blog posts.
  • Letting a designer from your team help the blogger creates unique design for his/her content piece. A photo credit with a link pointing to your site is the beneficial part in this blogger outreach tactic.
  • Asking to proofread their future content work based on high quality standards such as compelling headlines and call to actions at the end of the post. Gratitude with a branded mention (your name) would be the after effect of this strategy.

You can also offer content partnerships to bloggers. This process is doable in many ways:

  • Buy content from bloggers in the list who are still starting to build their own brand, since you can get a cheaper price this way than hiring industry experts to write content for you. Publish the post as a content asset on your client’s site. Links would be naturally earned from industry-specific blogs as you can absorb connections from partnered bloggers (social followers, readers and brand evangelists).
  • Distribute paid content pieces as guest posts to high traffic publications and content hubs. The likelihood of getting positive approval rate from these authority blogs is high since you’ve hired industry specialists to write quality articles for you.
  • Watch out for incoming links to your client’s site and to published guest posts on other relevant blogs as you can build new relationships with newly found linkers in the industry by sending them emails (thank you).

If you can build relationships with five bloggers and get high quality content from them every week, then that would be a total of 20 expertly made blog posts every month submitted to industry-specific blogs, resulting to 20 contextual links.

Linkable Asset Model

Linkable asset is any part of a website or organization that its target audience will genuinely perceive as worth citing/referencing to, as defined by Jason Acidre.

Identifying which website’s content can potentially attract relevant links to the brand can help you create a solid link development campaign for your website, since you can easily use it as forefront proposition in linker outreach.

How to Identify Linkable Assets

Here are some ways to find existing linkable content pieces of the site:

  • Use Ahrefs to determine site’s top grossing pages and sort the list from highest to lowest referring domains and social shares. Exclude the homepage and site’s landing/sales pages from your list and only choose blog content as the site’s linkable assets.
  • Do a Google search for [brand name] and click on the Images tab. Look at what pops up in the search results. If images are owned by the company (blog photos, logo, team members’ visuals, etc..), then upload them in Reverse Image Search to see how many websites had linked to those visual content. The number of organic websites in the Image Reverse search results is a good indicator of the content’s performance in link acquisition.
  • Create a brainstorming session within your team/brand and try to find out new offline events conducted by your company. Identify newsworthy angles from those events and pitch them to high authority publications to be included in one of their news stories.
  • Identify brand ambassador(s) in your client’s brand and see if they have established authorities in your niche by looking at existing online interviews, contributions to round-ups and other available media content.
  • Use Google Analytics data to track pages with the high user activity (high visits, ave. time duration, etc..).

How to Improve Linkable Assets

Once you’ve identified possible linkable assets in your website, you can now start enhancing these pages for better link acquisition performance. There are many areas in the content/page that you can improve on, such as:

Call to action

One of the elements that keep visitors stay longer on the site, aside from the quality of information the page contains is call to action.

Call to action (CTA) is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as "call now" or “find out more”

Writing compelling call to actions in your content pieces can help you increase the possibility of pages to earn additional social shares and inbound links.

One classic example of this is encouraging readers to embed an infographic code in their blogs to add a visual content in their existing articles.

The more enticing call-to-action (CTA) is, the better chances of earning new contextual links to your linkable asset.

You might want to check out this post by Nick Kolenda about improving copywriting skills.

Social Attraction

Social media plays a vital role in driving targeted traffic to the site’s key pages as well as opening up new link opportunities for the brand.

Linkable assets are more likely to earn new editorial links when shared multiple times on social profiles given that the more social shares a content piece acquires, the more it is perceived as informational and authoritative in a specific theme/topic.

Here are a few actionable tips driven from the statistics listed in Backlinko’s data driven guide to creating viral content:

  • Add colorful visuals to your product guide. Data: Xerox found that colorful visuals made people 80% more likely to read a product guide.
  • Find professional images and use them as visuals to your content. Data: An Internal Marketing Sherpa study found that pro images received 121% more Facebook shares than semi-professional photos.
  • Set a featured image in your linkable asset. Data: Social shares with images get 150% more retweets on Twitter and 53% more likes on Facebook.

Length of content

Long-form content with quality information tends to perform better on search results than a 500-word blog post.

Professor Dr. Jonah Berger found that longer content was 76.8% more likely to be heavily shared (source).

The number of words (length) of content has a great impact on the page’s social performance and on its ability to be referenced by bloggers and researchers who would likely find it in search engines.

Context

Based on Searchmetrics’ ranking factors,  creating more or easy content doesn’t positively affect search rankings. Search engines are moving away from focusing on single keywords to actually diving in to the so-called, “content clusters”.

searchmetrics-ranking-factors

 

Content clusters are individual topic areas that are based around keywords and industry related terms.

Content assets focused on content clusters have higher chances of getting found on different niche search terms than a keyword-specific content piece.

Since search engines already understand what the content is all about, what topics it could be tapped and industry related terms it could be connected with, there’s no reason to write articles for each and every target keyword.

How to Promote Linkable Assets

Linkable asset promotion is where you actually put all your major efforts into place.

There are a lot of online asset promotion tactics out there, but there’s only a few that are really handy and applies to almost every industry.

Here are some ways to massively promote your linkable assets:

  • Become a contributor to niche-specific publications and authority blogs and reference your linkable asset from your work. Make your anchor text a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage readers to click on the link pointing to your asset page.
  • Build links from resource pages across your verticals. Find any broken link in those pages and use them as your value proposition in your initial outreach (ask webmasters if they could replace non-active links with a link to your content).
  • Use Topsy or Buzzsumo to find active social shares in your niche. Segment the list by the number of social followers to only find brand evangelists with large following. Try to reach out to them and let them know about your linkable asset.
  • Reach out to influencers that you’ve mentioned in your content. If they’ve find your linkable asset useful for their readers/followers, they’ll definitely share it or even link to it from their blogs.
  • Put more eyeballs to your linkable asset by creating sponsored Facebook ads that are targeted to local audience/interest groups.

Other Useful Resources:

If you're looking for a link building service for your company, you can contact us for inquiry.


link-building-strategies-small-businesses

11 Link Building Strategies for Smaller Businesses

Link building will get a lot tougher these days especially for smaller brands that don’t have real capacities to compete with bigger companies in the industry because of the low amount of budget that they have.

In my experience communicating with potential clients, small companies are only willing to spend a monthly link building budget somewhere around $500 to $800 and search marketing agencies can outsource their link building work for a monthly cost ranging from $200 to $400 for each client/website.

With the price ranges above, we’ve seen a huge demand for a link building strategy that doesn’t really rely on huge budget in order to yield great results but on the value and quality of contents being produced consistently by the brand and on the approach used to promote those content assets.

And in this post, I’ll be sharing to you 11 link building strategies that can size up your links regardless of the size of your business and competition level of your industry.

Product or service development

This specific link building tactic is on top of my list since it is where the huge amount of time, money and effort should be placed in.

Constantly evolving your products/services can actually help your brand acquire natural links over time especially if you’re adding new useful features that your users care about, since the more they get tied to those product specifications, the potentials of them evangelizing your tool to their colleagues are higher.

So it is very important to keep track of newly added questions in industry forums and Q&A websites in order to gather information on the needs and wants of your potential customers. This will be the core basis of your product development strategy – user feedback.

In the recent interview with Slack’s founder, Stewart Butterfield shared a very interesting tip to win over industry competitors – make active listening a core competency.

“From the get-go, Slack made sure that users could respond to every email they received, and approached every help ticket as an opportunity to solidify loyalty and improve the service. As they listened to their ever-growing flock of users, the Slack team iterated accordingly.”, Butterfield said.

slack

Consistent asking for user feedback will always bring new ideas to the table, which will not only solidify the brand’s core USP (unique selling proposition) but will also help the website acquire voluntary-given links from bloggers, influencers and corporate site owners.

I remember the early days of URL Profiler where its founders Garett Brown and Patrick Hathaway were asking for suggestions/feedbacks for their newly launched tech product. They got in touch with a handful of search marketers (especially those who’re actively working on content development and link building campaigns for several clients) in order to know the pros and cons of using the product for the said purposes (link building and content dev).

I used the tool, exchanged ideas with Garett and eventually evangelized the software on this link building blog.

urlprofiler

Imagine if you have 20 different suggestions from like-minded bloggers in your industry. That’s a solid list of product development ideas that will not just improve your product features but will get your product or your site’s internal pages to earn links from bloggers/influencers who’ve been involved in the ideation of the product development.

You can add that unique angle (product feature suggestion) to your link building pitch in order to increase your chances of getting more responses and possibly editorial links. Given that the more you involve your target users to your business operations, the more they become overwhelm and attach to your brand, especially if their suggestion(s) has/have been considered and used in the product development.

Another way to build links with product development is to invest in creating free web-based tools.

Look at Traffic Travis. It is a free SEO software developed by Affilorama, which has been very popular in the internet marketing industry not only because of its highly functional attributes but on its free access.

traffictravis

For service-centered agencies, developing free web products is a good investment for branding and link acquisition.

One good example of this is Content Harmony’s free ShareMetric Chrome extension.

Given that the tool is freely available, industry bloggers and influencers can easily test it and share to their readers and followers by linking to the Chrome’s page and/or sharing it on social platforms, which will certainly promote the product to other untapped users.

Link acquisition is possible using this approach since the brand can simply reclaim the backlinks by asking existing linkers of the tool to link to the website’s tool page instead of linking to the Chrome extension content.

contentharmony-tools-page

Word of mouth and referral marketing are best sources of link opportunities since bloggers and webmasters will naturally mention the page/tool from their blogs with no to little efforts on outreach.

Social prospecting

Social platforms has been a common medium used for link acquisition and content development these days since the competitive insights that content marketers can draw from it can really bring improvements to content marketing activities (content ideation, link prospecting, proper user targeting, etc..)

There are gazillion ways to generate content ideas using social media, and one of them is to create Twitter lists of bloggers/influencers from your niche and from other related industries.

The lists are useful for extracting questions, information and industry trends from engaged Twitter users (conversations, favorites, retweets), which can be the basis for improving the brand’s existing assets and brainstorming for new content pieces in the future.

influencers-twitter-list

Aside from generating content themes and topics, social media is also a handy tool in promoting one’s content to a set group of influencers and bloggers.

You can use the new Topsy extractor tool by URL profiler to find influencers who've shared similar content of your brand (either content from competitors or non-competitors).

topsy-scraper

There are two things you can do with Topsy extractor:

  • Find influencers who have shared the top pages in your industry and include them to your Twitter list. Spend at least 5 minutes every week to see their latest status updates and conversations and use that as your basis for content ideation.
  • Create an outreach database listing down all influential social sharers, which you can later on pitch to share your content (if it is highly resourceful, they wouldn’t bother to link to it).

The marketing flywheel will continuously move the moment the content was massively shared on social networks, since bloggers and influencers who would have seen the page and find it useful will again share the content to their followers and visitors or even link to it from their own websites.

Even after weeks or months of publish, the page would still attract organic social shares and editorial links from researchers and bloggers who’re looking for references for their own works.

My older post on content promotion strategies is a good example of this link building strategy (social prospecting) because up until now, the content has been attracting social shares almost every day.

content-promotion-strategies-post

Link intersection

Understanding the linking behavior in a certain niche is still one of the effective ways to build authoritative backlinks that doesn’t rely heavily on the niche competition and/or difficulty level of the industry, but on the quality of crafted content and blogger relationships used to support the page.

One link building principle that you can take advantage of is link intersection, which is basically finding domains or pages that have intersected or linked to at least three resources that are similar to your content.

For this link building strategy, you can use Citation Labs citation tool to automatically generate a report of links with corresponding number of occurrences.

co-citation-tool

This method is useful when prioritizing your outreach activity for a long list of linking pages, since you can actually get an insight if there’s a high potential that a certain page will link to your content (when it is linked to other multiple resources as well).

You can use the tool in any of the following link building tactics:

  • See which pages and domains are actively and consistently linking to at least two of your competitors’ sites/pages given that if they’ve linked to those sites, they can also link to your content.
  • Find listing pages (manufacturers/suppliers) that have high potentials of linking to your content which will primarily be based on the number of times your competitors’ sites were included.
  • Determine local/international media outlets that previously mentioned at least two of your competitors. Once you’ve picked up those news sites, find a way to interact with their journalists or reporters to get some coverage for your brand.

There are other ways to execute link intersection in your link building strategy, and I might write a post on that topic alone.

Strategic blogging

Blogging is a powerful marketing tool because of its ability to instantly connect the brand with its target audience in a non-promotional way and being able to capture their interests – making them loyal subscribers and brand evangelists.

Aside from its connection ability, blogging can help speed up link acquisition by constantly producing high quality blog posts that are comprehensive and useful enough to be linked from relevant blog posts (old and newly published).

Part of maximizing the linking potential of a certain content /page is making sure that it can constantly be found in the search results by optimizing the page for basic on site optimization.

Keyword research is a basic yet vital activity in search engine optimization. It helps the search engines understand what the page is all about by including industry keywords and phrases that specifically defines the purpose of the page.

When it comes to keyword research for blogs, targeting long tail keywords is the best approach to increase the odds of ranking for multiple industry phrases in search results, which if successfully done, will definitely bring newly targeted visitors to the content over time.

Here are a few tools to consider when executing a keyword research process:

You can also check out this recent webinar by Nick Eubanks about competitive keyword research for search engine optimization.

Keyword research that is accompanied with basic on site optimization and tactical content creation will certainly make the blogging process much easier and effective in getting more targeted traffic from search engines.

Roel Manarang shared a comprehensive case study on how the combined efforts of optimization, content and keyword research will make a newly launched blog successful in earning 1000 visits a day.

roel-manarang-1000-visitors-a-day-post

Here are some more useful tips that you can immediately apply to your blog to size up links and blog traffic:

  • Invest in creating cost-effective content pieces like crowdsourced content and curated page wherein the efforts put into these pieces will pay off once they’ve captured the attention of potential linkers in the industry.
  • Update older webpages by optimizing them for timely keyword phrases (e.g. best practices for 2015) in order to improve their ability to rank for long tail keywords in search results (in which a a constant search traffic is assumed).
  • Invite bloggers to become regular contributors for your blog in exchange for monetary and/or non-monetary benefits (free access to premium products, social media exposure, lead generation opportunity through email, etc..).

You can read this post on increasing blog traffic which was just updated by Rand Fishkin last year.

Second-tier link building for long term traffic generators

A proper tier link building process is building second layer of linking pages that’ll support the initial set of linking domains, with the mindset of driving targeted traffic to the site’s internal pages.

To start with, it is very important to identify your brand’s traffic generators by looking at your site’s referral acquisition data.

referral-traffic-google-analytics

The higher visits and potential revenue they generate for your business, the more you should focus on building links to them.

There are several non-labor intensive methods that you can use to build second-tier links to the first linking pages of your website, including:

  • Cite your initial linking page as a resource when participating in industry forums and Q&A websites.
  • Produce the right content pieces on other blogs and link to your initial linking pages with proper contextual relevancy (ensure that those pages are relevant to your contributed content).
  • Mention pages that have linked to your website in your interviews and guest appearances on other websites (podcasts, videos, etc..) since there will be opportunities to build links from those participated content (i.e. an end of the post list of tools/resources you’ve mentioned in the podcast).

seo-interview-ahrefs

Build exclusive local partnerships

The best element of earning highly authoritative links these days is relationship. Building the foundation of relationships with every thematic local brand through various online efforts that benefits both parties will definitely create a huge impact to the website’s branding and to its link acquisition strategy.

In the recent Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, he shared a handful of ways on how a brand can maximize the value of advertisements to yield SEO value:

  • Get direct traffic through ads on blogs, forums, niche websites, or news/media sites.
  • Participate in conferences and events by becoming a corporate sponsor. Give creative giveaways to your audience (e.g. free wifi).
  • Choose outdoor/TV/radio/print advertising activity that can generate the highest business value to your brand.

In all of these platforms, a small business is more likely to invest in the first platform – blogs/forums/niche sites advertising.

Given that visits are targeted to a specific group of users/customers (since you are able to choose which website you want to advertise in), the link acquisition rate using this approach is higher, more especially if the content being promoted is highly resourceful to the target community.

Other local activities your small business can start executing today include:

  • Creating a local guide such as an events calendar for a certain location/city and start distributing the page to your local partners.
  • Provide testimonials for other local businesses whom you’ve partnered with in the past. It’s a give and take approach (you’ll get reviews for your company as well afterwards).
  • Speak at local events in your town and in your universities or colleges near you. Start by engaging with local organizers visible in Meetup.

Local partnerships will take your small business into many places. By simply connecting with other brands, you start to widen your brand reach and being able to build alliances that are sustainable and beneficial in the long run.

Create link building machines

Link building machine is a term used for content assets that guarantee a constant attraction of natural links both from authority websites and mid-tier blogs.

With link building machine, you maximize your efforts and focus on creating and/or improving a single content piece one at a time.

Your aim is to build multiple of this machine type in order to increase your branded authority in your industry and being able to invite other related brands for corporate partnerships or alliances.

For small businesses, here are a few link building machine ideas that you can initially create for your website:

  • Compile all branded images (pictures of local events, staff members, office locations, etc..) into one solid page and make it more visible to your audience by linking to it internally from your homepage.
  • Start providing online coupons to your potential customers and give discounts to those who would be able to share/promote your coupon page on their own blogs/sites.
  • Create your own referral or affiliate program simply by publishing a page that invites your visitors to refer your services/products to their readers and followers in exchange for a monetary payment and/or a premium access to your products.

Get premium product reviews

Product reviews are useful for brand recognition and authority, since the more reviews you acquire from industry blogs, the more branded searches you’ll get for your website every single month.

Inviting industry bloggers to write a review about your product is a challenging activity these days, particularly for brands that don’t have bigger budget to invest in paying their future promoters.

For small business owners, you can simply spend time in searching for prospect bloggers who have a history of writing product reviews and are targeting the same group of users as yours. Find those bloggers in any of the following product review platforms:

tomoson

Engage with these bloggers and offer a long term partnership opportunity wherein they can generate regular passive income from your company through affiliates or referrals.  Establishing relationships with product review writers will pay off in the long run since they can eventually evangelize your product without the need to pay them for their works (they will be accustomed/attached to your brand’s offerings and benefits).

Create a linkable jobs page

Every small business has a recruitment process whether it is assigned to a specific person or the CEO of the company or the Director himself does the hiring process.

For corporate websites, jobs page is an important tool to acquire talented and skilled workers who’re very interested to work for the company and has a good background of what the business’ offer, vision and mission are all about.

Create a jobs page that bloggers would likely to link to it because of the completeness and accuracy of the qualifications of applicant included in the page.

This jobs page of SEO Hacker is an example of a linkable jobs page. It is currently ranking for the keyword phrase, “SEO jobs Philippines”.

seohacker-jobs

Distribute business assets to external local web properties

Content pieces crafted by your local staff can be distributed to external web properties in order to increase their visibility and become channels of link acquisition for your website.

There are tons of external properties on the web that have opportunities to add direct backlinks to your website. To name a few:

  • Business profiles. Make the company details complete to avoid removing your company from the list because of its spam-looking profile.
  • Video distribution sites like Vimeo. Add local promotional videos of your company and share video links on social profiles to get clicks on them.
  • User generated sites like Slideshare. Invest in building a well-designed portfolio of contents you’ve presented in offline events, since this can somehow drive potential revenue to your business (e.g. Sean Si’s presentation portfolio).
  • Podcast directories. If your site is involved in audio or podcast activities, submit these contents to podcast directory sites to build authority and audience in that particular platform.

Collect all available resources of your company and maximize their visibility potentials by submitting them to external web properties.

Engagement marketing

Engagement marketing is a free way to build links in this age of digital marketing, given that you don’t actually have to invest a huge amount of money to start with, just an hour every week is enough to start connecting with like-minded people in your industry.

Send customized products to bloggers and influencers who had engaged with your brand.

James Norquay from Prosperity Media received a set of cupcakes from the guys at Cupcakes at All Occasions. This gotten James’ attention and certainly help him strengthen his relationship with the cupcakes company.

prosperity-media-cakes

Another great example of engagement marketing is this letter of appreciation from the Wordstream team, which is headed by Larry Kim.

wordstream-letter

There are still other ways to associate yourself with other brands through minimal and non-expensive engagement methods.

Here you go. These are the 11 link building strategies you can easily implement to your small business website. Let me know in the comments section which of them you want to use for your company.

If you are looking for a link building agency to partner with you, then don't hesitate to contact us today


how-to-improve-your-backlinks

6 Ways to Improve Backlinks in Your Link Graph

Link graph by its definition is the nodes (pages, documents) connected by directed edges (links). It helps in the ranking of documents of specific websites or entities.

Understanding link graph in its basic elements and identifying which existing links need to be improved could had a drastic effect on the site’s overall link and search performance,

It would also impact conversion marketing activities such as email signups from referred visitors on restored links on other sites and additional leads from recovered links on other blog’s broken pages (404).

In this post, I’m going to share with you 6 effective methods on how to improve your existing backlinks – getting the most out of their value and seeing improved results in your search marketing campaigns.

1. Reclaim unlinked branded mentions

Brands with websites that have executed high-par branding performance can potentially draw a good amount of mentions from other relevant websites to the site’s key pages (content or sales page)

You can take advantage of these branded mentions for link development by ensuring that all of them are properly linked to the appropriate pages of your site.

Unlinked branded mentions could be translated to powerful backlinks by reaching out to the site owner or blogger with a sweet and short email.

Here’s an email copy that you can use for linker outreach.

Hi NAME,

I’m Venchito Tampon, marketing coordinator of BRAND NAME.

I reached out to you because I found your site, SITE NAME, including our resource on RESOURCE TOPIC in your page – www.url.com.

I’m wondering if you can give us a credit by inserting a link pointing to our RESOURCE TOPIC content.

Hoping for a positive response.

All the best,

Venchito

A few things to consider in branded link building:

  • If branded mentions are acquired through media link building – news release, interviews, round-ups, etc.. – ask the content creator to link out to the brand’s company page or best, your site’s homepage.
  • For media link building, you can also ask the webmaster to point your link to your sales page (e.g. link building services) to pass not only link juice to your site’s key pages but also to drive visitors through referral links.

digital-philippines-link-building-services-page

  • Take advantage of keyword-specific branded keywords (e.g. curtain blinds) when pursuing links from other sites/blogs. Search for existing blog posts with the exact keyword-specific phrases on the page and try to get a link in them. It does help in sending positive signals to search engines of the relevance of your brand with other websites.

You can check out this guide on Moz detailing how to use unlinked branded mentions for link acquisition.

2. Translate no-follow to do-follow

Attribution to links is not a big issue anymore these days, as whether you built a no-follow or do-follow link, either of the two is qualified to amplify your content, to bring brand awareness and potential conversions to your website.

You can check out these two resources to deeply understand the power of no-follow links:

Though both attributes (no-follow or do-follow) are valuable in brand recognition and link development, one needs to be prioritized as it passes link equity to the site – do-follow.

Translating a no-follow to a do-follow link would work in any of the following cases:

  • When a link is built through media purposes (news, round-ups, stories, etc..), you can easily ask the content creator to change the link attribute.
  • When the no-follow link pointing to your homepage comes from a high DA website, it is advisable to convert it to do-follow in order to maximize the value from the link, as it would help improve the overall domain authority of your website.

You can find the percentage of dofollow and nofollow links in the backlink types of Ahrefs platform (in case you’re using this tool).

link-attribute-ahrefs

3. Fix linked pages pointing to site’s broken pages

As link building campaign progresses, some links on the linking pages from other sites/blogs dilutes. Others are now pointed to broken pages of your site, which is a lost opportunity to gain new brand followers as well as potential clients/customers who would have seen the information displayed on your broken page.

It is imperative to regularly monitor any broken pages in your website and identify if there are existing links pointing to them.

If inbound links are appropriately point to a similar page of your broken page, then it would help improve your link profile, as referred users could still consume a similar content as they have read when the broken page should have been lived.

There are two options to fix this issue.

Recreate the broken page

You can recover the content on your site’s broken pages by republishing it (only if the information in those pages is still included in your database).

Dive into Archive.org and see if you can recreate the older version of the broken page.  Make sure that you produce a more comprehensive information than the original version.

Invest in design. Most of the organic content pieces on the web aren’t originally written by topic experts but through interactive designs and format, the new resource defines a new perspective on the topic.

Once you have published the updated content piece, you can redirect the broken page to its new version, to maintain the link equity passing through the linking pages.

Ask existing linkers to link to a similar page

Another method to sustain link equity from your site’s broken pages is to ask existing linkers to point out instead to similar resources.

You can start by identifying pages that provide similar information to your site’s broken page using top content feature of Ahrefs.

ahrefs-top-content

Once you’ve determined similar resources of your broken content piece, you can reach out to its existing linkers and ask them to point their existing links to your updated content piece.

4. Balance anchor text percentage  

Anchor text variation is a major discussion in the link building world since Penguin started to roll out on April 24, 2012.

Choosing what anchor texts will be used in every link built/earned is still an issue for most newbie link developers out there, as they want to make their sites’ link profiles as natural looking as possible.

As I always quote on every interview that I’ve been a part of, “don’t make your link profile natural, just be natural”.

If your site’s link backbone has any of the following cases in anchor texts, then you may need to apply link improvement tips (which will be discussed later on):

  • Anchor texts aren’t relevant to the domain or page’s topical authority (e.g. finance/loan keywords to a tech blog).
  • The volume of commercial anchor texts is greater than the number of branded keywords.

Invest in topical authority content to earn new links and diversify anchor texts

What most seasoned content marketers and link developers would state about the benefits of creating high quality content is simply the ability of a resource to acquire new links for the site, which would help increase the domain’s search performance.

Investing in linkable assets doesn’t just help the brand earn new links.  It also helps diversify the anchor texts – commercial keywords and branded texts.

Don’t execute linker outreach to ask for anchor text replacement

If links had been existed for years, then it would be unwise to reach out to the linkers and ask for replacement in anchor texts (changing texts to preferred phrases).

Instead, you can invest your time in improving your existing content to earn more editorial links, which are high in anchor text diversity.

ahrefs-anchor-texts

5. Improve content based on its perceived value from existing linkers

Content marketing has always been about delivering substance to readers.

The reason why most bloggers and industry influencers would want to link to you is the perceived value your content brings to the table.

If content’s information is being updated to intersect with the uprising trends and ideas in the industry, there is a likelihood to grow the number of links acquired each month.

Link development involves updating your old or existing content pieces to better serve a specific linkable audience.

A few ways to improve content assets to populate more links for the brand:

  • Analyze why linkers linked to you in the first place. Get content improvement ideas from the anchor texts in their linking pages (g. here’s a great list of local job sites from www.domain.com).
  • Adding more context on topics that haven’t been made detailed in your content (e. list of job sites on a career improvement content) would help your resource to earn additional contextual links, as it can tap industry-specific blogs (e.g. job search sites).
  • Identify industries aside from your main target niche that can be penetrated by your content. You can look at all the inbound links of your resource using Ahrefs.

Other useful resources:

6. Make existing linkers link to you again

Recurring links from high authority domains send signals that search engines use as a ranking factor to determine a page’s authority.

Getting a blogger/influencer link to your website again is one effective way to improve your site’s link acquisition process, as you could also drive additional social signals and brand followers to your website.

Here are some ways to generate contextual recurring links from your existing linkers:

  • Share content pieces of target bloggers/influencers on your brand’s social media profiles to build rapport with current linkers.
  • Reach out to existing linkers and share your newly published content asset  (if it’s highly useful, they’ll definitely link to it).
  • Create content partnerships with non-competing brands by offering options where both parties would be benefited. You can check out listed options in this post by Jason Acidre on scaling link building process using influencer marketing.
  • Demonstrate expertise on high traffic publications by contributing content on a regular basis. This will consistently send qualified traffic and conversions to your site and can also lead to getting invitations to become a regular contributor on other relevant blogs too.
  • Build links to content partners’ sites from your contributed content pieces on other industry blogs to facilitate reciprocity (content partners would likely return the favor of linking to your site as well from their guest content pieces).
  • Invite linkers to participate in your brand’s online community activities (e.g. webinars, online forums, blog discussions, etc..). There is a high potential to let them link again to your site by featuring you in their new content – tips on XXX webinar.

Useful resources on link improvement:

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