off page SEO

21 Off-page SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now

off page SEO

Off-page SEO hasn’t been all about links. We have social data, brand signals (linked or unlinked mentions), citations, reviews and sentiments that search engines can use in evaluating relevance, trust, popularity and authority of a website/page.

For link building in 2016 and beyond, the ability to understand these external website concepts and to use effective off-page SEO techniques can help you with in influencing a website’s ranking power.

Before we get straight to the practical part of this off-page SEO guide, here are some valuable insights about off-page SEO from top link building experts.

[yellowbox] [/yellowbox]

WHAT IS OFF-PAGE SEO

Off-Page SEO refers to link building and all related activities & actions focused on growing our Website popularity, happening outside of it, and therefore the name.

aleyda solis

Aleyda Solis, Founder of Orainti

Off page SEO to me is any kind of optimisation that takes place away from the site itself. Generation of signals from third party websites to tell Google that the thing you are optimising deserves to rank. The main part of this is obviously link building but increasingly can incorporate other things like social.

james agate

James Agate, Founder of Skyrocket Digital

Off Page SEO means doing anything from an external point of view to assist with SEO efforts. This could mean link acquisition, building mentions, using a PR agency, building your brand off site to have a positive impact on your websites SEO.

james norquay

James Norquay, Founder of Prosperity Media

Using these principles as solid foundation, let me walk you through the 21 off-page SEO techniques you can immediately use right now for your website.

21 OFF-PAGE SEO BEST PRACTICES

1. EXPAND LINK LISTS WITH SIMILAR CONTENT PROSPECTING TOOL

similar content prospecting tool

Websites that linked to a content or resource similar to an asset page published on your site are more receptive to outreach than any other link prospects primarily because of their linking history. When they had linked to a particular page, they are likely be interested to its similar resource and consider it for a possible linking opportunity.

Topical relevancy and higher link acquisition rates are some few notable advantages when you reached out to said link prospects.

Given this, here is how you can find these high-quality backlink sources:

STEP 1: Enter niche-specific keywords (related to your content) in Skyrocket’s Similar Content. This tool will automatically generate high-quality prospects that are linking to the top ranking pages for searched keywords.

similar content prospecting search

STEP 2: Export domains and list them in a Spreadsheet or you can plug them to your favorite outreach tool.

similar content prospecting search results

STEP 3: Reach out to webmasters and publishers of those potential linking sites and ask if they’ll be interested to look at your content piece. Here is one example of an email template that you can use, which is actually for follow-up purposes.

Hello [ NAME ],

I contacted you a few weeks ago to share a resource that I thought you may
find of interest, and you informed me about your upcoming blog/site
update. I was wondering if you’ve been successful in the update and had a
chance to review my message; a copy of which is provided below for
reference.

We’ve launched a really detailed guide to [ TOPIC ] and I
thought you might be interested in seeing it - [ URL ]

If you are still updating this page -
[ URL ] then perhaps our guide might
make a useful addition.

Please let me know if you have any questions. And if this isn’t for you or
you’d rather I didn’t get in touch in future please let me know and I’ll
be sure not to send you any other messages.

- [Your Name]

2. LEVERAGE CONTENT TEMPLATES WITH BUZZSUMO

buzzsumo

The ability to scale content assets without sacrificing qualify differentiates average content marketers from excellent ones. A year ago, Ross Hudgens shared one strategy on how to create incredible content assets at a low cost. It is with the use of content templates.

Content templates are simple formats of successful content assets from other verticals or other brands that can potentially be replicated to your own content marketing campaigns. Two good examples of these content templates are these posts by Hubspot about habits for hyper-productive people and habits for content marketers.

The Hubspot’s content marketing team found this “habit-type” content template to be a good blog post framework. People simply want to emulate habits that make other people successful in whatever field they belong. Thus when you publish content like this, it easily gets traction from many people – acquiring multiple social shares and earning referential links from publishers.

How to find content templates that are likely to earn links naturally?

STEP 1: Find popular content-producing sites in your industry and use Buzzsumo to look for their most-shared content pieces.

buzzsumo search tool siegemedia

STEP 2: Take note all possible content formats and list them down in a Spreadsheet.

most shared content buzzsumo

STEP 3: Create content pillars based on your preferred content formats. This would require testing but when you see results from first published content, you can replicate this to every sub-niches in your vertical (check out my definitive guide on blogger outreach) .

definitive guide to blogger outreach preview

3. LINK TO INFLUENCERS WITHIN CONTENT

Though Google doesn’t count outbound links as a direct ranking factor, knowing how to properly link to relevant sources externally is still a best practice in the search industry. External linking to credible resources and useful content produced by influencers helps an initial boost of promotion to your content piece. Maximizing this strategy is a sure way to put more eyeballs to your asset.

How to execute this properly?

STEP 1: Search for influencers in your niche whom you can easily connect with. You can use Buzzstream or a simple Google search to discover this kind of people.

google search personal finance bloggers

STEP 2: When starting to create content, try to find relevant blog posts of influencers. You can use the search phrase, site:domain.com “keyword” or site:domain.com intitle:”keyword”. The latter search strings are more useful because it provides the most targeted results - finding pages that discuss the whole topic, not just including your keyword in one paragraph.

google search intitle outreach

STEP 3: Once you publish your content, reach out to these influencers using direct email outreach. Results from this are either social shares or contextual links from publishers. Even if you got one social share from an influencer, this can be worth a hundred of traffic to your site.

Hi [ NAME ],

I saw your website and found that you linked to one blog post about [ TOPIC ].

Just thought that you might find my definitive guide on [ TOPIC ] also useful. It is a rich content that contains an [ DESCRIBE YOUR CONTENT ].
[ URL ]

Kind regards,
[ YOUR NAME ]

4. BUILD HIGHLY-CONVERTING MICRO SITES

If you’re aiming to capture small segments of your target market, one way you need to invest in is creating micro sites. This method can enable your brand to build high quality links your competitors can’t easily copy, as well as give your site more opportunities to attract potential clients/customers.

One good example of this branding strategy is how Aleyda created two micro sites that provides a lot of value to the SEO community – All SEO Guidelines and The Marketer Toolbox.

Both of these sites target segmented audiences, the first one helps SEO practitioners (both in-house and agency-level) while the second one focuses more on marketers and tool creators.

Now, how can you identify your specific market segment and create a micro site out of it? Below are a few steps to get you started, but if you want to take the whole process, you can check out this posts by and this guide by..

STEP 1: Go to your Google Analytics data. Look at the top performing posts with high conversion rates.

google analytics top performing posts

STEP 2: Determine what market segments you can tap that isn’t going too far from your main content theme. For example, in my case, I can create micro sites for link building tools and templates/checklists for link acquisition given that I’m currently offering link building services.

STEP 3: Once you choose an overall theme for your micro-site, buy your own domain name and hosting. In terms of the site’s content development, you can produce scalable content pillars like round-ups on an actionable topic, interview series and user-generated content.

remoters interview series

5. USE INTERVIEWS AS GUEST ENTRIES

Guest blogging has been an effective off-page SEO technique for many startup marketers building their own brands from scratch. What makes this more effective is the ability to craft solid content that isn’t a carbon copy of another piece or a revision of a blog post published on one popular blog.

The challenge in guest blogging is really writing an expertly-written content that won’t just acquire a single link but will potentially get second-tier links from blogs linking to the contributed piece.

One way to be able to do this is using interviews as guest entries for other websites. Given that answers from industry experts are most likely to be actionable, helpful and experience-based, they can be considered as solid content for guest blogging. Here is how you can execute this process:

STEP 1: Find publishers and book authors using Google search or influencer prospecting tools.

google search seo influencers

STEP 2: Reach out to these niche experts and do an interview with them. Below is an email copy you can use:

Hey [ NAME ],

I hope you're doing well.

Just want to tell you that, [ WEBMASTER NAME ] who manages the [ SITE NAME ], gave me an opportunity to guest post at [ URL ] and am planning to do a short written interview with some of the below bloggers and I was requesting if you can be one of them.

  • INTERVIEWEE’S NAME 1
  • INTERVIEWEE’S NAME 2
  • INTERVIEWEE’S NAME 3
  • INTERVIEWEE’S NAME 4

If so, I’ve attached a short written interview that you can use to share your tips or ideas.

If you’re interested in including screenshots as part of real life example, you’re welcome to do so.

The topic of discussion is [ TOPIC ]

Cheers

[ YOUR NAME ]

STEP 3: Use their answers as guest content for your target blog. Check out these examples of interview-based guest posts.

uklinkology guest post interview

6. COLLECT LINK PROSPECTS FROM LISTPEDIA

Using social media platforms like Twitter for link prospecting is a strategic approach for link builders to find new bloggers and publishers that aren’t yet found through Google search. With this, you can expand your list of outreach targets without actually depending on search engines as your primary source of target domains.

Besides getting additional backlink sources, you’ll also be able to tap influencers that have strong massive reach both in web publishing and social if you try using social media as your main link prospecting tool. In other words, you get more benefits when you do an outreach to them since they won’t only be linking to your content, but they’ll also share your content to their existing followers. This can allow your brand to acquire more backlinks from their followers’ blogs as well.

You can start this by using simple Twitter searches to find bloggers in your industry. However, if you are doing bulk prospecting, you can scale the process by using Listpedia.

Listpedia is a new self-made search and creation Twitter tool that can generate massive Twitter lists relevant to a particular keyword.

Here are three steps on how to use Listpedia for link prospecting:

STEP 1: Go to Listpedia and search for a particular audience you are aiming to reach out to (e.g. personal finance, finance or insurance).

listpedia personal finance search

STEP 2: Check each individual Twitter profile in the search results to see if they have their own blogs or websites.

listpedia-personal-finance-search-results

STEP 3: Once you think a particular website passes your link metrics (Ahrefs rank, DA or Trustflow), you can include it to your outreach list, find his email address and send a pitch via email. Below is an email copy you can use:

Hey [ NAME ],

I saw your profile on Twitter while doing my research, and also saw that you are part of this Twitter list [ URL ]. 

Just thought that you might find my post about [ DESCRIBE YOUR CONTENT ] really useful.  [ YOUR CONTENT URL ]

Have a great weekend!

All the best, 

[ YOUR NAME ]

7. INCLUDE POST-PREVIEW AS ADDITIIONAL PROPOSITION TO CONTENT

Creating remarkable content may require experiences and case studies from your own brand that gets people into action - after they consume the content. Case studies that take days, weeks or even months is really time-consuming for content creators.

However, there is one way to easily add data-based experience that won’t cost you money. That is, including a data from an influencer/expert you’ve had a relationship with. Since there is a connection involved, the influencer won’t look at it like stealing his ideas as you initiate asking for a permission to use his data.

I did this strategy when I wrote my old post on increase blog traffic where I included an experience-based tip from Roel Manarang – a local-based social media marketing expert. He backed up his claim with a case study of a Facebook strategy, not even shared on his blog, at the time I inserted his technique to my blog post.

Here is how you can use post-preview in your content creation phase:

STEP 1: Identify influencers you had relationships with (grab your list from off page SEO techique 3). Filter the influencer list by expertise these influencers have been known for (i.e. link building, off-page SEO, conversion rate optimization, etc..) and choose those you think can collaborate with you once you create your next content.

outreach list

STEP 2: Reach out to influencers and ask if they’ll be interested to add some insights to your upcoming post. You can try this email outreach copy below:

Hello [ NAME ],

I know you're quite busy today. But just a quick heads-up if you're interested to contribute insights to my upcoming post about [ TOPIC ].

I would like to know if you have any experiences and tips regarding [TELL MORE ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING POST]. 

Let me know your thoughts. 

All the best, 

[ YOUR NAME ]

STEP 3: Include the influencer’s tip to your content and start to promote it to people who might like your link to your post.

include data roel manarang

8. IMPROVE RELEVANCE WITH BRAND KEYWORD INTEGRATION

Google understands the relevance of a brand towards its connected domains in the industry sphere based on the keywords and context of each content produced in the website. Knowing this, you will create additional content based not only on the industry terms you want to rank for but on keywords you could potentially rank.

This is doable in three steps.

STEP 1: Go to Google Keyword Planner and plug in your homepage in the landing page search. You will then see a list of keywords Google considers to be relevant industry terms of your brand

landing page sharprocket

STEP 2: Choose among the list of keywords which of them you will likely to target for your next content.

content ideas google keyword planner

STEP 3: Include industry terms when writing your content in order improve LSI relevance of your website.

google keyword planner keyword integration

9. GIFT GIVING TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

Engagement marketing involves two sets of groups: those who are part of your networks and those you still need to reach out to – commonly referred as “direct outreach”.

The good thing with direct outreach is that you don’t need to invest a huge amount of money and chunks of hours to start with. There is actually a less-costly way to effectively build relationships with influencers and authors who are part of your direct outreach.

James Norquay from Prosperity Media showed how a set of cupcakes from his client can strengthen relationships built with their brand partners.

Another example of this link relationship building technique is when Larry Kim of Wordstream sent letters of appreciation to customers and to people who became a great part in building his brand.

Want to know how to execute a strategic approach in engagement marketing? Here are actionable tips to start an effective community engagement.

STEP 1: Identify one valuable thing you can offer to your brand followers or potential brand ambassadors.

prosperity media cakes

STEP 2: Think of ways on how to deliver your gift to your list of recipients. It could be through international or local shipping and/or online transfer system if your gift is a virtual product.

STEP 3: Once the gift is released, you can track web and social mentions from influencers using BrandMentions.

10. INVEST IN GETTING REFERENCES FROM Q&A SITES FROM REAL PEOPLE

The nature of searchers in this age of web usage is leading towards search activities in very niche-targeted search engine sites and community sites, where people would look for answers to their frequent questions from niche community sites instead of going straight to their favorite search engine tool.

Identifying these websites where a portion of your target market hang out can allow you to acquire referential links that your competitors haven’t thought of building for their own sites.

The community-based backlink below is a good example of how powerful branding could help you semi-automate your brand’s link acquisition process. If you look closely at the answer, it is not a result of our marketing work, but from a person who trusted our expertise – Anton Shulke. We actually did a webinar for his website and the benefit becomes mutual in the form of a link pointing to our brand.

How can you leverage branded link acquisition (off-page SEO) in community sites?

STEP 1: Create a list of outreach prospects that include your current brand followers, customers and clients. Your brand followers could be any person you’ve built relationship in the past either through content distribution, exchange of business ideas or as simple as being your co-member in an offline/online niche group.

STEP 2: Look for relevant discussions that can potentially drive highly converting visitors to your site. In my above example, the keyword that I used is best SEO agency in Manila. The trick here is to use the site: search operator plus the keyword – e.g. site:quora.com “best X in Y” to generate targeted discussion pages.

quora best seo agency

STEP 3: Reach out to your outreach prospects and ask if they can participate in the discussion. If they are your loyal customers/clients, they’ll likely give a recommendation to your brand.

OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES:

11. TRACK MENTIONS FROM RELATED COINED TERMS

Link reclamation is probably one of the first initiatives when doing a strategic off-page SEO campaign for a website that has an established authority in its vertical. It is because there is a higher probability of getting your first set of in-content links simply when you reach out to people who are familiar with your brand and had used your resources in their content works.

In addition to tracking mentions of your content assets, you can also do the same strategy to your competitors’ resources. There are many types of content assets you can actually track to see if there are publishers or bloggers who used your competitor’s content in bloggers’ websites but not crediting their original sources. A few examples are images created by the brand (infographics), mentions of your products, embedded Youtube videos and other content that deserve a credit in a form of links.

How to use competitor-based link reclamation strategy to your own advantage?

STEP 1: Identify the top performing pages of your competitor’s site by using CognitiveSEO and using the number of referring domains and page authority as your performance metrics.

cognitiveseo top pages

STEP 2: Track upcoming mentions of chosen resource/content of your competitor using BrandMentions. The tool will automatically notify you if there are new mentions, whether they are linked or unlinked on other content distributing sites.

brandmentions skyscraper-backlinko

STEP 3: Find a resource of yours that is similar to your competitor’s content. Reach out to the blogger and pitch him showing your related content. You don’t need to ask for a link, it will be automatically given once they perceive your content as valuable.

12. REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH FOR LINK PROSPECTING

Reverse image search is an effective off-page SEO practice that helps link building practitioners to find out blogs where the image has been embedded. If the blog is linked to a wrong image source, it is best to ask him for the proper credit.

Though this off-page SEO technique is mainly used for link reclamation, you actually apply this same strategy to your link prospecting process. How?

STEP 1: Find a competing visual asset in your industry. It could be the infographic you tried to post on your blog that gained massive social shares or a generic image created by an expert in your field. You can use a simple Google image search like “infographic” “industry” to find these popular visual content assets.

infographic co sleeping

STEP 2: Grab URLs of these visual assets and plug in your favorite reverse image tool to find websites that embedded them.

tineye image results

STEP 3: Add those websites in your spreadsheet as your additional backlink prospects. Reach out to them with a unique proposition, not necessarily for the purpose of image link reclamation.

13. COLLABORATE WITH INFLUENCERS/AUTHORS

Aligning brand strategy with your off-page SEO process enables you to strongly build relationships not only with like-minded bloggers but with entities in the same vertical. This helps your brand to position itself on the web and on its specific field by being perceived as a credible and trustworthy website by search engines and by target searchers – because links coming from trusted websites are good indicators of a site’s trustworthiness.

One simple branding approach is collaborating with niche influencers and authors for content creation. Given that they had industry experience in web publishing and massive audience following, touching based with them assures the quality of a content asset and a more effective content promotion than doing it alone.

How influencer outreach starts?

STEP 1: Find influencers and authors in your niche who’ll be interested for content partnership. Do a Google search for “guest post by” [ industry ] to search for this kind of personalities.

guest post by parenting search results

STEP 2: Identify what kind of mutual benefit you can offer to your outreach prospects. It could be asking them to answer a set of interview questions, to be compiled and published on your blog, or cross-publishing content pieces – i.e. embedding your infographic to his blog in exchange for a guest article on your site. One pro tip here is to actually look at your prospect’s latest articles and see what type of content they usually publish and in conjunction to your content publishing – what type of asset do you want to test out on your website.

made to mother articles

STEP 3: Send straightforward pitches with strong value propositions to capture their interests

Useful Resource: 50+ Ways To Increase Website Traffic (Roundup)

14. FIND HIGHLY CONVERTING OUTREACH PROSPECTS IN MOMENT QUERIES

Targeting high-profile bloggers who are likely to convert into linkers is one main objective of a blogger outreach campaign. But that’s going to be really tough it you don’t know how to find them.

Searching the web for potential linkers is one initiative you can start in your link prospecting process. However, your search phrase (keywords plus search operators) should be very specific as possible to get the most refine results from search engines.

One off page SEO technique to be very specific with search pages as well as to increase response and link acquisition rates in your outreach is to actually use in moment options in Google search. This means that pages that will appear in search results are assured to be published within the past hour or past 24 hours from the moment of search.

How to start with this link prospecting technique:

STEP 1: Do a Google search for your preferred search phrases.

diy tips home decor

STEP 2: Filter the results by date of publishing (Search – Date – hour or 24 hours).

past 24 hours filter

STEP 3: Gather those pages that are relevant to your niche and put them down in a list. Qualify them based on your link metrics and reach out to them afterwards.

15. USE LONGER STRINGS FOR HIGHER CLICKS FROM LINKS

Links has been a top ranking signal in search today and this has been proven many times - see these posts at SEOAuv about link importance and this experiment on Moz on how long links can influence rankings).

Links help websites rank in organic search. This is unarguably true. However, many marketers forget other objectives of links like driving visitors to a linked page. If it does generates visits, acquiring links can also become a very strategic approach to increase followers, subscribers and brand advocates.

If you are distributing content to other blogs – i.e. contributing a guest article or providing answers to interview questions, make sure you only add niche-specific resources to your contributed piece. If the topic is email list building, don’t add any pure on-page article to content unless it is contextually relevant.

State the value of a referenced resource by giving readers a preview of the information the content includes. The best way is to actually use longer strings to describe what the content is all about.

niche hacks link

16. ACQUIRE NEWSLETTER LINKS

weekly newsletters

Email newsletters are good sources of information from publishers. These information could either be a curated list of links from top articles of the week or preview of a new blog post posted on hosted blog.

Getting featured in these newsletters is a very powerful branding/marketing strategy, as it allows your brand to distribute its own content massively to a different audience which will also help you increase your existing followers if you absorb active social sharers from other blogs. Eventually, when these followers are fascinated with your blog content, they will eventually be your brand advocates who might be interested in linking to your content assets from their own websites and social profiles.

That’s why identifying newsletters that allows external linking to other relevant sources is a huge advantage for marketers. Exclusive feature in newsletters becomes a profitable off-page technique nowadays.

Follow this simple step-by-step guide to get featured in topical newsletters:

STEP 1: Create a list of blogs that feature top resources in newsletters in a monthly, weekly or daily basis. You can also check out your current list of outreach prospects to find newsletter-featuring websites.

Once you’re done with the list, take note how periodically these blogs send emails to their subscribers by looking at some obvious statements on their available opt-in or landing pages in their websites.

STEP 2: Subscribe to these blogs’ email lists and know what kind of resources these newsletters usually link out to (identify similarities in form, length and theme).

doz email opt in form

STEP 3: Constantly provide actionable and useful content on your blog to build a strong readership following and to get recommendations to be featured in other blogs’ newsletters. If you are not getting any exclusive email feature after months of content publishing, you can try reaching out to publishers in your earlier contact list and ask if they are interested to see a new useful guide or resource.

newsletter feature

17. ADJUST REFERRAL COMMISSION RATE FOR AUTHORITY BLOGGERS

qeryz lifetime recurring commission

Relationship building matters in online marketing as it helps you build a strong following base that is capable of introducing your content to a new readers, who might actually be your potential linkers.

Bloggers, especially those who are professionals, are part of a market segment that has the highest response rate among all online users simply because of their availability and full time access to the web. Building relationships with these bloggers allows you to dominate a particular part in your market segment, given that their followers could also connect with you for different forms of partnership. This is a compounding effect to your branding campaign since you will get a double portion of the market – your target bloggers and their followers as well.

The best way to initiate this off-page SEO technique is to offer an affiliate program or a referral commission system to attract bloggers in reviewing your products or services. Here are some steps you can follow through:

STEP 1: Create a list of bloggers who might be interested to write a review about your product/service or might share some stories and insights with your offering.

STEP 2: Segment your list of bloggers based on their social following base (Twitter followers), authority and their websites’ factors (i.e. referring domains, domain authority, estimated organic traffic in SEMRush). You can also add the format of content they usually produce on their website. If they can produce more than one – i.e. articles and webinars/videos/podcasts, it’s a good sign that they can engage their audience with different content types, which is very important in retaining interests of your target visitors while consuming your product/service review.

STEP 3: Prioritize reaching out to authority bloggers. Offer them a higher commission rate so you can easily entice them to write a review about your offering. You can also make cross-publishing an additional value proposition in your outreach. The idea here is to make the off-page SEO strategy beneficial for both the blogger and your brand. For example, your brand will get an additional following base and potential customers from the product/service review and the blogger will also have an advantage of co-branding himself by publishing an article to your brand’s blog and adding it to his portfolio or about page (as featured in….).

18. GET OUTREACH DETAILS FROM CLEARBIT

Finding a person’s name and email address is the initial phase in link building outreach. This is where most of your outreach initiatives will depend on given that if you find wrong contact details, obviously your pitches won’t be taken to the right place.

When finding outreach prospect’s personal details, it’s very important to use effective web-based tools such as Clearbit. I personally use Clearbit as an alternative tool for Rapportive because the product is capable of giving you free email address of the person you’re contacting to, not only validating it if it’s actually working.

How to use Clearbit for initial pitch:

STEP 1: Install Clearbit to your Gmail Chrome Extension.

clearbit

STEP 2: Click “Connect” link at the upper right side of Gmail and choose “find an email”.

find an email connect

STEP 3:  Type in the homepage URL of the site you’re extracting email address from. The tool will automatically provide names of people working for the company and/or are included in the website. Choose the person you’d like to connect with.

clearbit moz contacts

19. COMMENT-BASED LINK PROSPECTING

Link prospecting is the initial phase in link building where you’ll start to find possible link targets from verticals that are relevant to your website. This is also where your entire link acquisition campaign will depend on, as this initiates the process and helps you identify what particular methods you’ll be performing to acquire links from your target backlink prospects.

Creativity matters in link prospecting since you have to choose the right keywords that will be able to generate refined page results in search engines.

One off-page SEO tactic we’ve been using for our link research campaigns for our clients that are very effective in providing high quality blogs is adding the number of comments to a specific link prospecting phrase. Here is how you can exactly do it:

STEP 1: Add comment plus number to your prospect keywords (“comments(8)” “keyword”) and generate results on search.

parenting tips google search

STEP 2: Qualify results based on your brand’s link metrics. Discover new backlink opportunities by checking links inserted in blog’s comments.

STEP 3:  Try using the following comment-based search phrases to collect more backlink targets:

  • “disqus” “keyword”
  • “commentluv” “keyword”
  • “notify me of follow up comments” “keyword”

20. CREATE LOCAL NICHE PROFILES

The ability to dominate a market segment, particularly if you are a local brand, highly depends on the brand awareness you build in your local community, whether through offline or online.

Local link building nowadays is leading towards partnerships with local organizations and institutions as well as really getting into the minds of your customers (mindshare), which is a solid combination of a off-page SEO strategy that can certainly impact your lead generation process.

One easy way, but mostly overlooked off-page SEO technique in building local links is creating niche profiles.

I’ve noticed this recently when we had a vacation last month that instead of searching in Google for best restaurants located near our vacation place, we go straight to a popular local website that features nearby restaurants and food stores – Zomato (which is actually a recommendation of one of our friends).

zomato

Having said that, creating local brand profiles that are targeted to an industry you’re trying to promote your products/services to, is a handy technique you’ll generate high returns from your marketing efforts.

Other Useful Resources:

21. STRONG BRAND MESSAGING

Brand building is the new link building and off-page SEO strategy in digital marketing today, given that when brands become true to their core values, messaging and personalities, it becomes easy for them to penetrate and dominate their target audiences.

There are many ways to send a strong brand messaging without actually hard-selling your products/services, below are some steps you can apply:

  • Identify your brand’s core competence, to be able to know where you would put most of your efforts.
  • Invest in creating comprehensive resources that will give the best answers to commonly-asked questions in your industry.
  • Provides satisfaction and excellence to existing customers or clients so you'll acquire hard-to-built links that your competitors can't easily copy (see this link we've earned recently).

agency analytics link

Here’s How to Get Even More Subscribers

You’re probably saying to yourself:

“Venchito, this is AWESOME information. What’s the easiest way to put this into practice?”.

Well I’ve got something special for you.

A free step-by-step checklist that includes actionable steps for all of the 21 strategies here…

Click the image below to download the free checklist:


101 Link Building Tips

101 Actionable Link Building Tips

101 Link Building Tips

If you are tired of reading long-form content without any actionable link building tips, then this post is for you.

I’m fairly honest, these 101 actionable link building tips guide is not complete

The good news:

This post will always keep updated.

So if you want to increase your domain authority, get more exposure and increase your rankings, check out this new link building guide:

[yellowbox] .[/yellowbox]

1. Become a Content Contributor for Authority Websites

The problem with SEO community:

We are debating on a not-so-controversial topic: quality vs quantity in link building.

In essence, both of them are important.

But could that be possible?

While aiming to build high-quality backlinks, you are also targeting a higher amount of it.

Yes.

This is possible with becoming a regular columnist on authority sites.

Look at how Buffer and Sujan Patel Voila Nobert co-founder, gained from this content marketing strategy.

guest posting buffer

How can you start becoming a regular content contributor for top news-sites and blogs?

Watch this video below:

2. Get EDU Backlinks Using Scholarships

Backlinks from educational sites are high-authority type of links you won’t just get with simple outreach.

But let me tell you this:

There’s one way to acquire those powerful types of links.

Through scholarship link building.

Check out the following pages:

bryan college scholarship link

mira costa scholarship link

These are examples of edu links you can get from creating a scholarship page targeted to a specific audience.

Start this technique with knowing who your market audience is.

For example, your website is in digital marketing industry, your audience would be marketing, entrepreneurship and advertising students.

Then go create your scholarship page and include the following information:

  • Your applicants details (who?)
  • Application process (how?)
  • Where they can apply (how?) – through your website
  • Deadline of application
  • Review process of application
  • Value of your scholarship

Once you’re done with that, find existing scholarship pages that list down relevant scholarship content - start with this Google search query, site:.edu inurl:scholarship “industry” to find them.

scholarship backlink

Populate your list by looking at other scholarship pages linking to a similar scholarship of yours. Semi-automate this by using Ahrefs.

ahrefs scholarship link

3. Curate Industry Scholarships

It’s fairly easy to say, create a scholarship page and build links.

But if your main hindrance to getting backlinks to your site is your existing resources, it would be a bit harder on your part.

Why not create a list of available scholarships in your industry?

Take a look at this example:

create scholarship curated

It took tens of hours to create a page without spending a penny.

Time and effort is what it takes.

What to do next:

Reach out to webmasters you’ve included your curated scholarship page, you’ll be surprised they are willing to add a link from their sites.

Next:

Reach out to .edu sites and ask if they can include your curated content in their existing scholarship page.

Don’t worry about getting .edu links now:

Start implementing the strategy above.

4. Get Links from Link Roundups

You start to worry that:

You can’t acquire links at the end of the week and just let your competitors outrank you in search.

What if I tell you that there’s an easy way to earn links simply by doing this untapped link building strategy

It’s called, link roundups.

Link roundups are regular posts published by bloggers to curate the best resources of any content format in their industry.

cool material link roundup

Finding this type of content is very easy.

Type in any of the following keyphrases plus your content’s target keyword or topic:

  • Blog hops
  • Link ups

fashion blog hops

Make a list of these bloggers who regularly do roundups.

Get their contact emails and proceed to outreach.

To increase your chances of getting links using this approach, it is best to start identifying the specific day they published the article.

If they post on Thursday, schedule your outreach emails one or two days before – i.e. Tuesday.

It won’t make sense for them to add your link once they have finally decided what resources to add to their link round-ups.

The next time you publish your content, take a look at available industry link roundups and see if you can build links from them.

5. Co-author a Content Piece

A single content creator for one content asset is good.

But co-authorship is much better.

You can try reaching out to content partners who’d be interested to distribute your content (which most of the information is done by you) to their own blog and to blogs they’ve connected with.

It’s a win-win situation:

They get links from other blogs without spending much time in content creation.

You get links from blogs you even didn’t do outreach at all.

co authored content

6. Publish Data-driven Content

Industry publishers, especially those in top-notch blogs, prefer to link to content pieces that have information from credible sources.

If you have collected data either from internal resources or from external (but only from credible sources just like this one from Backlinko), then don’t hesitate to publish it.

backlinko data content

data industry uk

7. Contribute to Crowdsourced Content

It’s sad to see people being frustrated with links they’ve built in a month, when you know that they have the capacity to do so, especially if they have an authority built in place.

One type of link you can actually leverage on a consistent basis are crowdsourced content links

If people know about you on the web, they’ll start to send emails to you and ask simple questions.

I’m a fan of this link earning technique because you don’t spend too much time to get a single link.

Imagine:

If you can acquire at least four backlinks every month by spending only 20 minutes for this approach, then that’s a big return of investment not everyone can achieve.

crowdsourced content

8. Create Free Tools

Tools are everywhere.

And if you can build a simple tool that helps certain group of people with their needs, then they’d likely return the favor in the form of links.

free tool

Bryan Harris from Videofruit had this awesome email list building tool that helps you to set goals and motivate to reach them in a specific time period.

If that helps me with the task and I have a blog, wouldn’t I be kind enough to link to his page?

After all, links main core principle is providing value to others.

9. Produce a Co-Marketed Visual Content

Believe me or not, without content promotion, most content assets will fail (source).

However, you can take most of the load off yourself when sharing your content to others.

Look for websites who’d published a visual content of any form (static, interactive, etc..) and get them as your distribution partners.

film savvy infographic visual content

FilmSavvy makes it easy for other relevant sites to publish their content by including other sites’ logos in their visual content.

10. Find Link Opportunities on Twitter

Wouldn’t it be great if Twitter isn’t just used for social sharing?

While many blogger still don’t know, Twitter can also be a link prospecting tool.

If you are finding niche-specific bloggers to reach out to and build relationships with, try a Twitter search for “INDUSTRY” “bloggers”.

fashion bloggers

You’ll find another set of bloggers that aren’t included in your link prospecting sheet.

It gets better.

Because you won’t only get links from them, they will even share your content as well to their existing followers – which amplifies your content to acquire more links.

11. Build More Contextual Links

Those higher links up in the HTML code of a page seem to pass more ranking ability to those lower down (source from Moz).

moz links higher html more value

In a nutshell:

You can say contextual links from content above the fold is more valuable than blog comment links.

When you strategize your next link building campaign, try to leverage tactics that could give you contextual links from qualified domains.

12. Follow up Out-of-office Email Responses

Have you ever received an out-of-office email from a person you pitched to?

What did you do with it?

Say yes if you deleted it right away and moved on to another list.

Don’t regret if I say you that you take too much time to research for that domain and just wasted those minutes of research simply by not taking further action.

out of office email edu site

The next time you receive an email just like that,identify his date of return by reading his automated email.

date of return out of office email

Schedule an email message one day from the time he returns so your email won’t just be part of bunch of emails he’ll receive on the date of return.

13. Get Interviewed on Podcasts

Authority makes it easy to acquire links.

But what if you are still starting out in the industry?

No subscribers. No followers.

One way to increase your following and links in general is to get interviewed on podcasts.

Start with producing top-notch content on your blog – this will serve as your authority and social proof.

Then find reputable sites with regular podcasts in place.

Do Google searches for industry “podcasts” to get a bunch of them.

Once done, reach out to those mid-authority blogs then scale it up to higher level when you had a few podcasts interviews made already.

evolving seo podcast

14. Give Student Discounts

If you own an eCommerce site, you can leverage your existing offers to acquire links from highly-valued edu websites.

One offer you can make is a discount code for students in colleges and universities.

student-discount

If you had this type of content, then maximize it for link acquisition.

Keep reading.

Start your link search with “keyword” “alumni discount” inurl:.edu.

You can replace key phrases with “student discount” OR “sponsors” page to find more link opportunities.

Make a list of them and use your discount code as your value proposition in outreach.

Here’s what the paragraph with a link looks like:

student-discount-paragraph

15. Offer Member Discounts

Discount offers are an untapped value most eCommerce sites aren’t using for their link building campaign.

If this is something resource curators are looking to add to their pages, it is definitely a goldmine to consider for links today.

Take a look at this example:

member discount

It is a member discount page hosted in an organizational site.

If there are hundreds of member discount pages just like that, then you’re missing out those high caliber backlink opportunities.

To find them:

Do Google searches for site:.org “member discount” “keyword”. You can replace search queries with “member discount list”, “member discount benefits” or “member discount program” to expand your link lists.

Then list them down in a sheet and prepare to do some outreach.

Trust me it is not too difficult to acquire links from those types of pages.

16. Provide Employee Discounts

We had students and member discounts as eCommerce link building tactics, shared above.

But there’s one thing still missing:

Employee discounts.

They are pretty much the same with other discounts. It’s just that they are only offered to employees of companies (self-explanatory).

Look for them using Google searches like “keyword” “employee discount”. Replace employee discounts with “employee discount program” and “employee discount list” to add more sites to your backlink list.

employee discounts

If this value is something that you offer as an eCommerce store, make this part of your link building plan.

17. Do Outreach to Bloggers with Recently Published Content

Knowing if bloggers had the capacity and availability to update his current page can make or break your chances of acquiring a link.

One type of these bloggers are those who recently published their posts related to yours.

They are more receptive to pitches particularly to link request emails given that they are still on the mode of adding more references and resources for their recent content.

How to find them?

Do a quick search for your target keyword/topic in Google.

Filter the results by all published date to only get pages that are indexed by Google within that time period.

past 24 hours google search

Take note that Google will only provide indexed pages, so if bloggers didn’t allow Google to index their recent content pieces, it won’t appear in search results.

Imagine:

If you can find at least five bloggers every week who just published a similar post, and you got 15% conversion rate using this approach, you can acquire 3 additional links every month for every single piece.

Further reading: Effective hacks to use influencers for blogger outreach

18. Forward Your Email to the Right Person

There are different responses you can receive from your pitches:

One may be a failed message, automated reply of returning back from a vacation or a direct email saying you need to forward this to the right person.

forward email

When you receive this reply, forward your email to the right person, with a subject line: forward to [topic].

This tells your contact person that your email has been sent for that reason and not just another pitch they receive on a regular basis.

19. Participate in Offline Events

If you get invited to speak at conferences, seminars or any other offline events, take advantage of mentions acquired from speaking pages.

Mostly these mentions would be accompanied with links, but if not, ask the organizers if they could link to your own branded profile page - offer it as a page to link to.

offline event speaker

If you want to start leveraging this branding technique, you can create profile pages in top community sites like Inbound.org and participate well to be noticed.

next speaking gig

20. Do Reverse Guest Posting

Guest blogging is still an effective link building tactic for many bloggers, marketers and business owners today.

But there’s something that we missed with this SEO technique:

It is not just a one-way process.

You can actually do reverse guest posting on your blog and still acquire links.

Revere guest posting, as it defines itself, is inviting other bloggers in your industry to contribute a content for your blog.

There are three types of links you’ll get using this approach:

First, links from the guest blogger’s own sites referencing their work on your blog.

Second, links from the contributor’s network of bloggers.

Third, links from your own network referencing a top-notch content contributed by the guest blogger.

All of these three are very useful in helping your site to build its authority and branding in your niche.

guest post neil patel

21. Schedule Outreach Emails

Most pitches that I got from bloggers came in either early morning or late afternoon – when I mostly available to respond to emails.

If you can time your emails just like that, you’ll get more responses that the usual, and potentially convert them into links.

Simple, isn’t it?

schedule emails

22. Transcribe Content to Other Formats

Besides visual content, there are also other ways you can take advantage of non-text content, i.e. audio and videos.

What to do?

Look for videos that can be transcribed into text.

You can go directly to Youtube or do a search for a specific topic.

youtube search

Check the website hosting the video if they had transcribed it already, as it won’t make sense to make a duplicate copy.

Upload your video to Speechpad (paid tool for video transcription). It would normally take 24 to 48 hours, choose whatever works for your schedule and budget.

upload files speechpad

Once you have the transcribed content, check the article if it could be used as a guest post, i.e. running it through CopyScape if it is a duplicate of others.

A simple editing of the article – adding bullet points will do to make it a good content that can distributed to a particular blog.

23. Update Other People's Outdated Content

Learning from others is one factor that makes some content to be the most successful resource on the web.

Think about it:

If others’ content had acquired good results in terms of links and social shares, but lack in something like information, do you think you’d have a chance to achieve the same success?

Yes and no.

Updating other people’s content isn’t a guaranteed success for content-based link acquisition.

But:

If you will apply the following steps below, you are on your way to the right track:

Use outdated content finder to find old pages that need more updated and in-depth information.

Below are instructions on how you can use it properly.

Check each webpage in results and look at their numbers of referring domains (use Ahrefs Bulk Checker for this activity).

Grab content pieces with ~100 unique linking websites from your list.

Determine which of them are feasible to invest by asking yourself questions: a.) can you beat the content with more information (i.e. 100 tips > 38) b.) can you make information much better (i.e. more references/data/resources) c.) can you outrank them with better design? – are you willing to invest in the content to make it more appealing to readers?

If these questions have been answered, proceed to creating the content.

Finally, reach out to those linkers of outdated content and share your better content to them.

24. Find Blog Opportunities Using Reverse Image Search

Let’s face it:

Guest blogging is saturated.

If your only link prospecting method is following footprints of guest post by, write for us, then sooner or later, you’ll be running out of backlink prospects.

What other ways to prospect for guest blogs?

Use Reverse Image Search to find blogs that published content of any form on a similar topic.

google reverse image search

Given that they have posted content assets from other bloggers, they’d also be receptive to pitches for guest blogging.

25. Use Linkclump to Ease Tab Opening

Productivity is very important in link prospecting, especially if you are targeting hundreds of backlink targets every week.

You have to maximize every minute of your time.

Raise your right hand if you are that person struggling with opening multiple tabs every time?

What most of you do when opening tabs is to right click on each links and click open in new tab.

But what if:

You have long list of domains to qualify, let’s say 300 or 400. Doing the normal tab opening takes too much time.

LinkClump solves that problem.

With this tool, you are able to semi-automate link opening with a simple right click plus drag combination.

linkclump

This saves a lot of your time.

26. Build Testimonial Links

Have you ever seen a page with three or more testimonials from customers, clients and influencers?

They are not just good for conversions, they are also a great channel for link acquisition.

Visit Google and search for “related keyword” “testimonials” site:.org  to find them.

There might be some clutters in search results, so be sure to pick only pages that are related to your industry.

testimonial links

27. Use Stylist for Link Prospecting

Are there times that you have visited the same link prospect twice?

Several times, isn’t it?

Now you can avoid that to save you wasted time in link prospecting.

Install Stylist in your Chrome browser and insert this code in the settings.

stylist

Visited pages will be highlighted with your preferred color.

stylist search results

If you find this tip great, proceed to the next link prospecting strategy:

28. Insert Internal Links to Guest Posts

Have you submitted a guest post but found out later that it’s been rejected by the publisher?

You know that your content is of high-quality. So what could be the reason?

First, you didn’t pass the guest blogging guidelines.

Second, you didn’t even include an internal link to the publishers’ past content.

seo hacker internal links

The next time you submit a guest post, make sure to include at least two internal links to the guest blog’s posts. This increases your chances of landing a placement for your guest content.

29. Do Broken Link Replacements

If you are not familiar with broken link building, it is simply a process of telling the webmaster of a certain site that there’s a broken link found in one of his pages, and suggesting that the content on your blog is a good replacement for their broken resource.

What makes the big difference between a link builder making 2 to 5% conversion rate from someone who only had 1% or less than success rate – both are using broken link building as their link building approach?

Value

The best way of doing broken link building is not just providing the webmaster with a list of broken resources, but make sure to give them replacements for those defunct links.

Don’t just give them your resource as a replacement; this should be your last value.

See the outreach email below. This was my response to the webmaster asking me what links I’ve found on their sites.

broken link replacements

After giving them replacements and suggestions on how to fix their broken links, it’s time to let them see the resource of my client.

Much greater success than what you are traditionally doing.

Good news:

There are more link prospecting techniques below.

30. Find Networks to Build Links For You

Networks.

They’re not just useful for increasing influence, authority and following, they could be great sources of links too.

network link building

Ask your sales department or your client if you are in an agency if they have a list of manufacturers (for retailers), retailers (for manufacturers) and suppliers (for both).

See if they have a specific page for retailers/manufacturers/suppliers and reach out to them – ask if you can be included in that page.

31. Exchange Content With Others

If you are trying to build links to legal websites, you know that a simple guest post won’t work instantly.

Yes, those pitched bloggers can get free content but that’s it. They don’t have much value to get from you.

What’s more effective?

Find a non-competing blog to do a guest post for.

If you are in the legal industry and offers bankruptcy and any business law services, you may want to find legal sites with blogs that offer non-legal business specific services.

Pitch them and ask them if they are interested to distributing content to your blog and your content to theirs.

A quick exact process of content exchange. Simple yet very effective.

32. Use Tools to Identify Potential Penalties

You become aware of how important identification of quality in link building when Google released Penguin filters announcement way back in 2010.

Whether links comes from a pure outreach-based link building campaign or an organic one, determining the health score of a prospect website is very essential.

Use Ahrefs or SEMRush to determine if a prospect domain had a sudden traffic drop. If it appears to, it is a good indication of possible penalty. Move on to your next link prospect.

semrush data

Be sure to see a steady growth of organic traffic on a website, not just for indicating possible penalties, but for getting constant flow of referral traffic from the said site.

Very effective.

But wait, there’s more.

Read the next link prospecting tip.

33. Use URL Profiler for Bulk Link Metrics

Have you been overwhelmed with many link prospects that you didn’t have a chance to check which ones are high quality?

If yes, here’s what you can do:

Upload your file of backlink targets to URL Profiler (make sure you download the software first).

Check the metrics that you prefer – Moz, Ahrefs or Majestic.

url profiler

Then wait for a few minutes, and you’ll get a CSV file of target domains with their respective quality metrics.

What to do next:

Grab all websites or pages that pass your benchmarks – for example, choose sites with Domain Authority of 30 and above.

Target them for your outreach.

Continue reading:

There are outreach tips below to continue your link building process.

34. Identify Link Obtainability Rate

Responses from resource curators should be evaluated and help your outreach process.

sample-email

When you get a reply just like that, you typically ignore it and move on to the next prospect in your list.

But take a closer look.

Resource pages with all external links pointing to a similar type of website should give a valuable insight then.

The next time you quality a resource page based on obtainability, you would want to look at the type of site all of these external links are pointing to.

If they tend to point to a .gov, .edu and other non-profit sites - ~80% or more and you don’t see any similar resource just like yours, that’s a good indication of low link obtainability score of that page.

Great observation, isn’t it?

35. Offer Premium Images to Bloggers

Non-stock photos and those without copyright tend to populate blogs – making it not appealing for old as well as to new readers.

Make sure:

You take advantage of this problem:

Offer premium bloggers to niche bloggers (may it be too close or not with relevance) – after all, links are still links built.

It would be also useful if you can create a page solely for that purpose.

Look at this:

premium images bloggers

Design should not be as elegant as possible – just make sure all premium mages are sorted and arrange properly.

36. Get Image-site Links for Competitive Industries

What do you do when you’re trying to build links in a lucrative yet challenging industries like payday loans and gambling?

You go to your last resort – Private Blog Networks.

I doubt if links built using that approach will last for decades.

Anyway, what you can do is to try different approaches to build links to those types of sites.

Check this out:

Ryan Stewart had this client in the gambling industry.

So what he did was to get image links from other linking pages for another client.

Sounds confusing? Look at the example below:

competitive industry link

An image link built from a digital marketing blog – may not be as good with relevance, but can pretty draw some high link juice to your other client’s site.

37. Diversify Your Anchor Texts

Anchor text diversity is what makes a natural link profile different from others.

anchor text diversity

It is not normal to see an anchor text section of 90% pure commercial anchor texts. It’s inorganic.

But there is a simple and best way to diversify your anchor text.

That is:

Let bloggers and webmasters decide the proper anchor text to link to you.

Don’t be aggressive with exact match anchor texts. You can still rank for relevant terms when you add LSI terms to your linking pages – more to that later.

But for now:

Proceed to the next link building tip.

38. Reformat Other People's Content

Let’s admit:

It’s hard to create content especially if you don’t have any idea about the industry.

Does this sound familiar?

You may be experiencing this but there’s actually a secret to overcoming content creation headache.

You can start your content ideation process with identifying a few success content assets in your industry.

Use Buzzsumo to check top performing content.

Sort the results from highest to lowest social shares and/or linking pages.

Create a visual version of the content.

Make an infographic if the content is much more appealing to users where there is a visual version.

Next is to outreach all webmasters linking to the original version of the content.

Build more links.

Take a look at this:

speed up wordpress infographic

The team at Hosting Facts created a visual format of the popular post of Gregory Ciotti on how to speed up your wordpress.

gregory ciotti

Because the original post had gained [number] of backlinks directly pointing to the page, there is a great indication of success in outreach.

ahrefs backlinks sparring mind

Update: Tung Tran published an updated article on speed up your wordpress site.

You see:

39. Buy Content from Real Bloggers

In my experience, scaling link building is one hard truth.

It’s not easy.

One reason is that you don’t have a specific link building to execute right away.

But what if I tell you, you can scale link building without sacrificing the quality of links built.

Here’s how:

Reach out to bloggers with top notch content on their blogs.

Ask if they are doing freelance for others. If they say no, ask if they’d be interested to do so.

Buy content from them.

In return, keep the authorship of the content while your team maintains the outreach and content distribution campaigns.

Returns are awesome:

You get top-notch content and a link from an authority blog pointing to your site or to your client.

The blogger gets a link pointing to his blog, since you’ll be using his authorship. He also gets a writing fee for his content.

40. Use "Because" in your Outreach

Have you tried everything in outreach but are still getting the same results as before?

I know that feeling.

But do you know that there’s one thing you can do to increase your response and conversion rates in outreach?

It is acquiring the skill to magnify the value of your pitch.

When you emphasize the value of what you’re offering, it becomes easy to convince people to convince about your email and what you’re trying to tell them.

One way to do that is to start using because in outreach.

Brian Dean found that there’s an incremental positive effect in response/conversion rate when you use the word “because” in outreach.

because outreach

It is a psychological effect that turns your request seems more legitimate.

In outreach, legit messages get better responses.

41. Provide Three Reasons in Follow Up

When you send emails to people, there are two things that happen:

Some people reply.

Others don’t.

With the 30% of webmasters who don’t respond to your pitch, do you know their reasons?

One way to know that is to send them three reasons of non-linking in your follow-up emails.

See this image below:

3 reasons follow up

Webmasters only have to choose one among these reasons.

So what do we usually get from this approach?

not interested response

no capacity response

These types of emails are better than receiving none. Not knowing the reasons gives you a blurry idea of what to do next.

With your next follow-up outreach campaigns, test this strategy and see their answers for yourself.

42. Use Email Hunter

There are different aspects in link building that consumes so much time – which you can actually delegate to someone else.

Like finding emails.

If you take each one link prospect and look for their corresponding contact emails, you could have spent hours doing that.

And if you don’t have a team to help you with email hunting, it’s obviously a time wasted on your part.

But don’t worry.

There’s a simple way to get things done.

You can use EmailHunter to semi-automate this data mining process.

You can generate emails available on each website prospected by clicking on Google Chrome tool button.

email hunter search

Easy.

Then after, what you need to do is to choose your preferred email.

43. Find Direct Email In Resource Pages

The biggest outreach mistake you can do is to totally depend on your email hunting tools.

Remember:

These tools aren’t perfect and won’t give you assurance of higher response and link acquisition rates.

When you encounter a prospect page, let’s say a resource page, what you normally do is check the contact us page and direct your pitch.

You forget something:

Those resource pages that you target have direct email addresses included in the top or below sections of the page.

resource page above email

The next time you find contact emails, skim the page from top to bottom and address your pitch to the right contact email.

44. Avoid Industry Jargons

Emails should be as straightforward and simple as possible.

Take note:

Not all webmasters and bloggers know about SEO.

And even if they do, they get alarmed easily with SEO concerns, one reason why we don’t usually get a link from them.

Try to avoid saying link to this resource or content.

You can use words like cite, reference or share (but share mostly implies social share).

Use your words carefully.

45. Associate Two Resources in BLB

When recommending a resource to be included in a resource page, it’s fairly common to see a link builder just providing his own content alone.

That’s not to say it’s a bad practice.

However:

You can still improve the conversion rate by recommending a secondary resource.

Your recommended secondary resource in your vertical can help lower the commercial intent to the webmaster.

The advantage?

It can increase your chances of getting the resource link to your content.

46. Tell Your Content Value for Sponsored Posts

If you’ve been blogging for years, you know how saturated some industries are.

A few examples are finance, mommy and coupon verticals.

Almost half of blogs in those niches won’t provide you a link for free.

With that, what do you do?

Move on and prospect another list of domains?

No.

One way to counteract their responses of asking you for sponsored post fee is to tell them this value:

The price of your content

It’s a psychology effect that can increase your chances of placing your guest post on their blog.

If your writing is valued at $100 to $150 per post, you can mention that in your response plus the traffic that type of content can generate for their sites.

Also, a simple question just like this would help you a lot as well:

Is there any way you’d consider waiving the sponsored post fee?

Most kind bloggers will prefer not to charge you for a post if they’ve found your content more valuable than other guest bloggers pitching them.

47. Find More Prospects from Broken Pages

One biggest problem of link builders:

Running out of link prospects.

If you are that person, especially if you are working on a broken link building campaign, one way to expand your link lists is to look at your previous campaign.

See broken links you’ve suggested to your past potential linkers.

Plug them in Ahrefs and determine if they are highly linkable by resource curators.

links to broken page

The best in this strategy?

You’ll find hundreds of qualified prospects that you won’t find simply using Google search.

48. Check Top Pages of Broken Content

Have you come across a broken link?

Don’t just add it to your spreadsheet.

See if it could be a channel of multiple link opportunities.

Plug broken websites into Ahrefs to find their top pages.

Sort from highest to lowest root domains.

Go to Wayback Machine and check what those pages are.

Reproduce the content with more in-depth information (10x content).

Once done, reach out to webmasters linking to that dead page and tell them about the broken link and your 10x content.

Because they had history of linking and yours is a better content, there’ll be a guaranteed success.

But wait there’s more:

49. Wikipedia Content Recreation

Ever find a dead Wikipedia resource?

If yes, use that to your own advantage.

How?

Find a Wikipedia page in your industry that is outdated and/or requires additional information. You’re your research process with a simple Google search for "This article has multiple issues" + "topic keyword" site:wikipedia.org or use WikiGrabber.

wikigrabber

multiple cropping wikipage

Once you’ve find a target, check out if there is a good number of links pointing to the Wikipedia page.

ahrefs link wikipedia page

Create a high-utility content, make it better than the original version by adding more up-to-date information to it.

Get your first list of prospects by exporting a list of links that cite the old Wikipedia page.

50. Use DMOZ to Find Shoulder Niches

You start to worry that:

If you stuck in just one industry to tap for your link building campaign, you won’t have any links built at the end of the month.

This happens all the time:

However, you can solve this typical problem using the top directory site – DMOZ.

How might that tool can help you?

It can show you what industries you can ideally consider in building links for a specific vertical.

Horizontal.

horizontal dmoz

Vertical

vertical dmoz

This works wonders in how you can expand your reach with your link building campaign.

Make this as your regular habit:

51. Make Your Tweet Short and Sweet

If you think outreach is highly dependent on email, that’s not the case.

There are many people who actually leverage the power of 145-character tweet when doing actual outreach.

See this example:

getvero short sweet

It wouldn’t take you five minutes to compose a simple Twitter just like that. But who knows, that might increase your link acquisition rate.

52. Leverage Pre-Announcement Outreach

You know what, you can increase your social shares and backlinks to your content.

Wait.

Deep down you know this is true, but how can you make it?

Simple.

By announcing your future post even before it goes live.

pre post announcement email

Psychology-speaking, if you ask someone to do a little commitment, it would be easy for him to respond to you.

Higher response rate.

And the next time you do a pitch of sharing the link of your content, it’s now easy to build the trust and earn the link that you desire.

53. Use Videos in Outreach

A blogger receives several pitches in a day, especially those who are in PR and news companies.

Picture this:

If a blogger receives minimum of 50 emails in a day, how possible it is that your pitch will get opened?

Don’t say no until I say this possible solution.

Think about ways on how you can make your pitch stand out.

One way is to include a video in your pitch.

It works because:

  • It is personalized.
  • It is a unique format of pitch.

In other words, it pulls your pitch from other similar pitches and makes your outreach email stand out.

This is time-consuming and if you want to do video-outreach to those who haven’t respond to you yet, there’s a better way.

When the person didn’t respond to you, send him over a quick video to his Twitter profile.

video twitter

He’ll more likely to notice.

54. Get Links Using Slideshare

Conferences and seminars in every industry are everywhere.

And when there are events like that, speakers tend to upload their presentations to Slideshare.

And guess what?

Those Slideshare presentations have good amount of links.

With good filtering, you will get some gems of links you can reclaim to link to your website.

ahrefs link slideshare presentation

What’s better is when you create a specific page in your website that includes all seminars/events you’ve spoken at.

This makes reaching out to potential linkers more effective.

ahrefs links slideshare profile

But don’t stop from there.

Check if you also got links pointing to your Slideshare profile.

You’ll certainly find more opportunities you can add to your bucket of links.

Reach out to those prospects and ask them to link to a specific page (just like what I told you earlier) or to your homepage (if you don’t have a new branded page).

55. Invest in Content Design

When you share a link to a webmaster or blogger, the first thing that they’d see is your content design.

Design directly affects results in outreach.

Let me share one example.

cyber safety

This is a resource guide about cyberbullying. It got links from 890+ unique relevant referring domains.

It’s just for one content asset.

Imagine if you have several resource guides well-formatted and designed just like that, you would be surprised with potential high-authority links you can obtain every single month.

cyber safety links

56. Suggest Post Ideas for Guest Blogs

If you received an email like this, you probably hit the delete button right away.

guest post email spam

Three reasons why:

You don’t get a straight value from the pitch.

The guest blogger doesn’t know about you.

He does provide generic blog topics you’re not interested in.

If you will ask me:

My primary reason of rejecting a guest blogging pitch is the last reason above – not suggesting content ideas tailored to my blog.

Why is that so?

If you look at it closely, you can simply identify if the person takes an effort of pitching to you when he started to know what topics will resonate with your audience.

So your next question:

How can I think of content ideas that best fit to my target guest blog?

Find the most common pain points of your audience.

parenting quora

57. Ask Referrals From Bloggers

One undertook advantage of many link builders is maximizing their existing linkers to prospect for more backlink targets.

You will never run out of prospects using this approach.

And to tell you:

It is very easy.

You only need to ask your existing linkers if they know someone who’d also be interested in the same kind of value you are offering to them.

Results?

Most of them will respond to you.

Just imagine:

If you got 10 links last month and 8 of them can refer to you another two bloggers, then you already have 20 additional link prospects.

You don’t do anything. You simply just reach out to them and you already got another list.

Practice it today and see how it works.

58. Distinguish Company Blogs From Full-time Bloggers

If you are expecting responses from writers/bloggers from company sites, you’ll be disappointed.

Compared to full-time bloggers who are 24/7 ready to respond to pitches, company webmasters normally don’t respond to people unless it’d have an impact to their direct business (i.e. sales support).

How can you identify company blogs from full-time bloggers?

It’s so simple:

By looking at page SERP structure, you’ll be able to see directly if a site is owned by a company or not.

search results hair removal

When you prospect for a blog, make sure you master identification between a company blog and a niche blog.

Proceed to the next tip to get more blog opportunities:

59. Use Comment-based Prospecting

The social proof that a blog is authoritative if it has a community of active commenters.

True enough,it’s not that easy to find many sites with that kind of authority.

But you can leverage the use of search queries combined with comment keyphrases to make high-authority link prospecting possible.

comment based prospecting

That search query signifies that results should have that number of comments in their posts

This can help ensure that you will only prospect for blogs with mid to high-level community.

If you lack with blog opportunities in your industry, try the above approach and comment below this guide if you find it effective.

Move to the next advanced link prospecting tip:

60. Use CMS-based Prospecting

One way to add more blog prospects to your list is by using CMS keyphrases.

Check examples below:

cms based prospecting

Google will exactly provide blogs that are powered/generated using Wordpress or other content management system you’ve indicated in your search.

When adding more backlink targets to your list, aforementioned approach might work for you.

Don’t stop reading.

You may miss the next big tip.

61. Find Link Exchange Phrases Easily

Link exchanges are obviously evident on blogs and resource pages.

Take a look:

reciprocal link program

When qualifying resource curators’ list pages, one of your top qualifying factors should be:

The website/page webmaster shouldn’t be involved in any link exchange or reciprocal link programs.

Simple way:

Use the Find and replace function and do searches for: reciprocal or exchange and you’ll instantly see if the page has any of those keywords.

62. Tailor Content to Linkable Audiences

As we execute broken link building for clients, our mindset has changed.

It’s not “create content” and ”build links” approach that works.

But go into this:

Identify link opportunities first, then create a content asset to serve them.

When you approach broken link building the right away, you want to find linkable audiences that will fit to your site – it may not be your direct customers/clients that you want to cater to, but a group of so called, “linkable audience”.

What is linkable audience?

Linkable audience is a group of resource curators who would benefit from specifically tailored information on a topic.

Garrett French

Garrett had a list of available linkable audiences ready to be served.

linkable audience

Your next step:

Determine which of these audiences you can serve based on the topics aligned to your website.

For example:

If you are in a travel insurance industry, doing a search for inurl:links.html “travel” will give you resource pages that you can further check to know the type of audience you’d want to cater your content to:

inurl links for

63. Use Author Bylines for Prospecting

When finding link prospects for your website, you mostly ignore names of industry bloggers.

In this case, you missed out on opportunities where you can further expand your link search.

What can you do?

Identify names of bloggers who recently published their guest posts on other blogs.

Use the Google search query, “guest post by” “keyword” and filter the search results by date.

guest post by search query

Check if these blogs can be added to your list of target domains – use your link metrics/insights.

Next tip will surely fire you more resource page opportunities:

64. Undo Templated Mistakes in Gmail

Have you sent an email and just realized you forgot to change/add something to your pitch?

This happens in most cases.

Either:

You messed up with attribute tags, not been able to change {name} or {website} in your email template.

You sent the wrong version of an email, instead of BLB pitch, you sent a guest blogging email.

Both mistakes will kill your response and conversion rates.

So how do you avoid this from happening?

Enable Undo in Gmail Labs. Go to Settings – Labs – Enable.

65. Get Easy Rankings wiht Meetup Events

Have you heard about parasite SEO?

It’s not a total black hat.

As you know:

Parasite SEO is leveraging high-authority domains to acquire indirect links through ranking for very competitive keywords.

Instead of building links to your webpage with low authority, you can take advantage of big sites where you can easily create pages and target highly competitive keywords.

For example:

James Norquay created an event in Sydney. He named it with the exact keyword Online marketing Sydney and it now ranks for that keyword.

meetup sydney

Best of all:

That keyphrase is not just informational, but it is something people are searching for to find a particular service – win!

For links?

It’s multiple.

People who signed up and attended your meetup might give you links from their blogs.

Bottomline:

Create an event and try to rank for highly competitive keyword.

Rankings and links.

Two birds with one stone.

66. Create Your Own Resource Page

Do you want to increase your links from resource curators?

There is one secret way:

Create your own resource page.

Come to think of it, if you link to other websites, may it be your competitors’ resources, you actually have a value to push in your pitch.

It is like baiting your competitors to link to your resource page, because you initiate doing so.

You are not just getting links from competitors but also from other resource curators as well.

For example:

This resource page about disability scholarship resources has been linked to many times by resource curators.

create-a-resource-page

First, from websites listed in the resource page.

Second, from websites with their own resource pages as well.

Imagine:

Content isn’t expensive to create but you can acquire high-utility resource page backlinks.

67. Get Guestographic Links

Infographic promotion has been around for a long time.

Even up to now, it still works.

But one way to make this works more effective:

Pitching bloggers to write a mini-guest post right above your infographics.

If you can make a customized introduction for your visual content, you make it easy for them to publish your content – gives you more chances of getting relevant backlinks

The next time you promote an infographic:

Take away the burden from partner publishers by offering custom introductions for their infographics.

68. Use Blog Commenting for Referral Traffic

Blog comment is a branding strategy.

No doubt SEO experts still use it to market their blogs.

Check this out:

gianluca comment

However, there’s one thing that differentiates their blog commenting strategy from others:

They do it to build their brand and to drive referral traffic.

If your mindset is just like that, you’ll have a good referral traffic from those top-notch blogs – see below of the traffic that I’ve gained from Brian Dean’s blog:

backlinko referral traffic

69. Link to Your Other Guest Posts

Does tier link building still works?

It depends on how you use it.

But for me, the proper way to do tier link building is to start with your external content.

Check out your guest posts. See which of them are still earning links.

If you have targeted keywords in a few guest posts, prioritize them

Make sure you link to them in your future guest posts.

When they are ranking at 6 to 10 for keywords with good search volume, you can still push them up to the 1st spot.

link-to-guest-post

70. Organize Guest Blogging Process

If your number one link building strategy is guest blogging, one thing you need to remember is

organize everything.

Organization is important to improve your guest blogging process.

See this image below.

It has columns for:

  • Domain Name
  • Source
  • Guest Blogging Guidelines
  • Sample Guest Article
  • Contact Name
  • Email Address / Contact Form
  • Relationship Status

Even if you have 3, 5 or 10 clients or websites, you can easily track the status of relationships with each target guest blog.

The best part:

It builds accountability among your team members (both remote and in-house).

71. Use Millionshort for Prospecting

Google is your bestfriend in link prospecting.

But you know what, there is one tool that you can use to make your search more targeted.

By using MillionShort, a tool that allows you to remove the top million or thousands pages for your keyword, you enable your prospecting to target mid-level blogs or sites.

This is very useful if you are not targeting DA70+ blogs which normally ranks for most of the keywords out there.

Next time you do your prospecting, try using the said tool.

It works.

72. Seek Link Opportunities Using Delicious

If you’ve been sharing your content quite often, you probably know Delicious that it’s a good place to share, save and bookmark popular content on the web.

Did you know the secret?

You can actually use that social platform to find highly targeted linkers.

How?

Use its search function to look for people who recently share and bookmarked a similar content of yours.

Check each profile if they linked to their websites to ensure that they are capable of linking to your webpage.

Gather all potential linkers in one list and reach out to them.

73. Create an Industry Glossary

Every industry has its own jargons.

If you can combine all industry terms and definitions into one big post, it’s a linkable content asset you can maximize for links.

Check out this glossary about gardening, there are 100+ referring domains.

gardening glossary

The next time you run out of content ideas, create your own industry glossary.

74. Coin a Term

If you are a follower of Backlinko, you probably heard these terms:

Guestographics

Content upgrade

Skyscraper technique

Yes?

These are not fundamental terms that exist since the origin of the Internet, they are what we call, “coined terms”.

Coined terms are created commonly used terms by industry experts, publishers or influencers to state or define a new thing, process or trend.

Look at how many links Brian Dean acquired using that approach:

content upgrade links

The better?

When you also target other relevant keywords along with your coined term, it would be easy for you to rank for them.

content upgrade rank

75. Create a Wikipedia Page With Ease

Ever wanted to get a branded link from Wikipedia?

Follow this link building process:

Write up a Wikipedia page for your brand (you can a professional writer to make sure the history, values and any important information are put into proper sections).

Then make sure to proofread it to follow Wikipedia’s formatting guidelines.

Finally, hire an experienced editor to submit your entry.

http://www.peopleperhour.com/hourlie/create-a-wikipedia-page/31502

76. Build Links Using Job Ads

To create new content is to build links.

Not all the time:

You have to look at your existing web assets and determine which one of them you’ll be able to use to acquire links.

If you take a closer look:

Your latest job application page on your website is one asset you can leverage:

Start with:

Finding available job boards in your industry and in your location.

Use any of the following Google search queries:

“list of “industry” job boards”

“industry” + job listings

“city” + job boards

“city” + job listings

Then get your job page included in those links pages when you do outreach (remember to have the job page published on your site beforehand)

77. Guest Post on Edu Blogs

Acquiring edu links is not an easy task.

But there’s one way you can certainly penetrate those types of links:

Contribute highly targeted content to them.

Look at this example:

Ryan Stewart is a SEO guy and he writes for big SEO and digital marketing publications like Moz and Ahrefs.

What he did is to write a post targeted to the market audience of the edu site – which is non-profit organizations.

His post about non-profit local marketing is a testament of how possible it is to get a contextual edu link.

edu-guest-post

Try this yourself:

78. Find Mid-level Blogs in Page 3, 4..

Ever wonder why you can’t build links right away?

If you are a startup and are targeting high publications to acquire editorial links from, then it’s not possible to do it in weeks unless you have existing relationships with industry publishers from those sites.

What to do when you want to tap mid-level blogs/domains first?

This little trick will help:

Go to page 3, 4 and pages after, first before looking straight at the 1st page for possible linkers.

page-3-4

Because chances are when you get straight to the first page, you’ll see top-domains (DA50 or 60+) for your head-term keywords.

79. Validate Contact Emails

Has this happened to you?

You pitch a webmaster then a few minutes, you receive a failed email delivery message.

failed delivery message

What does that mean?

The email you’re contacting to is not working and is not anymore the webmaster’s email.

How can you avoid this?

Use an email validator to identify which emails are still working.

my-addr

Thought it’s not 100% accurate (estimate of ~10% inaccuracy), this helps you a lot when pitching hundreds, even more thousands webmasters.

You don’t need to worry if your emails won’t get to their proper places.

80. Analyze Your Competitors Properly

Don’t get links from competitors’ linking pages because you are only following footprints.

Most link builders will argue with this statement—and I’m one of them.

Why?

First, not because you get a link from a page where your competitor has acquired means you are just following the similar footprint – it does if you only target just one competitor.

Second, competitor link building diversifies your link profile. When you get a link from a page discovered through manual search and another link from your competitors’ linking domain, then it helps make your link profile diversified effortlessly.

How to do proper competitor link analysis:

First, identify the goal of your campaign, i.e. trying to get links from a whole domain with or without its subdomain, from a specific prefix (e.g. product category) or from a specific content/page.

Second, plug the page into Ahrefs and use the proper URL type for competitor link analysis (prefix if you want to find linking pages of a, let’s say a category and all pages further down, URL if you want to find linking pages to that specific page alone and domain with or without subdomain – self-explanatory).

url-structure-ahrefs

Finally, strategize how you’d be able to get links from pages you discovered. Apply any of the ink building tactics in this guide.

If you want to learn an advanced approach of this competitor link building tactic:

Continue reading:

81. Find Broken Links Using LinkMiner

Link rot is the new friend of every link builder – particularly those who practice broken link building.

It’s very time consuming when you manually find broken links on a resource page.

To ease the process, you can use LinkMiner to semi-automate looking for broken resources.

No wonder many link builders can scale broken link building because of this handy tool.

82. Use Interviews as Guest Posts

Have you interviewed someone and published his/her answers on your blog?

You get visits, shares, and links.

It’s even better if you use that content as a guest post to somebody else.

Win-win situation!

The interviewee gets an exposure.

You build a backlink to your website.

Examples are here below:

interview-guest-post

83. Use Videos for Guest Blogging

Writing a guest post for other blogs takes time, especially if you’re trying to make it as top-notch as possible.

But before you start writing, think about other ways you can leverage other content formats aside from text.

For example:

Dan Shure did a video-type guest post with few written texts.

video-guest-blogging

Why this is effective:

  • It sets you apart from other pitched emails, where they mostly offer text-based content (it increases your chances of landing a guest post).
  • It improves user engagement on the target guest blog.

Try this strategy and see for yourself results.

84. Find Misspelled Domains and Get Links

Accidents happen.

Same goes when people link to your domain or page.

They might link to your site but had misspelled your domain name.

This mostly occurs when you had an established authority in your industry (not recommending this for startups).

Want to try this approach?

First, generate misspelled/typos of your brand name using this tool.

Second, find pages linking to those misspelled domains using Ahrefs Bulk Checker.

Finally, reach out to those webmasters of pages, let them know about their misspelled domains and ask them to update it.

85. Determine Websites That Used Your Old Logos

If your website has gone through a redesign or rebrand, you now have a link building plan to take.

First, use ImageRaider to upload all versions of your logo and the tool will send you a report of all websites not linking back to you.

Second, reach out to people who had been using old logo and ask them if they could update the image with the new version and link to you if they haven’t.

A short and sweet message will do:

Hi [FIRST NAME],

I noticed you’re using [brand]’s logo on this page on your site. We actually went through a rebrand [date/time] and part of our re-brand was a new logo. I’m attaching a new version of our logo, and we’d appreciate it if you could update the page with our new logo.

Thanks!

[your name]

86. Link to Influencer's Content

Reciprocation is one factor to influence someone (source: book).

It simply means that when you ask for something, you need to also provide value to that person.

This makes a big difference with how people will respond to your favor.

Think about it.

If you mentioned and linked to an influencer, expert, or blogger from your blog post, wouldn’t it be an instant value for them?

Next time you promote your blog post,gather all blogs and content you mentioned in your latest post. This will be your warm link prospecting list.

Reach out to them and tell them that you included their content in your latest post.

linked-to-your-post

87. Use Related Search Op to Find Blog Prospects

Relevance should be your first considering factor when finding websites to target for links. Google looks at links (source)…

If you are having difficulty seeking for blogs in your industry, try this search operator – related:domain.com

related-function

This will give you results of websites thematically relevant to the domain related search operator points out to.

88. Offer Content to be Translated to Other Languages

If you have a website targeting global markets, one of the best ways to acquire more links to your pages is distributing your content to non-English blogs/sites.

Start by tracking in Google Analytics for non-English countries and have a list of them.

Once done,try doing searches for country-specific domains in Google.

You can use the site operator to target domains with country domain expectations. Add any blogs you find to your spreadsheet.

And if your list is not enough,don’t forget non-English sites already linked to one of your pages. Plug your domain to Ahrefs and check out those existing linking pages.

They are likely to be your recurring linkers.

Your next step:

Pitch webmasters and offer if they’d be interested to translate your content to the languages of their websites.

You’ll be amazed with the amount of caliber links you can obtain using this approach.

translate-language-email

89. Do 2nd-level Broken Link Building

Linkrot is a huge advantage for many SEOs especially link builders.

Because every day, there are resource/curated/links pages that are getting outdated, where some of them linked to pages that are not available anymore (404).

If you are aiming tons of high-quality backlinks, then that is a good news for you.

Broken link building is, by far, the most beneficial link building tactic for SEOs.

It’s even better if they can go through deeper levels in broken link building.

Links could come from:

  1. Resource page they’ve found.
  2. Pages linking to that resource page.
  3. Resource pages linking to external broken links of that resource page above.

So you actually have two actions in this approach:

Reach out to people who own those links pages in a and b.

Reach out to people who own those resource pages in c.

Getting confused?

Watch the video below to see the step by step process on how to properly execute 2nd-level broken link building:

90. Diversify Your Backlinks

It’s been a huge discussion in the SEO community on what to do and what not to do in link building.

In my experience, it’s not the nature of the law matters, what should be given more importance is the practice of it.

The best way is to diversity your backlinks.

91. Build Alliances

Relationship building is good.

But building alliances is much better.

Imagine if you have a few friends willing to regularly place links to your latest content within their next blog posts (as long as they are relevant), it is a set of recurring links that you can effortlessly acquire almost every month.

However, it takes much time and effort to build these alliances.

The reason:

Those alliances don’t just have their Twitter accounts, but they have their own websites that need some benefits from you as well.

Remember:

Reciprocation.

If you can find a few people that can reciprocate your efforts, it’s an effective link building tool you can leverage in the long run.

92. Aim Links That Will Get Clicks

There are three reasons why people click on a link:

First, it is placed in a position where it could easily be seen.

Second, anchor texts used to describe a link calls users to take an action (to click)

Third, the link is on a high-traffic/authority/trusted website.

The next time you build a link, here’s what you need to do:

First, aim for links with prominent position in the document (the higher, the better).

Second, use highly descriptive and longer strings of anchor texts that tend to be clicked more.

Third, get links from high-authority blogs – there are many ways to do it (see more tips on this page).

93. Use Partial Match and Highly Descriptive Anchor Texts

Google is hitting websites with aggressive anchor texts (exact match) for keywords in backlinks (further reading).

With that, anchor text diversity should be every link builder’s arsenal.

Also:

The way a link is described using anchor texts makes an impact to clicks to links.

Shoot two birds with one stone.

Anchor text diversity helps you make your link profile good in the eyes of Google and helps your brand get more referral visits from linking pages too.

The next time you do your link audit, check if you have a diversified anchor texts from your backlink.

If not, start using partial match and highly descriptive anchor texts in links.

94. Execute a Better Internal Linking Strategy

Inbound links help boost rankings of your pages.

But what if you can’t acquire several links in a month, is there another way to boost their search performance?

Yes.

Use a proper internal linking strategy.

Start by identifying pages sitting in page 11 to 30 in search results (use Search Console).

Once you have determined them, find pages where you’ll be adding internal links to (these should be your authority informational pages). Ahrefs can help you with this.

Finally add internal links to your promising ranking content.

95. Find Broken Links On Other Webpages

If you can’t find a broken link on a resource page, that becomes a problem:

You don’t have any broken resource to tell to the webmaster.

Now, the secret to finding value in broken link building campaign:

look at other broken links and pages found on his website.

Here’s how:

Plug your target domain on Ahrefs.

Check broken links tab:

Now, you have some broken resources to tell and to help the webmaster fix them.

96. Expand Your Guest Post Relevance

In my five years’ experience in guest blogging:

Let me admit,it’s hard to penetrate top-notch and mid-level guest blogs in a highly targeted niche – motor company for example.

But here’s the interesting thing:

You can makes all your guest posts relevant regardless of niche:

If you are able to select a content that is both relevant to the blog niche and to your site’s theme, that’s a goldmine.

Take this as an example:

Photography Printing and Cards Company

Parenting: How to Make Fun Memories With Kids

Holiday: How to Take Your Summer to the Next Level – tips to make your days’ worth

Education: How to Upgrade Educational Materials with Photo Cards

Wedding: Top 10 Things You Need to Prepare Before Marriage – one tip should be to hire a professional photographer

It turns out, if you have exhausted all guest blogs in your industry, try to go to shoulder niches and you will never run out of backlink prospects.

97. Use Your Linking Page as a Secondary Resource

Maximizing link juice for links you’ve acquired is important, especially, if you have the luxury of choosing which link to be added to a linking page.

Example:

If you are recommending two pages to be included in a resource page, why not choose the site/page where your link has already been hosted – as your secondary resource?

Win/win for you:

You get link to your target content from that resource page.

You get another link pointing to a resource page where your other previous link has been placed (tiered link building).

98. Turn Your Evergreen Blog Post Into a Page

Authority pages with natural links have very powerful boost in your overall domain authority.

That statement is not debatable, isn’t it?

When you have several evergreen blog post published on your site, they can flow ranking authority to other internal pages.

But you have an evergreen blog post just like that, you can make it more powerful by turning it into a page.

Because pages have higher staying power in search results, it’s much more likely to increase the likelihood of ranking for other more relevant long tail keyphrases.

99. Increase Your Domain Authority With Links

Having the right mindset in search engine optimization, particularly in developing link building campaigns for several clients/sites is very critical to the success of one’s campaign.

In essence, if your website can’t beat its competitors because of its lack of content authority and primarily of low overall domain authority.

Your goal when building links should be directed towards increasing your domain authority first.

So once it goes up, any published content doesn’t require too much of outreach, as they can directly or indirectly can earn links from publishers or content creators finding references through organic search.

100. Add Co-occurences Around Backlinks

Co-occurrences are words that appear around your backlinks, which help Google tell what that page is all about (source from Moz).

For example:

If you do a Google search for the key phrase – backlink analysis, you’ll see that OSE is ranking on the first page.

The page doesn’t include the exact key phrase in its meta-title nor could you see it any section of the page itself.

co-occurences

The advantage of adding co-occurrences around your links is that it helps your pages rank for relevant keywords, whether they are competitive or not, as long as there are mentions to your page/site, linked or not, that occur alongside with keywords tend to have good search volume (just like the example above).

When you have a chance to choose the words around your links, i.e. for guest posting, make sure to add other relevant keywords around your backlinks to improve the linking page’s relevancy factor.

101. Find Linking Sites of Shutdown, Moved and Rebranded Domains

There are websites that shut down, changed their names, moved or simply just rebranded by their owners.

If you find these websites, go and reach out their existing linkers and increase your number of links to your website using this approach.

Here’s the step by step process from Brian Dean of Backlinko on how to execute the exact process:

FURTHER READING:

Here’s The Next Step…

Are you ready to use the one of the 101 link building tips from this post?

If so, then I recommend grabbing the free checklist I made just for this blog post.

The checklist holds you by the hand and show you how to use all 101 of the strategies listed here…

plus 2 bonus techniques that I didn’t have room for in today’s post.

Click the image below and enter your email to access the checklist.


blogger outreach

The Definitive Guide to Blogger Outreach

blogger outreach

Blogger outreach is the process of building genuine relationships with industry publishers and bloggers to find a common point of interest where both ends will benefit.

At SharpRocket, thirty-percent (30%) of our work is spent on blogger outreach. Making sure that every email penetrates the inboxes of recipients and secures positive responses, requires us to strategically prepare the outreach list before they are sent away.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the exact outreach tactics we’ve implemented to our clients plus tools that we utilize to improve the entire process – from gathering contact information to nudging bloggers to link to content.

 

DEFINITION OF BLOGGER OUTREACH

Before getting straight to the how to section, let me give you some definitions of blogger outreach from what we’ve considered as linker outreach veterans.

Blogger outreach is the process of contacting bloggers through any communication medium for the purposes of collaborating on projects, such as giveaways, content publishing, or sponsored posts.

ross hudgens

Ross Hudgens, Founder of SiegeMedia

Blogger outreach is a marketing channel, which involves building relationships with bloggers to form mutually beneficial partnerships. The aim of these partnerships is to effectively promote one's business, while simultaneously providing value to the blogger and their audience.

dave schneider

Dave Schneider, Founder of Ninja Outreach

5 BLOGGER OUTREACH BEST PRACTICES

What makes practices best in their natures are small differences that can take mediocre emails to outreach emails that convert into high-value links. When others are looking forward for new strategies or tactics that can be tried and tested for a change, there are small overlooked details you can already apply to create success for your next outreach campaign.

1. TRACKING OPEN RATES WITH MAILTRACK.IO

mail-track-open-rate

One missing metric of many outreach campaigns we’ve encountered is open rate. Open rate is basically the ratio of emails opened (whether they landed a coverage or not) over emails sent.

If you are handling several outreach campaigns, you get to overly focus on emails that received responses from bloggers and tend to overlook opportunities from emails opened yet not replied.

If you can track the latter type of emails, you can build potential equity you would have missed if you remove it from your outreach database or you just follow up them with the same initial email template.

One best outreach tool that can aid you with this is Mailtrack.io. This blogger outreach tool enables you to know if emails had been sent to their proper places and if the person you’re reaching out to opens your email. This provides you insights to better understand the majority of your outreach prospects. If a person reads your email but didn’t respond to it, you can draw hypothesis from these:

  • Your content offering doesn’t cut through the interest of the blogger.
  • Your subject line attracts but had no relation to the body of your email.
  • Your email is fully promotional in nature.

From this hypothesis, you can take actionable measures which you can read in the latter part of this guide.

Back from the great functionality of the tool, Mailtrack.io offers the said feature for free. So if you are weighing budget with outreach ROI, the tool helps you save product costs.

2. ENCOURAGING RESPONSE WITH CONTENT PROPOSITION

Mediocre outreach specialists send emails with naked urls to view their content. Without trying to describe what the content is all about and how it does help bloggers’ readers regarding a topic, the email is nearly as the same with spammy bulk blast. Both don’t provide enough value.

Instead, you’d want to capture the blogger’s interest by stating the unique proposition of your content piece – know what differentiates your content from others and explicit it. Including a social proof in your email also builds credibility to your content - e,g, how many influencers had shared your content asset.

Besides content proposition, there is also one way to leverage interest – that is, visitor engagement. This is often stated in broken link building campaigns which goes like, “If you fix the broken link in your resource page, this will help your visitors find the referenced resource”.

Apply this same principle to blogger outreach. You can structure emails that ends something like this:

If you think adding more interview related references to your page can make your website visitors engaged, let me know if you'd like to see it.

With this type of proposition-based call-to-action, you encourage more positive replies from bloggers instead of letting them view only your piece.

3. LEVERAGING SPECIFIC SUBJECT LINES

subject line outreach data skyrocket

Personalization gets so much attention from the link building community, particularly those whose main task at agency is outreach. It’s easy to pre-conclude that because an email is personalized, it would help the content earn links instantly.

That’s not always be the case. If you’re crafting a long customized email, the person who will be reading this would lose his interest at the start. Brevity lacks in some way.

That said, one good advice here is to segment your outreach list based on priority – identify which bloggers needed to pitch emails with a strong level of attention. For low to medium-level bloggers, you can create an email template with specific subject lines, such as, “hoping to be included in your career resource”, which would only require small tweaks in the email replacing attribute tags such as name, site name and target page.

In their latest outreach data, Skyrocket had seen no evidence of getting better results by crafting personalized subject lines in emails (see image above). Besides ease in crafting individual emails, there is uniformity among outreach specialists who work on the same blogger outreach campaign. Also, it saves a ton of time.

4. HIGHLIGHTING ATTRIBUTE TAGS

highlighting attribute tags

As a company who loves outreach, crafting email copies is essential in scaling the initial blogger pitch, which are structured in such a way they could be customized for certain people. This provides us the luxury to spend more time in relationship building once the conversation started, instead of exerting extra efforts to fully personalize emails.

Keep in mind that because email templates are great, they aren’t prone to some human errors. If you happen to send emails to editors without replacing one of the attribute tags ([name], [site name], etc..), you end up losing the potential equity you would get from the conversation you try to make with the editor.

More so, if you aren’t careful with replacing attribute tags with website details, there are possibilities of receiving replies that say, “that is not my website” or “you should have research my website first”.

One minor error in tag replacement is a major error in the entire outreach process.

If you value every single outreach prospect, one tip here is to highlight attribute tags when constructing email copies or canned responses, so if you feel you have forgotten one of the details, you can easily skim the entire email draft before actually sending it. If Gmail is your preferred outreach platform, it is a life saver option to enable the Undo feature –which helps you to revoke your mistake.

5. BRIDGING CONVERSATIONS THROUGH EMAIL

continuing twitter conversation

If you’re not maximizing other mediums of communication aside from email, you’re missing out opportunities that might get you to faster coverage of links.

At SharpRocket, we’ve tested using Twitter in our link prospecting phase and we’ve found great blogs out of it. It also gives us a clue that there are visible industry blogs in this social platform that if we’ll be going to reach out to, we can bridge relationships that can convert into links.

Creativity matters in blogger outreach. If you’re an outreach specialist, you shouldn’t just sit down when you can’t contact the person through email, but find at least two other ways to approach the person.

Initially connect with the outreach prospect using social media platforms like Twitter and bridge the latter part of the conversation through email. There are a few good reasons why I think this workflow works. First, you avoid communication errors caused by email technical issues. Second, you can validate the email to contact to by asking it straight to the Twitter handler (blogger).

Here’s an example of exact email that shows how this practice works:

Writing this further to our conversation on Twitter (I'm @nirajr). Great to be connected.

 

THE 6 BLOGGER OUTREACH TOOLS

This definitive guide to blogger outreach isn’t complete without tools that can aid you with the entire outreach process. So here is a list of tools that I highly recommend and we have actually used and tested for our clients, which you can also try to take your campaign to the next level.

1. EMAIL HUNTER

email-hunter

Email Hunter is a great freemium tool in finding email address without actually dumping to each individual pages of the website to collect the contact details. It’s a definitely a time-saver tool for bulk lists of outreach prospects that might need hours for manual searching of email-addresses.

However, when Email Hunter pulls out data, it would provide a long list of contact emails, so you have to manually choose which email to contact to (preferably this kind of email format – name@domain.com). Later this guide, you’ll learn about our list of prioritized email formats that respond to pitches we make.

2. MAIL TESTER

mailtester

If you’re doing blogger outreach for years, you probably would agree with me that an outreach campaign usually comes with “Mailed Delivery Messages”. If you skip these errors and you try to find secondary emails to replace them with, you can consume some minutes, which should have been used for other outreach workflows.

You can avoid said type of messages by validating emails before you actually pitch them. Mailtester does help determine if emails are of good use, which minimizes your time searching for secondary-level emails.

3. BUZZSTREAM

buzzstream

If you land on a website and you want to contact the blogger straight from the browser, you can do so with Buzzstream’s Buzzmaker tool. The tool gives you the luxury to execute immediate blogger outreach without using the main outreach dashboard.

Buzzstream lets you also track emails that converted into links and enables you to label emails with specific relationship levels, so you can monitor which ones should be prioritized.

The said tool works effectively for large teams of link builders and outreach specialists.

4. PITCHBOX

pitchbox

Designed for small teams of link developers, Pitchbox allows you to automate follow-ups and consecutively send them to bloggers with a set amount of time interval between each follow-up. If there is no reply within the first days after an email has been sent, the tool sends another follow-up email – which takes away the trouble of checking if the next set of follow-ups cut through the inboxes of outreach prospects.

Additionally, Pitchbox’s difference-maker is the ability to create pre-built reports – a definite time-saver for outreach managers wanting to grab email data (i.e. number of email responses vs number of emails sent). Instead of manually computing these numbers, you can automate the reports by clicking on buttons.

5. NINJA OUTREACH

ninja outreach

Ninja Outreach’s handy feature from a blogger outreach perspective is allowing you to pre-fill contact forms with email templates upon visiting contact pages of blogs. If you guaranteed that a certain person is qualified to reach out to, the said feature of Ninja Outreach saves you time not revisiting them for future outreach.

Generally, if you have a basic to intermediate level knowledge in the overall blogger outreach process, the tool has an easy user interface that helps you execute everything from link prospecting to email outreach.

6. MEME GENERATOR

meme generator

For saturated niches where bloggers receive dozens of emails every day, it’s ineffective to send emails that almost look like other blogger pitches. While it’s true that content can speak for itself, transitioning your emails from good to great necessitate your email to stand out.

One way to do this is to tweak some parts of your email that will add humor to your message but still encourages bloggers to respond to your pitch (see image below) - hat tip to @seoteky.

meme-email

 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EFFECTIVE BLOGGER OUTREACH

Data, in particular psychology studies, leverages the results of the entire workflow of blogger outreach – as it reveals things that needs improvement or removal and helps plan strategies that almost-predict results in the next campaigns.

Below is a curated infographic of external research studies generated from analyzing thousands of emails sent to different people. This will definitely help you craft outreach emails that guarantees more than average success.

blogger outreach infographic

Share this Image On Your Site

If you’re looking for more supporting data of this infographic, here are the step-by-step breakdown on the science behind effective blogger outreach.

USE CC FOR TWO RECIPIENTS

When gathering contact data of publishing sites, you mostly see that twenty percent (20%) of these blogs are coupled with multiple authors and/or team of editors. This may raise confusion on which one of these people you should be reaching out to.

At SharpRocket, we had a solid chronological preference on which email should be collected first.

  • Visible email - find the most visible contact email on the page (for resource page) or on contact pages - domain.com/about or domain.com/about-me (for blogs).
  • Personal email (e.g. venchito@digitalphilippines.net). Use Rapportive or Clearbit to validate if it’s the actual email being used.
  • Contact page of the sole author
  • Department / Position-based - identify the person who is capable (at most) of accessing the website and editing the article/page.
  • admin@domain.com
  • editor@domain.com
  • info@domain.com

If there are several emails to choose from, collect two of them and save it to your database.

In the study conducted by Yesware, they’ve found out that emails sent to one person while cc’ing another are 12% more likely to get response than email sent to two people.

yesware-email-outreach-case-study

The probable reason for this is that the one person who directly receives the email has the responsibility to take an action, because there’s another person looking at the email. This also encourages the other person to reply if the primary action doesn’t take place. Needless to say, you can receive more response by only sending an email to one person while cc’ing the other recipient.

One quick note here is do not try to get the following email formats from prospect sites, as emailing them would directly go to support, customer service or sales group - they won’t take time if your pitch isn’t product-related.

  • sales@domain.com
  • support@domain.com
  • service@domain.com
  • hello@domaincom
  • office@domain.com

The next best option when these emails are only available in the website is to grab the site’s page where it locates the contact form. Then direct your pitch through that form.

MAKE SUBJECT LINES CONCISE

ReturnPath shared an interesting study on subject line usage, which shows that 49 subject line characters or less gets 12% open rate and 75% CTR higher than those with 50 characters or more.

This may require immediate testing to make results possible for your campaign, but in essence, the reason it works is the brevity of the subject line.

Make your subject lines straightforward so busy bloggers could get the whole point of your message – definitely makes your email stand out.

REFERENCE PAST ENGAGEMENT

What most link developers or SEOs didn’t truly understand about relationships, is its ability to create a flywheel of links with low maintenance cost and efforts. When you connect to publishers, particularly those that gained mutual content benefits, it’s a less hustle to distribute a newly-released content to a target audience if you have a network of publishers to promote your resource.

Use this to your own advantage.

A smart outreach strategy starts an email with a reference to any past engagement with the publisher. Whether it’s a Twitter conversation or a recent offline interaction, a statement indicating a relationship gives a cutting edge to outreach results.

Buzzstream and Fractl found that 66% of publishers are more likely to open an email with a subject line referencing a past relationship. This added small detail to subject lines makes a big impact, if executed properly.

PERSONALIZE SALUTATION

If you want to get higher ROI from outreach efforts, personalization is a must-have rule when crafting an email. While this part is a no-brainer, many still ignores its power. If you send a pitch to email formats like editor@domain.com, when the site has its own about me page, it’s easy to conclude that you didn’t spend a minute researching even just the name of the blogger.

iacquire outreach case study

Additionally, using “Hi” as your greeting can improve close rate 5.63% over all other specific types based on iAcquire’s lessons in analyzing 300,000 custom outreach emails. There is no particular conclusion from this, but somehow reflects on the idea that greetings like “Hi” is commonly used in normal conversations.

WRITE SHORT EMAILS

Brevity in subject lines complements with short body email messages. Among thousands of emails, SiegeMedia concluded that the highest converting email length is an average of 83 words. Their hypothesis? Short enough to be easily readable, long enough to be customized.

short blogger outreach email

Be careful though when you customize email copies and before hitting the “send” button. You can get messed up by not replacing attribute tags (i.e. {Name} and {Site Name} or using two email templates in one email – one copy is at the bottom of the email (not visible at first glance).

USE SOCIAL PROOF

In email outreach, mentioning a social proof in the body of an email breaks the stranger barrier between the sender and the recipient.

When you include a mutual connection in your email, either a colleague, decision maker, influencer or popular publisher, it signals that you valued the opinions of others. This takes cues that you’re being related to a particular person they might know, which easily builds trust.

Studies of Yesware show that emails with social proof get 33% reply rate. Content-wise, if you’re being asked to promote a certain content, you wanted to know if the resource has gained some traction already, guaranteeing shares and additional links to your site when it is promoted.

A few social proof examples that are worthy to be mentioned in your email:

  • 3000+ shares on a piece you’ve shared recently
  • Contributor’s badge for a large publication site
  • Number of publications or media exposures you’ve been featured in
  • Name of industry experts you collaborated with

INCLUDE TRUST SIGNALS IN FOOTER

Aside from social proof, there is also one trust signal that can drastically increase your campaign’s link acquisition rate – that is, branded logo. If you’re reaching out to bloggers in behalf of a client or your company, adding a branded logo to your email makes success possible.

A few statistics to consider, gathered from iAcquire’s outreach case study:

  • Emails without logos – close rate at 3.72%
  • Emails with embedded logos – close rate of 6.03%
  • Emails with linked logos – 10.58%

logo outreach case study

If you’re working in an agency as an outreach manager, ask permission from your clients first before sending emails to bloggers with embedded company logos. Some white-label clients don’t want their brands disclosed in the blogging community – outreach specialist will act as a generic content marketer finding the resource worthy to be promoted.

SEND EMAILS EARLY MORNING

Bloggers either full-time writers, in-house specialists or business owners have their own specific hours in a workday to check email inbox. Taking advantage of this increases the chances of your outreach emails being opened. So the next time you pitch bloggers for any reason, consider the best day of the week and best time of day where they’ll likely see and prioritize your email.

Buzzstream and iPullRank found that email sent between 1AM and 9AM return the highest placement and response rates. Hypothetically, if you schedule emails in this range of hours, you’ll increase the chances of getting your emails read and prioritized by your target bloggers for emails responses.

Additionally, pitching emails at best email reading days converts better than them on any particular day.

In the recent study by SiegeMedia, it shows that Monday is the best day to send initial outreach emails among other days. Monday emails also converts 80% better than Thursday.

In my opinion, Monday works best primarily because it is the start of the working day. Bloggers have the energy to respond to as many relevant emails they supposed to answer.

WITHHOLD LINK IN INITIAL EMAIL

I’m not a fan of being aggressive with email outreach. We usually pitch customize emails explaining why our content piece is worthy to be read and shared. Emails don’t include a naked link to view the content but rather just asking bloggers if they are interested to take one look at the resource.

SiegeMedia has the same approach with us of forgoing the link, to “catch and hold” the interests of bloggers. Once the interest has been captured, the next step is to maintain it. .

withhold link

Starting the conversations first and keeping their interests until they decide to reference the work/resource better results to links than carelessly landing an email that gets to auto-spam filters – another reason why withholding the link in the initial email is preferred.

FOLLOW UP PEOPLE

Hubspot found that 50% of emails are opened in the first 24 hours. After 24-hour timeframe, 80% of emails were opened within 12 days of being sent.

If you didn’t receive any response after the initial outreach, you can follow up bloggers to increase chances of getting additional responses.

A silent conversation is worse than a solid “no” response. If you don’t get a response, you are stuck  with a decision whether to continue the conversation or proceed to another prospect in the list.

If you decide to send follow-up messages, be mindful that too much of it can irritate the blogger – potentially can burn bridges along the process.

One way to avoid this is to send one last follow-up message to know the reason why they never had a chance to get back to you.

At SharpRocket, we send an email listing down three common reasons of silence and encouraging bloggers to choose one.

Here’s an email template we send to publishers.

Hi [ Name ],

I haven’t heard back from you, and that tells me one of three things:

1) You’re not interested at this time, but we can work out something in the future.

2) You’re still interested, but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet.

3)  You saw our content but you think it’s not fit to add to your page.

Please let me know which one it is, because I’m starting to worry. If you have other reasons, please let me know so I can stop bothering you.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.

[ Name ]

This follow-up email enables us to act on issues immediately, such as:

  • Get back to the blogger when there’s another content/resource to offer.
  • Schedule a custom follow-up to get an update after some time (for case 2).
  • Improve content based on the feedback of the blogger (for case 3).

Based on our data, 70% non-respondents to first email would reply to a follow-up message above. This saves a lot of time for outreach specialists as they don’t need to reach out to the prospect again if the blogger decides not to be contacted again.

FURTHER READING:

Blogger Outreach The Right Way

Have We Been Helpful?

Want to take your link building to the next level – — but don’t know where to start, and are feeling overwhelmed by this post.

We are here to help you. SharpRocket is a team of link building specialists who love building high quality links.

To learn more about how we can help, take a look at the services we offer.