Outsource Link Building Guide (+Checklist)

In this post, I'm going to show you how to outsource link building effectively with fewer risks.

Also, you'll learn:

  • When (and when not) to outsource link building
  • 7 outsourcing mistakes SEO agencies make
  • How to outsource link building effectively

So if you want to free up your time, focus on other SEO activities, and grow your business…

Here’s the guide for you.

 

Should You Outsource Link Building?

Yes, because link building is resource-intensive.

Instead of doing the work yourself (or with your team), outsourcing link building to an agency specializing in it is a good move.

Link building is not easy.

To rank your website through link building, you need to:

  • Search for link opportunities that are relevant and trustworthy.
  • Publish linkable content assets that provide value to publishers.
  • Send outreach emails to potential linkers.
  • Spend time engaging people and building relationships with them to get links.
  • Plus other behind-the-scenes to persuade someone to link to your page.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing Link Building

Link building frees up your time.

Time you could've spent on doing other SEO tasks like technical SEO, on page optimization, keyword research, etc.

When you want to start link building, you have to do all these time-consuming activities of link prospecting, link qualification, content creation, and email outreach.

This requires 20-40 hours a week (or full-time work) to finish it (assuming you have all skills needed to perform those link building tasks).

Second benefit of link building:

Get focused.

When you outsource link building, you can focus your attention on other SEO tasks you're best at (as mentioned above).

Quality matters in SEO. If you focus on your core SEO strengths, it'll benefit you long-term by giving you compounding results.

Third benefit is:

Save money.

The cost of hiring a full-time SEO to work on link building tasks is higher than hiring a link building agency to do all the work for you.

Plus, you'll have to invest in link building tools like Ahrefs to semi-automate some link building processes.

Outsourcing link building is the wise thing to do if you want to:

  • Free up time.
  • Get focused.
  • Save mone

Now, if you're convinced to outsource link building, the next question is:

 

When (and When Not) to Outsource Link Building?

Consider the timing of outsourcing link building.

Either you're too early or late to outsource.

When should you outsource link building?

Outsource link building:

  • When you want to get links right away.
  • When you want to scale and get better links than your competitors.
  • When you want to focus and specialize in other SEO tasks, aside from link building.
  • When you reach a ceiling after exhausting all strategies and resources, you can think of to get backlinks to your website.
  • When you want to get more high-quality links than the types of links you've gotten recently.
  • When you lack resources to hire and train SEOs to perform link building tasks.
  • When you don't have anyone in your digital marketing team to do off page SEO.

Do not outsource link building:

  • When you jump right to link building without doing basic on-page and technical SEO activities.
  • When you expect to receive a majority of conversions and referral traffic from links.
  • When you confuse digital PR for link building (they do have different objectives).
  • When you solely rely on links to improve search rankings of your website.
  • When you're in a rush for results and don't have a sufficient budget.

If you decided to outsource link building, let me give you:

 

8 Major Steps to Outsource Link Building

So, whether you're a solo consultant, agency founder with SEO clients, or online business owner, here is a step-by-step process to effectively outsource link building service providers.

Here is a quick checklist you can save offline:

 

Step 1: Identify your needs.

Start here. If you don't know your link building needs, you can't start properly.

In fact:

The best link building agencies will start asking the question, "what are you looking for?".

If you have an answer to that, it will help you get a good start in finding the right link building partner.

Are you looking for a one-time project (e.g., 50 links to a linkable asset)?

Or you've invested in the idea that link building is long-term and is willing to invest in a month-to-month contract with a link building company?

In terms of the types of links:

Manual outreach links using linkable assets? Guest posts? Niche edits? Local citations?

Next is to set expectations yourself.

Are you going to test out link building first and wait for results to come before you invest in the long-term?

Or do you have a dedicated marketing budget for 1 year just for link building?

Decide it now, so it'd be easy for link building agencies you'll reach out to know your needs.

Remember: Outsourcing link building is getting the right partner and solving your SEO needs.

Second step when you outsource link building is:

 

Step 2: Make a list of link building service providers.

If you don't know who to choose, you'll start with making a list first.

Like any other type of supplier or service provider, having a list of options is beneficial at the start.

Source out link building agencies from:

Referrals and networks:

referrals networks

 

 

SEO authors or contributors for top SEO blogs:

source from seo blogs 1

 

source from seo blogs 2

 

 

Google search for niche link building agencies:

google search link building for b2b saas

 

SEO thought leaders on Linkedin:

linkedin source out link building leaders

 

Speaker for SEO conferences and link building training:

seo zraz seo event

 

The best way is to make a list of all potential partners.

When you have a list then, qualify them.

To shorten your list, consider the following:

Do they have case studies to show proof of results?

Do they have related to your niche or type of business among their case studies?

get link building case studies

 

How long have they've been in the industry?

The longer they are, the better. Though it's not a guarantee of expertise, this might show their level of SEO experience.

Are there any SEO thought leaders who vouch for them?

Reputation matters. If they have testimonials from top SEO experts, you could get some confidence in their work delivery.

After that, you need to:

 

Step 3: Reach out and set initial meetings.

You may have shortened your list based on some information you saw on their websites. It’s good to talk to them personally to ask a few more questions.

Send an inquiry and book a schedule right away.

Now that you're about to call them, your next step is:

 

Step 4: Learn about their strategy, workflow, and previous work.

Before your call, list down your questions.

And as you start talking to them, you can ask a few more follow-up questions to dig deeper into what they do.

The best thing during your call is:

Tell them about your needs.

Ask about their previous work. Or if they have any experience building backlinks for the type of business and industry you're in.

Let them share about their work, strategy, and process. This can help you discern if they're a good fit for you.

 

Step 5: Ask for samples of work related to your industry.

You need proof.

Whether it's a list of links, citations, or linkable assets, request it to them.

 

Step 6: Discuss budget and pricing.

One of the major failures when outsourcing link building is not discussing budget and prices.

Let them know about your budget. This gives them a rough idea of customizing a better link building package for you.

Here are pricing ranges in link building:

  • $500 to $1500
  • $1500 to $5000
  • $5000 to $10000
  • $10000 and up

After sharing it, ask about their prices.

Prices vary, but we can categorize it into three options:

  • Price per link
  • Monthly link building package
  • Project basis
  • Hourly option

The best pricing option when outsourcing link building is pay per link (price per link).

It is deliverable-based.

And you only get what you pay for. If they don't deliver links, you don't pay. As simple as that.

This is risk-free compared to other link building pricing options where you pay whether or not they build backlinks to your website.

Here's one more thing when you discuss pricing:

Ask if there are any hidden and transaction fees on top of their package.

Why ask this one?

It prepares you for budgeting. Plus, you give a heads-up to your finance team in advance.

At the end of this call, it is essential to ask for proposals.

 

Step 7: Review proposals

Once you get proposals from potential link building agencies, it's time to decide which one you'll partner with.

Review proposals and discussions on initial meetings based on your needs.

Go through each of the link building agencies, and ask yourself:

Will this particular service provider can attend to my needs?

Based on resources, pricing, timeline and expectations, decide your best-fit link building partner.

Step 8. Decide to outsource link building

You would feel hesitation, doubts, and fears at first.

But the only way for you to know if outsourcing link building is good for you is when you take a risk.

 

Free Up Your Most Valuable Resource — Time

The most effective way to grow a business is to allocate resources properly.

If you think outsourcing link building can help scale your business to the next level (more effectively and quickly), do not hesitate.

If you follow every step in our checklist, you'll have stress-proof and risk-reducing outsourced link building campaigns.


link building strategies

9 Link Building Strategies That Actually Work in 2022 (New To Try)

Want to maintain your site's rankings with new link building strategies?

Awesome. This list includes 9 link building strategies that you probably haven't tried before (if you're a beginner).

Plus, new ways to attack old link building strategies like guest blogging (for intermediate and advanced SEOs).

With more than 10 years in the SEO industry, our team at SharpRocket has managed to secure 10000+ links across different industries for different sizes and types of websites.

Now, if you're ready to see these actionable strategies that are worth trying in 2022, let's get started.

 

 

Curate Industry Statistics

Curate, not create. This means you simply get all the available statistics online, write your key insights and publish them.

Easy to do.

But why industry statistics?

Publishers are looking for reliable, credible references for their content. They want to serve their readers well by giving up-to-date information on the topic they're writing about.

So when they want to cite resources, they do a Google search and find what's applicable from the top ranking pages. Then they link to the page from their content.

 

Where do you start?

First, you have to find what people are searching for. What topics do they typically want to make as references for their blog posts? You start topical research.

One of the best ways to discover topics for statistics is by reverse engineering top publications in your space.

For example, Healthline is an authority site in the health and medical niche.

So if I want to see what statistics they published, I'd go to Ahrefs, enter their domain and check "Best by links' growth".

Search for "statistics", and there you'll see many statistics content.

ahrefs best by links healthline

 

Another topical research strategy is to discover questions your potential customers might be asking in your industry.

For example, most aspiring entrepreneurs would like to know "how many startups fail in the first year of business?". They do so out of fear of failing.

google search how many startups fail

 

What would they see when they search for it?

A lot of statistics posts. That's where the demand to satisfy a search user's intent, plus link opportunities from content creators who might link to it from their articles.

Now, wear a beginner's hat.

Brainstorm questions people might ask when they want to know more of a thing in your industry or are venturing into a job or career.

After topical research, the next step is:

Curate.

Find information from available public data sites you can source out. The most popular ones are Statista and Data.gov.

Compile them.

And include the essential part of statistics posts:

Key insights.

This part is what makes your content unique, given that it's based on statistics you've gathered and its relevance to your readers.

Put "key insights" at the top section of your statistics post.

zebra statistics key insights

Best Examples of Statistics Posts

Here are some examples of statistics posts to inspire you to start your own:

 

Like any other content, you'll have to promote your statistics page. Start by identifying target people who will amplify your linkable asset. These are publishers and bloggers looking for references to add to their blog posts.

Start blogger outreach strategy by finding their email addresses.

Reach out to them and share your content.

As your statistics pick up new links, you'll start seeing its ranking go up. You’ll experience your content attracting new inbound links when it increases visibility.

 

 

Use Citable Content Formats

Link attraction is an old-school strategy of getting high-quality backlinks without continuous manual outreach efforts.

Instead of you reaching out to people, content creators voluntarily link to your content, as they find it comprehensive and informative for their readers.

LInk attraction involves publishing citable content formats.

Without content, it's almost impossible for publishers to link to you. After all, to which page would they be linking?

Unlike the popular skyscraper technique, citable content formats don't have to be long-form.

This content strategy focuses on micro pieces that easily rank for quick answers.

Some search queries aren't supposedly answered with long-form content. Instead, you’ll find several micro-content pieces that are sufficient to answer quick questions.

FAQs are the most common citable content format.

When people ask direct questions, they want quick answers. So now, when your page appears in the featured snippet, you're likely one of the content other publishers would link from their articles.

One good example of this strategy well played out is adding FAQs at the end of an article or landing page.

eachnight how often to replace pillow

 

faqs end of the article eachnight websiteThe benefit of doing so is it helps your page to rank for quick questions.

Another citable content format to consider is finishing articles with a glossary.

If you're in an industry where almost every blog post has technical jargon and might need some explanation for readers to consume your content well.

A glossary is a good addition towards the end of your article.

It is easy to get more relevant keywords on a page as it expands its word count (if that's necessary).

 

Want to discover more citable elements?

Aside from FAQs and Glossary, there are other citable elements you may want to consider.

PDFs.

When people want to consume and use information conveniently, they download pdfs. So try to think (or research) for subjects that may need an additional PDF format.

google search sleep hygiene pdf

 

Questionnaire

With PDF content formats, there are questionnaires. This content format benefits educators when creating their quizzes (for school classes) or giving them to participants during workshops.

It is a great way to steal some ranking spots while gaining new links from publishers who include it in their articles.

Here are more citable content formats to consider for your next content.

citable content formats

Content Partnerships

Relationships are the backbone of link building.

It is much easier to scale backlinks if the person you reach out to knows you.

Much simpler if they find and see value from your content or brand.

Content partnerships work this way.

You use web assets as leverage to get the attention of potential linkers.

If you're familiar with link exchange, you'll find this content partnership to be of a similar strategy.

Link exchange is directly linking between two relevant websites—one links to a relevant article of another website, and vice versa.

In content partnerships, you use other websites (two or more) when linking to your potential linker.

In other words, content partnership is link exchange at scale.

Instead of your website linking to your potential linker, you use your other content sites to link to them.

 

Why this link building strategy works so well?

First, you leverage the power of your authority site.

Websites with high traffic are not attracted smaller blogs. They look for new dofollow backlinks from a site with similar or higher authority.

So if you use the power of your authority site to get a link for your smaller niche site, you'll have chances to earn links in email outreach.

The second reason why content partnerships work in 2022 is:

Some bloggers are not a fan of reciprocal link exchange.

They don't see it as a viable strategy, as they see it as harmful for their site's traffic. While that’s not true, especially if you execute it properly — only reaching out to relevant blogs (and not from random websites).

A better strategy than direct link exchange is content partnerships.

Here is a good email outreach template that you can use:

content partnership email outreach template

 

Targeted Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is still an effective link building strategy in 2022.

Reason?

Guest posts can bring targeted traffic to your website.

Plus, contextual links from guest posts boost the ranking power of pages being linked to.

While there are guest blogging campaigns that flopped in results, a few successful guest posting campaigns sustain their success.

Two factors make these guest blogging campaigns successful:

Precision and intention.

When guest blogging has precision, it only finds the right targeted audience.

Audience who cares about what you have to say. Audience who are likely to bring in new traffic to your brand.

And when you reach out to these people with the right intention (second factor), they'll respond to your email pitch because it shows that you care for readers.

Let's go with some practical tips.

Use audience research as one of your main strategies to find guest blogging opportunities.

Instead of utilizing search modifiers such as "write for us" or "guest post" plus industry keywords, you begin with discovering and learning about your audience groups.

Sparktoro does help in this process.

For example, if I'm searching for keto diet enthusiasts, I could simply enter the keyphrase to the search bar.

The tool will provide all the information I need, including social accounts keto diet people follow most, and more importantly, for guest blogging purposes:

Websites they visit most.

I could go straight and use them as a list of target publications for guest blogging.

Or dig deeper a bit.

In Sparktoro, you'll see "Hidden Gems".

sparktoro keto diet hidden gems

 

These websites have less overall traffic but high relative engagement among this audience.

Gold!

This is precised guest blogging. These are publications you'd want to distribute content.

Another way to find guest post opportunities is by using Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Head over to the search bar and type in a broad or niche keyword.

You can filter the results based on Domain Rating (DR).

Scroll down and click "Websites". This reveals the top 100 websites based on your input keywords.

Export the results and consider them part of your list of publications to pitch.

Besides Ahrefs' Content Explorer, you can't ignore its Link Explorer feature.

Through this feature, you can find competitors' backlinks — that may include publications they've placed content for distribution.

It is best to check websites that drive the most traffic to your competitors.

If you could get guest posts placed on these publications, it would help drive some more traffic to your blog.

Interested in starting a guest blogging campaign? Learn about our guest post service.

 

Publish Surveys

Surveys content can pick up new links every week.

It works because journalists want to cover stories.

And if you give them exclusivity to interesting information, they won't hesitate to feature your surveys.

Now, how can you publish surveys?

You can use Google Consumer Surveys to collect answers to questions. You can filter participants by demographics (age, location, gender, etc..).

Make sure questions are tied to your brand's topics.

The key to successful linkable surveys is to make headlines attention-grabbing.

This is what provokes journalists and publishers.

https://www.thezebra.com/resources/home/dangers-of-sharing-passwords/

Once you publish the survey, create a media list that includes industry and local journalists who might want to cover your story.

This may require some digital PR, but you can go pitch mid-tier bloggers and have them feature your surveys on their articles if you’re starting.

This way, you'll have social proof you can use for the next round of pitching, now for authoritative websites.

 

 

Broken Link Building

Broken link building, mostly known as BLB, recommends a link replacement to a webmaster with a broken link on their website.

This is most effective because it adds value by replacing defunct resources with new ones (including your content) that are more useful and helpful to website readers.

To this at scale, you can use Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Type in keywords like "resources" or "links" along with your topic and use the search filter "Title".

Now, the tool provides you with relevant resource pages.

Reach out to them, tell them about errors and provide appropriate link replacements.

Here is an email template you can use for broken link building:

broken link building email outreach templateFor step by step process, you can check out our entire broken link building guide.

And, an email template for resource page link building:

resource page link building email outreach template

Link Reclamation

People mention products and services. And when they do, sometimes, they forget about linking to appropriate sources.

This is where link reclamation comes into play.

Link reclamation is the process of reclaiming lost links or unlinked brand mentions of your site.

Generally, link reclamation has the highest link placement rate among link building strategies.

Reason?

They've known about your brand or even used your content.

Link reclamation is mostly used for large-scale enterprise brands where they get mentioned on different web places almost daily.

However, you can use it for smaller sites and, if done correctly, can help add more targeted links to your important pages.

There are two ways to do with link reclamation:

First, identify lost inbound links to your site and reclaim them through outreach.

It may be so simple, but you have first to know the reason why the publisher in the first place removed it.

If they've found a more useful alternative resource to replace yours, it's not worthy of your time to reclaim a link — unless you recently updated your content piece.

Second, find unlinked mentions of your products or content. If they've mentioned you, it's easy to reclaim these future links with a simple ask. Familiarity takes place.

For two link reclamation methods, here are email templates you can use:

link reclamation email outreach template

 

Infographics

Infographics are useful visual assets to increase brand awareness, get links, and improve rankings for the site's key terms.

Link building through infographics is still effective — if executed properly.

Forget about farm sites and infographic submission sites that don't add much value and traction to your content. Go and look for real targeted blogs to include your infographics.

The more careful your execution is the better results in terms of links you'll get out of it.

Now, what makes infographics successful these days?

One effective strategy is by using infographics as complementary to your main informative content asset. This solidifies the entire content instead of a stand-alone full infographic page.

For example, you can add infographics to the data studies page to emphasize essential data points.

zebra research study

zebra infographic on research study

For content promotion, you reach out to bloggers and share the infographics with custom intros' contextually written for the blog.

Offer to write a custom intro of the infographic. Even helping them insert embed code to their blog posts makes it easier for them to publish your visual asset.

It is best to give bloggers a sneak peek of the infographic by including the actual image of some of its sections. The email becomes more appealing and adds differentiation to your email pitch.

Here is an email template you can use for guestographics:

guestographics email outreach template

Replicate and Test Strategies That Work For Other Industries

Here is one way to discover new link building strategies:

Do not reinvent the wheel.

Look at other industries and marketers and see what they have done well.

By simply understanding how other websites solve problems, you'll find inspiration and original ideas for your content marketing and link building campaigns.

For example, if you want to test new link building strategies for a personal injury website, check other cities.

Grab their domains and discover how they recently acquired links.

Use Ahrefs to check the site's top linking pages.

Or make deductions as to the types of new backlinks they acquire:

new backlinks personal injury website

 

Another example is when you're trying to build links to money pages.

You can go to competitive markets like finance and analyze how they get money page backlinks.

nerdwallet money page

When you replicate the best strategies that work for other markets and test them for your site, you serve users.

And helps you build links your competitors can't easily copy.

Go and try.

 

Improve Your Link Building Strategy

There is no one size fits all strategy.

The only way to know if it works for your brand is to test it yourself.

Make a case study of the best link building strategies that are effective for your website.

If it works well, improve it more.

That's how you become better at link building in 2022.


local link building

Local Link Building For Any Business On A Budget [27 Strategies For 2022]

This is the most actionable guide to local link building.

You'll learn here how to build backlinks for any local business on a shoestring budget.

Also, you'll discover some advanced strategies for 2022 (and beyond) that I never shared anywhere before.

Let's get started.

 

1. Use Job Portals For Quick Backlink Wins

 

When building links for our clients, one of the first few questions we ask is, “what's the existing content asset in the client’s website we can use as USP for linker outreach?”.

This question breaks the “content mental block” that is often experienced when strategizing what link acquisition tactics that require content to create in order to acquire high-quality links.

Interestingly, we’ve discovered that there are existing under-utilized pages published on client’s sites that we can use to show/provide to publishers and content creators to get them to link to the client’s page.

A great example of this content is “jobs portal”.

A “jobs portal” is a directory/curation of all job positions available in a local area.

Your brand can even curate available positions available for a specific industry  (e.g. “tech startup jobs in New York”).

boston tech jobs

 

For some local brands that I’ve audited, the jobs portal is inherently the first few pages published on their sites which serve as a content hub for their local partners like local professional organizations who are looking for new hires for their teams.

Jobs portal caters specifically to the “job seekers” linkable market which has a lucrative number of links pages.

Link prospecting for this strategy is pretty much the same as how you’ll normally do it for a resource page link building or broken link building strategy, but the difference is just that you are only looking for a local linkable market - “jobs links/resources pages in Boston” for example.

You can start prospecting using Google search with any of the following search queries to collect your initial set of local link opportunities:

  • “job search” “resources” “CITY”
  • employment” inurl:resources “CITY”
  • “job hunting” resources “CITY”
  • inurl:careers “CITY”

Expand your list by reverse engineering other local job portals or other local job board sites.

By checking which pages link to local-relevant job board sites on this page, I was able to collect a few more tens of local links pages.reverse engineer resource pages

Once you have generated your list of prospects along with their contact details, you can then start engaging them through your outreach campaign.

Spend a few extra minutes to check if there are broken links on a prospect page.

If all links are working, simply request to be included as an additional resource on their links page.

I’ve found it helpful to add subtle changes to email copies to emphasize the local relevance of the jobs portal or any other local content pieces I’m building links to. I usually add lines for:

  • The best section on the resource page to add the client’s local content
  • Who is the target audience of the content?
  • A few recommendations for the content that serves as a social proof

email outreach jobs resource pages

 

With proper execution, we were able to acquire links:

resource page link first example

resource page link second example

2. Create Localized Visual Data

 

Visual data link building (infographic-based link building) is getting more saturated, as more brands try to pick up on it. But with the right audience targeting along with accurate data and impressive design, visual data can still prove its effectiveness in getting high-value links especially if it’s been massively promoted through different content distribution channels.

One way to get started with this approach is to find a local piece of content created by other publishers who had extensive research on a particular subject matter and transform it into a visual asset.

To give you an example, recently we’ve been looking for a piece of content that we could well turn into an infographic.

By searching for available public data on different trusted sites, we’ve found a research study on teen dating, abuse & bullying with respondents based in  New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

nacjd public data source website

 

Side note: here are a few public data sites you can source information from for your visual assets:

We’ve checked if the public data is still relevant in the current year, as we want to get the most recent study as much as possible (the latest we consider is 2016).

One way that helped us assess the relevance and credibility of a public data piece is by looking at the version history section. For example, the research study we considered was initially published in 2012 but it has been updated for 2016 (indicated in the version history section).

Then we strategize how the public data content can be turned into an infographic without cursing the target audience with knowledge.

Given that the research study has two sections: teen dating & abuse and teen bullying, we’ve decided to choose teen dating & abuse and keep the latter for future content references.

concised research study

 

The hardest part of visual data link building is content creation.

As an agency, there are two ways to attack this: outsource to a freelancer or hire an in-house graphic designer.

We chose the latter simply because it’s time and cost-efficient.

Produced the visual data (partial image below):

teen dating infographic

 

Then we’ve spent most of our hours looking for potential link partners or content publishers who’ll be interested in the content piece we produced.

We begin prospecting using the following local-centric queries in Google search:

You can also use Reverse Image Search or Tineye to find and track any local-based infographics for local bloggers and publishers who distributed these pieces on their blogs.

If in case you’ve been running out of prospects, you can tap other industries and look for local publishers who still cater to the targeted audience of your content.

In our case, we tapped local legal publishers with the injury/sexual harassment categories on their sections.

sexual harassment injury blog

 

As for the outreach, make it easier for your local prospects to know the interesting fact on your visual data. It is best to state some numbers and your target audience to build the context relevance and credibility of your content piece.

visual link building outreach

 

You can test the two-blogger outreach process to initially capture your prospects’ interests then eventually send the link pointing to your visual data (or attaching it in your email conversation) if they’ve positively responded to your initial pitch.

Useful Resource: The State of Backlinks for SEO in 2021: What 800+ SEOs Think About Link Building

 

3. Realize Opportunity In "New To An Area" Pages

For local link building, what I’ve found to be most quantitative (high amount) in links/resource pages are those that cater to audiences who are relocating/living to a new area or city.

Typically, these are pages that provide lists of resources/references that a person who’s new to an area would definitely find.

Here are some examples of local “new to an area” topics:

  • Quality schools in [City] or finding the right schools
  • Local laws in [City]
  • Tourist information, local attractions, or things to do in [City]
  • How to get here
  • Volunteer listings in [City]
  • Moving and relocation in [City]
  • internet & cable
  • my neighborhood

If you are marketing a brick and mortar business, a local attraction, a local professional organization, or a utility company (i.e. internet cable), it’s best to get your initial set of links from this type of resource page.

things to do in city pages

 

You can start prospecting by using “page-level” qualifier queries (which I highly recommend if you’re looking for “new to an area” topical pages) through Google search.

If you're prospecting for "things to do in [City]" pages, here are the following search queries that you can use:

  • inurl:"things to do" [City]
  • intitle:"things to do" [City]
  • inurl:links activities in [City]

An above approach is an alternate option to the basic link prospecting queries for resource page link building (i.e. using inurl:resources OR inurl:links “keyword”).  It expands your search for link opportunities that don’t necessarily have the title tag or URL qualifiers (intitle and inurl).

The next step is to reach out to webmasters of these links pages and offer your website to be included as an additional resource on the page.

I’ve found it helpful to prepare short lines/descriptions to be added to the links page along with your link. It can help take away webmasters’ burden of thinking about what texts to add, that describe your brand/website (e.g. best description of your local attraction).

area to pages link building outreach

 

If you’ve executed it properly, you’ll definitely get a link.

attraction resource pages

4. Get Resource Links From Summer/Off-Campus Housing [City] Pages

 

Summer housing/off-campus housing pages are resource lists of available housing options for both students and interns in a local area.

This type of webpages can positively generate exposure to brands they’re linking out to as well as provide possible leads for brands’ services since the purpose of the page is focused on recommending rental offerings currently available in the area.

The closest vertical that can benefit from generating high-quality links from summer housing [city] pages, obviously, is real estate, particularly local apartments brands, housing, and rental services companies.

National brands with apartment rentals in different cities can also take advantage of this link acquisition technique by acquiring links from summer housing resource pages available in cities they cater offerings to. The more cities they’re marketing to, the better they could take advantage of this local link building tactic.

national apartments

 

You can start this link approach by creating a list of targeted link prospects from Google search results - using any of the following search terms:

  • “Off-campus” housing [city] “resources”
  • “Student housing” [city] “resources”
  • “Internship housing” [city] “resources”

Populate your list by checking broken domains for any inbound links from summer housing pages. A simple plug to your favorite link checker tool can help quickly assess the number of unique referring domains pointing to these dead websites.

For example, this extinct site that is used to be an apartment rental site has 75+ unique referring domains that include solid .edu sites links pages. A quick look at it can reveal tens of potential summer housing pages that can be added to a link list.

ahrefs summer housing reverse engineering links

 

Then craft email copies you can use for your local outreach that is straightforward and easy to personalize.

Finally, acquire the link:summer housing link

5. Serve FSQ With Local Content

 

Creating content that’s really hard to do and that is better than its competitors is definitely one of the best ways, not just to stand out as an authority publisher in the industry but also to acquire high-quality in-content links from other content publishers on the web.

In addition to that, making sure that the content piece has well-served its audience by providing their needs through the useful information found on the page can increase the chances of building as well as earning backlinks from highly relevant sites.

For local content creation, here are topics that are frequently searched (FSQ or frequently search queries) by a local audience and linked to by local publishers:

  • Street occupancy and moving permits
  • [city] neighborhoods
  • Helpful moving tips or things to do before you move
  • Resources for landlords & tenants
  • Homeowner resources
  • Voter registration
  • Address change

The main key to success in creating local content is to be succinct while being so much helpful in providing the details that the local audience needs.

Coming up with a guide that sums up all of the items mentioned above for people who’re looking for direct information is an extremely useful content asset that has a high chance of earning links from local content creators.

moving resource example 1

moving resource example 2

moving resource example 3moving resource example 4

 

6. Seed Answers To Long Tail Online Discussions

 

Conversation marketing is a highly effective brand-building tool for local business owners, marketers, and/or those who’re an agency that markets local clients - who don’t have a huge budget to spend to build a strong brand presence online.

While it’s certainly time-consuming, the amount of effort put into value-added conversations can invaluably bring momentum and exponential growth of links as well as drive referral traffic and potential leads for the business.

One of the best ways to start this approach is by joining online communities where your local target audience is participating and looking for direct information.

For example, if you’re promoting a local attraction site, answering questions on StreetAdvisor can be an initial jump to your conversation marketing efforts.

seed forum link building

 

Below are some ways that you can do to leverage and scale conversation marketing for your local business:

  • Do Google searches for direct questions that people are seeking to find local businesses and/or attractions (e.g. best [product/service] in [city/area]) and spot-on local and niche-specific forums that are currently ranking in the first two or three pages in search results  - these online pages still receive a few tens/hundreds of organic traffic and may bring valuable traffic to your website.
  • Choose an in-house team member who has a strong knowledge of the product/service you’re offering and let him/her spend 20 to 30 minutes daily, participating in local online discussions.

 

7. Promote Your Local Content Using Reddit

 

Reddit is a community news aggregator site that has its own ranking algorithm to decide which referring link deserves to be placed on the front page for a specific subreddit.

If you’re launching local content that contains a compelling story/data and design-driven images, such as infographics, then Reddit is definitely a place that you can utilize to put more eyeballs on your content (increasing the amount of traffic you’re getting).

You can start by identifying specific subreddits that are relevant to your local brand. Do a Google search for site:reddit.com “keyword” OR “city,” manually check each subreddit and see if they cater to the audience with the same demographics you’re targeting.

Create a list of relevant subreddits along with their current number of subscribers and online users (photo credit: Siegemedia).

siegemedia reddit promotion

 

It is best to take a few minutes checking referring links placed on the front page of each subreddit to assess content types (images/videos/data) that best resonate with the subreddit audience. You can add a column for Notes or Remarks in your spreadsheet to mark content formats/types.

Once you have the Reddit data to base your content upon, you can now produce niche-specific content pieces that are context fit to those local subreddits.

You may want to check out this comprehensive post on creating content by building traffic sources backward from Reddit.

The next step is to customize social buttons on your content by adding a Reddit button, for example, to make it easier for Reddit users to upvote your content.

Another approach that you can make to increase the likelihood of ranking your story on the front Reddit pages is by reaching out to like-minded individuals in your industry or sharing your subreddit link in an online group of marketers to get more upvotes for your client’s content piece.

inbounders facebook group

 

8. Use Affinity Categories For Local Sponsorships 

 

Sponsorships are big in local SEO.

It's nothing new.

But what makes local sponsorships successful?

Answer: proper targeting of audience.

I'm not referring to types of entities: car clubs, event organizers, town clubs, charities, and forums.

But I'm referring to your:

Potential customers.

Most local sponsorships target any local audience, but not those who'll purchase their offerings — products/ or services.

One way to know the right market segment for local sponsorships is:

Through identifying affinity categories.

Affinity categories are users likely to be ready to purchase your products or services in the specified categories.

You can find these categories in Google Analytics:

Audience > Interests > Affinity Categories

google analytics affinity categories

 

These are specified categories your potential customers are also interested in.

You see, you're not just getting any sponsorship link from a local website.

But you get the benefit of directly putting your local sponsorship to potential customers.

Pro Tip: Zipsprout has reliable link building services that directly target local sponsorships.

 

9. Publish Review-Type Guest Posts For Local Vendors

 

Guest posts are everywhere.

But instead of doing it the traditional way for local link building.

Why not try this one?

Modified shoulder guest post.

You may not be familiar with this, but it's so simple.

Here's the process:

Identify local vendors.

local vendor

 

These are brands you may be partnering with as part of your operations and marketing.

In other words, you've used their products or services to grow your business.

Pitch to them, not guest posts.

But a case study or a review.

The first section of the article shares about your brand — a topic, and this is you include the link back to your website.

Then in the second part, you showcase how that local vendor has helped grow your business.

Simple.

 

10. Build Vendor Partner Links

 

Your vendor partners are the best sources of links.

Why?

Because they know you, they're likely to make your requests. And that includes — links.

So think about who is your vendor partners.

If you run a restaurant, you may source bread from a local bakery, or your ice cream could come from the homemade mom-and-pop shop.

local bakery

 

Have a list of all products you sell as a brand. Then check your vendor partners for each food (for example).

Then see if they have local stores.

Do eCommerce link building by going through their "vendors list" pages.

Reach out to them and ask for links.

 

11. Get Low Hanging Fruits From Competitors 

 

Competitor link analysis is nothing new.

You check who links to your competitors. Make a list of them and try to get backlinks from those pages.

In local link building, you start your search with your target keywords in Google Maps and organic search.

Then, it's time to discover some low-hanging fruits.

Use Ahrefs' Link Intersect.

link intersect local competitors

 

Put in your competitors' domains. And include your website as well — but it doesn't link to you.

You'll now see a list of websites that link to your competitor but not to your site.

ahrefs link intersect results local competitors links

 

Another good thing here:

You'll find link opportunities that are linked to a 404 page.

What you could do here is to create a better piece of content.

And reach out to all websites that linked to the broken page.

One more creative thing to do:

Get information on what link building tactics your competitors are doing.

This opens up new ideas and backlink opportunities for your local business.

 

12. Offer Free Content To Local Business Groups 

 

Guest posting is nothing new in SEO.

The typical approach to prospecting industry blogs is through Google search.

Use advanced search operators (i.g. inurl) plus topic, then you'll see possible websites for content.

But what if you almost run out of guest post targets?

What is an alternative way to find new niche blogs?

A NEW guest post prospecting strategy:

Facebook groups.

Not just generic Facebook groups that explicitly buy/sell or accept guest posts.

But I'm referring to local Facebook groups.

new york smes facebook group

 

One way to get guest post prospects is to offer an exclusive service to any content writer or SEO person of a local business.

By posting on specific local business groups, you open an opportunity for anyone interested in free content in their niche.

You can start with specific niche local businesses to make your content offer appeal to members of the group.

Then once you get comments and personal messages from local business content creators, you can check the quality of the blogs.

See if it passes your blog standards. Then, write and publish an article to their blogs with editorial links.

 

13. Pitch Statistics Content To Local and Regional Publishers 

 

Getting attention from local media isn't that difficult.

Create content with a story that's appealing to local publishers, and you pick up great backlinks.

How can you do that?

Think of statistics content.

rents statistics content

 

Local publishers often cite this type of content as they have information that isn't usually found elsewhere.

Especially if points and stories are interesting or unique.

One angle you can look at is state by state local data.

For example, "During Covid, Rental Rates in X States were % more expensive than in Y States".

While you can pitch this content directly to national publishers, make sure to pack some data points for local media attention.

 

14. Get Strategy Inspiration From Other Markets

 

Running out of link prospects is normal.

It often happens for local link-building campaigns where only a few websites are discovered in a specific city.

How do you come up with new targets for links?

The answer:

Outside your market, take the time to look at any other markets.

Maybe, you've been thinking:

What sense would it make to see your websites in different marketers when they don't work directly with your website?

The answer is pretty simple:

You get inspiration for new link building ideas.

So if you're in a smaller metro area, try to find other similar businesses from a large metro — to see what's working for them.

If you're in a large metro area, analyze backlink profiles from other larger metro areas.

You can also explore other niches, not just local businesses from other metro areas.

Let's say you're building backlinks for attorneys. Maybe you can see what's working for other industries like pest control?

pest control philadelphia

 

One tactic in a niche can be used differently in your local business niche.

If everyone in the legal market is doing scholarship link building, you won't see it being effective if it's adopted by many, including your competition.

When you're able to discover a link building technique that's not being abused yet by many…

You stay ahead of the competition.

Different markets have different search landscapes, so every backlink profile from ranking websites opens up other link building techniques.

 

15. Build Backlinks From Alumni Directories 

 

One common type of local backlink is alumni links.

They are easy to spot and acquire for your local business.

How?

You start by looking for local schools.

Then see if they have alumni directory pages with links.

alumni association links

 

From there, you use either two of these creative ways:

Provide discounts to community members to get links from their sites' member benefits page.

alumni association member benefits

 

alumni association member benefits 2

 

Or offer a free event space for org meetings.

If you're an eCommerce, the first one perfectly works well for you.

If you have extra office space (or events hall), the second idea gives you links.

 

16. Acquire Gov Links Using "Bait and Switch Strategy" 

 

Gov links aren't easy to acquire.

Especially for local businesses, but you’ll have a competitive advantage if you can get those authority links.

Bait and switch strategy.

This is a budgeted local link building campaign to land gov links.

Here is a seven-step process to execute this creative link building strategy.

Step 1: Find 30 to 50 local councils.

google philadelphia council links page

 

Step 2: Think about what to offer to council members. It could be a yoga class or giving away gym equipment.

Step 3: Purchase and create a .org domain. Then create a website based on your offer. For example, make a community yoga class website with a council finder if it’s a yoga class. It has no commercial intent but purely includes community information.

Step 4: Create a landing page related to the value offer (e.g., yoga class landing page on your website).

Step 5: Reach out to all local councils and other websites to promote your new .org site.

Step 6: Create a landing page related to the value offer (e.g., yoga class landing page on your website).

Step 7: Redirect the .org to your landing page with links to your money pages.

Win.

 

17. Find Local Businesses That Feature Non-Competing Brands

 

Strategic partnership is an excellent way to think about local link building.

There are great link opportunities when two or more non-competing brands collaborate.

For example, if you're doing SEO for a photography website, you can find ways to get featured on wedding and event organizers sites.

wedding resource page links

 

May it be from their blog section or their page dedicated to listing local partner brands.

Vice versa, if you're a wedding organizer, one of the best links that you might get come from wedding photography sites. They might feature weddings shot at their venue.

Think of your brand.

Identify your non-competing brands.

Reach out and ask to get featured on specific pages or articles.

 

18. Find Local Government Programs For Certifications 

 

Certifications help build up the credibility of an individual or business.

But did you know it's also an excellent way to earn some good local links?

Here is how to get started with this:

Find resources or programs that your business would need to enroll or get certified in.

If you've been certified in a few places, check those certification websites and see if they linked to people or businesses they certified in.

Invest your resources in these certification programs for additional credibility or brand exposure, especially if your local business needs them.

 

19. Offer Unique Testimonials To Local Businesses

 

One of the best social proofs is testimonials.

If a customer gave you a testimonial, whether in written or video format, it increases the perceived value of your products/services.

Potential customers are likely to see the results they'll get from using your offer.

Think testimonials not only for conversions but also for local backlinks.

Local businesses won't ignore an honest testimonial from a customer.

Significantly if it adds proof of results for potential customers.

So, how can you use testimonials for link building?

Step 1: Find local vendors your local business/client uses, likes, and shares.

Step 2: Offer a long-form testimonial on their website. It includes how the local vendor helped your local business.

testimonials page local coffee shop

 

Pro tip: You can format the testimonial in a basic block of HTML, so your contact person can forward it straight to the web developer to implement the changes.

Testimonial link building is helping other local businesses grow through your words.

Then links become a by-product.

 

20. Publish Relevant Top X City Posts With Lead Generation In Mind 

 

You see local content in most local business blogs.

It's for traffic — they say.

So, for example, publishing a "Top X city" article helps drive people from your target location.

Nothing bad here.

But what if you want as a local business is not just traffic, but also potential customers.

Here's the thing:

You can get both.

Traffic and leads.

So whenever you publish local content, think lead generation.

Is this content I'm going to create will drive traffic and potential customers to my local business?

So instead of just creating content like:

  • Top 10 things you should know about in [city]
  • Best [cuisine] spots in [city]
  • 5 things to do in [city]

best restaurants philly article

 

You create content that ties into your products or services.

Let's use local vets as our example.

People interested in pet care services would usually read content like:

  • 10 pet-friendly restaurants in [city]
  • Pet laws in [city] you don't know, but you should
  • Dog-friendly hikes in [city] rated by a veterinarian

dog friendly philly article

 

Did you get the idea?

So regardless of whether you publish it on your blog or distribute it elsewhere (i.e., guest posts), you're also thinking about how that local content can drive conversions to your local business.

 

21. Discover Local HOAs & Neighborhoods Using This One Search Operator 

 

HOA - Homeowner's association.

And neighborhoods.

You won't find much of this in every city.

But consider this as one of your link building techniques.

If your local business is engaging physically with local town members of associations, you can benefit from this.

How can you find link opportunities from HOAs and neighborhoods?

You need to use a search function that gives you the results of a specific page.

Take a look at this search query.

"homeowners association" "florida" inurl:links.html

homeowners association resource page link

 

At the time of this writing, it will show links pages (in other terms, resource pages) for homeowners in New York.

You’ll have to look for links/resource pages and not just any type of page because you want to know if they have a history of linking to external resources or businesses.

So try it out for your target location.

See if there are any HOAs and neighborhoods sites you can discover.

Then check if they have links/resources pages you can get listed in. Or better yet, start the search using "[city]" "homeowners" links.html

 

22. Build A Useful Tool For Local and Niche-Targeted Entities 

 

One way to drive high authority links is by creating a helpful tool for your audience.

For example, Shopify created a business name generator that generated 1.9K+ in referring domains and $500K+ in traffic value.

ahrefs shopify business name generator

 

The cost of creating tools depends on the complexity of the functions.

But what about local businesses?

Brainstorm an idea where a tool is needed.

It doesn't have to be specific to the niche you're in.

We are looking at the relevance of local links for this matter — as this is what we're aiming for.

Are there any tasks or projects other businesses in your location need that you can create and generate links from it?

 

23. Approach Journalists With Local Angle Of Content 

 

Could you get journalists to cover your local business story?

The answer is yes.

But what makes journalists tick when accepting stories from businesses?

It's the angle and hook of your stories.

If you've published a content piece (news, story, data, etc..) that has worked for the national press, start thinking about how you can tweak it local media attention.

Perhaps, you can add rankings (top 5 cities or any location thereof) to your interactive world map to get that local business angle.

So if you're looking for excellent links from local publications, always think about how to pitch local journalists with a local angle of your story, data, or any content piece.

 

24. Acquire Donation Links From Decent Authoritative Local Organizations 

 

Donation isn't a new thing in local link building.

Most local businesses with enough resources invest in donations to scale links quickly in the first months of a link building campaign.

How to start with donation link building?

Check your resources and determine your estimated budget for this link building project.

Typically, a decent donation link can cost around $500~. Some links from orgs can have lower pricing for the $200 range — but you'd have to check if it's worth the site’s quality.

Find local organizations using two metrics:

Relevance.

The sites should be locally relevant and might potentially drive potential customers to your website.

So if you're a veterinarian in Philadelphia, try to find local pet clubs, local health orgs, etc.

pet club sponsorship links

 

You can also go far from niche-targeting and check from just a local standpoint.

From a recent vet example, donating to small software projects isn't bad (as long as it's still in Philadelphia).

The second metric is decent authority.

You can use Ahrefs' DR (Domain Rating) as an essential measurement of the website’s authority.

Try to look for sites with DR40+.

If you don't have time for this type of link building strategy, you can hire agencies that do solely — local sponsorship marketing.

One good example is Zipsprout, founded by Garett French.

So, you can get sponsor links DIY or hire a sponsorship service like Zipsprout.

 

25. Use Local Linkbait Strategy To Get More Targeted Traffic 

 

Linkbait is a type of content that gets natural links.

It's beneficial for your local business, as you're creating a 'flywheel' effect.

Where you publish a few comprehensive linkbait content and these handfuls of posts repeatedly hand you over new backlinks over time, it becomes a natural link acquisition system for your brand.

In local link building:

There is one local linkbait strategy that you can use.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Think of a topic that will bait local businesses to be featured on a list.

For example, if you pitch "Best 15 Coffee Shops in Philadelphia" to an owner of a local coffee shop, it's a no-brainer the person would help with the content promotion.

Step 2: List down all potential local businesses you'll partner with for the blog post.

Step 3: Reach out to these people and let them know that you are about to publish an article.

The pitch value here is that they'll be featured in an article that will attract new leads for their local business.

Plus, it would also have some more visibility for their brand and possible links for their websites.

Pro tip: If you've got a solid base of social media followers, include it as part of your value pitch, "We could share the blog article across XXX followers.”

Step 4: Publish your "Top/Best X in [City]" post.

Step 5: Send the link to the blog post to your partner local businesses.

Expect local backlinks from those business blogs and other websites.

 

26. Write New Segment For Link Insertions 

 

Outreach is one of the crucial phases of a link building campaign.

You connect to your target linkers with your email pitch.

That's the reason why:

If you write an email that speaks to your linkers' needs, you can persuade them to link to you.

How will that happen?

You encourage the outcome that you want in your initial email.

For example:

In most link insertions, outreach campaigns, where you reach out to bloggers or publishers to include a link to your content from one of their existing articles.

This is commonly known as "niche edits.”

The way to encourage the outcome here is to write the passage with the link in the same format, existing voice, and style of the article.

This offloads the work on the part of the blogger.

The good thing here:

You help these publishers to copy-paste the new segment out of your email simply.

What's the added value?

The easier it is for them to place your link somewhere on their articles, the more likely you'll get the link.

 

27. Create Your Own Link Building Playbook 

 

Here's one thing about scaling backlinks:

You need processes to do that.

One tip here is to create your link building playbook.

This is where you'll input all the necessary details about your link building campaign.

The playbook includes:

Backlink profile data:

Questionnaire:

Order of priorities (for link building strategies):

Procedure documents:

Reports:

Link building playbook helps you scale your link building team.

Got a new hire?

You hand it over to the playbook. Let them learn what's inside.

The more you develop your playbook, the more you increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign.

 

Here’s The Next Step…

 

Which of the 27 local link building tactics you're going to execute for your campaign?

Will you build backlinks from alumni directories? How about publishing relevant top X city posts to generate leads for local businesses in local link building?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


saas link building

19 Actionable SaaS Link Building Strategies For 2022 [Free Checklist & Templates]

This is the most detailed guide to SaaS link building online.

So if you want to:

  • Build scalable backlinks to your SaaS blog and landing pages
  • See examples of the world's best SaaS link building campaigns
  • Increase new demos and trials from new customers

You'll love detailed strategies in today's guide.

Click on any link below to jump to a section. 

 

Let's get started.

 

Steal Your Competitors Best Keywords Using Capterra

Capterra has the most number of software reviews on the web.

As of now, their "Software Categories" contain 850+ different categories.

That's a lot!

And you can take advantage of what they're currently doing.

How?

First, if you don't know who your competitors are, or if you're looking for additional ones to do research on, go through the list of SaaS companies in Capterra.

capterra browse categories

 

Once you find these related software businesses, you can check their backlink profiles using Ahrefs.

freshbooks backlink profile ahrefs

 

This can give you an idea of what types of backlinks they get for their SaaS website. And what niche-specific link building strategies they're using to get more targeted backlinks.

Secondly, get keyword insights from Capterra.

Most SaaS companies have the challenge of determining what best keywords to target for their landing pages.

Take EnsoData for example. They offer artificial intelligence (AI) scoring and analysis for sleep technicians. They have clear service offerings, but they're not targeting any specific niche keywords for their pages.

ensodata

This happens mostly for SaaS with very specific core offerings.

The way to solve them is to let Capterra do the keyword research for you.

By looking at their Capterra page, you can easily find some core keywords.

capterra organic keywords

 

By doing these two things: finding competitors on Capterra's software categories and discovering the best keywords on Capterra pages, you can publish content assets that are likely to rank and earn links along the way.

 

Use Help Center To Earn Fresh Links

You build trust from new customers when you help people with their problems.

That increases demos and trials for your SaaS.

One way to achieve that is to use the Help Center of Knowledge Base.

Take a look at Hubspot and Uber. Both these two SaaS companies effectively use Help Centers for many purposes:

Show their existing customers how to use their products and their features to solve their problems.

uber help center

 

Provide tips from certified experts and industry practitioners.

hubspot certified experts

 

You earn fresh links from people you've helped. They will talk about it on forums and on blogs.

The reason is simple:

They found your guides, tips, and product features helpful for them for their communities. 

See the number of links Hubspot and Uber earned with their Help Centers.

ahrefs hubspot

 

ahrefs uber

Discover Untapped Link Opportunities From Google Play

If you have created an app for your SaaS, this is for you.

Take a look at the people who linked to your app in Google Play.

google play grammarly

 

Then see if it makes sense to have another opportunity to get backlinks from them.

ahrefs google play grammarly

 

If they mention and link to you, they are familiar with your SaaS brand.

It makes sense to reach out again and offer another value in terms of content.

Make a list of all people who linked to your app — who can be your backlink prospects for another link building campaign - i.e. guest posting.

Execute another link building campaign for your new list of backlink opportunities.

 

 

Use Product Hunt To Earn Branded Links

Product Hunt is your go-to website when finding the best new software in the market.

It's also a great way to get feedback from SaaS founders, marketers, and the tech community.

If you want more new customers for your software, launch it on Product Hunt.

As you get traction, you earn eyeballs from publishers, tech content creators, and linkers on different websites.

That way, you earn new links to your SaaS brand.

Take LeadForms for example:

After launching their software product to Product Hunt, here's what they got:

  • Generated over $10,000 ARR in the pipeline (some super highly qualified leads)
  • Close to 2,000 unique page views
  • A couple of backlink opportunities

product hunt leadforms

 

If you want to get more demos and trials, and increase your MRR, submit your SaaS strategically on Product Hunt.

You don't spam people. You don't force them to upvote and support your product launches.

Product Launch is a community. So, contributing value first should be your utmost priority.

You build your own community long before the launch. So when you start launching your software, you'll already have a bunch of people to support you.

Here are some examples of successful Product Hunt launches:

Flawless 

product hunt flawless

 

Quokka

product hunt quokka

 

Weblium

product hunt weblium

 

 

Optimize Your SaaS Landing Pages To Increase Linkability

Not all landing pages of SaaS are linkable. People don't normally link to sales pages unless it is worth citing.

If you have SaaS landing pages, you have to make them linkable.

How is that possible?

You include citable elements to your SaaS sales pages.

Add any of these micro content to your landing pages:

  • Data or “findings.”
  • Direct quotation of a source.
  • Defining jargon and industry terminology for the layperson (aka definitions).
  • Pricing Guides or Generalized Pricing Information.
  • Images, Videos, Widgets, Downloadables.
  • Detailed, Multi-Faceted Metrics-Based Reviews.
  • Tips/Advice Directly Related to Products/Services on the Page.
  • The Origin Story.
  • Supplemental Outbound Resource Links

These are content pieces to increase the linkability of your sales pages. The more you have them, the easier for you to persuade publishers, bloggers, and industry content creators to link to your page because your content is worth referencing.

For example, Proposify added new free templates to their website for potential customers. These have been branded assets that generated hundreds of links.

proposify proposal templates

 

Another example is Quickbooks Sales Tax:

quickbooks sales tax

 

You see that they have "sales tax calculator", "how to calculate sales tax", and "sales tax survey".

These are all citable elements that will give publishers a reason to link to your sales page.

The next part is:

Reach out to people who might be interested to link to your sales pages. And expect to increase backlinks to your SaaS website.

 

Make Your CEO A Hero In Stories

Every software as a service brand has a story to tell to the world. And that's a huge advantage.

Journalists and reporters are hungry for interesting stories. They're looking for success stories of tech founders who've grown their startups to thousands of customers.

They also ask for quotes, tips, and advice from industry practitioners.

Here's the thing:

if you have stories, you can get more visibility and links for your SaaS website.

Plus, you'll get new customers by being featured on top publications — if these publishers bring referral traffic to your website.

Does your SaaS have any interesting founding story?

What about unique problems your tech product was able to solve on its own?

If you want to get great coverage on major publications, think about stories as your product.

Here is one example.

ceo story your hero

 

If you don't have a partnered PR agency, you can get your stories known using HARO.

You can check out this step-by-step guide on how to use HARO.

 

 

Create A WordPress Plugin

Most webmasters use WordPress as their CMS.

For ease, most content managers and publishers want to use plugins to integrate tech products useful for their websites.

The best thing?

Create a WordPress plugin.

If your SaaS has logical benefits for ease of integration with WordPress, that's a big plus for your customers.

The next big thing is you get backlinks from WordPress users and tech publishers.

One more: you get new customers searching when your plugin is featured in the WordPress directory.

Take Hubspot again as an example.

They've created a WordPress plugin to integrate their software products inside the WordPress website.

hubspot wordpress

 

Built natively into WordPress, their customers can do meaningful tasks in CRM, email marketing, and analytics.

As of now, their Hubspot WordPress page earned over 1800 links.

ahrefs hubspot wordpress plugin

 

 

Use Your Affiliate Program To Increase More Links

Affiliate programs are one of the best ways to grow your customers.

And the best part: you increase your backlinks by creating an affiliate program.

If you already have one, you just need to find bloggers and content creators who publish reviews and articles about niche products on their websites.

These are industry publishers who can write reviews about your product.

Of course, you get links from those product reviews.

learnworlds affiliate program

 

Here's how you do it:

Try to search for "your competitor" + "review" on Google.

google competitor affiliate review

 

You'll surface a bunch of review articles of your competitors. 

Leave the review websites like Capterra, G2, PCmag, etc..

For bloggers and publishers who write product reviews for your competitors? Reach out to them.

 

Publish Learn Hubs To Increase More (Targeted) Traffic

Read these statistics:

85% of large Saas businesses own a blog.

36% of SaaS companies use their blog to share content that educates. (SaaSX)

More and more software companies understand the power of content marketing in generating new customers, trials, and demos.

That said, how can you make sure your blog stands out?

Instead of doing what everyone is doing.

You do this:

You create what we call, "Learn Hub".

Learn Hubs are basically resource or knowledge centers.

Basically, you create an online library wherein you publish different pages that systematically target keywords within a topic.

The catch here?

You keep readers engaged on your site because each content piece lives closer together.

And because the entire "learn hubs" consists fully of highly valuable content assets, it's much more linkable than other competing individual pages.

For example, Canva's Learn Hub on design has generated over 3,000 backlinks and is currently ranking #1 for the key phrase: "free design".

canva design learn hub

 

Another example is from Freshbooks. Its Small Business Resource Hub is one of the top resource centers on accounting and invoicing for small businesses.

Freshhooks' "Learn Hub" ranks for over 355,000 keywords, with 3,200+ backlinks pointed to it.

ahrefs freshbooks links

Use High-Quality Custom Tools To Generate Links

Here's the good thing with tools:

It helps in automation and simplicity of work.

And for the most part, generating high-quality backlinks to your website.

For example, Gusto has a full library of different payroll and HR tools that currently generates over 2,000 backlinks and over 40,000 monthly sessions, according to Ahrefs.

gusto tools

 

Software companies like you, won't have a hard time creating custom tools.

You do this as a product team.

Are there any estimated calculations your potential customers must make to arrive at a decision to purchase your SaaS product?

Do you have in-house spreadsheets that you can share with your audience to increase their efficiency on certain tasks?

Start with one tool. Then promote it massively to your target audience.

Add another tool to your /tools section. Promote it again to your audience.

You build a momentum of link earning as you build sets of custom tools for your audience.

 

Submit Your Website To Software Directories

You can't ignore the basic stuff:

Submitting your SaaS website to software directories.

You simply have to submit details about your brand, and some other information needed for submission.

Here is a free list of software directories.

 

 

Discover Content Patterns In Your Industry

The #1 mistake content marketers make is:

Not doing enough research before creating the content…

The reason why they don't get enough results when they start to promote their content assets.

One content strategy that gets you backlinks is discovering content patterns.

These are patterns — types and formats of content that already have worked in your industry.

How can you do that?

Start to reverse engineer top publications in your target industry.

saas content patterns

 

And see what types of content they consistently publish on their blog.

Model the same format in your SaaS blog and have a higher success rate in backlinks.

 

Use Tangential Topics To Discover Guest Post Prospects

Guest posting is one of the scalable link building strategies online.

But what's more interesting is:

Guest posting drives more traffic and more potential trials and demos to your software website.

Think about it:

If you write an article for an industry blog, and one of its readers read your content. You build trust among these readers.

They like you, and they'll buy from you.

But how can you know what industry blogs to target for guest posts?

The answer is to think about the specific problems your SaaS solves in your market.

We call as "tangential topics".

These are not the main core topics in your software blog.

But they're related to the solutions your SaaS is trying to solve.

Examples are:

Project management software helping freelancers do remote work.

Workflow software helping HR departments grow their businesses.

Productivity software helping small business owners manage their remote workers.

You see:

So you don't just limit your guest posting strategy with your main target audience.

But you're thinking about who are other audiences who might benefit from the solutions you're trying to solve in your space.

How?

Start with Google search

Use intitle search operator to find blogs with your target tangential topics.

See the example below:

google search workflow human resource

 

Make a list of all these industry blogs and target them as your guest post prospects.

Do this again after a couple of months. And you'll never run of your target guest blogs.

 

Publish Industries Pages

Do you want more trials and demos?

I'm sure you do.

It's only possible if:

You're not just niche-targeting, but also widening opportunities in targeting industries.

That's the best thing for software companies.

You can target different audiences.

For example, SimpleTexting created several "Industries" pages for their SaaS.

Text messaging for Car Dealerships:


simpletexting car dealerships

 

Text messaging for Property Management and Landlords:

simpletexting property management

 

Text messaging for Fitness Centers and Gyms:

simpletexting fitness gyms

 

Industry pages work well in helping you drive audience-specific links.

In our given example, Simple Texting can reach out to car dealership blogs, property management blogs, and fitness blogs.

That translates to tons of links rather than just focusing on one niche.

 

What's the common buying pattern of your potential customers?

Simple: They look through different solutions, choose which product they think that they can solve their needs, and decide for a trial or demo.

The reason why:

There are a lot of list posts (sometimes called, "listicles") and comparison guides in the software industry.

Bloggers, publishers, and content creators have "top 10 for [insert solution" articles.

You know what?

You can take advantage of these listicles and comparison guides to get links.

But you first have to start discovering them. How?

Plug in your competitor's website in Ahrefs to see who linked to them.

ahrefs listicles best grammarly

 

Go to the Backlinks section.

Add filter keywords such as:

  • Best
  • Top
  • Tools
  • Software

These will give you results of pages with any of these keywords in page titles.

Reach out to them and request your SaaS to get featured.

Pro Tip: Offer basic or premium account access to your online software to increase your link placement rate.

 

 

Turn Brand Mentions Into Product Page Links

Most SaaS websites have lots of homepage links.

It's a good thing but:

If you want to maximize results in link building, you need more relevant more targeted links. 

What can you do?

Turn your brand mentions of products into product page links.

Step 1: Look for brand mentions.

You can use Ahrefs to track them easily.

ahrefs new alerts freshbooks

 

Or use Google Alerts to find these blogs that mentioned your SaaS.

Step 2: Reach out and ask to update their links to a more relevant page.

Given they have mentioned your online software in their articles, a simple request for change of links to a more specific page (your product or template page) is doable. for webmasters.

Here is a simple email outreach script that you can use:

Subject Line: Quick question for your [Name]

Hey [Name],

It’s [Your Name] here from [Their Website].

I was just looking through my backlinks and noticed you mentioned me in this post: [Link of the page where you got the link]

However, I noticed that although you mention a particular blog post of mine [Topic of the page that mentioned your
website], you actually linked to my homepage rather than the blog post itself.

Any chance it would be possible to swap the link out for a link directly to the blog post instead?

No worries if not, I just think it’d make more sense in the overall context of the post (as people may be interested to
read that post).

Either way, have a great week!

Thanks,
[Your Name]

 

Publish Statistics Page In Your Industry

People want to know different things.

They do Google search for "how many people are X", "what is the number of people in X", how many users are using X".

These are numbers. Some pages have statistics to show off.

It's good for users. It's also good for link building.

Your software brand has data and numbers that might be valuable to your audience.

And is a powerful asset for backlinks from authority sites.

Many SaaS websites publish "statistics" pages.

Tidio's Chatbot Statistics:

tidio chatbot statistics

 

Hubspot Content Marketing Statistics:

hubspot content marketing statistics

 

Simple Texting Remote Work Statistics:

simpletexting remote work statistics

 

Publish your own statistics page.

Get information from your internal data in your company.

Or get data from top statistical sources such as:

Once publish, you reach out to people who might be interested in linking to the page.

Start with people who have previously linked to statistics related to yours.

Use Ahrefs to discover blogs, publishers, and websites that linked to your similar statistics page.

Go to the Backlinks section. Make a list of these backlink targets.

reverse engineer ahrefs statistics

 

Reach out to them and promote your statistics content.

 

Hunt How-To Tutorials On Youtube

You should probably know that publishing Youtube videos is a great way to generate brand awareness and drive new customers to your SaaS website.

But there's one more thing with Youtube videos:

It helps software companies to bring new inbound links to their websites.

How?

By publishing tutorials on how to use your product for meaningful tasks.

For example, Trello has tons of videos on how to be productive using their tools.

trello youtube videos

 

Instead of putting out an article on how to use Trello, a better demonstration of their SaaS features is through how-to videos.

Another example is putting out videos of app integration with your software.

ahrefs app integrations

 

This helps your brand get in front of people using those integrated apps.

Those are link opportunities at hand.

You can track blogs that mentioned your SaaS along with the integrated app.

ahrefs new alerts app integration

 

And even reach out to content publishers who've written a post on a topic of your Youtube video.

By sharing that it adds more value to their readers, if there's a how-to video that showcases the exact way of doing the task, you're likely to increase the chances of getting backlinks to your website.

 

Appeal To Sales People With Your Software

Audience-first link building.

It is your ability to think first of your audience, as it dictates what link building strategy to use for your software website.

Besides your main audience for your SaaS blog:

HR people, CIOs, small business owners…

…you can also target salespeople

Salespeople have high intent in social sharing and referencing valuable resources.

For what reason?

Simple: They get more money by doing so.

If they want more sales, they have to educate more their audience, especially if their offers have a longer sales cycle (e.g. 3 to 6 months before a person purchases their offers).

Trigger the emotions of salespeople by appealing to them with your SaaS content.

Think of ways on how to appeal to salespeople. 

Use Google to find titles and topics that go near to your brand's solutions.

google search intitle for sales intitle productivity

 

 

Here's The Next Step…

I want to turn it over to you.

Which one of the 19 SaaS link building strategies you're going to apply right now?

Will you optimize your SaaS landing pages to increase their linkability? How about publishing "learn hubs" to earn more links and targeted traffic to your website?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


contextual-links

7 Insanely Actionable Tactics to Build Contextual Links

Guest blogging is not the only contextual link building tactic. There are several which you are yet to figured out.

But first…

What is a contextual link?

Here's a good definition from Jason Acidre:

A contextual link is a type of link that’s usually found within the body of content and is in context with the idea surrounding the link. It can be both natural (voluntary links from other websites – ex: link bait) and artificial (manually built – ex: one of your guest posts that links back to your blog/content).

Building contextual links can benefit you in so many ways which include

Targeted traffic. Leads. Online brand presence.

They are all good, but only seem "to be too good to be true" if you don't know the exact how-to's of building the right contextual links.

Today, I want to give you 7 ways to get contextual links for your website.

 

1. MAXIMIZE TARGETED OUTREACH

Targeted outreach is basically sending out emails to prospect linkers of a very specific content - most are existing articles with the same topic, with a hope to get reference links back to the site.

Let's say, you have published a post on "how to stop my husband from snoring". If you want to get contextual links, you may reach out to articles that rank for terms like, "how to stop snoring", "how to stop snoring of your partner", or even "top snoring apps".

how to stop snoring search results page 1Because they'll find your article to be relevant to use as an additional resource (i.e. including your content on "you may also check out this article on" or "for further reading"), there's a good chance you'll acquire a link.

But it's not a guarantee that it works all the time. You have to understand the context of the linking page and your content, so you could determine if there's a good linking chance.

Here are some tips to guide you when assessing these link opportunities:

First, check the primary focus topic of the article/page.

Ask yourself, "Does the prospect article I'm trying to get a link from cover a much larger subject compared to the topic of the content I'm pitching with?".

contextual-linking-2

If you are pitching your "top snoring apps" to an article about generic "how to stop snoring" content, there's a good chance to get a link from that because the linking page covers a wider subject and perhaps has a subsection about snoring apps - which then provides you an opportunity now for a link.

But how about if it's vice versa? "how to stop snoring" to "top snoring apps," would you get a link?

contextual-linking-1

The answer is, "it depends."

Depending on how the article is structured, if the article covers exactly "top snoring apps" and your page isn't about apps, there'll be misalignment on his part to link to you. But it's not always the case.

If your article speaks about a subsection on snoring apps which hasn't been discussed/included in the prospect existing article, there's a good chance you'll get a external backlink.

The logic is that the blogger would want to give a reference link to a page that explains more about a topic/word/phrase mentioned in his article but have yet to be expounded.

Second thing you need to do is to assess external links on a page.

If you see a homepage link on an article and it's referencing a product/service, not as a recommendation just like brand mention (see example below) or a product review which obviously links built to a commercial page, there's a less organic linking chance to it.

external links audit

The reason there's a link there is either the webmaster/blogger is affiliated, partnered or is compensated with for the effort of linking or simply, the product/service is an authority in the space - undoubtedly being linked to in most blogs.

Third thing is to identify if the page is dynamic or static.

dynamic page

What I mean with dynamic is there are pages that frequently updates over time and there are others pages that are not. Those pages that require updates of links are dynamic.

If you're reaching out to a dynamic page, there's a high probability to acquire a high authority link, as the need itself looks for new resources or references. In other words, they'll be linking to your content if it will make their content piece better.

A blog post on snoring apps for 2017, for example, can be dynamic if its URL isn't targeting snoring apps 2017 phrase. If it's just snoring apps resource article, it gives space for new links to resources.

The more dynamic the existing page is, the higher is the likelihood you'll get a link juice. Otherwise, if it's static, they should have reasons to link other than the timeliness of the topic.

So, there are three ways to check if an existing article/page can potentially link to you.

Second tip:

2. GENERATE EASY LINKS FROM RELATIVELY NEW AND LOW AUTHORITY PUBLICATIONS

You aim links from DA30+ blogs, but from sites with lower metrics (<DA30), you probably don't.

Not pitching low authority sites is kind of a short-sighted thinking.

If you aim for traffic and clicks from links, there are low-authority sites with upward trends in organic growth that you should be getting because they actually increase the value of links when you get them.

DA21 website

More importantly if these are blogs that are still new in the industry (use archive.org to check), you'll find that after a few months or years, they'll have increased their followers and linkers.

Thus, if you have build relationships with them upfront, it will not be difficult to convince them for you to contribute posts on their blogs.

Note: If you have an authority brand, you should aim for top-tier industry blogs. But if you're starting to grow your link profile, pursuing even low authority blogs can be effective for you.

To check if a low authority blog is worthy of your link efforts, you can use Ahrefs or SEMRush to basically check the site's estimated organic traffic.

The slope of the organic traffic trend signals the site's growth. The steeper the slope upward, the better.

upward trend traffic

Once identified if a low authority blog is link-worthy, you'll then reach out to them with whatever offer you have - either a content asset worthy of a link or a visual asset ready to be republished.

3. EVALUATE SIMILAR PAGE LINKS FOR HOMEPAGE ASK

You probably heard that tip from Ross if you religiously consuming content from SiegeMedia.

In my experience, that's one way to assess your chance to get the link.

If there are commercial links (i.e. one link is pointing to a product page) on a page, then you have chances to get a homepage or commercial link as well.

History of linking to similar page types is one true sign of a possible link.

external links homepage ask

However, that's not to say that it is always a guarantee. With proper assessment, you may know if a homepage ask is worth pursuable.

Here are some true signs of a potential homepage link:

  1. Keyword-optimized anchor text - very few you'll find a link with the exact target keyword/phrase as the anchor text. So seeing one (except for Exact-match-domains where brand names are exact ranking keyword) is an intent to link to a commercial page.
  2. List of partners - you normally see this in eCommerce space; retailers, manufacturers,, suppliers and other business partners types are mostly homepage as linked pages.
  3. Recommended products/services - top X tools in 2018 is one example where homepage ask is feasible

Even if you've got a great content piece published recently, if you think a homepage would be best fit, that's something you should pursue to be linked to. The opportunity cost is high if it's not, given that a homepage link is way more difficult to acquire than top-of-the-funnel pages like industry guides.

4. LINK EXCHANGE EXCLUSIVELY FOR LINKABLE ASSETS

When you have a great linkable environment in your space, you'll start receiving emails from other bloggers or webmasters wanting to get their links to their own sites.

link exchange for linkable assets outreach

Three or five asks of this kind every month is a good opportunity to link exchange.

Depending on cases, you'll find that it's okay to exclusively link exchange for both linkable assets.

It's natural to find a page that references good content and a web page from another site links out to your good content.

Here, you don't get links mutually to the same pages (page A to page B, page B to page A). That's a 2008 link exchange. Rather, your content A gets a link from his page A and his content B is linked on your page C. 

Below are more tips to guide you with this tactic:

A. Check if the linking partner is a good fit.

You will receive different emails of an ask to link (link exchange): some pitches include direct links to their preferred pages/content, others didn't have.

If the email is handcrafted well (with your name personalized), it's a sign of a good linking fit.

However, there are emails that start with Dear Ma'am/Sir but still has a good relevant content piece. The person reaching out just doesn't know how to outreach properly.

So, always check the email and the website they have. Assess if the page or website itself is semantically fit to your brand.

B. Assess their preferred linking page.

If it's a content page they're building links to, it's a potential fit.

Otherwise, for commercial pages, consider if the product/service could be highly recommended on your website.

As Ross Hudgens says, "Building natural links to landing pages with commerciality built in is pretty close to impossible with cold outreach."

C. Identify which page you could put their link.

Unless you're willing to put a new page/article to give them a link, you could simply search an existing page in your own website that best fits them. 

If you have a recommended readings page, that's one choice you can pick as you can simply include a link to their content if there's a section that fits their topic.

D. Check if you could also get a link.

I suggest you choose one page that you'd like to improve more keyword rankings visibility by getting more links to. Then by doing a site search on Google for their domain, site:hisdomain.com "topic", check if they have a page that fits the topic.

site search for link exchange

Once you start attracting potential linkers, link exchange exclusively for linkable assets can be a low-hanging fruit tactic that can add new links to your website,

5. USE TWITTER TO NUDGE BLOGGERS ABOUT BROKEN LINKS

Perhaps you've found broken links on a target resource page and you thought, "maybe I could tell this to the webmaster to connect easily, with the hope of getting a link".

So you easily go to your outreach tool and craft an email to be sent to the webmaster, with the note, "I've found errors on your page".

He doesn't respond so you send a follow-up.

Nothing happens so you proceed to your next outreach prospect.

This is an opportunity cost..

No response doesn't mean there's a huge problem with your link prospecting and outreach approach. There may just be a little tweak needeed to properly connect to your outreach prospect.

How about sending a direct message on Twitter to connect?

Most bloggers are active on social because they care about their community (their followers) and consistently curate industry posts through social posting.

For that reason, if you send a direct message to a blogger to tell about their broken links, there's a high chance you'll get noticed.

Twitter-outreach

The methodology isn't perfect but it could make you stand out in a world of really basic, boring email templates, even a messy BLB pitch like this one:

broken links common pitch

Once you've connected on social media, you have a choice to stay in the medium for the conversation or redirect messaging to email. The latter best works if you've asked the person about his personal email.

6. FIND INDUSTRY LINK ROUNDUP TERMS TO INCREASE CONVERSION RATES

Right when you do a search for "contextual link building" or "contextual links", you'll find articles on the first page of search engines results that say, "get links from link roundups."

You know that the tactic has been written several times on many SEO articles so you know how the process works.

Step 1: Use search operator, "link roundup" "INDUSTRY" or "roundup" "weekly" OR "monthly" "INDUSTRY" to find industry-specific link roundup opportunities.

Step 2: Create a list of blogs with link roundups and find contact emails of webmasters.

Step 3: Reach out to them with an email template that says, "I've found your "ROUNDUP NAME" .. and thought you might be interested to see this recently published on TOPIC — <insert your link to the post>" or anything similar to that.

It's an effective tactic but not everyone could get results from it immediately.

What's missing in this tactic is how to really optimize prospecting for industries where there are little-to-no outreach market for this rare type of link targets.

What do I mean?

Not all link roundups have titles of "best links of week/day/month" or "industry link roundup", most of you would discover that sites named their roundup series with weird names, i.e. "blog party," "link party," or "blog hop."

travel link up

 

They may sound black hat 2008, but these are exact terms blogger use in reference to what we call "link roundups."

So, how do you find exact link roundup titles in your industry?

I recommend you start identifying an authoritative industry blog (one with DA60+) that publishes regular high-quality content pieces.

For example, if you're in the wine industry, one popular wine blog that consistently produces high-quality content is WineFolly.

They publish a diversity of content assets - from 10x guides to visuals, they do it on a regular basis.

By checking their top content of all time (top content with highest number of social shares, not by # of links), you will see this post on pairing wine and cheese. Take a deeper look at its referring internal link, you can immediately see roundup links, including this roundup post -  GrapeCollective Wine News.

grape collective link roundup

Dig into other top content's links and you'll find more roundup links like Grape Wall Daily.

grape wall link roundup

You understand the pattern. Find a top industry blog that produces high-quality content pieces. Check the site's top pages based on social shares (you can use Ahref's top content feature, not top pages). Check if the most-shared content has gained roundup links. If yes, grab those link opportunities and gather more link round targets by reverse engineering the site's other content pieces.

7. INVITE CONTRIBUTORS USING DIFFERENT OFFERS

It has been proven time and time again that getting contributors for your blog can help increase its number of referring domains.

For example, Joshua Dorkin was able to grow his real estate blog - BiggerPockets by putting out high-quality content pieces from regular contributors.

That strategy allows his blog to become one of the real estate authorities today.

biggerpockets

In his comment at Kaiserthesage blog, he said that he gets 30+ contributors to write for BiggerPockets every week while he ensures that they put out 2-3 good pieces of content through his content marketing team.

Today, BiggerPockets for sure has more blog contributors. Maybe double, triple or 10x their site traffic because of that strategy.

biggerpockets organic traffic

That's just for one industry, but there are also other niches with massive blog community that have gained more exposure and more links simply by getting regular contributors for their blog.

Getting started with inviting-contributors is easy. You send emails to potential contributors and ask if they're interested to write for you.

The hardest part is getting them onboard.

If you can answer "what's in it for me" for bloggers, you'll have high chances of enticing them to become your regular contributors. 

Below are some valuable offers to make for bloggers:

  • Increased exposure to blog through additional social following, email subs, and referral traffic. Got a DA45+ blog? Reach out to new bloggers (DA20 or less). This is more realistic than pitching top authority bloggers like Brian Dean blog (DA70+ blog).
  • Premium product subscription. I wrote for Ahrefs in 2013 in exchange for monthly standard subscription plan of their product. This works for your niche too, if you have a great product to offer.
  • Content collaboration. Less work for the blogger. Gets more credibility for both parties if both of your blogs have an immense following on social and emails.
  • Compensation. Best is to target part-time bloggers. They charge cheaper than full-time ones. One tip is to check if their about/media/press/hire-me page. If they include $ per article/hour rate, they wouldn't go cheaper than that.
  • Relationships. This matters most if you want to bait bloggers to write for you. No need for additional offers, as they wholeheartedly would write for your blog.

Once you have invited bloggers to write for your blog, you may constantly check new bloggers in your industry you can potentially reach out to be added to your contributors' list.

new blogs author contributors

So those are 7 ways to build contextual backlinks to your website.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to do them, you should probably find someone who can. Learn more about our link building services.


how to get high quality backlinks 2021

How to Get High Quality Backlinks in 2022 [21 New Strategies]

Looking for new ways to get backlinks and boost your site's Google ranking?

Great! 

This post contains 21 new link building tips and strategies that are working in 2021. 

Let's dive in.

 

 

1. Create An Image Library 

When people use your images, you can ask them to credit you with links.

The more images you produce, the more links you can reclaim for your website. 

How can you start with this?

First, analyze what images are linkable. 

Start with any of these sources to know what images get the most links

You want to look for images that are likely to be used by publications and blogs.

The reasons why bloggers would use it is very simple:

They want to show how a person behaves the way they mentioned in their articles or how things are used. 

And if you can give them images that portray that, then you're hitting their needs.

It must be any of these themes: 

Places:

unsplash travel example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objects:

unsplash things example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events:

unsplash events example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People:

unsplash people example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actions:

unsplash action example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotions:

unsplash emotions example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go look for them on a photo source website by typing your niche keywords. 

For example, "work from home":

unsplash work from home

 

 

Or go to the Popular section to get a sense of what photos individuals and businesses are paying for.

Grab any image and plug it into Tineye to see how many sites have used it.

Once you analyze what images are often used by bloggers and publishers, go to your blog and start publishing an image library.

Create an image library that you can license under "creative commons distribute". 

Get these images uploaded on Flickr and other websites mentioned above. 

What you input in Flickr as title and description will be your page title and meta description box.

Make sure you add your attribution request in your description. 

Start with 30 images. 

Then as you get results, add 5 to 10 more each month. 

Monitor who uses your images using Tineye Reverse Image Search.

tineye show results

 

Or using Copytrack.

Or Picmatch.

Spot use of your images without links. 

Reach out to them and ask for attribution. 

Another effective strategy is this: 

If you have a big library of images, maximize it to the fullest. 

How?

Besides uploading these photos on photo sourcing sites:

You can offer it exclusively to publishers. 

Here is an email outreach template that you can use:

 

Subject Line: Save [Website]'s time and money on images you use

Hi [Name],

For [Website]'s editorial team, a crucial part of work is to find images, relevant to the content. 

What do you think of an alternative source of images in the form of a free subscription to more than [number of] images: [link to your page]?

We can give you [number of] images per month for a [X]-month period (with a possibility of extension). In return, we would like you to credit our images with clickable links.

Please let me know what do you think of our offer.

Thanks,

[Your Name] 

 

2. Apply 'Linkedin Reclamation' Technique 

One of the easiest types of backlinks you can get is:

From people who mentioned you on their sites but without attribution of links.

Well, you can simply reach out to them and ask to get credited with links. 

And you're probably familiar with this technique: 

Link reclamation.

The good thing is you can do it with any type of page you own.

Including your Linkedin page.

If you have someone in your organization who is getting attention from the press, either they are an authority on a technical topic. 

Sharing tips, quotes, or any value-added advice to the community.

Or because they have a remarkable story worth sharing.

Do a quick backlink check on their Linkedin profile page.

backlinks to linkedin page

Find some potential link opportunities in there.

Reach out to blogs and ask them to link to their profile page on your website. 

If you don't have a dedicated page for that person, create one for this strategy.

Then, get links. 

 

3. Initiate Reciprocal Linking 

You're probably familiar with link exchange.

That's the activity of two websites linking to each other webpages. 

There is a heavy discussion in the SEO community about whether link exchange is good or bad. 

But think about it:

Two websites can link to each other reciprocally without even the intention of manipulating search result rankings.

For example:

If I'm a manufacturer of a product and you're a reseller, would it be logical to link to your page because I want my potential customers to know where they can purchase the product?

Or vice versa. 

Another example:

Two niche bloggers were attending a conference. They grabbed some coffee and talked.

reciprocal linking

 

They are in different niches. But happen to find each other's new articles useful for their readers. 

One linked to his friend’s blog post. And vice versa.

You see:

These two examples are natural reciprocal linking.

Link exchange is okay.

As long as it is done in a manageable manner.

Not scalable. But if initiated for targeted people you've built relationships with, then it becomes more effective. 

 

4. Use "Bank For Buck" Guest Posting Strategy 

Not all guest posting campaigns are effective.

Why?

When people send guest posting ideas, they come from the lines of:

"Here are my guest posting ideas, choose one that fits your blog."

bad example email outreach

 

Or:

"topics I'm thinking about and hoping to include a link in your article pointing to my website" 

It is a one-sided benefit on the part of the guest blogger.

Sad truth: 

But this is the reason why a guest posting campaign doesn't work for many businesses. 

So how can you stand out among them? 

Instead of thinking about just “links”, why not ask these questions: 

What do they want?

What do they care about?

Some answers you can arrive at may be: 

They want to rank for their target keywords to get new readers for their blogs.

They want to monetize their blogs. 

And so, if all these are beneficial to your target publication, what you want is a new level of guest posting strategy. 

Insert: 

"Bank For Buck" strategy. 

It's a guest posting strategy that is simple to apply. 

The idea is: 

You submit guest posting topics that your target guest publication/blog would benefit from:

Either because they can monetize from it.

Or they can potentially gain new search visitors by ranking your content for target keywords. 

Now:

Here's how you can do it. 

First is to find affiliate programs in your industry. 

And the reason is:

These affiliate programs may help your target niche bloggers earn a commission whenever someone clicks on their affiliate links and buy the products they're selling.

It’s a win for them! 

How can you find these affiliate programs? 

You can do a Google search for "[INDUSTRY] affiliate programme" OR "[INDUSTRY] affiliate program".

find affiliate program google search

 

Here you'll see different brands looking for affiliate partners. 

bluenile affiliate program

 

Make a list of these affiliate programs. 

Next step:

Look for bloggers who are likely to participate in the program.

And the easy way is to find people who've done it before.

These are bloggers who've written product reviews. 

And because they're into affiliate marketing, they will be more receptive to email pitches that would give them more affiliate commissions.

How to find them?

Use Ahrefs to check blogs linking to the affiliate programs you listed earlier.

target guest blogs for affiliate programs

 

Another way:

Look for authoritative blogs you can reach out to for guest posting.

google search fashion bloggers

In other words, these are your prospective guest blogs

Then the next step:

Research for their best-performing content.

And find what topics you can write for them that can help them rank for some industry keywords.

You can use Ahrefs for this:

Either you use Top Pages to get a good sense of their top-performing content. 

fashion blog top pages ahrefs

 

Or Content Gap Analysis to discover keywords they don't rank for yet (but their competitors are currently ranking). 

content gap analysis fashion blogs

 

Now, as you assess, these are the topics you can suggest to write for the blog.

Two things:

You write the content and link to one of the affiliate programs you found related to their niche.

And you write the content that gets to rank for some keywords they haven't targeted yet. 

So, in summary, here's how to apply the "Bank for Buck" strategy: 

  1. Find affiliate programs in your industry.
  2. Look for niche bloggers who are linked to affiliate programs.
  3. Find authoritative blogs in your list. 
  4. Send a list of guest posting ideas (with target keywords to rank and related affiliate programs to target).
  5. Write the content for them and get links to your site. 

 

5. Get Infographics Inspiration From Visual Capitalist 

It's challenging to make infographics stand out in your industry.

Not only:

There are thousands (if not hundreds) of businesses publishing various visual content assets every day. 

But there is nothing new with most infographics.

So how can you make your infographics stand out in your industry?

The key is to model what already works.

That is to get inspiration from proven and tested infographics that have gotten links from authoritative blogs and publications.

One website producing solid visual content assets is:

Visual Capitalist

visual capitalist

 

If you experience creative block when thinking of what infographics to create for your brand, check out what Visual Capitalist do. 

Some examples are:

mapped global happiness visual capitalist

 

world plastic waste visual capitalist

Now, you don't have to worry about where to start with infographics. 

Check out our other link building strategies.

 

6. Use Thought Leadership For Content Collaboration 

It's not that easy to create content.

But let's say you're working with other industry practitioners, you can produce more and higher quality content assets. 

That's co-marketing. 

How can you apply this?

Simple.

Find any thought leaders in your company. 

google industry thought leaders

 

And get them to be involved in your content distribution strategy. 

The idea is that the more authoritative a person is in an industry, the easier it is for you to secure opportunities with online publications.

Now:

Do you have any subject matter experts in your company?

How about professors who've done any solid research at school? 

The great thing here is:

You can partner with other institutions and entities where you each guest post on each other's website. 

 

7. Apply Advanced Stats Round-up Strategy 

You're probably familiar with round-up posts.

A round-up post is an article containing insider tips from industry experts on a specific topic.

Most content marketers abused this technique.

And it affects how the marketing industry perceives the value of a round-up post. 

The thing is:

Round-up posts still work.

But instead of just asking thought leaders to share their "most actionable tip", you can go deep with data. 

For example: 

You can survey at least 30 people.

Or try to get statistics about the topic.

Let's say you're targeting business owners. 

You can research on:

"Percentage of business owners who would create the same business (industry) VS other business owners who prefer to venture into a different niche"

"The average number of employees, team size, or revenue VS the years in business" 

These are just some examples.

The thing is:

Statistics are referential topics.

Publishers, bloggers, and content creators often link to statistics to validate their points and make their content more comprehensive than others.

small business failure statistics google search

 

This means that you have a high chance of getting links when you rank for target keywords (e.g. "small business owners statistics"). 

So do not just publish a 'best tips' round-up article. Go beyond that. 

 

8. Do "Reduce, Re-use & Recycle" For Links 

You can do wonders out of garbage.

if you know how to recycle properly…

What if recycling is also applicable for link building on your site? 

How? 

With old, seemingly not useful content, you can create an entire content distribution program without even the need to create new content.

What are the steps? 

First, find old content that you can prune.

These are pages that bring heaviness to your website (in terms of wordcount), but doesn't gain or contain any of the following:

Not generating backlinks (0 referring domains).

no backlinks pages ahrefs

 

Receiving <100 organic visits per month (lower relative to your site's overall search traffic). 

no traffic pages ahrefs

 

Not related to your blog's overall topic theme. 

The next thing you'll do is:

Offer the content as guest posts to third-party industry publications.

Or you can rewrite the content first to fit the blog's content guidelines.

Then submit it once you see "green signals" from blog editors. 

While doing this strategy, you'll find that not all of your pruned content are worth submitting as guest posts…

And that's okay.

If there's a huge volume of well-written content, those are good articles still relevant for other sites. 

The last step is to serve 410 response codes on the old URLs.

Or no-index via Search Console for those articles to no longer be indexed. 

So if you're having a hard time creating content for link building, recycle what you already have by turning old content into guest posts. 

 

9. Reverse Engineer Author Footprints Of Competitors 

You know competitor research.

Basically, finding patterns, behaviors, and people connected to your competitors.

In link building, it's understanding who linked to your competitors.

Why did they link to their sites...

And what specific patterns you can model for your own site. 

If you know competitors who are heavily involved in link building with authors or bio names. 

One link building technique you can do is:

Crawl their domain in a link building analysis tool like Ahrefs.

Outgoing links - Anchors

Scan through anchors and check names. Some of which are contributors to the publications.

locate authors ahrefs

 

Locate the websites and social media profiles of those authors. 

Collaborate.

Either:

Offer content partnerships (pay-per-content partnership).

Where they'll create the content and submit it to an industry publication.

And because they are already contributors to these industry blogs, it would be easy for them to publish the content.

 

10. Approach eCommerce or Shopping Editors 

Ecommerce link building isn't that easy. 

Webmasters must have a good reason to link to your product pages. 

Many reasons, but one is:

Niche bloggers write "The best gifts for X" articles. 

And if your product is relevant to their topics, you can get direct links to your product/category pages. 

Besides bloggers:

You can also reach out to Shopping editors.

These are newswriters, content creators, and editors from top eCommerce publications.

Let me give you a few names.

Lara Tumer

shopping contributor heavy

 

Leah Stodart

shopping contributor mashable

 

Then go from here. Prospect for more opportunities by discovering other publications that they're writing for.

Through Google search.

google search shopping contributors

Through Ahrefs. 

shopping contributors ahrefs content explorer

 

 

11. Use Non-Competing Websites As A Source Of Link Opps

What if you have exhausted the link opportunities of your competitors?

The next best option is to find non-competing websites to reverse engineer with.

These are brands that don't offer the same product as yours.

But they're in the same industry.

For example:

If you are a veterinarian, your first option is to find pages linking to other veterinarians in your market. 

If you've prospected enough link targets from other vets’ sites, your next best is to use non-competing websites as your source of link opportunities.

Now, some resources pages link out to different needs of an audience. 

Take a look at this page:

pet resources pages

 

If you're a pet lover, you'd love this page as it covers pet resources in San Diego.

So you can think of pet stores.

Pet groomers.

Animal hospitals.

How can you apply this to your niche?

First, find niche resources pages (just like what I shared above) that cover different resources (not just for one niche offering - e.g. vets). 

Then, look for pages linked to each of the non-competing sites in every niche category you can find.

Then be amazed by the number of link opportunities available to you. 

 

12. Get Links From Eco-Friendly Product Listings

Green environment is a big chunk market of links.

Resource pages.

Guest posts.

Sponsorships.

Niche publications.

If you're selling physical products, one type of links you can take advantage of is:

Eco-friendly product listings.

There are tons of this type online.

For example:

An eco-friendly product listings page. 

eco friendly product listings

 

If you're a pet store selling eco-friendly products, then this one would open opportunities for you.

How?

Find other similar types of pages.

Using Google search:

Then reach out to them and pitch to be featured on their following articles. 

 

13. Reach Out To Freelance Journalists To Cover Your Story 

Digital PR is huge.

And publication editors receive hundreds of email pitches from brands and marketers looking to cover their stories.

The thing is:

It is saturated.

Instead of going directly into publications.

Try reaching out to freelance journalists.

They get paid by pitching stories and news into publications.

And that itself is an advantage, as they work with different publications.

One freelance journalist can open up many relationships. 

And if you're an agency working with different content campaigns, this one is for you.

So, how can you discover these freelance journalists? 

Use Twitter.

With their advanced searches, you can find Twitter profiles with "keywords" on their bio. 

twitter search freelance journalists

 

If you're into local SEO, you can focus your search on a specific location.

Find local freelance journalists that you can engage with during a coffee chat or simply hop on a call.

Another way is to incentivize these freelance journalists to write content for you or your client.

As you build relationships with them, you get to expose your brand to several external publications you'd otherwise prospect or think of when you reach out to a cold list of "any kind" of journalists. 

 

14. Use "3-Step Podcast Outreach Strategy" 

It's undoubtedly that podcasts can offer you great links to your site.

But how?

Here are the 3 step process you can use to maximize podcasts for link building in your industry.

First, use podcast search websites to discover active podcasts in your industry.

Either through:

Podsearch

podsearch

 

Or Wondery

wondery podcast search

 

Or Blog Talk Radio:

blog talk radio

 

The next step is:

Pitch to these podcast hosts and offer great value in return for brand exposure. 

If you're pitching for your client, here is a good email template that you can use for outreach:

 

Subject Line: Guest suggestion for [Podcast]

Hi [Name],

[Briefly introduce yourself/your client]

Here are some key discussion points that your listeners would find interesting to hear:

  • [Topic 1]
  • [Topic 2]
  • [Topic 3]

I'm not sure if you're open for new guests but in any case, [me/my client - state you/your clients' credentials as to why you/your client would fit their podcast, what's in it for them]. 

Do you think my client could be a potential guest on [Podcast]? 

Let me know so I can connect you to [You/client's name]. I'll send any info you may need. 

I'll offer to transcribe the podcast episode for you - free of charge. :) 

Thanks,

[Your Name] 

 

The last step is getting in touch with the podcast hosts.

Other hosts would give you sponsorship requirements. 

So you need to invest money for that.

Others would let you come in for free.

Either way, you get brand exposure.

Plus, links from their transcript podcast articles. 

Or even from their "press" pages on their personal websites. 

 

15. Write Like A Normal Person 

Why does outreach fail?

One reason.

Generic non-personalized email templates. 

Public email templates are overrated.

Those email copies that you see included in SEO articles don't always work effectively.

And the reason is that:

Different markets have different needs of an audience.

Different styles. And different levels of personalization your email must adjust to. 

Do not say words to over impress people with lines like: 

"I'm a long-time reader/big fan of your blog."

"I liked what you shared in this article…" (without you even reading the article) 

regular visitor email outreach

 

One best practice in email outreach:

Write like you're writing to a friend.

The key is to check your inbox and see the latest emails from your friends.

How does it look like?

In what tone or style of conversation?

The next time you craft email outreach templates, think of your recent 1-on-1 conversation with your friend. 

Like you're writing to an average person. 

 

16. Find Websites Getting Natural Links 

The best link building strategy is going for a mix of natural/organic links and manually-built links.

Natural links are links you get without pursuing bloggers/publishers to link to your content.

You get backlinks because of your authority. 

Because of the information of your content.

One actionable link building tip is to spot competitors getting natural links.

That means they don't get it manually. They earned it organically.

But how can you know if what they picked up are natural links?

This is where you need a skill to separate manual and natural links.

When you get crawl a domain in Ahrefs, you'll then see a list of backlinks.

And by the type of links, you get to know if a link is earned or built manually by the kind of links.

You only need to know here that if a link is potentially built through manual outreach, you can collect it as part of your list of link opportunities you can reach out to for links.

Some types of links to be seen as manually-built:

Local sponsorship links:

sponsorship links from homepage

 

Resource page links:

recovery resource page

 

Round-up posts:

second-round-up-post

 

The logic is simple here.

Monitor your competitors getting natural links using Ahrefs' New Links feature.

new links batteriesplus

 

This could open up low-hanging fruits for your site. 

17. Create A "Link Prospecting and Outreach Cheatsheet" 

If you want to scale link building, you need processes. 

Processes help your team achieve predictable results.

If you're investing heavily in link building, you're probably not working alone.

You work with teams of SEOs or link builders.

Or have a small team of virtual assistants helping you with small tasks like finding email addresses

One thing to add to your process is creating a 'link prospecting and outreach cheatsheet'. 

An easy-to-follow document that your team can follow every time you're launching a new link building campaign.

Or have a new website to start doing link building with.

Create your documents, such as:

Broken link finding for broken link building strategy:

broken link building processes

 

Outreach for broken link building strategy:

outreach document broken link building strategy

 

The more you scale links, the more you should be creating documentation for your link building processes. 

18. Use Phone For Reaching Out To Resource Page Curators

The most default way of connecting to potential linkers is email.

No doubt.

Write a personalized email. Hit send. 

But not every email is read by the recipients. 

Sometimes, they missed reading it. 

That’s a loss link opportunity. 

One way that you'll found to be effective in outreach is:

Using the phone to request links.

This is especially true for resource page curators.

For example:

Links pages from .edu websites.

Typically, webmasters working in colleges and universities receive calls from people searching about the website.

So a potential error about one of their pages is something they care about. 

And they don't ignore it.

So do some A/B tests calling with resource page curators on the phone.

phone outreach for link building

 

Or if you're writing outreach emails, you put something along the lines of:

"If I don't hear back from you, I'll just give you a quick call regarding this."

With this additional simple sentence, you can increase your responses from people who don't want to talk on the phone. 

19. Get Backlinks From Expired Domains 

Here is one reality in online marketing: 

Domains expire.

And when this happens, you can either:

Buy them.

Rebuild them.

Or redirect them to your site. 

Many SEOs get easy backlinks through buying expired domains that are relevant to their site.

But you instead of buying them. 

You can go through their backlink profile to see if there are websites linking to them that might be your potential links.

Use Ahrefs to download their links.

links to expired domains

 

And filter out bad links.

Like scraper sites.

The next thing you’ll do is to find their email addresses. 

And reach out to these websites. 

You simply tell them that the site is now down and you now have an up-to-date resource they can link to in replacement. 

Here is an email template that you can model: 

 

Subject line: error on your site 

Hi [Name], 

[Your Name] here from [Your Site}. Just wanted to let you know that you have some broken sites featured on [Page where an expired link is placed].

Your mentioned [Expired domain] on that page, which has been broken for a while.

We offer very similar content on [Your Site]. [Provide details of your content]. 

Let me know if you can add us to the page. Here is our site. [Your link to your page]. 

Look forward to hearing from you! 

Thanks,

Venchito 

 

If you're reaching out to the right people and you have a targeted message.

You can gain quick wins in your outreach. 

~10% in conversion rate 

 

20. Speak To What They Care About In Email Outreach 

One best tip in outreach:

Do not focus on links. 

Links don't motivate people in outreach. 

That's the hard truth.

Because SEOs care more about links rather than care about helping people — the latter helps you get the former. 

Care about what your prospects care about. 

Care about their organizations' goals. 

What do their websites want to achieve? 

Write emails to communicate people's issues, problems, or solutions.

Then you get links as the by-product of helping people. 

A quick nudge on emails like:

"Where do you refer parents to finding the right dentist for their child? Is there any resource page on your site? I didn't know if the info was in the right place."

 

It is not a direct ask of a link.

But a subtle opening of a conversation. 

As you start your conversation, and if it goes a long way. 

You respond with something like:

"Well, we just finished this guide on [topic] [insert the URL of your content]. In any case, parent calls, it would be the best help to have it included somewhere on your site — may be an additional item on your resource page". 

 

You see how this works:

It's not pushing them to add your link to their resource page.

It is basically:

Moving them.

Sparking their emotions.

And getting links in return for giving help. 

21. Build Linhpin-Level Links 

Linchpin.

Vital to an organization. Vital to a certain process. 

There are links that will move the needle in rankings.

They are relevant and may be pointing to the top-ranking pages for your target keywords. 

Now:

How you can find them?

Create a list of your priority keywords.

These are keywords you're targeting (and you want to target) for your content.

Find the top 10 ranking pages for your keywords. 

Do this with the help of Simple Scraper by URL Profiler.

simple serp scraper keywords

Then with the help of Ahrefs API, crawl the links pointing to these ranking pages.

Your API credits will depend on the number of pages you crawl.

Remove duplicates.

And any irrelevant bad links.

Then you now have a solid list of prospect linchpin links. 

 

Final Thoughts

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which tactic from today's guide are you going to try out first?

Will you apply "Bank For Buck" guest posting strategy? Or do the "Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle" for links?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


edu backlinks

How to Build EDU Backlinks Using Scholarships (Without Spending a Penny)

If you’ve been in the SEO industry for years, then you know how important it is to scale link building to help multiple clients rank in search for their respective keywords.

Given that almost every year, there are new link building strategies being created, the best way to be on top of the game is not to think of new strategies (since mostly they’re just revised version of old ones), but to create scalable processes for your link building campaigns.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through one scalable strategy we’ve tested internally that can give significant results to your website: building .edu links using scholarships.

It’s amazing because we hadn't spent a single penny yet when we built 14 .edu links in two months’ time.

Want to learn how?

Keep reading:

STEP 1: TARGET RELEVANT NICHES

Audience targeting is not only a necessity when executing common link building strategies like broken link building and guest blogging.

In fact, even when you build .edu backlinks, you still have to know your target audience that is highly relevant to your website or your client.

Here’s how to make it simple.

Identify audience of students who’d be interested in your scholarship program.

With our link building company, for example, we focus our scholarship efforts to students majoring in courses related to marketing, business, and advertising because we’ve found them to be more relevant to our website.

scholarship pageedu scholarship

This is critical because if you got backlinks from .edu pages that are too far from your industry, it would be less valuable to your website. I’m not saying that generic .edu links aren’t good enough, they are of course, but if you can get a high-quality link from a much more relevant page, that would be better.

Here are a few examples of audiences you can target for scholarships:

health scholarship example

legal scholarship sample

STEP 2: CREATE A SCHOLARSHIP PAGE

It’s very simple to create this type of content.

However, you’ve got to have the important details.

Here is a few information that you need to include in your scholarship page.

1. COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Provide a short description about your company. This is actually where your whole domain will mostly get value from.

Internally link to your homepage or other important pages to pass link juice to these pages.

Here’s a quick example of what I did for our link building company site.

[internal-links-scholarship]

2. ELIGIBLITY

The more specific you are when stating who will be your target applicants, the better you’ll get responses from university and college staff members.

These are necessary details you need to do include in the eligibility section:

  • Full-time or part-time students?
  • Specific and relevant courses of students
  • Upcoming college students (high school), undergraduate or graduate?
  • Target country (if it is within a city or local, make sure it is stated).

See this example:

eligiblity scholarship

3. AMOUNT VALUE

The amount of scholarship depends on your budget for your client or your website. But I’d prefer the minimum to be $1000. Any amount lower than that won’t be attractive to educational institutions. I’ve seen $300 scholarship program, not sure how it went.

4. APPLICATION DETAILS

This section should include how your applicants will be able to get the scholarship. This could be a submission of a written or video-based answer to a question related to the industry.

For example, we’ve asked our applicants to submit a short essay or a 4 to 5-minute video answering any of these questions:

What would be your main strategy to market your business online?

What is your number one tip to manage a team of millennials?

Alongside the process of application, you should also state the deadline and award dates.

To make the application much easier, provide a contact form at the end of your page so they can attach and send their requirements right away.

STEP 3: PROSPECT FOR EDU LINK OPPS

Not all educational websites have relevant scholarship listing opportunities you could get links from.

When finding those link targets, I use two different methods to find opportunities that best fit my scholarship page.

METHOD 1: USING SEARCH ENGINE OPERATORS TO FIND OPPORTUNITIES

Search engine operators are useful to help you seek possible link sources straight from search engines – Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Combining appropriate search operators with proper keywords can filter the right prospects, enabling you to do link research much faster.

I use different search phrases, which I’ve collected and listed down in a spreadsheet to find .edu link sources with scholarship pages.

scholarship spreadsheetThis is pretty handy as you can hand over this task to a virtual assistant, freelancer or your in-house SEO specialist (thanks to Jayson Bagio!).

What you are looking for in a scholarship page are two things:

  • Solely list down relevant scholarship links or has a specific section that caters to your audience (i.e. a generic scholarship listing page with marketing external scholarship links).
  • Has linked mentions of your scholarships (you want to get the most value from your effort of course – so make sure they provide external links).

With this strategy, you don’t have to worry about domain authority, ahrefs rank or other metrics you are using to qualify link opportunities since most .edu websites are within the range of DA40 to DA90.

You should also make sure that external links point to individual scholarship pages, not just to scholarship search engines or websites solely for scholarships.

METHOD 2: REVERSE ENGINEER A SIMILAR SCHOLARSHIP PAGE

If you are running out of .edu scholarship listing opportunities, another way to expand your link list is to reverse engineer scholarship pages with edu referring pages.

You can use Ahrefs to plug in a similar scholarship page (which you can simply search in Google for the “keyword” “scholarship”).

reverse engineering scholarship

Scan through the list of backlinks and .edu websites with scholarship listing pages.

Once you’ve exhausted all possible link opportunities from one scholarship page, find another similar page and do the same process again.

Rinse and repeat.

MAKE SURE YOU ORGANIZE EVERYTHING

The key to properly scale this .edu link building strategy is to organize everything.

I use Google Docs spreadsheet for all tasks accompanied in a link building campaign.

Once you find a qualified link opportunity, include it in a Google Spreadsheet with all these required fields:

  • Scholarship Listing Page
  • Domains
  • Relationship Status
  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Remarks

scholarship opportunities list

FINDING CONTACT PERSON

Universities and colleges have several staff members, and the only way to build Edu backlinks is to reach out to the right person.

There are two types of emails we consider for scholarship link building technique:

[email protected] – you can get this email straight from the scholarship listing page

[email protected] – if you can’t find the first email above, look for this one by checking out the admissions and/or finance aid department/section of the website.

[email protected]  or contact form – if you can’t see any of those emails above, you can simply send a simple message (email template later) to a generic email or through a contact form, asking for the right person to contact to about your request.

STEP 4: REACH OUT TO EDU SITES

When all details had been filled up, you are now ready to do outreach.

This is the exact email template that I used to reach out to .edu contact persons.

Scholarship for [ UNIVERSITY / COLLEGE ] students

Hello [ NAME ],

I noticed that you provide a list of private scholarship for students.

I'm sending you a message to let you know that my company offers one (1) [ AMOUNT] scholarship to [ UNIVERSITY / COLLEGE ]  students that major in [ INDUSTRY ] courses.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have so that I can send more information about our scholarship.

If it's not you who directly manages scholarships, can you forward me to the right person, please? I'd greatly appreciate that.

Regards,

[ YOUR NAME ]

When you send pitches to these people, you’ll most receive three types of responses.

RESPONSE #1

edu-outreach-response-1

If you receive this positive response, you just have to send all the details of your scholarship to them either via email or via a form which they will provide.

Once your scholarship is posted, they will give you a heads-up. If you don’t receive a reply, make sure you are monitoring new backlinks to your site so you can see if you’ve got a backlink from one scholarship page. Pro tip: use Monitor Backlinks to ease this process.

live-link-scholarship-outreach

Anchor texts on Edu backlinks are diversified: some are naked URLs, others are exact scholarship titles.

RESPONSE #2

scholarship outreach budget

If you can only offer less than $1000 or $500, some Edu sites won’t include yours in their scholarship listings, since they have a certain threshold they consider.

RESPONSE #3

scholarship-outreach-local

Another case is when financial/admission departments restrict scholarship listings to one or two districts or local-based scholarships only. See the response below.

A few more things:

  • Some Edu sites don’t list individual scholarship pages, but they get to add new scholarships from scholarship search engines. To increase the chance of getting an Edu backlink, you can try submitting your site to scholarship search engines.
  • Be specific with audience targeting because some EDU financial departments do not add any scholarships not thematically related to courses of their students (e.g. if it’s a marketing-centric scholarship, don’t dare to reach out to psychology-based scholarship page).

WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY

The title of this post says, “Without Spending A Penny.”

That’s true because I’ll only spend some money ($500 in my case) on the scholarship award date.  I would have received the returns on the efforts before the money is spent. For a $500 budget for 14 links, that already amounts to $35 per 1 Edu backlink.

If you liked this post, subscribe to our newsletter and follow me on @venchito14.

Need help with your link building campaigns? Check out our link building services here.

 

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link-exchange

Link Exchange: The Proper Way To Do Reciprocal Linking

Link exchange or reciprocal linking is a link building strategy wherein 2 different websites on a similar niche or industry give a link or links to each other’s webpage.

Though this practice has been abused for many years, e.g. a webmaster tries to rank for terms like “car insurance Australia” will find other webmasters in a same/different industry who would be interested to do link exchanges. The approach is to link to another website with exact match anchor text (another webmaster is trying to rank for) and get a link from that other website (for a target keyword he is trying to rank for as well).

Google itself instructed SEOs and webmasters about this approach of trying to manipulate Google search rankings.

“ Excessive link exchanges ("Link to me and I'll link to you") or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking. “

Does that mean, link exchange isn’t effective anymore these days?

THE RISE OF THEMATIC LINK EXCHANGE

I’m sure many SEOs and bloggers will disagree with me that thematic link exchange still works up to this date.

Thematic link exchange is a relationship-based link building strategy that involves intentional or unintentional linking and getting a link to and from another webmaster in the same industry who isn’t a direct competitor of the business.

Here are four thematic link exchange methods that works pretty well in most industries, especially those that are sitting in very competitive ones.

1. RELATIONSHIP-BASED LINK ACQUISITION

Link exchange often occurs in an unintentional way. For example, I’ve been blogging for many years now with my first blog and here at SharpRocket.

I’ve built relationships with industry friends who also blog about SEO and link building. By acknowledging their work through linking to their content assets that serve as additional references or resources in my existing posts, it’s an added value initiated to build trust which strengthens the opened relationship with them.

For instance, I linked to Rohit Palit’s post on tiered link building. After a few months, he gave me a backlink pointing to my content creation and promotion guide in his article about increasing the domain authority of a website.

We’re not direct competitors, as he is not accepting sole link building services as his website client offering.

But here’s another case where one of my direct competitors linked to me.

PageOnePower is a link building company that has been in the industry since 2010, they blog about the same topic I’m passionate about.

Here are a few backlinks I gave to PageOnePower.

link to pageonepower

link to pageonepower 2

Relationships take time to get some returns. Guys from PageOnePower have give contextual backlinks to DigitalPhilippines many times. These are backlinks not built through manual outreach, but simply because they’ve known our brand, we have already given them and have established an authority in the link building scene. These backlinks are naturally earned.

backlink from pageonepower

Here is another example of how relationships can be effective for link exchanges. It is a conversation between Rohit Palit and Patrick Coombe.

conversation patrick rohit

Both have provided value to each other, as they’ve been commenting on each other’s blogs many times (see image above).

If you’re wondering how you can start building relationships with other industry bloggers, here are a few tips you can apply:

  • Start showing yourself in the blogosphere. Comment on other people’s blogs. It’d only take you 3 to 5 minutes for each comment per post (only look for relevant content you can give valuable insights to). If each blogger posts once every week, it won’t consume much of your time.
  • Send a “thank you” email for sharing his actionable tips on his blog or find a similar interest both of you can relate with. For example, I often receive responses that they’ve visited Manila or some other parts of the country, so I asked them how’s their vacation experience here. It starts a smooth flow of conversation.
  • Share other bloggers’ content on other blogs. Don’t use the default Twitter share: TITLE OF POST by TWITTER HANDLE. Add descriptive call-to-actions to let your followers click on the page and start reading it – it’s way to add more value than the simply doing a default Twitter share.

2. CONTENT SWAP

Guest posting is still one of the mainstream link building method these days because it’s pretty scalable and can really help skyrocket one website’s traffic even in just a short period of time. Combined with other link building tactics, it is a robust link building strategy one can ever wish to implement and see results for themselves.

However, there’s one problem I’ve seen with a lot of guest posting enquiries these days -- they aren’t giving any value. Even if the content they intend to provide is relevant to my blog, I won’t see that as high value.

Content swap is the solution. It is a link acquisition process where both bloggers will provide high value content to each other, both with the goal of bringing exposure to a new reading audience for both sides.

This is very helpful when building links to websites in difficult industries like legal.

You can actualize this process by prospecting for list of local opportunities, where most legal industries focus on local marketing/branding.

You can try Google searches for “Miami” “legal” for example, then find any company websites that have recent blog updates so you’ll know if they are publishing content on a regular basis. Make sure that you don’t include link prospects that are not in direct competition with you – it’ll be close to impossible to get links from them.

miami google search family law

Once you have a list of local industry bloggers, it’s time to reach out to them.

Here’s a template that I used for content swap outreach.

Subject: Content swap for your legal blog, NAME

Hi [ NAME ],

My name is Tiffanny Chappels, an immigration lawyer and legal blogger based in Miami.

I came across your website and really like what you recently published. I would like both of our blogs to grow website traffic and would like to know if you'd be interested for a content exchange - I write for your blog, you write for mine.

I'd love to write a post for your blog related to child custody or family law.

If it needs to be in a conversational tone, I'd be happy to do that.

Let me know if your thoughts.

All the best,

Tiffany

A few things why this pitch works:

  • Industry to industry-based outreach emails are much more effective as they become more relevant to the recipient of the email.
  • Adding where you’re located as a company adds a quick connection, with that, you can use a corporate email of your client.
  • Propose added value by sharing a customized content for your guest post – conversational tone. This helps you get a higher conversion rate.

3. CONTENT PARTNERSHIP

Another ethical backlink exchange strategy that works is content partnership, originally discussed by Jason Acidre on his SEO blog.

I’ve found that this is not scalable to all industries, especially in niches where there are no active bloggers.

But the key to make this link building method work is making yourself familiar with the brand you’re reaching out to. After all, you want a partnership that can generate consistent results for both ends.

The difference with this link building technique compared to content swap is that you can offer different types/formats of content based on each party’s needs, options such as:

Conducting a back to back interview. See this example at SEO Hacker and Kaiserthesage.

seo-hacker back to back series

kaiserthesage back to back series

Inviting your content partner to write a guest blog on your site and writing a content for them as well (see this guest post at GotchSEO and Webris).

gotchseo ryan stewart

webris nathan gotch

Offering an exclusive write-up or promotion/sponsored post on his site and in exchange, making him as your media partner. I wrote a promotional post for my previous startup workshop for Tycoon, in return, I added him as my media partner for my book.

tycoon workshop feature

For the outreach phase, here is an example pitch Jason sent to one of his content partners. You can make variations of it based on the value proposition you’d like to provide to your targeted content partners.

content partnership outreach email

The value of this thematic link exchange strategy is far more beneficial than a single link you’ll get from the typical link exchange, because this content partnership can help generate leads for both parties (of course they shouldn’t be competing with each other), referral traffic, expanded branded exposure/influence and additional following for both social accounts.

Now It’s Your Turn…

Do you have a thematic link exchange strategy that works for you?

Or maybe you have a question on how to implement any of the tactics in our above list?

Either way, leave a quick comment below.

I'll be more than happy to reply to comments and answer questions.


101 Link Building Tips

101 Actionable Link Building Tips

If you are tired of reading other SEO 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:

 

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 doing law firm SEO, 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:


link building for bands and musicians

Link Building For Bands and Musicians

The blogosphere in the music industry is increasing as new bands, independent artists, musicians, and solo songwriters are paving their way into the music scene and building their own personal brands online.

Consumption of music content is no anymore out of reach. Just a few clicks away and anyone can discover new musicians and bands — people can start clamoring if the content (songs) are appealing to its target listeners.

Though there are massive opportunities for upcoming and promising artists and for existing established bands, music creators still don't know how to market their own content online — even more so acquiring additional brand impressions through mentions and music backlinks.

The list of tactics I've shared in this post on how to build links to music Ecommerce websites can also be applied to websites of independent artists, bands, and musicians.

There are only some nuances given that the discovery is more through branded searches (as people know specific names of bands and artists) before they even do some research about it. This is in comparison to the basic process of discovering new entities through informational pages and starts with searching of informational keywords.

Let's look at some sources of content creation tactics and link opportunities for musicians' websites.

 

CONTENT FOR BRANDED SEARCHES

For musicians — solo artists, composers, and bands, you can maximize searches about your musician profiles. These are searches for any of your content — your album names, song names, lyrics, performance and other event dates, interviews, and a list of band members.

Identify any content gaps — where a keyphrase has a substantial search volume but without any content piece that serves the intended search.

Create new pages, if necessary, to serve the searches' needs, as those visitors who may be searching would have just been getting information from third-party websites.

 

Maximizing this exact opportunity is a great way of not only getting more organic traffic but nurture your visitors into potential loyal listeners through some series of information-capturing funnels.

LINK RECLAMATION

Whether the client is famous or not, people who are working behind marketing musicians' websites should start monitoring any mentions of the brand. It doesn't just help in maintaining positive sentiments about the personality, but also in ensuring that there are appropriate links deserved those profile mentions.

The idea is to discover blogs and websites where you and your content have been mentioned, but with no attribution of links.

Create a list of possible mentions of you. Obviously, band or musicians name, titles of albums you've released or plan to release, and song titles — these are things you should start monitoring as often as possible.

Go beyond those immediately apparent searches. You can list down any misspellings of your brand name, one or two famous lines of your songs (chorus maybe), and tour titles (different from song/album titles).

Take a look at this resource on link reclamation.

PRODUCE AND PROMOTE VIDEO CONTENT

Though fans are commonly uploading their own versions of you or your band's live performance events, the idea of capturing it yourself and publishing it on your site and video channels helps you add more solid content assets to your site and to other video platforms besides Youtube.

In addition to the demands for videos of live performances, you can search for any common searches about your brand using Ahrefs' Youtube search. By using the tool, for example, it can help you discover songs that get high demand in searches for lyrics.

 

People want to sing songs while looking at the lyrics. Publishing lyric versions of your songs is a must nowadays - helping you gain an additional following from that type of avid listener.

Additionally, there are listeners who knew how to sing the song but would want to find the exact title of it. There may be a lot of search volume for a single song. Single lines in chorus that are popular can be served with a specific section of the page (or could be targeted in other lyrics pages).

Another search suggestion (or already a search option) is popular live performances or any associations you or your brand has with. Go over and check in Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer Youtube filter to find these relevant searches and upcoming/suggested search phrases.

PUBLISH EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

You may also create your own exclusive content and not just rely on what Youtube and other search channels suggest that you satisfy with online assets.

Here are some suggestions or ideas for your music exclusive content:

  • Clips of stories and inspiration about how and why songs were written
  • An explanation about the name of the brand or album you or your brand has released or is releasing
  • Images of where your brand has originally written certain songs
  • Informal interviews of your brand before, or after the concert or performance

GET LISTED IN WIKIPEDIA

If you (musician) or your brand is notable enough to get into Wikipedia, start the process of getting it listed.

You can check out this slide page on how to create a Wikipedia page for your business

wikipedia newsboys

 

You can also hire an experienced Wikipedia writer in People Per Hour so you can semi-automate the process of getting you or your band listed in there.

ACQUIRE RESOURCE LINKS FROM ARTISTS OR "GENRE" PAGES

Resource link building is also applicable to websites of artists and bands.

Similar to other resource link approach, one has to know what types of topics get linked the most.

For example, in the music space, you'll find a lot of artists and music links pages. There are even resource pages that link out to specific genres of artist groups that can likely give a boost in relevant traffic to your site.

 

Artist links

 

Christian group links

 

Go over these links pages through using link prospecting phrases. Find them either on Google and/or competitor link analysis using tools like Ahrefs.

If you know an artist group with the same genre as yours, plug their website's domain in Ahrefs and see which pages they're getting links from.

If you want a solid process for this particular link building strategy, you can read this guide on broken link building.

BUILD "BANDS IN TOWN" ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM EDU SITES

Artist groups who perform in school events can take advantage of mentions and links from announcement sections of edu blogs.

If the artist group has a specific clamor from students to perform, edu student writers can feature their profiles on the article. "Bands in town" news-type articles are ones commonly being posted in those blogs.

OBTAIN LINKS FROM EVENT LISTING SITES

It is best to start creating pages for individual shows of your group. This approach will allow you to get official ticket links from event organizers who have their own pages dedicated for future event performances, as well as their own network of event listing sites for ticket purposes.

LOW HANGING FRUITS IN MUSIC DISTRIBUTION SITES AND FAN SITES

There are low-hanging fruits for link opportunities you can discover simply from music distribution and even fan websites.

Popular bands and artist groups normally have their own fan club sites. There are likely some demands for membership — which may even have the interest to start their own fan sites.

MusicBrainz, a music listing site, music distributions sites, and fans club sites are types of opportunities you can continuously monitor as relevant link targets.

GROOVES IN LINK BUILDING

It's natural that when you're starting to promote your website, you don't have many link opportunities at hand. But as you go over and search for how and where your competitors are getting engagements and relevant traffic from, you'll see all sorts of different types eager to give links straight to your most important pages.

Find these both low-hanging fruits and hard-to-replicate contextual links. Then build momentum along the way.