This is the time of the year where many SEO professionals are fond of looking for the new and best link building strategies and techniques.

While being observant and continuously learning from folks in the link building scene through their webinars, posts, and tweets, I realize there’s nothing new link building techniques to watch out for in 2019.

There may be a lot of updates in search, and everyone should be adept in knowing the latest trends, but in my opinion, what we should be more concerned about is how we approach our individual link building campaigns. And it starts with the proper perspective.  

We may call it a “paradigm shift”. 

Paradigm shift, in essence, is a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.

Source: Merriam Webster

Here are seven link building paradigm shifts we should consider in 2019. 

1. Master both strategic and tactical link building

Tactical link building, as Ross Hudgens defines it, is executing a link acquisition technique not matching to a specific market, but is scalable in nature for most industries. We know them by names like, guest blogging or scholarship link building.  

While strategic link building is the reverse of that, generating links specific to what linking pages are visible in the market. They may have not been coined yet, but typically, they’re a lower percentage of websites that are generating links using those rare models.

It’s easy to spot what tactical link building strategies that are available in the market because they’re focused on specific types of links. So, if you’re checking if a website has a regular scholarship link building program, you can simply identify with this advanced search query, site:domain.com “scholarship” or dive in to their backlink profile using Ahrefs (or using other link analysis tools)

The difficult question to ask is, “How can you identify potential strategic approaches to link building?”

Given it’s not predominantly used and perhaps, a lower percentage of linking pages are available if you find it, one must be diligent enough to check some backlink profiles. 

Here are some guiding questions that can help you in what to look for in them:

  1. What are the top niche websites in your industry have gotten into links lately? Any new or upcoming websites you’ve seen doing link building in your niche?
  2. Are there any patterns of linkable assets they are producing for the past months/years (i.e. surveys) that are difficult to replicate? 
  3. Are there any patterns of the type of links they’ve acquired for the past three months or so? (you can check this with Ahrefs new backlinks section)

4. Are there any non-dynamic (static) pages linking to the websites you are monitoring (i.e. counselling pages of high school websites)?

resource page for counselling

2. Pursue hiring team members or assistants or systematize processes

I’ve seen one-man link building team doing well in delivering a guaranteed number of links for a specific link building project. But if you’re going to scale things, it won’t be advisable not to hire assistants to work on some micro activities and secondly, systematize initiatives to speed them up.

I usually start with Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets – very simple tools to document step by step how you execute an activity of one phase of link building. 

Start with any phase, for example, outreach, and think of one activity you repeatedly do that sucks most of your time and could be done by someone else. For instance, the task of finding email addresses is a common yet not fully delegated to juniors and assistants in the team.

Remember this: do not hire new employees without producing process documents. Process documents help you stabilize outputs in the quality that you want. Of course, there will be mishaps, but overtime, you could revise some of the inputs in your documents to adapt it to your new activities – for example, using a new tool for the process.

3. Produce timely and evergreen content 

Timely content with trending and occasional topics (e.g. Valentines-based content) could gain organic links that are not replicable in other times of the year. It’s illogical to think they’re not highly-valued links compared to links that last when you produce an evergreen content.

Those links from time-sensitive content, if coming from niche authoritative sites, can add a boost bump to some of your keyword rankings and can overall affect positively the entire website.

With evergreen content, you can relaunch another outreach campaign and not just the one you pursued after you have published it. Once evergreen content is updated, not for the time relevance, but to add new information that will suffice more needs of the targeted users, you can start another outreach campaign to pull more links from the market. 

4. Be extremely good at meeting expectations with a goal-oriented mind 

Meeting expectations is critical in link building, not just SEO. Both parties should agree beforehand what to expect from each other, I’m referring to parties of businesses outsourcing link building projects and the link building firms or solo SEO consultants executing the work.

Expectations should include:

  • Timeframe of work
  • Timeframe of deliverables
  • Resources needed to execute the project (budget, content assets, approval from senior management or other departments)
  • Contact persons in both parties (proper communication is critical!)

Whether the project is deliverables-based or geared towards improving results of organic traffic, it should be cleared in both parties.  

Mindset Change

With shifting your mind from quantity-driven approach in link building to delivering the best work of value possible, you’ll have more chances of getting a good slice of the lucrative industry that we have and of course, the testimonials of businesses returning for more work as they’ve accomplished their key objectives in partnering with you.