As a digital marketer, link-building strategies should always be at the top of your list if you want your website to appear high up in relevant search results. Optimizing your website by executing an effective link building strategy will help improve the positioning of your website in search results.
To help you boost your site, this post is focused on link building strategies for SEO which is concerned with earning links through resources/web pages other than your own website that link back to yours. This signals to Google and other search engines that your site adds value and offers solid answers.
The most important things that you should consider when conducting link building efforts are the quality of your backlinks (the quality of the sites where your links are coming from) and the relevance of those sites to your own. Link building is just as important as on-page SEO where you take into account optimization, structure, keywords, and the backlink foundation for your website.
In this post, I’ll help you learn how to earn links that will boost your traffic and SEO. Let’s look at 12 of the top link building tactics you should apply.
Best 12 Link Building Tactics
1. Retrieve unlinked mentions
This is an easy link building method that’s on the top of our list because it does not take too much time and effort. Claiming unlinked mentions on websites is the easiest and fastest way to develop backlinks. You just have to watch for content with mentions of your brand. These can occur on blogs, social networks, digital magazines, and news portals.
You can uncover unlinked mentions using something as simple (and free) as Google Alerts. With this tool, you will be notified whenever you are mentioned in articles/content related to you or your business. By setting up your Google Alerts, you will find articles without links to your website. You can then contact the author and send them a note or email requesting a proper link attribution. This also allows the publisher to give their readers a better experience, as well as the opportunity to learn more about the mentioned brand or the topic being presented.
2. Get mentioned in the “Top X” lists
Today’s consumers explore a wide variety of options before making a purchase decision. They often use informational websites or articles where they compare or list resources for readers, for example, “27 Content Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business” or “Top 20 Photo Editing Apps – Best Photo Apps of 2021.”
To get an idea of how popular these Top X articles are in a specific industry, use a keyword research tool and check your monthly search volume. For example, there are about 600 US searches and 1.5K global searches per month for the query “content marketing tools” (according to data from Ahrefs).
Getting mentions in articles that list the best products in a certain industry or field is a great way to strengthen your brand and get more people to try your product.
3. Make your site a source for other publications
By using your unique data and expertise, you can turn your business website into a source of information for bloggers and journalists. Every time someone quotes you, you get an authority backlink; although this is not the only benefit of this technique. If you turn your portal into a trusted source, it also increases your brand awareness and generates referral traffic.
Speed is very important, as most of the sites you’ll be targeting receive a lot of submissions. If you are among the first to respond, you have a greater chance of being seen and selected for the final piece (article, report, journalistic note). If you are chosen, you will receive an email from a journalist or editor informing you about the publication. You can conduct outreach via email to targeted publications that might benefit from your wisdom, or you can try using a tool like HARO to grab powerful backlinks and boost your SEO.
Suggested Reading: How to Pitch HARO Reporters Successfully (and Build Backlinks for SEO)
4. Update your old content from other websites
If you find an article or report on your website that hasn’t been updated and if there are many posts that refer to that content, you have found a real gem. You can create a much better and fresher piece, with relevant, up-to-date data and expert opinions on the context of a relevant concept. Once the content is ready, contact the bloggers, journalists, or copywriters who have linked to your old content to inform them of the updated version.
Oftentimes, you’ll see the results of your new post reach within days or weeks, in the form of backlinks or shares on social media. Coupled with this, there are other benefits that come from building that relationship with publishers. For example, you could end up collaborating on other projects that can help you grow your brand and increase organic traffic.
5. Guest post on authoritative blogs
Writing on other blogs doesn’t just allow you to get a link or two. In addition, you attract traffic to your blog and establish a relationship of trust that you forge with other bloggers. Guest posting is a highly valuable tactic, both to enhance your personal brand and to create and strengthen lasting relationships where both parties win in the end. Remember that the more authority and traffic the blog has where you want to collaborate, your domain authority will go up, and, therefore, your web positioning will improve.
6. Publish on sites like Medium
Medium is a platform that’s described as being halfway between a blog and a social network. The site is renowned for the quality of its publications. It is customary for a reader who appreciates an article to distribute a “clap” to salute the author’s performance.
The more an article is appreciated, the more visibility it gains on the platform. Much appreciated by professionals in the digital sector and start-ups, Medium offers great visibility.
On Medium, content takes precedence over the personality of the author. Here, even more than elsewhere, it is necessary to publish cutting-edge articles. However, we note a good rise in storytelling and other articles related to interpersonal skills and know-how. When you create content on Medium, you can drop in a backlink or two into your content. Just make sure any links you add are relevant and add value for the readers.
7. Create and distribute infographics
Infographics are data presented with the help of visual resources. Sometimes when you explain something, the way you laid out the concept just didn’t connect with the reader. Well, if the person did not understand the message you were trying to convey with just text, then maybe it’s time for the creation of an infographic that can help your readers more easily visualize what you’re trying to say.
If you create an interesting, engaging infographic that helps your readers easily understand a concept, that piece becomes very shareable. Your site visitors, if they love the infographic, are likely to embed it in their own content and will very likely link back to your site as the source.
Here’s a great example of how you can leverage the power of infographics to spell out a concept in the hopes of grabbing a backlink.
It is possible to get links that point to your website naturally through the publication of success stories, tutorials, or infographics. For example, infographics turn out to have great potential for sharing, thanks to their appeal. And your readers will give you the credit. Simple and beautiful.
Today, we find a lot of online applications on the net that allow us to easily create our own infographics. So use a tool like Visme or Canva to create infographics. Edit.org and DesignCap are two other great resources. You don’t have to be a top graphic designer to create an infographic these days.
8. Use images, templates, and charts to gain links and mentions
Infographics are the most used visual asset to get backlinks and using this take is a good backlinking practice. It’s always good to experiment with them if you haven’t done it before. However, if you find that infographics don’t suit your brand well, here are some other visual ideas to keep in mind:
- Tables and graphs with original data
- Diagrams to Visually Explain Complex Concepts
- One page templates
- Free photo galleries
To get an idea of how other brands use video and photo galleries, check out this creative campaign from LinkedIn: The Real Face of Sales. You can see that this page not only contains photo galleries but also contains video. This takes the visitor well beyond just the text and makes this a very linkable piece of content.
LinkedIn has created a free library of photos of real sellers. The photos are also available on Unsplash and Pexels (where they garnered more than 35 million views). You can also use a free visual content creating program to aid you in this process
9. Replicate best links from competitors
Replicating your competitors’ inbound links is fine, but there is a deeper goal: understanding how your competitors built their links and the successful tactics they used. This means that you should not look at links in isolation, instead you need a high-level perspective of the strategies and tactics that your competition uses successfully. Do this and you will understand what link-building tactics (and types of content) you should focus on in the future.
10. Publish the best definitive guides
A definitive guide is a piece of content that you design to be the most comprehensive resource on a given topic. It covers enough information so that the user does not go to another website in search of more information on that subject.
Here are two examples from our own blog:
- How to Get Verified on Twitter (A Comprehensive Guide)
- Remote Working Guide: Tips to Stay Productive and Effective While Working From Home
These definitive guides attract inbound links because they help bloggers and journalists find references to the topics they mention in the form of content that provide the deepest, most thorough answers available. For example, if a copywriter creates an article titled “How to get started with SEO,” they can focus on a few tips and tactics, without explaining SEO in depth; Instead, simply link your article to “The Ultimate SEO Guide” to provide valuable content to your readers.
11. Use directories
Despite what you may have heard, directories are not dying out. In fact, they are one of the most remarkable ways to improve your local SEO strategy and help potential customers find your business. Of course, we don’t mean spam directories that exist just for the sake of links. They are more likely to hurt the performance of your SEO strategy than anything else. Your website’s directories should be located in the ones that people actually use, like Google Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, to name a few.
Beyond these internationally recognized platforms, many other general and niche directories can help your website ranking and traffic generation. So, think about your brand and the directories that would have the biggest impact. Get a spreadsheet together, and get busy publishing your info, or use a tool like Yext to spread your brand across numerous directories with just a click.
12. Use the broken link building method
This tactic involves identifying a website that has a broken backlink and suggesting that they update it with a link to one of your equivalent pieces of content.
Of course, your website should be a quality resource on that specific topic, so it makes sense to swap the broken link with yours. The reason such a strategy works so well is that it provides great value to web developers: it assists them in correcting a website issue while also improving the user experience for customers.
The challenge with this tactic is, of course, finding the broken links. You have a couple of options here:
- Search for websites with broken links and find relevant resources on your website that you could suggest as substitutes.
- Find a dead page (404) that used to have a ton of links, recreate this article or offer better, more relevant content, and then reach out to the content developers who linked to the initial piece.
- You can use a tool like Semrush to find broken links on your competitors’ sites
Either way, you will need a good SEO tool to identify broken links. When you find them, conduct outreach and grab the link for your own site.
Link Earning Tips & Best Practices
These are some strategies to get more and better quality links for your blog:
1. Make sure to always follow the guest posting guidelines
We can’t emphasize this enough: Respect the blog’s regulations! If you’ve already discovered sites you would like to create a guest post for, study the website to ensure they allow guest articles. When you’ve done this, see if they have a page or post information on how they accept other people’s guest posts and the specification your need to meet. This is hit or miss- some blogs have extremely extensive information about what sort of content (and what kind of writers) they desire while other blogs offer relatively no information. The worst error you might make is to mail an editor or blog-holder without reading and following them to a “T” if guidelines are given for posting as a guest.
2. Be professional when pitching for guest posts or backlinks
You have to be professional when pitching for a guest post submission. Your subject line must be straight-to-the-point and the content of your email should be short and concise. Some websites have their own preference and conditions when it comes to writing your subject line. This helps the site owner identify those who have taken the time to check their guidelines before pitching their content, and thus, improves your chances of being accepted.
The content of your email should be short, concise, but carefully constructed. Write a simple greeting, tell them your pitch, show off your past works/published content, and mention your social handles or other platforms where they can reach you.
You can see more samples of guest blogging email templates here, including email subject lines.
3. Detect stolen content of your authorship
Normally, if someone likes your content and wants to share it on their blog with their readers, they will mention the authorship and the source. But, as you know, many on the Internet do not respect these rules. I advise you to do a Google search to find out who has copied your content and ask them to add your authorship and a link to your article, which is the original. Typically, in cases like these, the owner of the site will gladly cite you, as they’ll be a bit afraid you may ask them to take down the content or take other actions against them.
4. Create valuable content
Another way to get backlinks, in this case naturally, is through highly engaging content, such as the following:
- Collaborative posts where several professionals from the sector participate.
- Video tutorials.
- Study cases.
- Mega guides.
- List of resources.
- Posts with templates and other downloadable resources.
Improve your SEO today
Gone are the days when you could easily create backlinks by submitting links to link farms. Today, to create backlinks, you need to work smart as mentioned above. Backlinks are not always given the priority they should be given by SEOs, who focus more on “on-page” aspects (keywords, titles, internal links, site architecture, etc.) over which they have a grip. Yet, as part of a strong and effective SEO strategy, off-page practices such as linking to your site play an equally important role. After all, it’s better to put the odds in your favor, right?
So what are you waiting for? Improve your SEO now by applying these tips and best practices!
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