Why does every businessman want to launch a startup?
Every businessman wants to reach business success by means of attracting more customers and increasing sales. If an old-fashioned model of business implies a dog-and-pony show, online business revolves more around traffic.
It is beyond argument that the more traffic your website gets, the better it is for your website in terms of rankings. The higher rankings your website has, the more customers you will get.
However, SEO offers many different ways of gaining more traffic for your website. And one of the most actionable strategies is link building.
Link building is the strategy that has a decent number of individual tactics. These tactics require taking some specific steps in order to get the results.
In this guide, I want to introduce you to 14 link building tactics and recommendations that will work in 2019.
SIDENOTE: If you want to know how to get backlinks “At Scale”, you should check out this video:
- Clean up Your Backlink Profile
Before you start building the links, you should sort things out with your backlink profile. Have you ever heard of Negative SEO? Negative SEO is a complex of shady strategies that aim to outrank your website. These “Black Hat SEO” tricks might be widely used by your competitors. Thus, you must be ready for this.
How to get protected from such attacks?
You will have to analyze your backlink profile and try to find all suspicious links that it could have. It means that you must export a CSV file with the links and review each link one-by-one. Once the “bad” links are found, you should get in touch with a webmaster of the site where those backlinks are located and ask them to fix them. Otherwise, you can disavow these links with the help of Google’s disavow tool.
- Set a Course for the Traffic Potential Links
It goes without saying that if you want more traffic, you need to build the links that could bring lots of traffic. But you might ask “how do I know how many traffic does a link bring?”
Site Explorer will reveal you this information:
- Link-Bait Content
We create content to share some insights, knowledge, and just a piece of information with the audience. Likely, content is another awesome way to earn the backlinks. Especially if your target audience finds it worth a link back. Such content is called “Link-bait” one.
If you want to create a truly link bait content, you must impress your audience first and foremost. Avoiding such matter-of-course aspects as uniqueness and quality, your content must be super informative. You can focus on creating:
- Visual content
- Industry-specific courses of compilation
- Data-driven maps
- Tools showcases
Other than that, you can build links with the help of creating “evergreen” content. However, such type of content demands adding some fresh and up-to-date info.
- The Best Content Must Include Internal Links
Did you know that you can boost your content easily? With the help of internal links! Just add internal links from the pages that have high URL rating. The best way to find internal links is to use Google Search Console. Stick to the keywords with the high number of impressions and an average position 11+:
- Don’t Forget to “Repair” Broken Links
To jar your memory I would like to remind you what broken links are. Broken links are those links that target the pages that don’t exist anymore:
There is no value from such links at all. They don’t bring
any traffic at all. Furthermore, you should keep your backlink profile clean. Thus, you must remove them completely from your website.
“Best by links” report at Site Explorer will help you here. Just apply ‘404 not found’ filter and voila:
If a webmaster refuses to fix broken links, you should set up ‘301 redirect’ option.
- Consider an Opportunity of Stealing Competitors’ Broken Links
Stealing competitors’ broken links is a widely-accepted method among SEO practitioners. It works similar to fixing broken links on your personal website (view the previous paragraph.) But here you should use “broken backlinks” report:
- Anchor Text Links
Did you know that using the keywords in anchors impacts rankings? Our case study has proven this. Despite the fact, I must admit that only 2% of anchors had a partial match of 30%. And it means that 1 out of 3 links may contain a target keyword. You should use anchors without bias. Otherwise, you’ll get a penalty from Google.
- Use Unlinked Mentions to Your Own Benefit
I am sure that you’ve stumbled upon the cases when the mentions of your brand had no link back to the original source. As the example below:
Basically, if the author has mentioned your brand, it means that he or she knows about your service very well. Thus, you can reach out the author and kindly ask him or her to add a link to your website.
However, you might be puzzled with the question “how to find unlinked mentions of the website?”
Content Explorer provides you with such opportunities:
The only filters that you should apply here are ‘One link per domain’ and ‘Highlight unlinked domains’ and add your website’s domain name. Afterwards, the tool will highlight all the sites that don’t link to your web-resource:
Explore all the mentions and build links!
- Use Email Outreach
Outreach is an art of communication and building business relationships between people on a win-win basis (occasionally.) When we talk about email outreach as a part of an SEO strategy, it implies content promotion and link building.
You can use email outreach in different ways. For example, to reach out people and ask them to turn the unlinked mentions of your brand into links. You can get in touch with bloggers and offer them to get familiar with your newly published post and ask (kindly) for a link back. Email outreach could be used for broken link building as well.
Though, I want to cover a few aspects of outreach that will make the process much faster.
The first aspect is finding a correct email address and the other one is making the process more automatic.
When I need to find some personal email address of the person, I use the tools CountactOut and Find.that Email. The first tool is a Chrome extension that extracts emails from a person’s LinkedIn profile:
If this tool can’t find an email, you can search it using Find.that Email. It requires to provide the tool with the person’s full name and the domain this person is associated with:
Let’s say that you’ve collected all necessary email addresses and it is time to run an outreach campaign. I totally agree with you that sending messages manually is a kind of insanity. So, I recommend you to use Buzzstream. The service allows you to create email templates, customize the entire outreach campaign, track the progress, and see open and reply rates. Just a couple of screenshots of this amazing tool:
When you send messages to the recipients, you should take care of making each message more personalized than a formal (cold) one. By personalization, I mean combining the main topic of the message with some background information about your outreach target. For instance, if you want to reach out some person about your fresh piece of content (to promote it and get a backlink), I advise you to start with discussing a person’s article. People like when someone takes interest in their work.
To conclude, don’t take outreach as the way to gain one more link but the way to build strong business relationships.
- Content Repurposing
Content repurposing is a great way to introduce your audience to some piece of content in a new visual format. For instance, you noticed that a particular post has gained lost of shares and people still show interest to it. Why not give it another try?
Yes, it is useless to write the post covering the same topic but you can repurpose it into infographic or video.
For instance, there is a post on Ahrefs blog that reveals the ways of finding email addresses:
We found that this topic piques our audience’s interest and decided to repurpose it into 5 minutes video on our YouTube channel:
You can follow the same strategy and make people come back to the same topic again earning the links.
- Copyright Rights Can Bring You Links as Well
As a respectful businessman you try to do business online fiar. You know that you and your competitors have the copyright rights that protect your intellectual property. Basically, you know that your online business is crystal-clear and Google won’t penalize your website in some way.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that other people stick to the same rules regarding copyright rights. In other words, someone can steal your content and use it for personal benefit.
Fortunately, you can earn some links protecting your intellectual property.
For example, if you stumble upon the website that uses your content without any reference to the source, you can reach out to the author and ask to add a link to your website (or to the original place where content was taken from.) Otherwise, you can demand to remove this content from the infringing website.
- Search for Competitors’ Most Shareable Content and Write Better
It goes without saying that if your piece of content brings valuable information, people will share it with pleasure. This rule is applicable for every content you and your competitors create.
Therefore, if you run out of ideas for content but you want to write something valuable, you can “steal” a few ideas from your competitors.
But how to find the most shareable content of your competitors?
“Top content” report will help you here:
The report provides you with the list of links to your competitor’s content sorting them with a few filters. Shares on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, total shares, social power, and referring domains. Practice shows that ‘social power’ metric yields better results than ‘total’ shares one. To be more precise, ‘social power’ metrics shows the median of social shares across all social platforms.
Find hot topics, create your own content and earn links.
- Build Links on Forums
Forums and different communities are the places where you can share your insights, knowledge, and build new connections with the peers from your niche. From the other hand, these forums could be a perfect place to build links. For example, let’s see how it happens on Quora:
- Find the Sources That Link to Your Competitors but Don’t Link to Your Website
It is impossible to get the links from all possible websites in your niche. This conclusion gives us a clear idea that there are some links that your competitors might acquire but you might not. It would be fair to ask “how to find websites that haven’t linked back to you?”
Link Intersect tool is ready to help you. You just need to add the competitors you would like to analyze in regards to backlinks:
Now you can review all the opportunities to build links that you have missed. Right after that, run your link building campaign and get more links.
To End Up
Link building is a complex strategy that has many different small tactics in its arsenal. Despite the fact, all these tactics aim to build links.
You can ask “why can’t I simply buy the links?”
Yes, you can do it. But Google’s guidelines are against such way of link building. Here is what you can stumble upon in the guideline:
“Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines”
It is up to you whether to buy links or not. This game is risky.
I have introduced you to 14 link building tips that will help you in your efforts to gain more links.
Don’t hesitate to leave your comments and share this post on your social channels.
Author’s bio: Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Apart from working at Ahrefs he likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.