Advanced Guide to Link Building

How to Build a Backlinking Strategy to Grow Your Business

Backlinks have continuously proved helpful to businesses looking to make waves online. Waiting for these to build up naturally takes time, but methods exist to help you make the most of this critical ranking factor.

Many start on a basic link building strategy before turning to more advanced methods that bring great results. Rather than turn to black hat methods, such as paying for links, getting involved in link exchanges, and offering something in return for your link, here’s our comprehensive look at some of the most advanced link building methods currently accessible.

Reclaiming A Link

Link reclamation involves getting a lost backlink restored. The best tool for finding out about lost links is the Ahrefs Site Explorer. View data from the last seven days and see how many missing links you have. Make sure to check this weekly to avoid missing crucial data. Take note of the lost links for the next part of the process: understanding why you lost these links. Website owners may have removed your link for many reasons, including the following:

  • You have broken links resulting in 404 errors.
  • The website got offered better content (in which case it’s time to up your game).
  • The website has a new blanket policy.
  • It is an unnatural link in their eyes.
Reclaiming Link

How to Build a Backlinking Strategy to Grow Your Business

Alternatively, Google may have non-indexed your content and thereby your link. Understanding why they have removed your link can benefit you in the future, so do investigate this thoroughly. For example, if you discover a broken link caused these issues, regularly checking for broken links could prevent this from happening again. If the website removed the link due to having better content offered to them, then looking at the type of content that replaced yours can help you form new and better content. They might have produced an in-depth 4000-word blog, while yours only scratched the surface with just 500. These investigations can help you avoid making the same mistakes with your link building. Furthermore, link reclamation can highlight why your SERP visibility is dropping instead of rising, making it an extremely high-value strategy.

Reverse Engineer Your Competitor Links

Spending time perfecting your SEO only to see your competitors still overtake you isn’t easy. Reverse engineering your competitor links can help you see how they continually seem to defy the odds. This method involves scrutinizing their SEO and backlinks efforts to see what you could be doing.

Reverse Engineer Links

Finding the methods that work for you could take time, involving scrolling through a lot of data. However, the technique offers value to brands, saving you time, money, and effort, and could help you find success. Rather than make mistakes, learn from your competitors and see which websites take articles related to your niche and industry.

Use SEMrush or Ahrefs (both have benefits) and download a CSV file containing your competitions’ backlink information. Download a minimum of three and a maximum of five competitors at a time, go through the spreadsheet, and tag each item by:

  • gTLD (c.org, .com, .edu etc)
  • Geography
  • Industry
  • Domain Authority
  • Total number of unique referral domains
  • Traffic

Next, study each high-value backlink and ascertain why your competitors have earned that referral link. Reverse engineering your competitor’s backlinks is the ideal time to implement a skyscraper strategy, but it can also highlight:

  • Guest blogging opportunities

Guest blogging involves writing content for another website, providing you the perfect opportunity to build your subscriber base. Find blogs with a relevant and engaged audience for great results through your competitors. Reach out to these sites and offer your content. If they accepted your competitor, they might take your content too.

  • Relationships with influencers that are high value

Influencers can sway the opinion of many people, and if you can partner with a relevant influencer, a new audience could head your way. Seeing the influencers that your competition currently partners with allows you the chance to offer them something better in return for working with you while getting a highly engaged audience.

  • Local outreach solutions

If you own a shop or restaurant that gets footfall traffic, local outreach solutions can help. Expanding your online presence enables customers to search your business, see reviews, know your location, and trust you more. Seeing where your competition builds local links allows you to target the same ones and take advantage of these benefits.

  • Opportunities for thought leadership articles

Thought leadership articles offer you the chance to leverage your position, demonstrate your experience, and provide true value to your audience. If you can see that the top competitor uses this technique, utilize it yourself.

Use reverse engineering to join ongoing conversations and add your high-value content. Building these relationships enables you to build your brand visibility, which could be the key to dominating the SERPs.

Competitor Traffic

Skyscraper Content VS. 10x Better

When content is king in the world of SEO, take some time to do skyscraper content – an inbound marketing method that involves writing better content than the existing content.

Do it in three steps:

  1. Find the link-worthy content you want to replace.
  2. Create awesome content.
  3. Reach out to the website and let them know you have this content to add value to their site. Websites love to know that they have the best content around, so tell them why your content is better.

It offers plenty of benefits to those who opt for this strategy to replace existing links. Save time during the content creation stage by seeing what topics work, improve the user’s experience by providing value, and demonstrate yourself as an expert.

This content technique works. However, the CEO and co-founder of Moz recommends a slightly different approach called 10x Content. Rather than make slight improvements and create a better blog, you make the content ten times better by utilizing various mediums. Take existing content and turn it into visceral, remarkable, and easily digestible infographics, in-depth videos, or podcasts. Both content techniques rely on you putting the work in, but the long-term results are well worth the time you have to put into them.

Fishing With Ego Bait

Ego bait does not require the formality of outreach. Instead, create content that refers to thought leaders or influencers. When sharing this blog on your social media pages, tag them in that content. Creating posts like this won’t always get you a like, share, or even a site visit, but it can be incredibly lucrative if it does. In a best-case scenario, it can start a conversation and lead to an ongoing relationship. Try being controversial or funny within your writing to enhance your chances of getting a response.

Industry Thought Leader

Become a thought leader in your industry for fantastic brand awareness, site visits, conversion rates, and SEO benefits, such as getting more backlinks. Consider this a long-term strategy that won’t happen overnight but offers a huge reward by the end. Just as you want to start conversations with thought leaders to earn backlinks, so will others if you become a thought leader yourself.

Steps to become a thought leader can vary. The best advice is to have your finger on the pulse of your industry and create excellent content that will highlight your knowledge. Several actions can help you to achieve this:

  • Create memes, infographics, and original research

Make content creation fun and become a thought leader by producing more than just blogs or video content. People love memes, so this is more likely to go viral than a blog post. Getting your name out there offers you the chance to build up a thought leader profile among many. Infographics enable you to showcase expertise without overwhelming those looking at it, and original research can strengthen your brand and position as an industry frontrunner. When forming their content, other businesses could link back to your statistics without you needing to do anything.

  • Offer Interviews

Go about this in two ways. First, contact industry-relevant podcasts and offer an interview. Then, try to get involved with your local media (TV, radio, community websites, and printed press). Having a newsworthy angle helps when securing interviews on local media stations, so take some time to think about what they deem newsworthy.

  • Self-publish books

Make these about your industry to help other businesses, or write about your journey as an entrepreneur. Publish these on sites like Amazon or opt for a digital version that you can send out via emails. When it comes to establishing your credibility, it’s hard to beat a published focus on your industry.

  • Put Yourself Out There

You won’t become a thought leader hiding in the background. Contribute actively to the top industry roundups in your sector or become a speaker at relevant conferences and events. The more you put yourself out there, the more familiar you become.

Creating Widgets and Tools

Earn top-ranking SERP positions for some of the hardest earned target keywords by creating a tool or a widget that will be of high value to your industry. Whatever your industry, streamlining or automating processes can result in you earning backlinks quickly due to its appeal.

Go about this in one of two ways:

Option 1: Build a tool

First, build your tool and host it on your website. Look at how MOZ created Domain Authority and how important it has become, and how many links they have earned as a result. Share and publicize this tool as much as possible to attract attention.

Option 2: Build a Widget

The alternative method is to build a widget that other people will host on their websites. As the widget contains a backlink to your website, your website gains visibility. Leverage your data (or API data from third parties) correctly and remain creative throughout to increase this potential to make the highest ROI.

Link Building With Influencers

Influencers hold value. Therefore, influencer link building has value. Use platforms like Intellifluence and Upfluence to find relevant influencers to connect with and monitor them. Connecting with pre-established audiences in your sector should help yield a high number of natural backlinks that will help you earn higher rankings with search engines. The trick is knowing how to offer them immediate value. Offer a free product, free content of high quality, or even something like beta access to your proprietary software.

Organize a meeting with the influencers you want to work with, bearing in mind each will have their preferred way of working. Some influencers may have websites and could create content that contains your link. Others may work solely on social media and share your link on their profile. Sharing your link both of these ways opens up the opportunity for higher domains to take note of you, further benefitting you.

Keep a Database

Keep data of all of your relationships and partnerships, past and present. Whenever you create a new piece of content, reach out to this list of influencers, thought leaders, and websites you have previously connected with before trying out new ones. Linking to you once means there’s a good chance that they will do it again with your latest piece of stellar content. Building a reliable list of websites means you get a more consistent audience into your sales funnel, boosting conversion rates with every backlink.

Create More Content

Content is the foundation of all backlinking strategies – a good reason for maintaining its king status. Without content on your site, you can’t have a backlink. Before going any further, make sure your content pages provide value to your visitors. The content needs to tell them who you are, what you do, how you can help them, and quickly help them make an action.

It shouldn’t stop there. Content needs to continue to rule over the rest of your strategies. Look at what you have on your website and see where you can take it. For example, create multiple content formats from one piece of content. Beginning with a single piece of long-form content (over 4000 words), convert that content into:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts

This isn’t regurgitating content; it’s offering it in alternative ways to suit the demands of different audience types. Some people will never read a 4000-word article, but they will watch a five-minute video or study a well-designed infographic. Opt for one, two, or all of these options – the more you do, the more people you have the chance to engage with as they look at your content. Save a lot of time and trouble coming up with original content ideas, with less hard work, but with great benefits of earning those vital backlinks when you promote those various content types in your usual ways.

Provide Updated Content

Link building often involves taking advantage of an opportunity when it comes your way. For example, you may find an article that has outdated information. No website owner wants to have incorrect information on their pages. Therefore, use it to your advantage if you spot something that isn’t accurate within their content. Create more updated information and tips and offer them to web admins.

Providing updated content isn’t the same as a broken link building strategy, but it generally follows the same steps. Contact the website via personalized email and highlight that some (or all) of their content is now outdated. In fast-moving sectors like digital marketing, healthcare, or tech, information can become outdated very quickly. Get your content ready and available as an alternative to offer websites, ensuring that it is 100% accurate. Websites might not end up using your content, but there is a chance they might.

The Essential Link Pyramid

Many website owners forget the importance of internal links. Internal links increase the chance of a page ranking well on the SERPs. Also, it helps Google bots crawl and index websites more efficiently. Therefore, if you want the content that contains your backlink to do well, you could include an internal link for the site you want to publish your content. Include this on every post, page, and article, and don’t forget your website!

When adding internal links to content, focus on the keyword anchor text so that search engines can explore your site more easily. Conduct keyword research using sites such as SEMrush. Discover over 2 million keywords from one seed keyword, including long-tail keywords and semantically related keywords, and see their potential, all in the same place. Analyze these keywords carefully, just as you would for your keywords, paying attention to the difficulty and competition level. Of course, you don’t have to do this, but it could benefit you in your link building endeavors.

Link Pyramid

Be On Wikipedia

Wikipedia offers excellent value to businesses that can gain a page. Gain Google snippets or sidebar summaries and boost your SERP performance. Also, aid your link building efforts if you make your page link-rich and precise and constantly update it with relevant information.

wikipedia

To get a brand page on Wikipedia means following all of their rules and steps. You must:

  • Disclose your relationship with the business.
  • Work your way through the Articles of Creation system (don’t try and make a page yourself).
  • Have links to news coverage of your business, preferably from events that have had a national (or international) impact.
  • Stick to facts and information.

Remember that people use Wikipedia to find out facts and to learn new things. Have that approach in mind at all times, and your brand’s Wikipedia page can end up being one of your most effective advanced link building tactics.

Brand Mention Links

People may talk about businesses online but not link to them. That’s a missed opportunity for the company. Those fantastic interactions showcase brand loyalty and positive customer reinforcement. Therefore, follow up on brand mentions at all times and engage with those that do name you by brand online. Ask them to embed a link on their existing anchor text. There’s no harm in asking, even if they say no.

Don’t rely on this strategy alone to gain backlinks. Aim for a natural profile, not an overly promotional one. One technique to try involves only reaching out to those mentions on sites with a high Domain Authority score. Set up a Google Alert for your brand name so that you can track these mentions in real-time. Also, use some excellent brand listening tools that most match your needs:

 

  • Sprout Social
  • Keyhole
  • io
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • BuzzSumo
  • HubSpot Social Media Management Software

Combining one of the above tools, Google Alert, and manual monitoring, gain some additional useful backlinks.

alerts

Get Newsworthy

Getting your business in the news (for positive reasons) is excellent for high-quality backlinks and is a great way to mobilize new and existing customers. Marketing your business in the right way can help. The key to being a newsworthy business is to:

  • Spot a new trend and discuss it or buck it, such as accepting cryptocurrency payments at your business.
  • Launch new products, improve existing products, try out new tech, or experience year-on-year growth.
  • Tie your business into a new trend.
  • Focus on human interest storytelling.
  • Create content that appeals to a specific group or demographic.

Hosting Events

An event is always a good promotion tool. Whatever your industry, sector, or niche, it’s never been easier to host online or offline events and earn yourself a large number of root domain backlinks. If you own a comic shop, get industry pros in to discuss their work (either in person or online). If you run a fashion business, watch what the big names are doing with their event schedule. If there’s a month of the year where you realize there’s not an industry-focused event, build your own. Make sure that you promote and let as many people and news outlets (especially industry-focused media) as possible know about it. Every mention of that event will be a natural backlink that you have earned.

Once the event has ended, write about it, post images, and create surveys on what people thought of it. These all offer more opportunities for even more backlinks.

Become a Content Curator

Content comes in many forms, and each type can offer benefits to you. However, think about the time and effort it takes to produce a fantastic piece of content every time. Sometimes you need a quick way of keeping your audience entertained while still offering value. One popular advanced link building technique involves becoming a content curator. Sharing others’ content shows your audience that you aren’t all about you, that you’re interested in showcasing to your audience a variety of pieces that all offer value.

Create a ‘best of’ list every week, making it relevant and industry-focused, and tag the people and websites that you mention. Creating lists like this makes you credible, especially if you’re already working on your industry thought leadership. People will inevitably contact you to ask for links as you gain that credibility, becoming a legitimate two-way street of earned backlinks. Chances are, the bloggers/ business mentioned in your ‘best of’ article will share your piece with their audience, introducing you to a new funnel of people to your site. This is a far cry from black hat link exchanges because you have value for your audience. Balance this with other forms of content to ensure you don’t frustrate your audience by continually sending them elsewhere. Cost-effective but powerful, being a content curator enables you to connect with other businesses and influencers and ensure you always have fresh content on your site.

Case Studies and Testimonials

Trust matters online, and a testimonial provides guidance and advice that a business is safe to use, influencing their actions. Therefore, website owners love a good testimonial, as do customers. First, reach out to your customers to ask for a testimonial or review to benefit from more people completing the buyer’s journey.

Then, reverse that process and gain yourself some high-value backlinks. Start to create positive testimonials of your own about the businesses that you have worked with previously or even now. Once created, send them to that business. It’s very common for those businesses to post that glowing testimonial on their website and share it on their social media pages. When testimonials influence sales figures, companies won’t keep positive reviews on the down-low.

In most cases, that testimonial will include a backlink to your business as a form of proof that the testimonial is real. If you don’t have a business to review currently, wait until you do. Don’t risk your reputation by leaving a fake review. Always post real testimonials to keep you on the right side of the press.

Measuring Advanced Link Building ROI

Learn which metrics to watch and measure. Demonstrating that a single link has led to a sale can be very straightforward on a small scale, but the more time you put into advanced link building, the harder it becomes to keep track of that essential ROI. Here are the metrics that you need to be watching if you want to know how well your link building is performing:

SERP Rankings

Before starting your campaigns, have a clear idea of where you rank on target keyword searches alongside your competitors. People believe that if you can appear higher, you can get more conversions. However, a business that ranks at position five on a SERP may make more sales than the business sitting at position zero or one because of other deciding factors such as site usability and internal navigation. Even pop-ups can lose you a sale. Carry out on-page audits to enhance and boost your link building efforts.

Your SERP ranking can give you an indication of your link building ROI. Remember, though, that SERP rankings can fluctuate for even the tiniest reasons and may have nothing to do with your advanced link building work. Use Authority Labs or Moz to keep track of this and take note.

Measuring Traffic

Traffic that doesn’t convert still has value because it can lead to a later conversion, such as filling in a form or purchasing something. There are hundreds of traffic measuring resources and tools available, but experts focus solely on Google Analytics.

Measuring Traffic

Using Google analytics and looking at your traffic stats for a set period reveals:

  • The overall number of website visitors
  • Unique visitors
  • Pageviews
  • Pages visited
  • The average duration of a page visit
  • Bounce rate
  • Percentage breakdown of new visits

Remain as consistent as possible when measuring the metrics that matter to you. Navigate to the referrals report under the traffic sources to see all of the websites sending you traffic. Go through the list and highlight the ones you have targeted as part of your advanced link building strategies. Also, set up Google Analytics Goals so that you can monitor how many conversions each link in your referral sites list has provided you. This is the fastest and easiest way to measure how effective and profitable your link building is performing.

Implementing these Strategies in Summary

If you’re trying to scale up your online visibility, the above strategies offer you an opportunity to increase the number of good quality backlinks your profile has. None of these go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or manipulate PageRank. Therefore, the outcome of doing implementing these strategies remains positive. Remember that the goal isn’t to earn as many backlinks as possible, whatever the cost. The goal is to achieve those backlinks from relevant websites with high domain authority, focusing on quality than quantity.

Try these strategies out yourself, ask your marketing team to look into them, or reach out to experts to handle this all for you. The benefits of gaining natural backlinks can contribute to improving your ranking position, so no matter which strategy you try or who you get to look at this, you’ll love the results.

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