It’s a known fact that Google loathes to confirm any kind of its search engine updates, so it’s always a guess-and-play strategy until there’s an official announcement.
While dealing with SEO marketing, there are some things about which Google has been constant throughout all of its updates, like, spammy links, low-quality content, keyword stuffing, over-optimized anchor text, etc.
Although page content quality is a necessity to remain on the web now, that’s not going to give you page rankings unless you build quality links.
Google’s webmaster guideline is getting strict day by day and this why you need to change your game-plan if you want to stay longer in the game.
Google’s search engine updates have now even started to look after things like the mobile-friendliness of your site, and the fact that improving UX will also increase your page rankings says a lot about how
Google is making it hard for SEO to work on. You need to put in efforts to get in page rankings through other ways too.
As we’re witnessing revolutionizing changes in the mobile industry day by day, mobile phones are proving sufficient in all forms when the user is away from his desk.
The web is now rapidly being optimized for the mobile view, and you should do it too before you start losing mobile users. Just by keeping few factors in mind you can increase your customer to a wide extent, increase your page speed, fix mobile-friendly errors present on your site.
However, the Google updates have never stopped the search engine marketers from developing ways to rank up their pages. Link building is coming up as the most important skill in SEO and that’s why you need to master it now. In this post, I’ll be going in brief through all the possible link-building strategies one should know by now.
What are the most effective link-building strategies of 2017?
1. Create Linkable Assets
Content Marketing is the new Link Building!
This is one of the oldest techniques being used even before SEO came into being. No content is perfect and you can always approach your audience with better, fresh, and updated content.
Come up with content that would appeal to your audience so that you could generate links.
Pretend you’re an online seller of body-building supplements, for example. For your business, a typical linkable asset could be something like a blog post about 10 side effects to be aware of while taking supplements.
Clearly, it offers valuable insight to your readers and displays your concern towards them without getting too self-promoting. You might as well catch the attention of other websites when they come across your post and if your content is great, that they will gladly post it on their website.
Resource guides, infographics, tutorials, visual content, etc. can serve as linkable assets that fetch you the quality links you want for building a great link profile.
2. “Ask the Experts”, Panels, Interviews
Whatever industry you belong to, you can always create these types of posts. Frankly speaking, experts love to be featured on the web because even they need to create an audience for themselves and set up a reputation. With these, you are helping them as much as you’re benefitting yourself.
The first task in the line would be to structure a list of experts in your field of business.
According to their level of comfort-ability, you can outline a panel discussion, interviews, “ask the experts, or an expert round-up on any particular issue.
Sketch ideas for content, and then put together the group of experts suitable to answer the topics in your content.
The primary benefit from these posts is that you’re getting multiple links instantly because all the experts will share your post on their websites, which will again give you immediate access to their audience.
Once you are ready with your content, always make a clear plan about how to promote your post later. Remember these are busy people you will be dealing with, so keep in mind that you might have to remind them a few times before they take action on your content.
3. Unlinked Brand Mentions
There must’ve been times where you’d forgotten to give a link back while mentioning a particular product/service in your posts.
And chances are that if you have been online for some time, there could be many other websites that might have mentioned you in a post or article and forgotten to give a link, there’s simply no reason why you shouldn’t have a link back.
You can always use tools like Google Alerts, Mention.com, and Moz to keep a track of such unaccredited mentions. You can reach out to the website or individual whenever you get an alert for your mentions and turn those mentions into links. If you keep doing this for a good period of time, these mentions can cumulate into a massive boost to your page.
4. Broken Link Building
There must be pages on your website which you’d have taken down or have shifted to a different URL. While you’re aware of this, it could be possible that there must be sites that’d be still linking to your older links; which are now 404 probably, if I’m not mistaken.
Since users are getting a 404 now, you’re losing them within clicks. Use tools like Ahrefs, Moz to find those broken links on your website and, send the updated link to the webmasters.
Another technique you could also do is, find broken links of your competitors by scanning their websites in Ahrefs. Since those pages are long dead, you could probably rebuild similar pages on your website and reach out to people who are still linking to those old dead pages, with your fresh and updated pages on similar content.
You will be surprised to notice, how many people will happy to replace those old links with yours, and thank you for it.
5. Snatch Links from Lower Quality Content
This is one of the steps from the Skyscraper Technique, which I’ll tell you about later in the post. When you’re out there searching for ways to build links, it’s often right under the nose.
If you’re aware of the competitors in your field, go through the posts where they’ve been mentioned on the internet. When you go through the content, try to spot instances where you think you’ve got a better content on your blog/website.
Let’s say you’re browsing blog posts about how to make soap at home, and you end up on a super boring 400-word blog post about the soap industry and whatnot. If you already have a crazy insane post on this exact topic, ping the webmaster and pitch your content.
Since you have a better and thorough resource they’ll definitely link to your post, because they have clearly demonstrated a liking for such posts in the past, and you are only offering them something better.
6. Create Educational Resources
Backlinks from .edu domains are a serious ranking boost, right? Well, it’s not that hard to get them as it sounds.
Educational resources result in high-quality links all the time. Tutorials, extensive how-to guides, manuals or other contents that teach students something valuable instead of promoting your brand are very well appreciated and prove valuable to the users at the same time.
These days most universities have resource pages, with links to different sites, for their students and faculties.
Pretend you’re an event planner, for example. You could structure an insightful guide explaining the dos and don’ts while organizing a small-scale event/fest in the University.
Then pitch your content to the universities and spread the guide among students. If the university lists it in their resources, there you have earned yourself an .edu link, and most importantly you’ll end up getting tons of new audience and potential clients for your business – Thanks to your newfound glory!
7. Scholarship Opportunities
It must be clear by now how important Edu links are in terms of boosting your page rankings. Although it might not be clear how to get it, it is easier than the normal convention. If you can create something to which universities might like to link, you’re golden.
Here’s how it works: Build a page on your website describing the scholarship (like this one), with necessary information like where to apply, etc. When you’re ready with the scholarship page, it’s time to find the Universities that usually Link to Scholarships.
You can manually search or use inurl:.edu “scholarships” as well. When you come across a scholarship page that seems like a good fit, approach them with your requirement list for the scholarship. Do not forget to give them an estimate of the # of scholarships you have.
8. Visual Assets
Visual assets like images, diagrams, infographics, charts, and other visual-oriented pieces of content are proven ways to gain attention from your users. Mostly it is because visual content is easier to grasp as they produce quick info on the topic.
Visuals assets are really easy to link to. For example, when you publish a graph on your site, you get a link anytime someone shares that graph on their site. This powerful “share my infographic and link to me when you do” relationship simply doesn’t go well for text-based content.
9. List Posts
List posts, or listicals, are a numbered list of techniques, tips, reasons, myths…or just anything on a particular topic. Again, list posts are liked by users as well as bloggers.
List posts have come across as on the most valuable assets now. In fact, after analyzing 1 million articles, it was discovered that list posts generated more backlinks than any other content formats, and even outperformed quizzes, videos, and infographics.
10. In-Depth Ultimate Guides
These in-depth ultimate guides are comprehensive resources that cover everything one should know on a given topic and a little bit extra around it. Ultimate guides have an insane amount of information in one place. This is why it is loved by the readers who are out there in search of answers.
11. Email Outreach
Link building has now moved from the comments section to personal inbox now and this is why it’s getting easier and convenient day by day. The sooner you grasp that link building is not limited to just the internet anymore, the better for you.
The first step of any email outreach is targeting the right people. And for that, you need to use tools available on Ahrefs and Buzzstream, and other websites built for SEOs. Use hunter.io or anymailfinder.com for getting the emails of your webmasters from their posts/pages.
Find the people who’d probably like to link to your post and then comes the important task. If you don’t want to end up in the trash of your target webmasters, personalize your email as much as possible, but don’t forget to lose the corporate touch. Most importantly, build scripts for email but again, don’t forget to personalize.
12. Resource Page Link Building
Resource pages are like yellow pages on the internet. They exist solely for the purpose of putting all the web pages on one topic in a single place. This is why they make the perfect spots for link building.
One simple way to search for resource pages would be: “Keyword” + inurl:links
The audience you gain on resource pages are genuine, primarily because this is the audience that is trying really hard to grasp the topic, and secondary there is no “buy now” button on the resource pages which makes them completely trustworthy.
13. The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper Technique is the most awesome of all the techniques devised ever. In this technique, you can steal audience from right under the nose of your competitors. How?
Step 1: Find the outdated pages on your competitor’s website.
Step 2: Create updated and extensive content on these topics and outreach to the webmasters who’ve linked to the outdated posts from your competitor’s website.
Eventually, it’s content that matters, and if you’ve managed to create something better, people will link to it.
14. Give Testimonials
Everyone providing any kind of product/service on the web loves to display testimonials. So, if you happen to use a service/ product that you love, try sending the owners a testimonial.
Just add subtly that if they want to display the testimonial on their posts, they can do that as well. Most people would take the offer and probably boast about their new review to their Social Following as well, letting you leverage some of their followers who see your brand.
15. Blogger Reviews
If you’re someone dealing in a software product, consulting service, information product, or anything for that matter, you have a golden opportunity to turn that into high-quality backlinks.
There’s a simple trick here, offer your product to bloggers and in return ask them for reviews. If you’re charging a particular fee for the product, waive it off for the blogger and they’ll happily to the rest.
Keep a mild tone and talk about getting mentions on their blog, the rest is self-explanatory. Now, don’t ask them upfront about giving a link/review, which will then violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
16. HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
There are a million reporters looking out for sources every day and by registering on HARO. When you register yourself as a source, wait until you receive queries from your field of expertise, I’m sure there must be developments in news from your industry often.
All you need to do is, sign up as a source at Helpareporter and thereafter follow the guidelines accordingly. Once your register, you will start receiving emails from HARO with requirements from reports who are actively looking for news sources.
While providing your response to reporters, you have the choice of staying anonymous but obviously, that’s not why you’re there. You will get mentions for your website once the news is published online.
It is one of the best ways to get rich backlinks from authority news sites.
17. Submit Your Site to Website Feedback Sites
This is totally off the board, but a source for getting links anyway. There are a lot of sites that are designed to give you feedback on everything that is there on your website.
The thing to note here is that most of these sites will give a link back to your site.
All you need to do now is send your site with a brief description of how you intend to improve it.
18. The Moving Man Method
As there is a number of websites growing every day on the web, there are also many websites shutting down every day. The moving man method is all about utilizing the opportunity created thereafter.
You can use Google to find out the shutdown websites by using keywords like these:
your niche + shut down
your niche + closed
your niche + not working
The next step would be to find the webmasters linking to these broken/closed links. Personally, I’d suggest you go for the webmasters with higher authority sites first.
When you outreach to the webmasters with an updated and possibly better replacement from your website, they should be glad about it. However, make sure that your content is really good.
Watch it in action in the video below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVMaSvTVmGI
19. Guest Posting Gigs on Twitter
On Twitter, there are sites sharing guest posts on a daily basis. That’s your cue, you can reach out to them through tweets/DM and do a guest post.
Although it is a time taking process, then it is a new source of the untapped audience for you actually. If you succeed at getting few guest-post gigs, you can work around and there’s no end to possibilities.
You can always rely on Twitter to get a constant flow of such new gigs. Few examples for your Twitter hunt could be:
“your niche” + guest post
“your niche” + guest article
“your niche” + write for us
“your niche” + guest author
20. Transcribe Videos
Video transcription is a very new source of building links as the video boom is still new on the web. Hence, this can be used as a flexible link building strategy. In every industry, there are experts who have established a major audience base with their video channels. On the internet today, you’ll find a good number of videos uploaded daily, varying from Webinars, Presentations, Tutorials, Q&A’s,Hangouts or Vlogs (video blogs). You can always associate with these video-makers and generate new traffic and audience for yourself.
Video transcription is another way to make link-worthy content because you are getting original content directly from experts in your field. You can also aquiret links by associating with them as they always provide transcription with their video.
Here’s how to do it: First, search on YouTube for key experts/bloggers, and find videos without transcriptions and ping them that you’d like to make transcriptions. Send them when you’ve it done.
It also helps you stand out from the rest of your competitors as you’re helping the influencers. Whatever relationships you build this way will last longer and give you a permanent audience. You get a targeted audience on your page when influencers share your transcripts.
21. Hacking Quora
In recent years, Quora has emerged as a last-end solution platform for everyone on the web. There is major traffic on Quora of people looking for answers to every sort of thing and this is the untapped audience you have right there in front of you.
Here’s how to get referral traffic from Quora:
Look for the threads getting maximum traffic on Quora, using Ahrefs. Put in keywords of your niche and find out relevant threads with good traffic and high rankings. Publish answers to these threads with traffic. You’ll find high-traffic questions with low-quality answers or even without any answers.
The most important factor here is that Quora lets you reference sources in the answers and hence it’s easier to link back to relevant websites. However, keep in mind that you do not go over the top and appear too self-promotional. There’s always the chance of getting blocked/banned from Quora if they ever suspect you constantly promoting any particular thing.
22. Build links with blog comments
In this technique, it’s all about utilizing the blog comments on your own blog and outline a list of prospective links.
In most of the blogging mainframes, you’ll find the name, website (if they’ve one) and email address of the commenters. Once these people have commented on your blog, it clearly indicates their liking for your stuff. So, now all you’ve to do is make a list of those commenters who own a blog themselves in the same field as you do.
Run a scrapper to collect the websites of all such prospects and check if you could find any content on their website that could relate to you. If so, start an outreach campaign to build links with their website/blog.
The key thing to keep in mind while outreaching is to personalize your outreach emails. Because always keep in mind, there is a human on the other end of your email.
23. “Ranking for Links” Technique
There are millions of blog posts getting published daily on the internet. Bloggers need to put references from different sources to back up their points.
How do they get these sources? On Google, right?
So there is a huge probability that your blog/website could be one of those reference pieces. All you need to do now is rank up your pages containing these pieces, “reference” terms.
Note down a list of topics/keywords from your industry with a high probability of getting cited.
You must probably have content built already on these keywords/topics. In general, these kinds of keywords/topics are usually queries or informational terms. So, first of all, make a list of such queries for your niche.
Next, run these keywords through SEO tools and find the terms with low Keyword Difficulty and high search volumes. Now, all you need to do is, just put together contents around these topics and rank up for them.
If you succeed in ranking for these kinds of “reference” terms, there are chances that you’ll get backlinks on a consistent basis from these bloggers seeking references for their own content.
The methods which I’ve mentioned above are tried and tested and are backed up with various case studies. However, in the field of SEO, keep in mind that there are a lot of factors contributing to your page rankings. Even while link building, it is important to have a positive approach and keep attempting unless you reach the top.
Link Building is getting personalized day by day, and I cannot stress more on this. Never lose hope, if you have confidence in your page content, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t outreach to even the top players in your field. As a cautionary step, be wary of spammy links and avoid links from sites with low-trust authority lest you could get reprimanded and lose ranking.
Great! Now you’re ready to hunt. All the best!
If you’ve any doubts or suggestions, feel free to mention those in the comments.
Piyush is the Founder and CEO of SEO ORB. An Escape Room Marketing Agency. He loves talking about marketing, writing blogs. In his free time, Piyush can be spotted spending time with family or building Android Games in Buildbox.