Backlinks are absolutely crucial for the ranking of your site on search engines like Google, thus increasing the organic search traffic coming to your site. But, you may be asking yourself, what link building methods are there? What resources and skills are needed, and where do you start?
- Content Syndication
- Repurpose Your Content
- Local Citations
- Blog Commenting
- Social Media Links
- Collaborate With Bloggers & Influencers
The SEO landscape is constantly evolving, especially when it comes to link building; thus building high quality links has never been more important.
You need to know how to come up with a great link building campaign that will stand up against your competition. The link building methods that follow will get you well on your way to gaining high-quality backlinks.
Firstly, Have You Got These Essential Skills For The Following Link Building Methods?
Mastering link building campaigns is arguably one of SEO’s toughest tasks.
The art of gaining backlinks involves being able to master several skills.
In the very least, you need to be analytical and logical to plan the strategy and nail competitor analysis.
To outreach and network, you require outstanding communication skills.
Outreach is a vital and sometimes a very tough process to get right in building link campaigns
We’ve set out some proven link building methods below, and will show you how to get the best results.
1. Earn Your Backlinks With Link Bait
Of all the link building methods, this is a broad technique. It involves the creation of high quality content that has the capacity to attract people’s attention and make them want to link to it.
The high quality resource that you’re creating in the Link Bait link building methods is what is used as your ‘Bait’.
The idea is that the audience will gain amazing value from your thorough research and unique data that people will want to reference it organically in their own work.
Link Bait is also usually presented in an eye-catching way.
How do you create Link Bait?
You first need to identify your niche idea. Have you got any outstanding ideas that are link-worthy?
Does your content offer up a new angle? Does it offer new research or new data in your niche that people are going to want to link to?
If your Link Bait idea doesn’t shout “link to me” you need to start thinking what you can add to offer Bloggers and website owners that they just have to link to.
What are your competitors doing?
Take a look at your competitors to see if they’ve created any highly linked content to get the ball rolling.
If you’ve got an idea for some content, you need to work out if it’s going to get linked to and by who.
When it comes to the Link Bait link building methods, the term used is ‘earned’ and not ‘built’ links. People should be naturally linking to your site because of your awesome content.
Even so, you will still need to get your Link Bait content out there so people know it exists. You will have to either do this manually or using a paid promotion.
2. Flattery Will Get You Everywhere With Ego Bait As One Of Your Link Building Methods
The art of Ego Bait involves creating content that revolves around a person’s achievements or work.
With a mix of psychology and marketing these link building methods can produce some pretty great results. Everyone loves being recognised for their work, an ego boost is never shied away from.
This type of content takes a much more targeted approach than other link building practices.
This is a strategy where the thought of building the links should come second. You’re not trying to catch as many links as possible from a wider audience.
You want the influencers or websites that are mentioned in the content to link back to you. Make the focus all on them.
Reciprocity is key here, you’re creating positive content around someone/a website and hoping that they return the favour with a link back to it.
How do you create successful Ego Bait?
You need to consider who you are trying to target; it needs to be personal and focussed like the following Ego Bait link building methods:
One on one personal interviews are one of the best ways to get influencers and experts to link back to their content.
It is entirely about them, and an in-depth resource that talks about them positively; typically raving about them and their achievements. There should be no reason that they wouldn’t want to talk about it, it’s mutually beneficial.
Taking the time to conduct such an interview and be so interested in them and their work really allows you to build a relationship with that person.
This relationship naturally encourages them to link back to your interview on their social media at least.
Interviews are relatively quick to produce, too, there is minimal research because your subject is giving you all of the answers and content, you just need to put it together.
Similar to an interview, this type of content allows you to feature multiple experts or influencers and share their voice with your audience.
As you get to link to multiple people within just one piece of content you can hope that you will get at least more than one mention or link from a single piece of content.
To create a resourceful round-up you need to think of an idea that is beneficial to your audience.
If you’re an interior decorator could you write about loft conversions and reach out to some expert tradesmen that can provide their top tips for a “10 Tips from the Experts for Converting Your Loft” post.
Once you’ve posted your article let the experts know about it!
These are easy to compile, and they cast a wide net.
Typically, listicles feature the best of a particular niche and honour those included for being at the top.
Don’t just simply list everyone you want to target in a post, make the content thoughtful and resourceful; you still want to stroke their ego to encourage them to reciprocate a link.
Talk about why they are mentioned in your list.
Make sure it is still relevant to your niche, if you’re featuring the top beauty influencers but you’re an insurance company why would they want to link back to you?
It isn’t in their interest to direct their audience to an irrelevant source of information.
Again, make sure you let them know they’re included in the list, if they don’t know they’re in your listicle how do they know to share it.
3. Broken Link Building Ain’t Broken Yet
While some people are putting down their broken link building hats, we still think that it is a valid way of building some great links.
It involves finding links to resources that are within your niche that are no longer live and accessible.
Broken links are frustrating for the reader, and they’re bad for SEO. So contacting webmasters with a fresh new piece of content that replaces this broken link is doing them a favour right?
You’re helping them out and offering them an easy solution to provide value to their reader and improving their SEO at the same time.
Where do you start when it comes to broken link building?
This requires a little bit of time, software and know-how.
You’ll need to find all of the broken links to your site first, you can use the Ahrefs database for this.
Take a look at your backlink profile and view the broken links you have on your own site.
Not only do you want to fix these because having broken links is bad for SEO, you want to stop others from using broken link building against you.
This is called link reclamation.
Next, you want to take a look at the broken links of your competitors.
Start by compiling those of just one. Here you have all of your opportunities right in front of you.
As you’re a competitor, the chances are that you already have similar content that you can offer up to be linked to to fix that broken link.
If you don’t, consider creating some resourceful content that will help you to offer to fix that broken link and most likely many others that you come across.
4. Crack Down On Unaccredited Use Of Copyrighted Material
Finding out that someone has used your image, graphic or other visual material without accrediting you isn’t great.
If you find one, how many others are out there using your content without linking to you?
This is a great method of link building if you create images, graphics and materials that are copyrighted.
If it is copyrighted, then credit is absolutely necessary
You can force webmasters to properly credit the copyrighted material with a link to the original source (your website!).
So now you just need to go out there and find out who is using your material unaccredited.
Google’s reverse image search is a great tool for doing this.
All you need to do is go to the image search engine on Google, click on the little camera at the end of the search bar and then input the URL of the image you want to find copies of on the internet.
Alternatively, you can also upload the image if you wish.
5. Get Your Opinions Heard With Newsjacking
Newsjacking was a term coined by David Meerman Scott in his book with the same name.
He said “Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed.”
So in other words, it means talking about and publishing current affairs and breaking news on your own site, but talking about yourself in that article at the same time in relevance to the news you’re posting about.
With Newsjacking, timing is everything
You need to have your finger on the pulse.
When it comes to current affairs and trends, it could last weeks or just a few hours, you never know.
The most ideal time to start reporting is when the news breaks, as soon as there are any details or hints of a story.
You want to try and be one of the first, to be visible you need to strike when the saturation of the news is low.
However, it isn’t always possible to talk and post about the news as soon as it happens.
You should still post about the event as soon as possible, but try and add some new insight that people aren’t talking, too. This is to boost your relevance and visibility above all of the others who are also talking about this news.
If it’s old news, your Newsjacking window has passed.
It isn’t worth spending your time on a story no one is talking about anymore, get ready for the next hot piece of news to come along.
If your Newsjacking was successful you will have got your piece of content out there at the right time.
With searches for keywords related to the story peaking in Google and sites like Twitter when the story is first broken, your content should be able to grab everyone’s attention while they’re searching for the details.
How do you find news to Newsjack in the first place?
Google Trends is a great tool to monitor current trends and stories.
Following Journalists in your industry will give you first access to the most relevant news for you.
Also, keep an eye on trending topics on Twitter. Sometimes though it is just down to luck and being in the right place at the right time.
Once you’ve found your news, get it out there!
Write and publish your piece as soon as you can.
Promote it on Twitter using the hashtags that everyone is using to cover the story.
You can even contact journalists who you think might be interested in your story, so they can talk about and share it.
6. Become An Expert In Your Field With Guest Blogging
The original link building method.
It may be an old method, but it is an essential in your link building arsenal.
Effective for building links to your site, as well as boosting your referral traffic.
Guest blogging is a strategy where you become a Guest Blogger… the hint is in the name!
It involves creating content for third party websites where you will most likely be allowed link backs to your own site in your author bio as credit.
As you progress in your guest blogging journey, you can eventually transform into an authority in your field.
People might even start referring to you as the expert and start linking to you. This is something that takes a lot of time, so be prepared to invest many hours.
Where to start with Guest Blogging As One Of Your Link Building Methods
The first thing you should do is to start compiling a list or database of sites within your niche that you can offer to guest blog for.
There are a number of ways to do this:
Google search strings
Try “keyword” + “write for us” first to pick up the easy finds. Other strings include Your Keyword “guest post opportunities”, Your Keyword “become a contributor” and Your Keyword “become a guest blogger” just to mention a few.
This might also return results that include websites publishing lists of sites that are allowing guest posts in that niche.
Google reverse image search
Find someone that writes in your niche and look at a post that they’ve written. Do they have an author bio with a headshot? Reverse image search their headshot! Chances are they’ve used the exact same image for all their author bios and guest posts.
Use a search string using your keyword followed by ‘guest post’ or another similar search string. This should return results with websites and writers promoting the guest posts that they’ve published in that niche and where.
Take a look at the backlinks profile of your competitors and see if there are any websites that they’ve posted on that you can guest post on too.
Next it’s time to decide what you’re going to offer to write about
Not only do you need a solid idea, you need several solid ideas.
Your one idea isn’t going to be a fit for everyone and every website that you contact.
You also can’t continue to rewrite the same article over and over, you need to continue to offer something new.
Think about what you would like to read about in your niche, what would intrigue and excite you? That’s the kind of content that you need to pitch.
Take your time to get acquainted with the sites and bloggers that you’re going to offer to guest blog for
What do they post about at the moment?
Consider getting involved in their content. Leave real comments on content that you love, maybe even share the content that got your attention the most. That way you may already be on their radar when you contact them.
Before you send your pitch, if the website has guest post guidelines make sure you read them.
Site owners really appreciate when you take the time to take notice of their guidelines.
The guidelines can also help you to tailor your pitch because you’ll have some insight as to what they expect from their guest bloggers.
Now it’s your time to shine with the pitch
Write your pitch as if you were writing it to yourself should you be an editor of a popular website or newspaper.
You receive tens if not hundreds of emails a day and you always have an endless to-do list. The last thing you’re going to take notice of is a generic guest post pitch.
Take your time, be informative, be personal and offer something that only you can give them.
Once you’ve had a pitch accepted, it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys).
You might want to alter your writing to the website you’re writing for.
Produce high quality content but think about your time wisely
For the big, popular sites out there you want to produce your very best content.
But, for the smaller sites, while you wish you could spend your week researching and producing a couple of thousand-word masterpiece, it isn’t cost-effective in terms of the link you’re gaining.
So your post is published, what’s next?
Be a responsible author and reply to any comments you get.
You want to maintain a good relationship with the publisher and it’s always great to create conversation.
Promote your post on social media, share your great content with your audience, it may get some social traction too.
7. To Infographic, Or Not To Infographic?
Creating infographics as a link building strategy is lessening in popularity. That said, it’s is still an option to consider if you’ve tried every other avenue.
It is harder to get results from infographics now compared to when they were having their heyday.
Anyone can make a simple infographic.
All you have to do is open up Canva where you can create a lovely looking infographic in no time, and for free.
But it’s overused and people are getting lazy with it.
This laissez-faire approach to using infographics as a link building method no longer cuts it in the publishing world.
To get noticed, you need to create something noticeable!
You need to produce something that no one else is.
Look at what everyone else is doing and try to think about doing the opposite.
No simple flow charts with cute little illustrations.
Think beautiful interactive maps, viral games, or a useful tool that’s going to impact and make someone’s life easier. Like a type of calculator for something that you didn’t know that you needed!
You’re going to need a lot of brain power for this one, start thinking way outside the box.
8. Consider Syndicating Your Content As One Of Your Link Building Methods
Some SEO experts think that this method should be ditched. If you keep your finger on the SEO pulse you’ll know that this is still a very viable method.
Experts believed that content syndication was a bad idea and would equal getting hit with a Google penalty.
We disagree, as does Larry Kim:
“Google won’t penalize you for syndicating content. At worst, any duplicate versions of your article might be filtered out of the search results.”
If you create amazing resourceful content you’ll hope that, naturally, your content will get shared and linked to
With the best writing and stunning visuals there is no doubt that your content will get the eyes it deserves.
So if it’s that good, why not maximise its potential and push it out there to others yourself?
That’s where content syndication comes in; to make sure your content reaches as much of your target audience as possible.
Some of the biggest sites like The New York Times and CNN syndicate their content. They do this because they want a piece of the pie.
If a piece of content is going to bring in traffic and readers for them they’re going to want to take it.
So what are the benefits?
It allows you to reuse your amazing content.
You don’t have to spend time creating original content every single time you want to publish on a third party site.
This means it’s a more scalable version of guest posting, which typically requires unique content every time.
The rules of content syndication are simple
Make sure that the first time you publish your content it is on your site. That indexation of the content on your site is important.
Find the sites where you can syndicate your content. That could be through partnerships with a site with a slight increase in traffic than your own site. Another path would be through self-syndication on sites like LinkedIn and Medium.
For the technical part, ensure that the site syndicating your content adds a canonical link to your original content. It’s important for SEO.
9. Repurpose Your Content
So you’re already creating amazing content, but are you making the most of it?
Being the creator of some great evergreen content is all well and good, but you could do so much more with it than just letting it sit on your website blog.
While your content is great, it probably isn’t reaching everyone that it could.
Everyone likes to consume media and information in different forms. Restricting your content to one form on one platform is keeping it hidden from potential fresh eyes. AKA… customers!
Your content can be reformatted into eBooks, text statistics, visual maps, infographics, video and more.
What posts get the most traction can end up being entirely unexpected
One post you thought may have been very popular might have had a lot less interest than you thought and vice versa.
Your most popular blog posts are more likely to do even better repurposed into a different format.
What you thought was a great blog post may perform even better as a video or presentation. Maybe it’ll even go viral.
Find out what blog posts of yours have received the most page views over time in your Google Analytics account in the Behaviour section.
It’s also worth looking at what content got the most attention on social media too
We know that social media signals do have a small influence on search engine rankings, so why not capitalise on the most socially popular content too.
It could be another social media hit even if it’s the same content in a different format.
10. Let People Know Where You Are With Local Citations
The key to this one of the 13 link building methods is in the title – Local.
This one is for the businesses that have a “bricks and mortar” presence in their local community.
Local SEO refers to the practice of optimising your online presence to attract more business to your physical place of operation from relevant local searches.
So when someone is searching for something that you offer, you should show up in search results. You want to be shown on searches on Google, Bing, Apple maps, Yell and more.
Where to start with Local Citations
To start, you should claim your Google My Business listing if you haven’t done so already.
Get your Google My Business listing in good standing.
Fill out each and every section so you can provide as much information to Google as possible. This is so they can deliver you as a result for people looking for that information.
Google boasts an incredibly large share of the local SEO market. This is due to its general large presence as well as its Google Maps and ‘local pack’ search results integration.
If someone is using a location based word in their search query, whether that’s an actual place name or just ‘near me’, local search results will be triggered and drawn through to the top results (powered by Google My Business listings) into their local pack results which appear above the organic results.
That’s why local SEO is so important, especially on Google; local results are seen before the organic ones.
It’s important to rank in both the local pack results as well as the organic for double visibility
Your rankings in both sections relies on your onsite local SEO as well as your GMB listing.
Mobile friendliness now considered a ranking factor. The majority of visitors who are searching for local results come from mobile devices. Therefore, you need to make sure your website is mobile friendly.
When it comes to the implementation of local SEO on your website you need to make sure you’re making the most of it.
Include your location as well as your service when you’re considering keywords. You want to rank for that service in the area that you cover.
Getting listed in business directories and displaying full information in social profiles are also other examples of local citations.
These are what are referred to NAP citations (name, address and phone – it sometimes includes the addition of your website too).
NAP citations do act as a ranking signal. When you can get your website included too, it can add to your backlink profile.
You don’t want to go and just list your business anywhere
Relevant citations are where you’re going to get your traffic from.
List your business on popular and relevant websites and directories where people are going to actively search for your type of business.
Once you’ve created your citations, keeping them up to date and consistent is important.
Make sure you do a little housekeeping every now and then should your business information ever change.
11. Share Your Insights With Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is a great way to get your voice out there. It boosts your businesses visibility, while also building some good backlinks.
As with all of these link building methods, you do need to be cautious.
Leaving useful and thoughtful comments on other industry blogs will improve your SEO.
You’ll also gain more traffic to your site, as well as build your online reputation.
However, there are definite things you need to avoid doing so you don’t hinder yourself rather than help.
Comment as a real person
Leaving a spammy comment really benefits no one.
You’ll either get your comment removed or everyone will just ignore it.
Don’t register or leave a comment using your business name. Comment as yourself with your full name.
When leaving your topical and relevant comment, address the author.
It’s always great to start conversation and will boost your visibility in the comments.
Being personal and talking to the author directly will more than likely get you noticed and they’ll probably reply to your comment.
Blog commenting is all about getting yourself noticed while providing interesting, engaging commentary on topical blogs in your industry.
12. Add Social Media Links to The Mix
Have you heard us say that social media activity signals serves as a ranking factor yet?
Not only does it boost your SEO rankings, social traffic is just as important as other avenues of traffic to your website.
People discover so many new sites, businesses and services through social media every single day.
Filling out all of your business’s social media profiles and making sure they all include a link to your website is the first step.
If you post something and it doesn’t happen to have a link in it to your website they can at least click through to your profile and visit you from there.
Add a link to your website whenever it is relevant
You want to include it as much as possible, but if it just isn’t appropriate or seems spammy leave it out.
You still want to have a natural presence that your audience is going to relate to but always give them the opportunity to give your website a visit when you can.
13. Collaborate With Bloggers & Influencers
We hear everyone debating whether it’s better to work with Micro-Bloggers or more established bloggers all of the time.
When working with Bloggers was relatively new, everyone was attracted to only those with the best blog statistics and the most followers. The larger the numbers, the better and wider the exposure right?
Brands and Bloggers/Influencers have wised up to the true value of working with the right Influencers for the right content and the right campaign.
A Micro-Blogger’s impact can be mighty when it comes to link building
Commissioning sponsored posts and content placements on blogs is an excellent way to gain high quality backlinks.
Not only have Bloggers got vigorously engaged audiences, they have the ability to sell your products and services in an authentic way.
Working with Bloggers and Influencers doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Collaborating with Micro-Bloggers (those with around 10,000 followers across their platforms) is a very affordable link building method.
Have you read our article about why working with Bloggers and Influencers is essential for your business? There are some amazing benefits you may not have thought of, including the fact they have better engagement rates than celebs!
Planning your perfect link building methods takes time and patience. To save yourself some of the fuss and potential frustration, consider checking out the Get Blogged Blogger Outreach Services.
We allow you to retain full control of your link building campaigns; managing your own Blogger relationships closely, or you can let us handle the whole process for you with a fully managed experience.
Save this for later…
You know you need backlinks to help rank your site, so the 13 proven link building methods set out in this article should give you the push you need to get on with it.
Whichever of these affordable link building methods you choose for your website, the perfect opportunity to gain high quality backlinks is out there. You just have to find what works for you and your brand, and remain consistent.