For years, Google has been quietly judging our websites based on how many people threw down a link and said, “Here. This website is good. Go visit it now.”
Before, you could get a good rep from Google just from getting lots of these links.
However, it is not quite as simple anymore.
Most people agree that link building is a gradual, slow process.
Most people don’t realize that building random links from shady websites isn’t actually helping you out in that process.
So today, we’re going to go over 7 of the best link-building strategies that will make your website that much more authoritative.
If you are just starting your new website or you don’t have any authority at all, the first step to link building is understanding how the giants in your industry do it.
Why should you research your competitors’ backlinks?
Google is a constantly changing beast.
A strategy that worked a few years ago could be very harmful to your website today.
If your competitors are successful, they are keeping up with Google’s changes and therefore will be earning links the right way.
If you want to be like this, having an insight on how they do it is very useful.
How do you check your competitors’ backlinks?
It’s actually pretty easy.
Step#1: Identify your main competitors with a tool like SEMrush. Simply navigate to the keyword researcher tool and type in the keyword that relates to your website the most. Hit the search button.
Scroll down and you will see the websites and the pages that are ranking highly for the keyword term you plugged in.
From there, you can either sign up for a free trial with SEMrush to see the analytics or you can navigate to…
Step#2: Use Moz’s free link explorer to analyze the backlinks of any URL. Simply choose one of the URLs from your SEMrush results and type it into the search bar.
You will be taken to a screen where you can see the amount of linking domains the URL has. You can also see the overall strength of the site with its Page and Domain Authority.
If you scroll down, you will be able to see the type of sites that are linking to your competitor.
Although this URL seems to have links that come from somewhat irrelevant websites, it has high authority which affects its rankings.
Having this information is still useful because you can see what type of websites your competitors are getting links from.
For example, if you find that their links are predominately coming from related blogs, you know they are doing a lot of guest blogging to build their links.
On the other hand, if they are getting most of their links from big news sites, they could be paying editors to write about them.
From there, all you have to do is replicate their strategy.
If you don’t already know, having a blog on your website is incredibly beneficial for your overall visibility and SEO.
Businesses with a blog get an average of 55% more site visitors and 97% more inbound links, according to HubSpot.
In addition to keeping your own blog, a great strategy for building backlinks is to blog about it… from another website! (preferably one with high authority)
Before you start reaching out to sites and asking for a feature, make sure to write a list of the best guest post opportunities. This includes blogs that are:
After that, you can ask Google first for some opportunities.
Search terms like “MY KEYWORD ‘guest posts'” except with your target keyword.
You may find authoritative blogs that accept guest blogging.
Another good idea is to get involved in communities like MyBlogGuest– which is a forum page specifically for guest bloggers to reach out to blogs that accept features.
Many websites or blogs will contain pages that send their readers to other relevant blogs.
These pages are called resource posts. They are essentially a guide for a target audience that contains a list of strong blogs in a given industry.
For example, if you are in the travel industry, you might see a resource page like this.
The readers of this blog can easily find what they need through the resources provided in this list.
So what’s the strategy here? It’s simple.
First, create a post similar to this but more expansive. For example, you could title it something like:
Not only will a post like this be highly rank-able by Google, it presents a great opportunity for you to get more backlinks.
After you write it, reach out to the blogs you included on your list via email. you may want to structure the email something like this:
Hi [name of blog writer/blog owner],
My name is [your name] and I am the creator of [your website/business].
Recently, I found your blog listed on [the page that had the original resource list].
It was a great resource page and I was glad to find your website through it.
I went ahead and wrote a deeper, expanded version of the resource list and I included your site with a link. [enter the URL of the page you wrote]
If you like this post and think your audience could benefit from reading it, I would greatly appreciate a share. You could share it on socials, tweet it, or cite it at your own convenience.
[URL of your resources page]
Essentially, this is effective because you got to their site through an authoritative page at the beginning.
After establishing a mutual sense of trust, the blog that you reached out to has a higher likelihood of linking back to your site.
It’s a win-win.
This strategy revolves around finding informative and useful web pages that contain broken links.
Broken links are links that should lead to relevant websites but instead send readers to a dead page or a 404.
If you find an authoritative page that contains a dead link, you can bet that the page owner wants the link replaced as much as you do.
Better yet, if you have a piece of content that is just as good, if not better, than the original link supposedly should be, you can easily build up some high-quality links.
First, you should be ready with a piece of content that can replace a broken link (or at least ready to make one).
Then, send an email to the webmaster with the same amount of mutual respect as the email template above.
Seeing as how both of you can benefit from saving a broken link, this has proven to be a very effective way to drive more links and traffic to your site.
Not only is getting a link from a high PR site effective for driving readers to your site, these sites have great authority that can boost your SEO.
Journalists from high-end publishing websites often rely on PR to get newsworthy stories to write about.
If you have a great piece of content or provide an outstanding service/product that deserves recognition, you should promote them to journalists with PR strategies.
Here is a great video by Brian Dean of Backlinko that explains how you can leverage PR and more strategies for link building.
Also check out these guides for using PR to get backlinks:
Getting your website seen by promoting to journalists can take a lot of hard work and effort.
Using a tool like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is much easier.
HARO is like the quick and mini version of public relations.
It basically connects people who need sources (journalists and writers) to people who need links to their site (you).
HARO is completely free to sign up for and it lets you get white hat backlinks from credible news sites without expending too much effort.
When you create your account, simply choose the free plan to get started.
The way it works is you get 3 emails throughout a given day where journalists will request contributions.
Brian Dean of Backlinko uses this to build lots of backlinks for his site. Here is an example of the types of requests he receives.
If you see one that you can provide a valuable response to, choose it and send the journalist a brief but worthwhile pitch.
Here’s what Brian Dean submitted:
After that, he received a link from a credible website. See how simple it is?
Basically, using HARO is a great and easy way to reach reporters and establish a win-win relationship.
If you haven’t noticed already, win-win strategies are ideal for getting more links to your website.
To top it all off, our last link-building strategy is actually more of an “everybody wins” type of situation.
What is a pillar post?
A pillar post is a page that contains a lot of information about a certain topic.
Pillar pages are filled with outbound links to other smaller posts called “cluster content”.
Pillar pages typically cover large amounts of information but do not go in-depth in any specific sub-topic. Instead, they link the reader to a relevant post that contains deeper information on the given sub-topic.
So what exactly is the strategy here? Creating pillar posts is a great way to build organic traffic but how can we go one step further?
Originally coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko, the Skyscraper Technique is the strategy where you follow these steps:
This technique is strong because it takes advantage of a foundation that is proven to be successful (you are creating a better version of a page that already ranks high, after all).
However, this strategy is going to take a LOT of work. You have to be ready to put in the effort. What Brian Dean did to make a skyscraper post was go through and painstakingly analyze every single SEO tool that exists on the market.
I would imagine that this one blog post he made could have taken anywhere from a week to a few months to create.
From there, he looked through the other less extensive “SEO tool guide” posts and found what sites were linking to them. Then, he promoted his new pillar post to them with a respectful email.
The key here is to also promote to the people you mention in your post.
You can do this by simply sending them an email that says something like:
I spent the last few weeks writing this post about [your skyscraper topic].
I am excited to tell you that [the mentioned website] was featured in the post!
I am going to publish the post in [time frame].
Do you want a heads up when it gets released?
Thank you and best regards,
[link to your website]
Building high-quality hyperlinks that direct readers to your website is one of the most effective ways to drive new traffic to your site and improve your SEO.
It may seem difficult at the start, especially if your website is brand new, but the steps I outlined in this post will help you grow your website authority in no time.
If you own a small business but don’t have the time to spend building your backlinks for SEO, consider partnering with a digital marketing agency like SVB Digital.
At SVB Digital, we provide a range of SEO services including link-building, content marketing, PPC, PR, and more. You can get a free consultation to discuss strategy by sending us your email and a bit of information on our homepage.
Lastly, if you have any questions or comments about building your SEO links, please let me know in the comments section. Thank you for reading!