You already know that genuine backlinks come from genuine relationships, but sometimes you need to gently push the relationship to make sure the other person knows your value enough that linking back to you will just come natural.
Easier said than done, right? Albeit advanced, these ‘pushes’ are actually simpler than they sound— they might only take you longer to implement, but results are long-lasting and will actually improve relationships, not hinder them like Black Hat SEO.
The advanced link building strategies for 2015 in this post follow the interviews with David Leonhard from THGM Content Marketing and Brian Lang from Small Business Ideas Blog, plus a few more suggested by link building experts.
Read on and take note!
Link Building: Traffic and SEO
David Leonhardt explains his link building strategy:
I have two distinct markets. People looking for book manuscripts, screenplay manuscripts, best man speeches or some other one-time writing project. Realistically, 99 percent of those people find their writer through the search engines, so any link that tells the search engines what we do and has some authority is a good link.
My second market is people looking for content marketing, blog posts, and related online promotion (including SEO and SMM). Although a number of them also find me in the search engines, a lot of them are colleagues who know me through social media and who are impressed with some of my work. So social media links, including social-media-related blog links, are very important to me.
In fact, for sheer volume, social media and the search engines account for most of my traffic.
Brian Lang leverages guest blogging for link bait:
Guest posting on popular sites is one of the most effective strategies both for building your list and rankings. Guest posting allows you to get your content in front of a large targeted audience quickly.
If you are creating useful content, people will link to you naturally and eventually, if you reach enough people, the number of natural links you get without even asking will greatly exceed the number of links you get from activities like email outreach.
The Link Building Approach
David Leonhardt explains his link building approach in detail:
My approach is a very simple two-step process:
1. Create uniquely awesome content.
2. Pump out as much social media reach as I can.
By ” uniquely awesome”, I mean something that is really top-notch and takes a different slant than other bloggers. I am not participating in the current arms race, whereby bloggers try to find the most epic post on the topic, then write a longer one on the same topic with more graphs and more data. I already know that Neil Patel will win that race.
But I do try to find new angles that are either:
A) really meaningful to my audience – that can connect at a profound level, such as when writing about time management, I asked the critical question: Are you getting paid enough for client projects?
B) take something commonplace, and make it brand-new, such as how Infographics can be used offline.
C) or in some other way, simply reflect my own thinking in response to discussions that are going on across the Internet.
As for pumping out as much social media reach as possible, I use Viral Content Buzz, Just Retweet and Triberr, and I participate in a number of mastermind groups, and helps amplify my reach.
In the end, however, that reach will only bring me paying traffic if people like what they see enough to seek my services, and it will only bring me SEO-worthy links if people like what they see and link to it. So content creation is by far the most important step; amplification is only as good as the content it promotes.
And that is 99 percent of my link-building process.
Brian Lang is highly selective of the content he will try to rank in search engines and prefers email outreach:
I usually only build links to content that I think will rank well and bring in search engine traffic. For outreach, usually I will look for an email and send each person an email, but sometimes I will just tag them on social media after I publish the post (if I mentioned them in the post). The rest of the time is spent on content creation and guest posting.
Takeaway: 5 Advanced Link Building Strategies You Can Put To Use Right Now
1. Create outstanding content and promote it
You should only promote your best content, so put forward the effort to produce at least one great piece consistently, possibly one per month. This content is your ‘bait’ not just to get new users and subscribers and loyalize your current users, but also to help search engines trust you and rank you high.
Don’t just go with the trends, but find your own topic angle and make it a go-to resource that can’t be missed.
2. Leverage both dofollow and nofollow links
While the first type of links will bring you SEO benefits, nofollow links — especially from social media — will bring you traffic, referrals and indirectly more dofollow links from content awareness (nobody will link back to you until they know your content exists!).
In any case, both types of links will bring you tons of organic traffic.
3. Don’t disdain guest posting
Even though guest blogging is not as effective for SEO as it used to be prior to 2014, you can still use it to build helpful (nofollow) links for branding and traffic. Much better, of course, if the blog owner decides to give you dofollow links.
Guest blogging also work as a link bait, as the more useful and trustworthy the content you share, the better chances it will be linked in other webpages as a resource.
4. Reach out to webmasters via email
When you build links, use email: it’s personable, intimate and non-threatening. However, don’t just ask for links– that will be seen as spam. Instead, kindly offer the blogger a benefit, such as a piece of content you produced that you think may help them, or where you mentioned them. They will most probably link back to you, but you will leave that to their editorial decision. If you need help keeping your phone alive and charged to email multiple bloggers use Jackery.
5. More specific advice from David and Brian:
Whatever approach you take, make it real. Make sure your website is worth linking to. Make sure you have content (video, slides, ebooks, data, articles, podcasts, etc.) that people want to link to. If your site is good enough for us humans, the robots will like it too (robots lack originality). — David Leonhardt from THGM Content Marketing
My advice for anyone trying to build links is to first master the art of value creation and secondly to increase overall exposure to your brand through activities like guest blogging on popular sites. Popular sites are highly selective about the articles they accept for publication, so guest posting for these sites is a good way to train yourself to write better content while getting your name in front of other influencers.
When you are able to create high value content, your outreach efforts will also work out better. — Brian Lang from Small Business Ideas Blog
What Other Advanced Link Building Strategies Are Out There?
1. The Skyscraper Technique
With a real skyscraper, you will build new blocks on the top of old ones, to make your final building even higher than the highest currently available.
The Skyscraper Technique works in the same way: you will need to find amazing, link-worthy content that you will build upon to create something even more amazing, then you will reach out to webmasters who already link to content in the same niche and offer yours as a resource (don’t ask to link to it, only if they would be interested in reading it).
Brian Dean of Backlinko.com explains this technique in detail here.
2. The Broken Link Technique
This technique requires a bit of patience to search for broken links in your niche on authority websites and blogs, but once you have found any, you can reach out to the webmaster via email and kindly ask if they would be interested in replacing one of those dead links with yours.
Make sure you can offer outstanding content to replace what is broken, or else the webmaster is likely to answer with a ‘no’.
MOZ has a Broken Link Building Bible you may want to read first.
3. Leverage Mentions
Setup a Google Alert to get notified of brand mentions and brand-related catch phrases and slogans, so you can reach out to webmasters to propose a link instead of a ‘naked’ mention.
4. Curate Links
Link curation is also known as ‘blog roundup’ and it’s when you write a weekly or monthly blog post that showcases helpful resources you like and want to show appreciation for, usually with commentary. An example is Carol Tice’s First Friday Link Party.
Curation is particularly useful to build relationships with other bloggers, especially influencers, and to boost your social shares and mentions.
5. Online Advertising
Not backlinks in the classical sense, or maybe nofollow links, but online advertising definitely spreads the word out about your website and gets you clicks in.
Even more advanced link building strategies for 2015 at:
- Search Engine Journal: “7 Advanced Link Building Strategies for a Competitive Edge“
- Kaiser The Sage: “21 Advanced Link Building Strategies“
- Ark Infotech: “Advanced Link Building – Strategies & Resources“