7 link building techniques that still work in 2018
Like eggs and bacon, Batman and Robin, like cats and boxes — links and rankings are inseparable, like it or not. This is an SEO axiom that proved its effectiveness and helped numerous website owners to win search engines' love, rankings and a good sleep at night ☺.
According to the research we conducted last year, about 72% of SEOs regardless of their experience did consider backlinks a significant ranking factor. And 24% of respondents also agreed that backlinks are quite important alongside with other ranking factors. Furthermore, from the words of a Google executive handling search quality, content and links are still the two most important things that affect ranks.
Surprisingly, there are people who tend to underestimate and even deny the power of backlinks. Well, they have never been so wrong, let me say. Yes, the process of link building is far from being a piece of cake, but the results are definitely worth fighting for.
SEO is a never-ending battle, I hardly need to remind you this. And what do you need to win a battle? A tactic. So, in this article I want to shed light on some time-and-battle-proven link building strategies. So, let's get started!
1. Link bait
Ok, let's begin with a link bait strategy. Simply put, this technique requires creating quality content that would drive links to you because of its high value. That is why you need to think of what your target audience is most likely to share on the net. Look at your content from aside and decide whether it deserves a link or not.
After all, users can only link to your page if they properly went through it. The success key in this case is knowing your audience, and you can only understand it by posting various content types and watching how users reacts.
The thing is that there is no sure-fire strategy (it's SEO, remember?), but, on the other hand, it means everybody is on equal footing. So, go ahead and create link-worthy content to leave your audience no other options except "shouting about it from every street corner" in form of social media shares, for example ☺.
By the way, to the topic of content, let me just quickly remind you that video is the future. Numerous studies prove that it will very soon replace text format. Just for your information, an average Internet user watches approximately 206 videos per month. What is more, videos are processed 60, 000 times faster than text. Numbers speak for themselves, so make sure to give videos a good old try.
Just to get you some other ideas content-wise, practice shows that people tend to share:
- Unique insights
As a rule, unique insights are represented by some sort of interviews with company's representatives or an internal research, for example.
- Helpful articles or surveys
Go have a look at Lipton's official site. It is filled with various articles from "How to make a mint tea" to "Walk away from an upset stomach". This trick can help expanding target audience as well as attracting new links.
SpaceX's site is a good example of how text and video formats are nicely intertwined. No wonder that articles stuffed with cool video footage get more love from the audience than plain text ones.
- Hot topics
When I say "hot topics", I don't necessarily mean yellow press headlines, although it's also a good bait. What I mean is some information of current importance. It can be dedicated to some holidays, sport events or the birth of a UK royal child, who knows.
- A free tool
Inspired? So, prepare a bait and go fishing, your backlink profile won't "feed" itself, remember?
2. Guest blogging
Now let's talk about guest blogging opportunities and how to make the most of them. On the bright side, guest posting still remains a highly effective link building strategy, because it allows not only earning some backlinks, but also gaining new audience as well as website's traffic, which is by no means less important, let me say. On the dark side, low-quality guest blogging is far from being effective these days.
So, if you considered all the pros and cons and made a decision in favor of guest posting, a logical question pops up in your head: "Where on Earth do I find those guest posting opportunities?" Even if I wasn't biased, I would say that the fastest and the least painful way to find places to guest-post is by using the correspondent search method in LinkAssistant. Let me quickly guide you through the steps:
- Simply start the tool and create a new project for your site.
- Hit Look for Prospects in the left corner and choose Guest Posting as a research method.
- Now it's high time for entering some keywords. I would recommend using industry-specific keywords rather than sticking to your branded ones, because there's hardly a chance blogs talk about the exact service that you offer.
- Once all the keywords are specified, go grab yourself a coffee, because by the time you drink it, the whole list of guest blogging opportunities accompanied with contact emails will be there.
3. Ego bait
Although an ego bait strategy can be hardly described as new, it can be by no means crossed out from our chart. Basically, it focuses on creating content that aims to appeal to your target's ego and getting a link in return. As a rule, a target is represented by some sort of industry authorities. The whole point is to make them share your site or post and then "feed" your backlink profile with freshly achieved links.
By following this technique you can kill two birds with one stone: raise your traffic dramatically and also increase your post's authority.
I personally consider ego bait a win-win strategy where both sides get what they want and live happily ever after.
Below are some examples of techniques to be used for ego bait link building:
- A mention
You can simply quote influencers, link them, or place their photos in your post. The bigger influencer's presence is, the higher is a chance he or she would share your content. By the way, after mentioning people in your post, don't forget to inform them, because no bait, no catch.
- An interview with an influencer
I know, sometimes authorities and influencers may seem like this unreachable beauty queen from a movie screen. However, practice shows that even a big fish hardly ever declines interviews and almost in 100% of cases will share them in social networks. So, don't hesitate to give interviews a massive try.
Just find contact info, prepare questions, get permission, send questions, and publish your interview. Easy!
- A combo interview
What can be better than an interview with an influencer? Right. An interview with two influencers. What can be better than an interview with two influencers ☺? Ok, I guess you got the idea. What I’m trying to say is why not to include as many experts as possible? By doing so, you can make your readers enjoy a 360° look at the stuff you're writing about. This will make your links grow faster than radioactive mushrooms.
- A round up list
Think of a round up list that you can create with an influencer included. What is even cooler than that, you can ask a bunch of experts to contribute, let's say, one item to your chart. Accompany this item with the name of a respondent and maybe some suitable comments. Readers would love it, SEO would love it even more.
4. Blog commenting
Throughout the years, blog commenting has proved to be a reliable brother-in-arms in the battle for backlinks. Besides raising authority and improving your company's visibility, it also drives new links and, of course, traffic.
In other words, blog commenting is a great thing when done right. And to do so, you need to sort out highly relevant websites with comments enabled. No, you don't need to hire 10 extra people to sit and search for those sites, LinkAssistant can fully replace them. This is how it can be done:
- Start the tool and create a new project for your site.
- Hit Look for prospects and specify Commenting as your research method.
- Now you need to decide on the keywords.
Here we have 2 options to go for:
- If you're on a hunt for thematically relevant websites, I would highly suggest using "category" and "related topics" types of keywords.
- However, if you want to find some exact-match articles or blog posts, your keyword choice should be determined by the topic of this very article. So, if that's the way you want to go, you need to enable expert options first.
Then hit Get exact URLs to make the tool spot the URLs of individual pages rather than domains' URLs. You can also uncheck Automatically acquire title and description, because you don't need to contact webmasters via email, and that would also make the search faster.
- Now LinkAssistant is taking some time to search for relevant pages and will very soon supply you with a list of blog commenting opportunities. With the help of LinkAssistant’s in-built browser you can start writing comments right there in the tool!
People love data. Sadly enough, sometimes it's presented in an indigestible way, but that's until infographics break in. They have been out of fashion for a couple of years or so, but now that infographics' massive comeback is undeniable, it's high time to give them a chance. By the way, the infographic above belongs to LISTERINE® and describes how oral health affects your relationship ☺.
Guestographics can be quite helpful at getting real big boy links. What is more, you can have control over the anchor text. This is how it works:
- Post a cool infographic on your site.
- Find relevant sites.
You already know how to do it with the help of LinkAssistant, right?
- Collect contact information.
No, you don't have to work in the CIA to get the emails of the website owners you need. LinkAssistant will kindly supply you with all the necessary info, just go for the Try to acquire contact information option. Then get in touch with chosen website owners and offer your brilliant content.
- Harvest your contextual backlinks!
6. Forum backlinks
A wise SEO practitioner knows that following the audience and being in the thick of things in the industry is crucial. That's why I think it's not a problem making some helpful contributions to forum discussions to encourage users to visit external links you are promoting. Being an active forum participant will not only drive traffic to your site, but also help you to become some sort of an SEO-sensei in your industry. And who doesn't want that?
I guess, it goes without saying that forums need to be niche-specific and your comments should add value or answer some questions.
So, let's get down to business and find some niche-specific forums for you. Ok, back to square one. Start the tool, create a project, hit the Look for Prospects button, the only difference here is that you need to pick Forums as a search method. Just like this:
Once you are at the keyword entering step, I would highly recommend picking "category" ones, as they can broadly describe your targeted niches. Also make sure to press Enable expert options after entering the keywords. Then, at the 4th step, enable Get exact URLs, disable Try to acquire contact information, and enjoy a full list of forums for you to go through.
7. Business directory submission
Although directory submission tends to influence ranking algorithms a bit less lately, it can still work to your advantage. To make directory submission your bro, I would highly recommend getting links only from quality and niche-specific directories. On top of that, make sure those directories are editorial and check the quality of sites the directory includes. It's better to use directory submission only as a small part of your link building strategy, not on its own, so mind that as well.
Luckily enough, there's a separate search method for business directories in LinkAssistant. Just as usual, enable expert options and set up the preferences the following way:
When the list of directories is ready, I highly suggest thoroughly going through it, because it's quality what we are searching for, not quantity. Remember that low-quality directories can do you more harm than good.
Phew! This was the last link building technique I wanted to draw your attention to. For those who didn't read the main part and scrolled down to this bit, I want to make a small conclusion:
- It's foolish to deny backlinks as a major ranking factor.
- Try not to stick to just one link building strategy, use all the above listed techniques as a combo.
- Great Content + Targeted Outreach + Added Value = Links.
- LinkAssistant is your bestie when it comes to searching for link building opportunities, so get yourself a copy.
This is how we smoothly came to the end of the article. Hope I didn't wreck your brain with too much SEO stuff and you managed to survive till the end. I would really appreciate if you share your opinion in the comments or show this article to other SEO-fellas out there. And may the force of SEO be with you!