Effective Link Building Strategies

Here is the formula I used for writing a blog post that makes $500 per month.

1. The Simple Money Making Formula

2. How To Select An Expired Domain 

3. How To Find Profitable Affiliate Programs

4. Profitable Keyword Research

5.  How To Write Content That Ranks

6. How To Increase Google Pagerank In 2019

7. Internal Link Building Made Simple

8. Effective Link Building Strategies

Building Links

Myth: “Just publish great content and you’ll rank because Google loves great content”.

I tested this theory and found it was wrong.

When you have the core content on your site, the domain needs some links.

Link building is the most effective strategy in SEO. It is also the biggest pain.

Site Authority

Everyone tells you that you need links from high-authority sites, or those deemed by Google as trustworthy because of their content and link profile.

Major news websites like the New York Times, for example, may not be relevant to your site, but their high authority can spill over to your website if you get backlinks from them.

But don’t disregard a new, low-DA website just yet. Domain Authority is never permanent. With the right amount of links, a website can significantly boost its DA and become a valuable asset to your link profile.

If your site has links from a large volume of low DA sites, search traffic will rise initially, then you your growth will often reach a plateau. However in the beginning phase of your website this is a workable strategy.

Relevancy of Links

Link relevancy is determined by the anchor text that’s used, the content of all the texts surrounding the link and the other external links on the page.

By building relevant links, you’re not only pleasing Google but also improving your visitors.

There are different degrees of relevancy.

  • Same Niche: The most ideal backlink is from a site that is the same niche as yours.

This is what many site owners try to achieve, but if you concentrate only on this, you are limiting your opportunities.

  • General Niche: Such sites have a wide variety of topics and it’s easy to build a relevant link.

As an example, news sites such as New York Times, are on multiple subjects.

  • Different Niche: If the link is from a different niche, it can still be from a post that is related to yours.

As an example, if a site is on real estate, and yours is on marketing, you cannot deny the relevancy of a link that is from a post “How To Market And Sell A Vacation House”.

Location of the Link

Contextual links are backlinks placed within an article (Main Content).

They have more SEO value than those in the footer or sidebar.

Risks of Link Building

There are risks to link building. In fact NO link building can be considered completely white hat.

You shouldn’t go against Google’s quality guidelines:

Link schemes

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:

  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
  • Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
  • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
  • Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
  • Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of using nofollow or other method of blocking PageRank, should they wish.

Strategies for Building Backlinks

Spying On Your Competitor’s Backlinks

The top 10 search results are there for one reason: They’ve done something right.

For this reason, you can compete with them by replicating their backlink profile.

You simply use a tool like SEO SpyGlass, SEMRush or Afrefs, you look at their higher quality backlinks and you build the same.

Guest Posting

Guest blogging is far from dead.

Granted, someone from Google announced in 2014 that the glory days of guest blogging are over. But the statement only applies to low-quality guest blogging.

This is how Matt Cutts amended his statement on guest blogging:

Added: It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.

There is one problem with guest blogging – it is difficult to scale, especially if you want to provide high quality content to the receiving site.

Therefore the best use of guest posting is building specific, high DA backlinks.

Broken Link Building

Broken backlinks are not good for SEO. From a user standpoint, a link that leads to a 404 error page brings a negative user experience.

Broken link building hinges upon the desires of webmasters to ensure all their links are working.

Once you find a broken link, you can place similar content on your own site and ask the owner of the other website to direct the broken link to your article.

Since usually there are several links pointing to a single page, you can increase the efficiency of your efforts by finding the other sites that link to the same page asking them also to link to you instead.

The Shotgun Skyscraper Method

The original Skyscraper method invented by Brian Dean consists of finding a piece of content with lots of links pointing to it and social shares, then creating a better version of it.

The next step is to send out personalized emails to every single site owner linking to the original piece of content, asking them to link to your new blog post.

This method works, but it’s extremely time consuming. Even if you only spend 10 minutes per email, that means you’ll max out at 48 emails per day, assuming you can dedicate 8 full hours to the process.

The Shogun system is different because you automate your outreach emails by using templates to send many more semi-personalized emails.

Here are the steps:

1. Creating skyscraper content – One of the most overlooked aspects of the Skyscraper method is content quality.

Many people think they can put out a 5,000-word piece of fluff, and people will link to it.

That’s never going to happen.

Your skyscraper page needs to be a valuable piece of informational content that is significantly better than your competitor’s page.

2. Finding email addresses –  You can choose to do that manually, which means checking out key pages of websites (contact, about, personal), and sometimes going as far as checking the source code for “mailto:” tags.

But this can take a lot of time, therefore you need to make your email discovery process way more efficient…

Hunter uses multiple sources of publicly available data to locate email addresses attached to any domain.

Instead of manually looking up email addresses you can upload a list of URLs into Hunter in .csv format.

You can also use Snov.io as a budget alternative to Hunter, but the results are nowhere near as good.

How accurate is this? You typically find that 30-60% of the email addresses are valid.

For the rest of the URLs, you can look for them manually or use other tools.

3. Outreach – Link outreach is a numbers game. You can use MailShake to send 5,000 emails to link prospects each day instead of 50.

To avoid spamming others, personalize every single outreach email by using templates. Keep it short and to the point, but also as personal as possible.

If you don’t get an answer to the first email, send two more emails before giving up completely. The reason is simple, almost 50% of the links came from follow-up emails.

4. Negotiation – The majority of the replies from link prospects fall into a handful of categories such as:

  • Paid links
  • Link exchanges
  • Guest post offer

For the replies that ask for a payment, you should change the conversation, because with a little perseverance, you can often get the link for free. Talk about “collaboration,” “adding value for their audience” or “sharing their website with your audience”.

To save time, use pre-made email templates for each of those “reply categories”, regardless if you accept or decline.

You can still take a few seconds to add a personal touch to each template response, because anything that makes you sound a real person will have a positive impact on your response rate.

Your Success Rate

If you don”t get a reply, don’t take it personally.

Link building works the same way as sales funnels. You have

  • Potential partners
  • People that open your emails
  • People who link to you

You will have less people at each stage of the funnel.

And because of that, link building is just a numbers game.

What’s Next?

If you haven’t done so, I recommend that you read all parts of this blog post series.

Then sign up for our SEO marketplace on the home page.

About the Author BestSEO

Helping bloggers make money with their blogs.