For your information, if you are looking for low effort, and high rewarding Link Building Tactics, there is a collection you can try out if you are new to SEO. In that case, link-building tactics won’t take much of your quality time or even resourceful investment to implement. They are all valuable tactics that make sense to focus some of your efforts on due to their ease to obtain.
It’s important to realize, earned links are like the holy grail of any link-building tactics. Why? Simply, because someone is making a conscious decision to link specifically to your website. Rather than anyone else’s.
Using link earning tactics is a way to gain a competitive advantage. And even land links that your competitors could only dream of — that they will struggle to replicate.
Which Link Building Tactics Are The Best?
To build the right links that actually have a positive impact on your organic rankings and traffic, you need to make sure you are using the right strategy. But first, you need to be clear on the difference between strategies and tactics and explore each of these.
- Strategy = what you are going to do.
- Tactics = how you are going to do it.
Applied to link building, different strategies typically balance different levels of effort and resource with potential rewards and returns.
For instance, the more difficult a tactic is to implement, the better results you will see as it is harder for competitors to do the same. As well as the level of risk surrounding either algorithmic or manual actions taken by Google.
Before your start building links for your site, there are certain things to do or consider first;
1. Start by checking for Broken Links
A tried and tested link-building tactic that is really easy to get started with, and that can drive some quick-win results is broken link building.
This strategy involves finding relevant pages in your industry that could link out to you and that have broken outbound links. You can reach out and suggest that the broken link is updated to point to a relevant piece of content on your site.
A real quick way of doing this is to monitor your competitors’ backlink profiles for broken links. Moreso, you can learn how to do this with the SEMrush backlink audit tool. In order to find a competitor’s broken backlinks.
2. Utilize all Unlinked Brand Mentions
Most businesses find themselves mentioned in the press from time to time for one of many different reasons.
With some natural references and others coming about as a result of your PR team’s efforts. As such, it’s not uncommon for this coverage not to link and to just be a brand mention. But it is often easy to see this turned into a link with only minimal effort.
The hard work of securing coverage in the first place has already been done. By all means, you can find brand mentions using a refined tool such as the SEMrush Brand Monitoring tool. Particularly, to receive notifications whenever someone mentions you but hasn’t linked to your site.
Sure but politely, you can then email the person who mentioned you and ask them to add a link in. While making sure you demonstrate how the link adds value to their readers. This will help them make their decision easier.
Although you won’t always get a link added, for only minimal effort, those that you do manage to land with this tactic make it worth your while.
3. Reclaim all your Lost & Broken Links
Over time, links get lost or broken for various reasons that are totally out of your control. In that case, it could be that an author updates a piece of content and removes the link. And that it simply gets lost during a site update. Or even that the page becomes a 404 or is 301 redirected.
In addition, it could even be that a page on your site that has links pointing to it becomes a 404. More often, links pointing to a 404 page won’t be counted as part of Google’s ranking algorithm.
Related Topic: Broken Links | What are they & How do they affect SEO?
For whatever reason, you need to monitor your site’s lost and broken links and take action to reclaim them:
- First, try and reach out to your original contact at a site. Try and get a link added back in or fixed when the issue is on their end.
- Secondly, if you find that a page on your site has become a 404 and is creating broken links, redirect this URL to the most suitable page. Or even put the original page live again. While trying to reach out, and ask for the link target to be updated.
You can find and monitor broken and lost backlinks with the SEMrush backlink audit tool.
4. Start your own Internal Linking strategy
Generally speaking, this is a slightly different tactic. And often, when we talk about link building, our efforts are focused solely on building external links. But, a real quick-win tactic can be to spend time improving and optimizing your site’s internal linking structure.
You see, internal linking is important to properly distribute PageRank throughout your website. And if you have earned links to certain pages but haven’t maximized the impact of those links, you can bypass authority and link equity to other related pages. By so doing, you could see some noticeable gains with this tactic.
Internal linking, while it takes time and effort to do properly, is totally in your control. It’s something that you can do today, without any input needed from third parties at all. Having said that, why not check out the step-by-step guide to building an internal linking strategy that works?
5. Link Repositioning and Reverse Image Search Link Reclamation
A great tactic that comes recommended by Ross Tavendale in his Weekly Wisdom on technical link building — is link repositioning.
This is not a tactic that is often talked about. But, it’s one that can be utilized relatively easily and help to make your existing links work harder. Quite simply, analyze the links pointing to your homepage. And then, pull down any that talk about specifics of the products or services that you offer.
Ones that would be more suited to linking to an internal page in your site, rather than the homepage.
As Ross recommended:
What I would do is look at all of the links pointing to my home page and analyze that content to see if any of that is actually about our blue widgets.
Some of it probably is. I would contact those people who have written about my blue widgets, and I would say, “Hey, you have linked to the home page. Thank you so much. You are an absolute legend, but it is a bad user experience. People are clicking, going to the homepage, and they can’t see what you have just written about my blue widget. So, can we get them to point to this one?” And most of the time people are nice enough to update the link and actually put it to the landing page. — Ross Tavendale
This is also a great tactic if you launch a series of regionally focused sites, having previously had just one global site.
Let’s say you launch a new website for your business that targets customers in the UK. Analyze your link profile and look for .co.uk domains, then reach out and ask for these links to be updated to your new regional site.
Equally important, have you created infographics or published bespoke photos as part of your content strategy in the past? Perhaps you have got an established industry expert within your business (or your clients) that is often featured in the press?
Head over to Google Images and run a reverse image search.
6. Supplier Links Association & Membership Links
If you sell other people’s products, there is a good chance that your suppliers and manufacturers link out to retailers from their own websites. And these can be really quick win links to attain.
Pull together a list of all your manufacturers and suppliers. And then, work through their websites to see whether they are linking to stockists and retailers. If they are, are you included? Often you will find that these aren’t updated as frequently as they should be, and retailers are missing.
If you don’t see your store listed, reach out to your contact at the supplier and ask whether they can facilitate getting you added. Are you paying to be a member of an industry association such as your local Chamber of Commerce? If so, such organizations often showcase and link out to their members.
And if you are not already listed, it usually only takes an email to request that you’re added. If you find that there are sites that are using your image but haven’t credited you with a link, reach out and ask them to add one to it.
7. You can also Create a Q&A Platform Links
Remember, I said that link building should be as much about focusing upon tactics that send you great referral traffic. While helping to build your brand as it impacts your organic search rankings.
And while these will only land you nofollow links, using Q&A platforms like Quora and Reddit are great ways to build links that send targeted traffic to your site. These links will also help to diversify your link profile. Get involved in relevant communities on these platforms, and be sure to add value.
This isn’t about jumping straight in and adding a link but sharing relevant content and suggestions to help other users who have questions. For beginners, here is a great guide over at Search Engine Journal from Julia McCoy. Where you can learn more about using this tactic as part of your strategy.
How Do Traditional Link Building Tactics Work?
There are tactics that were once widely used and abused that have come under scrutiny in recent years. This is usually because they don’t result in earned links. Rather than those where the link builder has an active involvement in the placement of the link.
Now don’t get us wrong, these tactics won’t necessarily result in toxic links pointing to your site, far from it.
You just need to understand how to use each one and at what point you should stop scaling the number of links built in this way. As well as considering other benefits that these links can bring.
1. Directory Submissions
There was a time when directories were set up solely as a way to build links.
They’ll look something like this:
It’s pretty spammy, right? There is no value here for users, and this site obviously exists just to link out to others.
In that case, you don’t want to be building links from directories like these. But, you shouldn’t dismiss the tactic as it is still a great way to land some great links. Especially if you operate in a tight niche or are a local business.
Look for regional-specific directories or those that exist within a niche. And where the primary purpose is to help users to find a suitable business. Common sense will usually tell you whether it is worth being featured on. Just ask yourself, if you were a potential user, would you find it useful? If yes, it is probably worth having a link from.
2. Guest Blogging
It’s true, that Google’s Matt Cutts announced the death of guest blogging in 2014. But, that was in relation to the way the industry was abusing the link-building tactics. In particular, to build links from article bylines on any site that would take their content.
The tactic remains a great way to earn links in 2020. So long as it is approached in the right way and you understand it is not a tactic that will scale up massively. But, forget links for a moment! Having your content published among other relevant blog articles where you share valuable insights and expertise is a great way to build your profile.
And the fact that you will usually earn a link to back up who you are is an added bonus. In fact, do a quick search using one of a few different Google search operators. This can reveal a whole host of guest posting opportunities. But, What Are Google Search Operators? You can read and learn more here.
Just remember that if you can easily find opportunities to pitch guest posts to, so can your competitors. And that means that any links you do earn might not give you the competitive advantage that other tactics can.
3. Press Release Distribution & Content Syndication
Google has openly said that they ignore links that come from press releases. The reference here was to using press release distribution services. That essentially syndicate your content across a number of different sites.
While this is a tactic that may have had some value once, times have changed, and if you are using PR wire services only to build links, there is a good chance you won’t see any value.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be pitching out to the press to earn links and coverage, far from it.
4. Make use of Reciprocal Links, Blog Comments & Forum Links
Reciprocal links — you link to me, and I’ll link to you — are another tactic that is outlined in Google’s definition of link schemes and violations of the guidelines. But that is when it is done at scale.
If you have got an opportunity to link to and send referral traffic to a partner in your industry, and they will do the same in return, it is not going to harm you. Just don’t go exchanging links without considering relevancy and the context.
In addition, you may have noticed that blog comments and forum links are mentioned as types of links that violate Google’s guidelines. This is very much another “it depends” tactic. Don’t go leaving comments on irrelevant blogs with a link back to your site; that is just straight-up spam, as is leaving links in forum posts that don’t add value.
That said, you can still earn traffic from well-thought-out and relevant comments and forum posts. But, this comes when you approach the tactic as a way to add value to discussions and links only when it adds value.
Now that you have been given detailed insights into the link-building tactics that work and those that do not, it is time to get started.
If you have never built links before, hopefully, you are now eager to get started and are looking forward to landing your first link. And if you have been linking for years, hopefully, you have been inspired to try out a new tactic.
No one ever said that there are link-building tactics that were easy because it is not. The link-building tactics that you should be using continue to evolve. But, we hope that by having a whole host of approaches at hand, you can ensure you are building a diverse link profile. While maximizing opportunities that come from all different angles.
Related Topic: Link Testing Tools | What Webmasters Should Use For SEO
Become a better link builder, and you will be in demand. It is the tactic that most SEOs find the most difficult, and any proven successes you can showcase make you all the more valuable to potential clients or employers. Happy link-building!
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