The Ultimate Guide to Building a Killer Link Building Strategy in 2019
It’s 2019, and links matter just as much as ever. If you want to surge up the rankings and beat your competitors, you have to build better links.
Of course, we get it: Link building isn’t easy. While there are lots of links out there, there are more low-quality ones than high-quality ones.
And here’s another thing: Link building takes time. So. Much. Time.
So how do we land more high-quality links while also having time to run our business and have a social life? In this ultimate guide, we show you how to create a killer link building strategy that will eventually begin to run itself.
Create the right kind of content
One reason many websites don’t get enough high-quality links is that they don’t produce the right kind of content.
Look, text-based blog posts are awesome, and they will deliver you some links if they offer enough value to the internet. But if you want killer links, you need to jazz up your content strategy a bit. Here’s what we mean:
Create more visuals
This should tell you one thing: We will share visual content more than text-based content.
Images, infographics, and charts are awesome link-worthy visual assets that you need to create more of. People will link out to them because they colorfully and compellingly impart useful information to people.
Create more list posts
I don’t know about you, but each time I open my Twitter feed I’m inundated with lots of list-based posts.
People love to link out to quality link-based posts because they pack loads of value into easy-to-read chunks.
Lists are compelling by nature, and it’s their easy-to-digest characteristic that draws people to them.
Indeed, Buzz Sumo did some research into this and found that list-based articles generate more posts than anything else.
Carry out your own research
When you write an article and link out to a piece of research that backs up your claim, it gives your blog and website more credibility.
But imagine what the website who carried out the research is gaining – lots of valuable links!
Anyone who carries out research and provides new statistics and data is in prime position to gobble up loads of links, simply because the websites will always link out to original research in order to validate their points.
Any new data you provide must have relevance to your niche, and you should aim to build a whole article around it. For example, check this article out from Backlinko. Their case study contains a pile of original data and will have amassed lot and lots of links since it was published.
Launch a guest blogging campaign
Guest blogging should form a key part of your overall link building strategy. There’s a reason it didn’t die five years ago when Matt Cutts of Google said it would, and that reason is simple: It works.
Your aim with a guest blogging campaign is to raise brand awareness by putting yourself in front of more people and positioning yourself as an expert. But guest blogging does more than that – it generates more world class links that allow you to climb the rankings.
Here is how to launch a guest blogging campaign in a few simple steps:
- Find guest blogging opportunities. All you need to do is type your niche into Google followed by “guest blog.” Take a look at the results and see which websites interest you.
- Qualify each website by entering the URL into your SEO tool. Not every single website will be right for you. What you’re looking for are high domain, authoritative, related, and high-traffic websites, as these are what will provide you with world-class links. Any website that is low domain and low traffic should be ruled out immediately.
- Brainstorm some topic ideas. Many marketers struggle with this one, as generating new topic ideas is tricky. A good rule of thumb is to invest in a tool like Buzz Sumo, which shows you the best performing content in your niche. Take a look at the content and see if there is any way you can improve on it. Look for any weaknesses or just see if the articles inspire new ideas.
- Pitch. The next step is to get in touch with a link prospect and pitch them your idea. Since these blogs receive pitch ideas all the time, you need to make sure yours stands out. An eye-catching headline is key, but what it really matters is that you demonstrate how much value your article will offer to them and their audience. What’s your articles worth? How is it going to benefit their audience? Make sure that your pitch is personable and to-the-point, and don’t forget to include something like “guest post” in the subject line.
- Write the article. Upon acceptance, write your article. Make sure that you offer as much value as possible, as websites, audiences and Google are on the lookout for valuable content. Be in-depth, be original, cover all the bases and back your claims up with statistics and research. Remember, this is your chance to position yourself as the expert and build your brand. The more value you offer, the more links you’ll receive. On that note, don’t forget to include the all-important backlink to your website in the article.
- Promote your content. Once the website has published your article to their website, you need to maximize this opportunity by promoting it all over social media. Send it out to your email subscribers, too.
Guest blogging never stops. It’s a ‘rinse and repeat’ process, and it can be time-consuming. As such, it’s a good idea to put together a small team that’s dedicated to finding blogs, pitching articles and writing articles.
Other link building strategies
Resource page link building
Resource pages are awesome because they link out to great content that the webmaster has deemed will be useful to their audience.
You’ll see resource pages often. For example, a culinary blog will link out to other foodie blogs that have inspired their own.
The great thing for you is that a resource page is basically a backlinks page: They exist just to provide links to other websites. Fabulous.
To get yourself on a related resource page, you first of all need to be providing valuable content. Then, you need to find related resource pages. To do this, type in your keyword followed by “helpful resources” into Google.
Then, take a look at the results and ask yourself how credible each website is. If you’re not too sure, enter the URL into your SEO tool.
Make a list of all the websites that seem appropriate, and then take a look at your own content. Do you have content that would fit a specific resource page? Is it worth you taking the time to ask for a link?
If so, it’s time to get in touch with the webmaster. Your opening message shouldn’t be too long. In fact, it should be super concise and direct, but it should also be personable and should highlight the value of your website.
Don’t forget to applaud them for their website and resource page, too. Be a nice human.
Hopefully, you’ll hear back from a few websites. If not, just keep rinsing and repeating.
Broken link building
Broken link building requires considerably less effort than guest blogging, but it should still form a crucial part of your overall link building strategy.
Essentially, you scout around for related content that contains broken links, before contacting the webmaster to let them know about the link.
Why would you do this? Because no website wants content that contains broken links! Secondly, most websites won’t take the trouble to root out the broken links themselves, which means they’ll be super happy when you bring broken links to their attention.
They’ll be so happy that they’ll even consider swapping the link for your link. Why? Because a) you brought the bad link to their attention and b) your link is just as relevant – and perhaps even more valuable to their audience and website,
To find broken links, all you need to do is use a tool like Broken Links Checker. Then, find pages that have lots of outbound links. The more outbound links a site has, the more broken links there’ll be.
Once you’ve found links that you could replace, establish contact with the webmaster. Let them know they’ve got a broken link and that you’ve got similar content that they can replace it with. Simple and so effective.
Link building continues to be a key part of any marketers SEO strategy. As you can see, it doesn’t even need to be that difficult.
It is, however, time-consuming. Incredibly so. That said, once you’re up to speed with each strategy, things will become so much easier and the links will start to come in while you sleep. Bingo.
About the author:
Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of Nightwatch— a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out Nightwatch blog for SEO and marketing tips and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut