This is going to be a series I will be covering over the course of a couple months. Today is the first installment.
So, lets begin.
Do you want to start generating traffic to your blog?
One of the fundamental factors toward gaining higher rankings within the search engines is the quality of backlinks pointing to the individual webpages of your website.
Here is a list of link building tips for 2016 that may not be new to some entrepreneurs, but you’ll actually find a different angle that is worth considering to generate more results for your own process.
Now, Before we dive in deep in the latest backlinking strategies, I want to address a few important factors.
What Are Tier One Backlinks?
“Tier one (High Ranking sites)” backlinks are external links directly hitting your website.
There are no other backlinks are as important as those directly hitting your site.
That’s why you need to take your link acquisition efforts VERY seriously.
But before we get into the heavy link building strategy…
You need to make sure that your site is ready for backlinks.
How to Determine the Value of a Link?
There are several factors that go into how much value and impact a backlink could have for you. Some of those key elements are listed below:
- External links from high quality and relevant sites have a much bigger impact than irrelevant and smaller sites.
- Links from unique domains are more important than links from sites that have linked to you before.
- Links using relevant anchor text pass more keyword focused value. For example, a link is generally more value if someone links to you from keyword rich text like “Content Marketing Machine” vs. “click here”.
If you want to get a measure and sense how much authority a website has, thus, much impact a link from an external website could have, check out the tool Website Authority Checker. This tools will give you a few metrics which you can use to compare against other sites to understand how valuable a link from a particular site might be worth to you.
Side Note: Never Buy Backlinks
Backlinks from scammy, second class cheesy websites that search engines and most importantly google see as really low quality can, scratch that! Will get your site penalized and scratched out. No buneo.
Please don’t go to Fivver or freelancer to get someone for 5 bucks, unless you really want trouble lol
Set a Backlink Goal & KPI
Backlinks won’t just happen magically by themselves. It’s something you need to be putting work and effort into building over time. It’s a long-term strategy but an important one at that. The best way to approach the process is to give yourself some goals to work towards. When you first start out, setting quarterly goals probably will work best.
How To Get Quality Backlinks The Smart Way (And Get Better Results)
The truth reality is backlink acquisition is a costly and time consuming. There’s no other way to slice the orange. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but if you are willing to do, the rewards are rich.
That’s why you need to get the most out of every single link you get.
The only way for that to be possible is for:
- You to have a technically optimized site
- You to have a strong site architecture,
- You to have well-developed, valuable content
So, let get into our backlinking strategies. You ready?
[Ultimate Guide] How To Get Quality Backlinks The Smart Way [Part 1]
#1 Help A Reporter Out
Did you hear about HARO yet? In case you missed out, HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s a website journalist go when they need help writing an article.
Can you imagine how valuable a backlink from Huffington Post, Forbes.com or Newyorktimes would be for your website in terms of traffic and increased customers?
A link like that is well within your reach if you join HARO (Help a Reporter Out). All you need to do is sign up for their twice daily emails to receive queries from reporters looking for information to publish.
The journalists go to HARO to post a question, and if you can help them answer the questions they have, you can get some free press. There are lots of big websites like entrepreneur.com, inc.com, forbes.com etc. that are using HARO. This makes HARO an amazing place to get some high-quality backlinks to your website.
It won’t result in tons of backlinks to your website, but the links that you do get will help you drive quality traffic because these are high profiled and authoritative sites.
Side note: Speed matters with HARO if you are not one of the first to respond to the emails chances are you will miss out.
2. Link Roundups
Do you know what link roundup is? Every now and then I check my Google Analytics and I notice some traffic from an unknown source.
Often, they are link round ups.
Link roundups are curated blog updates that link out to their favorite content during a given time period.
Your job is to find these opportunities and send them an email pitch, suggesting they link to a piece of your content in their next update.
Roundups are a dynamite method to land links in droves.
Success depends on the quality content you’re submitting.
What does a “link roundup” look like?
Using search engine tags in Google, Yahoo, Bing and Duck Duck Go.
Look for titles like:
intitle: roundup “YOUR KEYWORD”
In addition to the word round up, you might want to try variations, such as
- Link love
- Linky love
- Friday’s best (or another day of the week)
- Friday finds
- Tuesday tips
- Best of
- Top 10
- May edition
- Post awards
Remember to vary days of the week and months to get all the variations.
Below is an example from Techcrunch.com
Option b) Search for them on Twitter using keywords and #hashtags
How do you secure the link?
After you’ve identified your opportunity, look for a way to contact the person (email, form, social – email is preferred).
Side note: One of my favorite email finder tools is voilanorbert
Then, send them an outreach email with a pitch to include you in their next roundup.
This is a fairly easy value proposition, as they’re actively looking for content to curate. You merely have to put it in front of them.
Here is my email I use
I want to make this sweet and short brother.
I was looking for some link round up posts and I came across yours.
I am, curious do you accept submission for your roundups?
Thanks bro for reading this, really appreciate you
P.S- I also do weekly roundups and would love to share your post “Title” Let me know if I can use it.
3.Guest Posting Articles
Guest blogging is the most effective way to reach new audiences. Let me repeat that again…
“Guest blogging is the most effective way to reach new audiences”
Why? Great question Johnny!
By publishing your kicks ass articles on other popular websites where you audiences is in droves, your content will be front and center of hungry eyes. Sometimes, it’s not just about the backlink, but about increasing your online reputation or your social media followers.
Guest blogging helps you leverage your relationships and expand your audience. In case you have doubts about guest posting, consider that even Google accepts guest contributors! Yeah Google!
How to find websites that accept guest articles. Here are three:
Use Google search queries to find blogs accepting guest contributors:
- your keyword + inurl:write-for-us
- your keyword + guest-posts
- your keyword + inurl:guest-post-guidelines
- your keyword + become a contributor
- your keyword + bloggers wanted
- your keyword + submit an article
- your keyword + want to write for
- your keyword + contribute
- your keyword + become an author
- your keyword + guest post by
- your keyword + now accepting guest posts
Find influencers publishing guest posts on a regular basis and try to contribute on the same websites they’ve had in the past.
Pro Tip: use Buzzsumo
Here is an example I just did for “Content marketing” and on the left you can uncheck all the options except for Guest Posts.
When publishing a guest article, always make sure you are linking to your social media profiles. If someone enjoys your post, he or she can easily follow you for similar future articles.
John Doherty, Founder of GetCredo
The best habit of a link builder is constantly reading. I think this is an important habit because link builders need to be aware who is writing online and where they write. The Internet has moved away from everyone having their own place to write and instead moved to a place where writers write for many different publications. You don’t go to TechCrunch to read everything – you find a writer there you like and read all of their stuff.
4. Resource Pages
A resource page links out to content deemed important (High value authority) for their audience.
This does sounds very similar to a roundup, but it’s not!
- A link roundup takes place on a regular basis and features content recently published.
- A resource page is a one time update (or page) that links out to evergreen content.
The biggest difference is the pitch:
- A link roundup pitch takes place before the blogger creates the post, asking for a link in the upcoming post.
- A resource pitch takes place after the content is published, asking for them to add your content to their page.
Resource pitches generally have a lower success rate, as we’re asking someone to update content (i.e. do work) whereas a roundup is providing them a link when they’re actively seeking it.
What does a “resource page” opportunity look like?
Here is an example from Socialmediaexaminer
How do I find “resource page” opportunities?
Using search engine operators in Google, Yahoo, Bing and Duck Duck Go.
It’s incredibly important to find relevant opportunities, otherwise your pitch will be a complete waste of your time. And DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME!
The example below shows a resource page featuring “Content marketing”
How do I secure the link?
After you’ve identified an opportunity, look for a way to contact the person (email, form, social – email is preferred).
I will make this super quick as I respect your time.
I just wanted to say, your resource page is impressive, I mean, really impressive. Shared it with a bunch of bloggers I know.
But there was one problem I saw. Your link “Insert link” is super old school, seems like its from 2012.
Are you planning to update that link?
If so, I would love to share with you our new 2016 guide.
Want me to send it over?
Thank you and I really appreciate you reading this.
P.S- Can I use your page “Insert page” in my monthly round up? We would love to feature you.
Try and give them good incentive to take action with a strong value proposition:
- Offer to share the piece on social, email, etc. to drive new visitors to their site
- Let them know you’ve got a better, updated piece of content
- Fix a broken link….oh wait, I jumped the gun
This is a perfect segway into…
#5: Find broken links going to resources or products
Broken link building is hard, really hard. (In fact, I think it’s the hardest) unless you focus on the right type of broken links. A lot of blogs and websites have them, but very few are willing to fix them.
What’s broken link building?
Essentially, it’s catching link building opportunities that arise from some links on a site being broken, hence the name.
While it has always been more of a white-hat SEO technique, broken link building moved from periphery to center-stage after Google’s Penguin update.
Your best bet is to find resource pages related to your field and to look for broken links within those pages. I’ve found that web masters are more likely to fix broken links on resource pages as they tend to generate more traffic than general blog posts.
To find these broken links and resource pages, you can use a tool called Broken Link Finder.
If you end up using the tool, make sure the keywords you input contain words like “resources” as it will help you find the right type of broken links.
Doing it at Scale
Anyone starting broken link building for the first time, needs to spend time following the process ‘by hand’ – You need to know inside and out. Like I said before, broken link building is hard.
Here are some tips for doing it at scale:
- You need a strategic person who understand the market. This person needs to oversee the operation, the use of contractors and software tools. (Do not hire a overseas VA. Trust me, I have gone through my fair shares)
- A good outreach manager is essential – to plan the email blasts, respond personally to replies and do everything required to make a link happen.
Relationship Building = Content Discover
#6 Q&A Mediums
People have questions and I have answers. Wait a second, did I just sound like Gary vaynerchuk 😉
But in all honestly,websites like Quora, Yahoo, and various Subreddits are all dedicated to answering your questions. Take some time to create an account on each of these sites, then follow topics, questions, or subreddits that are relevant to your niche. From there, it’s fairly simple:
Step 1: Browse through the questions and look for questions that you could answer, better still if you have already written a blog post that answers that particular question.
Step 2: Answer the question sincerely, using excerpts from your article. This is the most important step of the process – your goal should be to try and answer the question as directly and accurately as possible. This will inspire people to go read the rest of your answer – whereas if you only focus on promoting yourself, people will ignore you.
Step 3: Add a link to your article at the end of your answer. Readers should already gain some value and information from your topic, but they should also have the impression that your link will provide more information that’s worth their time to read. The articles you create should be written with this in mind.
Just take a look at my stats in the last 30 days.
Not to bad, over 4k in views. Now mind you. The whole point of this is creating links from Quora back to your site. P.S. Want to follow me on Quora?
#7 Claiming Unlinked Mentions
When you’re creating epic fan favorite content, that is engaging on social, your website will get mentioned. This is a given!
But did you know? A surprising amount of time the mentioning website won’t link to your site.
(bummer this sucks, but don’t just cry yet. For ever down there is an up) 🙂
Your job is to monitor these “branded” mentions of your site or your brand name itself and send an email pitch asking them to link to you as well.
What does an “unlinked mention” look like?
Anytime a website mentions your name, brand or website without adding a link to your site.
How do you find “unlinked mentions” opportunities?
You’ll need a tool, as trying to find these manually is a nightmare. There’s a number of solutions:
A free tool that allows you to set email alerts when certain keywords are mentioned. If you track “your name” and “your brand” you’ll get emails of the sites talking about them.
This has become one of my favorite tools! It’s super clean and above all easy to use
You can see in the screenshot below, last week Blockchain had more than 1000 web mentions. That’s huge!
Once you click on a URL, simply use the find function (ctrl+F) to look for your brand on the page. In our case, we found an important mention for blockchain, an article written on a massive Canadian newspaper. The Toronto Star. As we take a closer look we notice that even if this is a dedicated article, there is no link to our page, blog, social networks or anything.
Once you “identify” the missing link, a bit of outreach needs to be done.
- Who is the author of the article?
- How do we find him/her?
- Is he/she affiliated with the website our mention is on?
Identifying the author of the unlinked mention is an easy job as all the details were mentioned on the website. As you can see in the screenshot below, we can find a few things about the author and we can even search for him on the social networks.
How do I secure the link?
Very similar pitch to link reclamation.
Step #2: Reaching out to the Webmasters
Now that you’ve shortlisted sites that you’ll approach for getting your site/brand mentions on them turned into full-fledged links, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure your email is short and to-the-point.
- As they’ve already mentioned your brand, chances are they won’t hesitate much about linking to your site unless they have their own reasons of doing so.
- If a site does hesitate, don’t waste time on them and move on to the next target.
- Generally, a >50% success rate is decent.
Here’s a sample email template that you can use:
Subject: To name from name (I found this subject line to be the best)
I was just going through [post], and saw that you’ve mentioned [your site] in it.
Big thank you for that! We blasted our whole network with your article
Just curious though? I saw that you didn’t link to our site. Hopefully it’s not broken.
If not, is there anyway you can add our link? If not, no worries, No pressure 😉
Either way, I deeply respect you writing about us and mentioning us. It means a lot
Like nearly any link building technique, sweat equity with a proper team in place (I cant stress enough, creating a team from the beginning will make a world of a difference) is ultimately going to make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. The devil is always in the details. With that, this end part of me link building guide. Stay tuned for part two in the near future.
I am requesting that if you know any tips or tricks that you feel free to include them in the comments here.
Thanks, and happy broken link building!