There are myriads of link building techniques and strategies, but Pareto law of vital few (a.k.a. the 80-20 principle) is what I insist you focus on because…
The process is what actually matters. 😎
In this post I cover:
You might be familiar with competitor link building when you would go through your competitors’ link profiles and try to secure those very same links.
The problem is that you would only get that far because you won’t be able to get 100% of their links for various reasons. This is called catch-up and I feel that you want to be a leader and get a lot more traffic than your direct competitors.
This is when Competitor Links 2.0 link building method comes in.
The idea is that you would create an article (or anything else really) that’s relevant to your niche AND worth linking to. These are called linkable assets.
Once you have that linkable asset created, you would then reach out to all those people that linked to similar content.
As you create more and more of these linkable assets, securing more and more of those links, you would find your DR (and DA) increasing. This is how you would outrank your competitors in the long-run.
Planning is really important here because we don’t want to create a linkable asset that’s not at all linkable (this happens).
Let’s assume you have an e-commerce store and sell bags all over the US.
You would go to Ahrefs and find content that already got a lot of links. Here is an example:
You then decide whether you can create something that’s:
After you create that linkable asset, you will go to Ahrefs once again and export all the backlinks that link to the piece of content that inspired you.
You would then find all the other similar pieces of content and export their backlinks.
Rinse and repeat as many times as possible.
Then comes the outreach part – it’s time to let those people know that you have something that they might like a lot. Here is a template:
Hi, My name is [NAME]. I know that you are probably getting a lot of emails like this, but I think I have something your audience will like, so here I am cold-emailing you. Basically, I saw that you are linking to this article here - [COMPETITOR'S URL] . It talks about [TOPIC], so I wonder whether you are still interested in this subject? We pulled together a pretty remarkable [WHATEVER YOU CREATED]. Would you be interested to check out this article of ours? Please let me know and I can send you the link right away (so I don't spam). Thank you for your time and consideration.
Remember that it’s a game of numbers and conversion rate for that type of outreach is fairly low. So if you get 5%, don’t despair – you are actually doing quite good.
Btw, good people at Linkody pulled together an impressive super guide on a backlink strategy that works 100% of the time. Check them out!
Competitors will always be there. They will be creating more and more content. Period.
You might have also heard about Guestographics. It boils down to creating a cool infographic and then pitching it to those bloggers that write about the same subject.
The problem is that – how do you know the subject of a killer infographic?
This is when Guestographics 2.0 (a.k.a Competographics) arrives and saves you! 😉
To be honest, the idea is very similar to link building method I just talked about above – we are going to steal again…like great artists (I learned that from Pablo Picasso).
Competographics boils down to creating an infographic from the already existing (and popular!) content that your competitors (direct and indirect) have available.
Go to Ahrefs once again and look for great content that has a lot of inbound backlinks. Let’s continue with our e-commerce bag store example from above – here it is once again:
The idea is to find a list type article, something that includes a list of 7-10 items/points. List type articles are the easiest to convert into an infographic, but you can also look for some kind of research…just don’t make things too complicated.
Our example with bag packing secrets is really good because it’s both, useful and has an emotional attribution to it (packing is painful for many people). And it’s a list!
Now, you obviously need to design an infographic. Once it’s ready, publish it on your website. I recommend you include a proper article to go with it (1000-2000 words would do) so that it will start ranking for a number of keywords once we “pump it up” with backlinks.
You would then outreach to every qualifying lead that linked to the article you used to inspire your infographic (inspire is a good word) and anyone else interested in the subject.
Here is how an outreach email would look like:
Heya, My name is [NAME]. I know that you are probably getting a lot of emails like this and, yes, I also have a pitch to make...and it’s full of value :) From what I see, you are linking to this article here – [URL]. We have just designed an infographic called [TITLE]. I wonder whether you would be interested to check it out? You might wonder what’s the purpose of all this, but the thing is - if you like it enough, I can send it to you for free to post on your site… Please let me know and I can send you the link right away ;)
By the way, here is a little trick. Infographic is a visual thing and not everyone likes it. This is why we need to weed out anyone that it’s unlikely to be interested in infographics, to begin with.
To do that only look for people that previously published infographics (this is probably the simplest way to predict their willingness to post your thing). Here is how you do it:
You also see that I use “-pinterest” because I don’t need any of Pinterest results to appear in search. It’s that simple!
Many humans love visual content. On top of that, infographics (like other graphics) are frequently a very good way to represent some data.
Have you any boring data? You can turn it into a beautiful attention-grabbing infographic. 😉
Resource pages are just that – pages with relevant resources that webmaster decided to include for some reason. Usually because these resources are authoritative and/or very valuable.
The resource pages have been out there for ages, which means they are there to stay.
Here is what a typical resource page looks like:
As you can see there is a bunch of links pointing to different websites.
A word of caution – sometimes you find these, but they accumulate all kinds of links, are irrelevant, spammy, scammy or only accumulate internal links (i.e. links to the domain itself).
Again, you need a linkable asset – something valuable that is worth linking to.
Once you got it, you will need to find relevant resources pages.
Here is how to do it with Google:
You will need to manually look through quite a lot of pages, so to find those quality resource pages.
After you got a nice list of link prospects, send them an email. Here is a template that I use when building links for clients:
Hi [NAME], My name is [NAME] and I am reaching out from [COMPANY]. I just came across your resource page here - [URL] - and wonder if you are still interested in [TOPIC]. We just pulled together [WHATEVER YOU CREATED ON THE TOPIC], so here I am wondering whether you would be interested to check it out. Let me know if that's of interest and I will send you the link directly.
Trick #1: you can also find articles similar to what you created using Ahrefs and use blogger outreach to contact all those people that linked to them. This is just like Competitors 2.0 link building method.
Trick #2: check for broken links! Going back to include a link you pitch takes some effort. Give them an extra reason to do that by helping webmasters out and check whether there are some broken links on their resource page. All you need is “LinkMiner” Chrome extension and a few seconds for it to analyze all the outbound links the page contains.
Yes! They got a broken link which is relevant to my bag packing secrets infographic article, which means I have big chances of being included there.
Resource pages have been out there for a long time. They are an attempt of niche-focused webmasters to record what’s truly valuable for their audience.
On top of that, list type pages of that kind generate shares and…links!
Why stop creating those pages then? 😉
Similar to resource pages, link roundups are a highly effective link building strategy.
The idea is that you would find blogs that actively pull together valuable pieces of content in order to include them in a roundup post, where webmasters list all the articles that grabbed their attention.
The cool thing about link roundups is a fairly high conversion rate because webmasters are actively looking for great content to include in their roundup and here you are helping them out.
The reality is that a link roundup is very similar to a resource page with one big difference – time frame. Usually, link roundups have some sort of timestamp (e.g. weekly or monthly roundup etc).
Here is what it looks like in real life:
You would first find link roundups using a simple Google search. Here is an example:
Once you have a good few of those (I like to begin with 20 for roundups), send them an outreach email (you can steal all of my email templates btw 😉 ):
Hi [NAME], My name is [NAME] and I wanted to quickly pitch you this resource of mine for your next roundup (if you have any more coming in the future?). [QUICK SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU HAVE] You can find the full post here – [URL]. Thank you for your consideration and your time P.S. I would be happy to share your work with my newsletter subscribers and social fans. Thank you once again!
Again, the conversion rates are pretty high, but you should be careful and only pitch things of value because the amount of bloggers that do roundups is limited.
The more things change, the more they same – people would always want to show something of interest to their audience in order to grab their attention.
Link roundups also help webmasters to position themselves as some sort of experts in the niche, which is a sort of ego booster.
on top of that link roundups, when done right, are really helpful.
Guest posts, just like resource pages and round ups, have been there forever.
The idea is that you would find a blog that’s relevant to yours and publish a post there in exchange for a backlink.
Ideally, you would also be able to grab some of their traffic as well, hence we need that relevance bit (it’s also important for link building).
Here is what a typical guest blog looks like:
First, you need to find guest blogging opportunities. Here is how to do it using Google’s advanced search operators:
I recommend finding around 20 opportunities before doing any kind of outreach.
Once you got that number, reach out to them using this template:
Hi [NAME], My name is [NAME]. I came across an article of yours [TOPIC] and now wonder if you still accept guest posts? here are the links to my recent posts, so you can see the quality and thoroughness of my work: Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Do you think I can pitch you an idea or two? Let me know and thank you for your consideration!
You will see that the conversion rate for these is quite high, but quite a few of those people would be asking for a posting fee. This is a recent issue that we are running into as of Feb-2018. We @ LinksHero skip those because paying for links is against Google’s TOS and we are only doing white hat stuff.
Arguably it’s hard for Google to separate those links, so at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether to pay for those (once again, I don’t).
Personally, I would just find more opportunities that don’t ask for money even though it would take more time.
Guest posts are a natural way to cross-promote a brand and tap into a new audience.
They will always exist in one form or another because that’s just a natural thing that happens at conferences, meetings, and events with organizers inviting guest speakers, experts and other guests.
Obviously, there are many more link building techniques out there, but I remind you to NOT fall into “next shiny thing” vicious cycle, which is what majority does.
To succeed with link building all you need is to develop a system which would allow you to land 15-30 backlinks per month using the least amount of resources (time & money).
If you need help link building, get in touch – I am happy to answer your question. 😉