What do SaaS platforms, ecommerce, and local companies’ websites have in common?
They all need backlinks!
That’s because no matter how great your website is, you need it to rank, and you need your customers to find it.
Backlinks have the power to do both.
Yes, backlinks are tough to earn. But with the right strategies (and tactics), you can rank at the top of Google quicker. That’s why this guide covers all the most popular and effective link building strategies. Let’s get started!
If you want to know more about how our agency can assist you in building a strong backlink profile for your website, schedule a call with our Head of SEO now.
Often we notice the terms “link building strategies” and “link building tactics” used interchangeably. However, there’s actually a pretty big difference between the two.
Link building strategy: This is your overall plan of attack. Think long-term and overarching.
Link building tactics: These are ways to carry out the strategy, and you’ll need a few of these.
So for every strategy, you should use a few carefully-chosen tactics. We’ll present some link building strategies and tactics in this guide.
Link insertion (aka Nich edits) is an effective way to earn links back to your website. A niche edit is when you have a link (to your website) placed into existing content on another website.
The example below shows how Forbes linked back to Harvard Business Review.
To earn these links, we recommend you first identify high-quality prospects. These are sites, blogs, and other online publications that post content relevant to your industry. Ideally, these websites have high domain authority and search engine rankings.
Then, find contact information for each prospect. Message each prospect and ask them to insert a link to your website. Specifically, it should be in a piece of their content that’s already published.
When you earn links from quality sites, you earn more link juice. This is what pumps up your site’s rankings, traffic, authority, and so on. It’s like running elbows with high-profile people, but online.
Another time-saving link building strategy is leveraging unlinked brand mentions, like this:
Notice how a brand name is mentioned in the example above, but there’s no hyperlink?
You can use unlinked brand mentions to earn links. First, search Google or another search engine for your brand name. Make note of any web pages that mention your brand name, but don’t link back to your website.
Then, reach out to webmasters and ask them for a link back to a relevant page. This could be your homepage, a service page, or a product page.
Google likes when you make the internet a better place, and that’s where broken links come in.
In case you aren’t familiar, broken links point to web pages that aren’t published, don’t exist, or don’t function. Usually, when someone clicks a broken link, they’re taken to a “404” page.
Sometimes, they’ll receive an error message instead.
Either way, Google doesn’t like them — and neither do website visitors. And there are a few reasons other websites post broken links to your website.
First, you updated, migrated, or redirected the source page. For example, “Vidico” in the example below linked to this page: https://spott.ai/guide-to-video-marketing/
But when users click the link, they’re taken to a 404 page. That’s because the page was updated to: https://spott.ai/ultimate-guide-video-marketing-2022/
Second, if you own an e-commerce business, links can break when you archive a product. For example, if you discontinue a product, you may remove its product page from your site.
Either way, if you notice that links to your website are broken, reach out to webmasters. Identify the link in question, and provide another link that works.
Local business directories list primary information about businesses. For example, hours, location, contact information, photos, and (hopefully) a website link.
This strategy is especially helpful for businesses that only operate in certain regions. The reason why is that local backlinks from directories like these send signals to Google.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber based in San Antonio, Texas. You want to rank high for location-based searches like “san antonio plumber.”
With backlinks from high-authority directories, you can rank higher for those search terms. Not to mention, your target audience can find you without consulting Google.
Podcast link building is a specialized strategy where you appear as a guest on a niche-relevant podcast and secure a backlink from the podcast episode page pointing to your own website.
Apart from being an effective link building strategy to acquire valuable links from episode pages, podcast link building is a great way to create publicity for your brand.
Other benefits of podcast link building include:
Let’s say you are a meditation coach who focuses on topics like mindfulness, breathing, guided meditations, et.
You can be featured as a guest on a relevant podcast episode by co-hosting an episode with another industry expert, promote a specific asset on your website and receive a backlink pointing to it.
Here are some great podcast hosting websites and apps you can use to find relevant podcasts:
The Process of securing backlinks though podcast outreach:
A three-way link exchange involves three websites interlinking to improve their SEO rankings.
Let’s say, these are the participant websites.
In 3-way link exchange you partner with a website (B), asking them to link to (C) in order to get a backlink from (C) to your own website.
Website (B) may be your own other website, a partner website or a contact of yours that you can reward somehow.
Although it’s not receiving backlinks in the process, website (B) can get such benefits as high-quality content on their website, exclusive offers, or monetary compensation.
This strategy offers several benefits, including reduced risk of reciprocal linking penalties, diversified link profiles, and improved credibility in search engine algorithms.
By taking part in three-way link swaps you guarantee safe, diverse and effective backlinks for your website.
Here are the main benefits of the campaign:
Guest posts are ARGUABLY the most effective way to strengthen a backlink profile. It’s also called guest blogging. And it’s when your company writes content for another company’s website, like this:
In the example above, TechDay published a blog written by Maria Harutyunyan of Loopex Digital.
Usually, you provide someone else with free content. In exchange, you get to include a backlink to a web page on your own website.
If you submit guest posts to relevant and high-authoritative websites, you earn lots of link juice. Which, as you already know, equates to more traffic, higher rankings, more authority and thus, more sales.
Another great way to build your backlink profile is with expert interviews. These can be formal, informal, in-person, over the phone, or even via email.
The purpose of expert interviews is to find opinion leaders and thought leaders in your industry. They can be bloggers, influencers, business owners … doesn’t matter. As long as they have a following, they’re relevant to your industry, and they aren’t direct competitors, you’re good to go.
Once you identify prospects, reach out and ask if you can interview them. If they agree, come up with a list of quality questions and retrieve their answers. Then, use the information they provide to create content for your website like this:
Your content piggybacks off the interviewee’s name recognition and following. From there, some press outlets may pick up your content and link back to the official source. Other industry blogs may share a link to your post. Alternatively, you can promote your own content via paid ads.
Infographics represent information in highly-visual ways. These can be images, icons, charts, diagrams — any medium that can convey a message at a glance.
The reason they’re so valuable is that they fall under the “linkable asset” umbrella. Linkable assets are inherently valuable to your audience AND your industry.
So if you own a Crypto platform, it’d be a good idea to make infographics like the one above. It’s something your target customer would find valuable.
Plus, they’re eye-catching. So other websites and online publications may want to use it in their own content. Just make sure to include your company’s name and website somewhere on the infographic (we recommend down at the bottom).
This way other websites can credit you as the source when they use your graphic. Best of all, etiquette dictates they link back to your website in the citation.
Another great way to build links is with an industry report packed with relevant statistics. This serves as a linkable asset — or content that’s highly valuable to a target audience.
So if you have access to industry data, or if you can find that data elsewhere, organize it into a report like this:
Then, post it on your website, share on social media, and get the word out. Press outlets, news sites, and industry bloggers may pick up the report. In which case, your report earns exposure, which can earn backlinks.
Testimonial link building is yet another effective link building strategy. In short, you provide a genuine and positive testimonial to another company. They post it on their website, and they give you a backlink in exchange. In the examples below, the highlighted logos all link back to another company’s website.
Plus, most websites feature positive testimonials on their homepage.
We recommend you first identify products (or services) in your industry that make sense for your brand. Then reach out to webmasters one by one and pitch them. If they agree, write up a testimonial and watch your own domain authority soar!
NOTE: Only pitch websites that have high domain authority and relevance!
You can also secure backlinks by requesting reviews. First, identify bloggers, influencers, thought leaders and other pros in your industry.
Then, offer each prospect something in exchange for an honest review and a backlink to your website. Typically this is a free trial of your service, or a free product.
In the example above, Bamboo Bamboo exchanged their product for an honest review (and backlink) from A Mum Reviews.
This is an effective way to earn backlinks and reviews. And it also puts your product in front of new audiences.
PR link building is used to boost the rankings of your target pages by building bulk backlinks from news websites.
This technique is a beneficial way to increase the CTR and build many backlinks in a fast and safe, search-engine friendly way.
The benefits of Press Release Distribution:
This is how PR link building works:
One disadvantage of this technique is the maintenance of the backlink placement as most of the news articles lose relevance after some time and are archived.
Although PR link building allows you to build hundreds of links at once, it is a safe and white-hat technique, because PR distribution is a natural process. Also, majority of our clients with new websites use the logos of top tier publications as an anxiety reducer on their homepage.
Now that you know which link building strategies work best, it’s time to talk about tactics. Link building tactics help you execute your overall strategy. So let’s unpack the top six most popular tactics and why they’re effective.
Up first, we’ve got competitor research. Spying on your competitor’s backlink profiles gives you insight into where they get their link juice from (and how much).
We recommend you only look up direct competitors or competitors that closely align with your goals.
In which case, research a competitor’s backlink profile with a paid tool like Ahrefs. Identify which sites link to your competitor, the quality of those backlinks, the authority, and so on.
Once you know which websites offer the most link juice, you can use other tactics like …
Prospect outreach is another effective link building tactic. Prospects in this case can be journalists, bloggers, webmasters, influencers, thought leaders, and so on. In general, they’re people or organizations that can give your content exposure.
The more exposure you get, the more backlinks you get, and the more link juice you earn!
Content that offers A LOT of value to your audience is a linkable asset. They’re usually infographics, reports, PDF downloads, and so on.
No matter what the asset is, if it’s valuable, you can promote it to earn backlinks. We recommend investing in paid promotion through Facebook ads, Google Ads, Pinterest Ads, and so on.
If your business can cash in on seasonal opportunities, do it! Many companies already leverage seasonal content centered around holidays like Christmas, Fourth of July, and so on.
So if you own an apparel ecommerce business, make sure you have content that advertises shopping ideas for Mother’s Day. If you sell golf equipment, post content for Father’s Day.
If you can develop quality seasonal content, there’s a decent chance you will earn backlinks from bloggers around the web.
An often slept-on link building strategy is capitalizing on community sites. These sites let users comment, post, and otherwise generate content.
While community site backlinks don’t offer as much value as high-authority sites, they’re still valuable in their own way. This is mostly because they make your backlink profile feel more “natural.”
Some common community sites include Quora, Reddit, message boards, forums, and blogs (that allow comments). These are all great places to drop links to your website.
We recommend you answer relevant community questions with quality information and include a link back to your website. This earns some link juice, and it can increase traffic along the way.
Last but not least, the Skyscraper Technique! This link building tactic identifies top-ranking content with tons of backlinks and then improves upon it.
First, identify a piece of top-ranking content and pinpoint its weak spots. Some examples include:
Then, write up a piece of content of your own that covers all the same points but addresses these weaknesses.
Lastly, reach out to websites that link to the original piece of content. Let them know about your updated content, and ask them to point those links to your website instead.
When a website links to your website, you soak up some of that website’s link juice. In addition, Google associates your website with the source website. It’s like a reputation.
In which case, you should identify prospects that have high domain authority and high domain ranking. These metrics measure how authoritative a website is in its niche.
In addition, try to only identify websites with niche relevancy. You can ask yourself “how well does this website ‘match’ my website?”
So if you’re in the beauty industry, you should only connect with other websites in the beauty industry that rank well and have high authority. You should NOT connect with spammy recipe websites.
Also, keep an eye on traffic and target countries. These metrics identify where traffic comes from and how much. So if you’re based in the UK, you want to identify prospects that have a lot of traffic coming from the UK as well.
Quality prospects should also post quality content — and lots of it. Check a prospect’s news feed or blog to find out how frequently they post, and whether they publish guest posts.
Lastly, prospect websites should only make it on your list if they insert dofollow links to other websites. Dofollow links pass along link juice, whereas nofollow links don’t. Since the purpose of a link building campaign is to earn link juice, you have to focus on earning dofollow links.
Don’t do this: Buy backlinks
Do this instead: Earn organic backlinks
If you buy backlinks, Google will find out and penalize you. That’s tough to come back from, and it can undo all the progress you’ve made up until that point.
Plus, buying links is expensive anyway. If you don’t have the time to earn organic backlinks yourself, hire an agency and outsource it instead.
Don’t do this: Let toxic sites link to your site
Do this instead: Disavow toxic links ASAP
If spammy sites link to yours, you could experience a huge drop in rank and therefore traffic. Think of these like poison and get rid of them as soon as you can.
Don’t do this: Generate links to one page
Do this instead: Generate links to a variety of pages
Link building campaigns can focus on a single web page — that’s ok. But over time, you want to build links to many different web pages. This makes your backlink profile appear more natural. And if you link internally between those pages, you pass along link juice.
NOTE: This includes the homepage! It’s tempting to only push links to your homepage. But we recommend you push links to other important pages, too. Think product pages, collection pages, linkable assets, and so on.
Don’t do this: Only earn dofollow links
Do this instead: Earn dofollow and nofollow links
Yes, dofollow links are good — these are what pass along link juice. But! If you ONLY have dofollow links, your profile looks a little sketchy. Instead, focus on earning dofollow links, but be ok with nofollow links every once in a while.
Don’t do this: Over-optimize anchor text
Do this instead: Write descriptive anchor texts, but don’t overdo it
Anchor text should accurately describe the page it links to. But where some companies go wrong is they overdo it with the optimization and stuff it with keywords. Instead, keep anchor text short (just a few words), use a keyword if it makes sense, and make sure it’s accurate.
Don’t do this: Earn links from sites that ARE NOT relevant to your industry
Do this instead: Earn links from sites that ARE relevant to your industry
Google learns about your website through backlinks. So when websites link to yours and vice versa, Google starts to figure out what you’re all about.
In which case, if you earn ten backlinks from fishing websites, Google thinks you’re in the fishing niche. That’s great news if you sell fishing poles. But if you own a SaaS platform … not so much.
Don’t do this: Get links from pages with dozens of outgoing links
Do this instead: Earn links from pages that have cherry-picked outgoing links
Websites with TONS of outgoing links feel spammy to website visitors. Plus, Google thinks it’s spammy, too. If you notice that a prospect links a little too much … maybe think again. Instead, try to earn links from websites that carefully consider which sites they link to.
The stronger your backlink profile is, the higher your website ranks, and the more traffic you earn. Plus, more traffic to your website means more sales!
So here’s a quick list of all the most effective link building strategies and tactics to strengthen your profile.
Time-saving link building strategies:
Time-consuming link building strategies:
Best link building tactics:
Ready to start strengthening your backlink profile now? Talk with a link building strategist to start out-ranking your competition ASAP.
Want to learn more about backlinks and how to earn more of them? Check out the Loopex Digital blog for more info. Bookmark the blog and check back frequently for important SEO updates.
Our blog covers a combination of industry trends and professional insights from behind-the-scenes experiences. We provide weekly updates on link building, content marketing, on-site and technical SEO, and more! Sign up for our newsletter and join our LinkedIn to be on top of industry trends!
Learn exclusive tips and tricks to increase your traffic that we share with our subscribers only.