Marketing

10 Creative Ways to Build Links And Outrank Your Competitors

Here are 10 ways that you can earn backlinks through helping other bloggers, rather than simply asking for links.

Georgi Todorov Georgi Todorov on August 3, 2018 • 12 minute read

While the SEO landscape may always be in a state of change, some things (like backlinks) remain constant.

Links are still one of the most important rankings factors because they pass value to the website being linked to which is a signal to Google that “this content is good.” An endorsement, if you will.

As you know, endorsement are important, especially if you’re in a competitive niche where your competitors are receiving backlinks relevant to your product or service, allowing them to improve their search ranking and stand out.

It’s much harder to rank in competitive niches, such as loans, insurance, and marketing, without quality backlinks.

So how can you receive more quality backlinks? Read on to explore some of the methods that I’ve found to be most effective in building a catalogue of quality backlinks (endorsements) for your website.

Guest Blogging

Using guest posting as a link building strategy continues to be one of the most common (and effective) tactics for attracting backlinks and improving search rankings.

Of course, it goes without saying that crafting high-quality content for your own website is the most important step that you need to take on a regular basis. Content that is relevant and interesting will definitely improve your website’s ranking in search results.

However, publishing high-quality posts on other websites is greatly valued by Google, but you need to do it correctly.

You should never abuse guest blogging by creating low-quality posts that are poorly written, irrelevant, stuffed with keywords or overly promotional. Blog editors will rarely accept that kind of content in the first place.

Don’t just focus your energy on building links. Instead, provide something relevant, informative, and useful that the readers will actually be interested in. That way, you can grab the attention of potential blog readers and increase your web traffic, ultimately increasing your ranking.

What’s more, you will build strong relationships with other bloggers and strengthen your reputation.

But, how can you find the best blogs to reach out to? You should start with a simple Google search because that will help you find blogs in your niche. Posting to niche-relevant blogs is very important because those blogs already have an audience that matches yours.

But how to choose a blog for guest posting?

Once you make a list of blogs that could be a great fit, narrow down the list by using the following metrics:

  • Domain Authority (DA)- Sites with a high DA will help you rank higher in Google. MOZ is the best tool for checking the DA of all websites. However, not all sites with a high DA have moderation and many publish spammy posts, which is why this shouldn’t be the only metric you use.
  • Trust Flow & Citation Flow – Trust Flow predicts the trustworthiness of a particular site based on the number of trustworthy sites that link to it, while Citation Flow predicts the influence of a site based on how many sites link to it. You should focus on TF, but also make sure there’s a good ratio between TF and CF.
  • Alexa ranking – Check any website’s global ranking with Alexa or SEOquake, a free browser plugin that comes with plenty of useful SEO metrics.
  • Audience geography  – Checking the origin of a site’s traffic will help you find blogs that can bring you more value. If you’re targeting people from, let’s say, Europe, it wouldn’t be beneficial to guest post on a blog with an American audience, especially if you don’t plan on publishing many posts on that blog.
  • SEO ranking – You can check a site’s SEO ranking by conducting a keyword search on Google using the site’s title tags, alt tags and blog post titles. If the site appears in the search results, it’s probably a good one to reach out to (of course, combine this with all these other metrics).
  • Backlinks – Checking a blog’s backlinks will help you separate reputable blogs from spammy ones. You can check this with SEMrush or Moz’s Link Explorer. Also, be sure that the blogs you’re considering actually allow backlinks. Many blogs use nofollow tags and many will allow you to put your link only in your author bio. Some bloggers even allow your backlink only to remove it after a while, so make sure you check this by exploring a blog’s older guest posts.
  • Engagement – Check how a blog’s audience is receiving its posts and if it perhaps attracts influencers. See how many shares, likes, tweets and comments a particular blog’s posts are getting.
  • Social following – Guest posting on sites with great social following presents an opportunity for all those followers to engage with you, tag you on social media and spread the word about you.

Combining all of these metrics will help you find the best blogs to reach out to. Here’s an excellent example of a blogging outreach email by Groove:

 

Resource Pages

Resource pages are not commonly found on websites, which you should definitely use to your advantage. They are perfect for an effective link building strategy.

What exactly is a resource page? It’s simply a page on a website that includes one or more lists of helpful links, that is, resources regarding a particular topic.

For example, if you have a food blog, you can create a resource page that provides readers with links to some of the best recipes.

Also, you can go about this tactic the other way around.

Find webmasters relevant to your niche and ask them to add your website to their resource pages. Many websites that have resource pages display a “Suggest a new resource” button, which prompts you to a form for submitting a new resource via email, like Harvard’s resource page:

To find websites with resource pages, simply do a Google search using your desired keyword/s and the term “resources”. However, this may lead to millions of search results (depending on your keywords), so you can narrow them down by searching for phrases like these:

  • Keyword + inurl:resources
  • Keyword + intitle:resources
  • Keyword + inurl:links
  • Keyword + intitle:links

Testimonials

Giving testimonials will help you increase your online visibility and website traffic.

They create a complete win-win situation for both you and the companies you recommend because you help them build trust, while you get a backlink to your website, which is added in your testimonial answer.

This is perhaps the simplest way to build links and attract more people to your site.

Testimonials build trust because people greatly value other people’s experiences with a brand when making their purchasing decisions.

When they see an honest testimonial from someone who has already purchased a particular brand’s products and experienced benefits from them, they are more likely to buy that product themselves.

Therefore, by giving product testimonials to the companies that you bought something from, you greatly help them build trust with their customers. Now, most of them will add your link in your testimonial answer but, if they don’t, you shouldn’t demand it.

Either way, it’s an amazing opportunity for you to get your name out there.

Infographics

Infographics are quite similar to guest posting in that they can also earn you backlinks.

If you create interesting and informative infographics that are actually shareable, you can be sure that a lot of people will share them on their websites and link back to you.

Link building aside, you should create infographics because many people prefer visual content to plain text and meeting everyone’s needs will certainly go a long way.

In order for your infographics to be shareable, you need to display an embed code at the bottom of each infographic.

That code is what people will copy and paste into their website to use your infographic.

Most of them will link back to you, stating that you created it, but not everyone will do it. You can check this by copying your infographics’ URLs and pasting them into Google’s Image Search. You’ll see exactly who used your infographics and whether or not they linked back to you, so you can reach out if you want them to add your links.

The most important thing to do when creating infographics is to try reaching out to people in relevant spaces who might be interested in sharing them and linking back to you.

That outreach may turn into a fruitful blogging opportunity.

Forums and Q&A discussions

Forums present several awesome opportunities for you and your business.

First, you can build links, but you should never overdo it on forums. Don’t focus on keywords and anchor text, because people go on forums to find precise answers to their questions. So, provide a relevant link only when you think it can really help someone solve their pain points.

Second, you get to meet people in your industry who may become collaborators in the future. Many people you meet on forums may become your customers as well.

Last but certainly not least, spending time on forums helps you find new topics to tackle on your blog. If there’s a common issue that people seek help for, you can address it on your blog (and then share the link on the forum).

The best thing to do is add the link to your website in your account’s signature. That way, everyone will clearly see it and you can focus on engaging with your niche’s community and building meaningful relationships.

Link Reclamation

Link reclamation starts by finding the websites that mention your brand, your name, or your images in their articles without linking back to you.

You can find out about brand mentions with tools such as Google AlertsMention, and Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer.

If there is someone mentioning your brand without linking to your website, you can send a simple email asking them politely to include a backlink.

The same goes for your images. You can use Google’s Image Search to see if anyone is using your images without linking back to the original source, just like we discussed for infographics, or you can use tools like TinEye, which works pretty much the same way.

Participate in Roundup Posts

You should definitely consider participating in roundup posts, as that will considerably increase your website traffic.

They are usually weekly curations of the best content, but they can be daily and monthly as well. Participating in these posts will help you attract a wide audience and get great referral traffic due to your link in the posts.

Roundup posts are great because you’ll always get a backlink. When the roundup post curators include more links, their posts become more valuable.

Find webmasters who create these posts and pitch them with your best and most compelling pieces of content. You can simply search for them on Google or, better yet, on BuzzSumo or Ahrefs.

The other way around is also good. I like the approach that Vipin Nayar, Digital Marketing Head at Acodez used:

“Here we create a featured post listing the top 100 bloggers in our niche. We offer an award icon that could be attached to the website and reach out to them saying that they were featured in on our blog. It is a total win-win situation as the blogger gains trust among his audience, while we get a link back to our site. The usual conversion rate is 1:10 which is much helpful to increase ranking in SERP.”

 

Broken Link Building

Broken link building is a highly effective method for helping other webmasters fix their broken links.

Here’s how it works: a high-ranking post may be linking to content that has been moved or deleted. When a person visits the site and tries to click an external link to learn more, they will get a 404 error instead.

Not only does this tactic help you get backlinks from high-quality websites, but it also helps you make many new connections with experts in your niche.

You can do a simple Google search to find relevant websites in your niche that could benefit from publishing your content to replace their dead links.

Once you create a list of those sites, use a tool like the Majestic Bulk Backlink Checker or Chrome extensions like Domain Hunter Plus and Check My Links to scan for broken links on the sites.

You can then reach out and kindly offer either your existing content for replacing their broken links or new content that you will craft specifically for that purpose.

Skyscraper Method

The skyscraper method is a 2-part process.

First, find the most popular content in your niche and create a much better, more detailed and more up-to-date version. Then, send it to webmasters who have previously linked to the content that you are trying to improve.

You can use BuzzSumo to search for relevant keywords and find the most shared pieces of content that you can recreate with a new angle or twist.

After creating better content that stands out, reach out to the right people, just like you do with guest blogging.

Mario Peshev, the founder and WordPress Architect at DevriX, said: “Skyscraper content represents 30% of our top ranked content at DevriX. Each piece takes anywhere between 3 to 5 days to craft, but on top of the high success rate pitching bloggers (12% to 17%), it leads to important strategic partnerships with industry leaders and market experts”.

10- Conference and Event Links

Speaking at a conference or an event is an amazing way to raise brand awareness and connect with many influential people. Speaking engagements can include both local and international conferences, as well as academic lectures, business workshops and various other industry-specific networking events that your business will benefit from.

Simply getting listed with a link on the event website will improve your online visibility and SEO ranking, but you also have an opportunity to connect with experts in your niche.

How To Get Started With Link Building

Applying these link building methods will supercharge your search rankings and make your brand truly stand out from the competition.

However, if you’re a one-man show or a small company with the marketing team of just a few people, you will be quickly overwhelmed if you try to apply all the methods at the same time. Each one requires specific knowledge and experience.

Instead, focus your efforts on one link building method at a time until you get the hang of it. Then, move on to the next one and gradually start creating an excellent link building mix that will skyrocket your traffic and take your rankings to great heights.

If you want to track the impact of your link building strategy, use this free Search Console dashboard to monitor all your key organic traffic metrics.

About the author
Georgi Todorov
Georgi Todorov Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called DigitalNovas. His passion is to help beginners to start and grow a successful online business. Hit him up on Linkedin or Twitter @GeorgiTodorovBG anytime.
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