Link Building Techniques

64 Link Building Techniques To Follow In 2023

Contents

 

Get the best of link building! We decided to put together all link building techniques we could think of. We currently have more than 60!
Your feedback and ideas will be highly appreciated. Let’s work together and make this ultimate checklist useful for as many people as possible.

Now the techniques…

1. Skyscraper technique

Skyscraper is almost a legendary link-building technique. It’s time-consuming, but if it’s done properly, you’ll get quality backlinks, targeted traffic and possible business connections.
It’s a combination of perfect content, research, competitor backlink analysis and email outreach. The process is covered in this link building guide.

These are the main 4 steps:

  1. Find good content with quality backlinks
  2. Find the contact details of the people behind these websites
  3. Write better content
  4. Outreach the prospects

We used this email in our recent skyscraper campaign:

skyscraper email template

Just in case you are not willing to invest your time the skyscraper techniques, you can always try link building services.


2. Content-based link building

The hardest, yet the most efficient technique. Create content that will naturally attract readers, social shares, and referral traffic. Get inspired in our Learn SEO guide.
When you write, pay attention to readability. Content has to be well-structured and without grammar errors. There are many tools to help out. ShoutMeLoud made a nice list.
Watch out for flow, adverbs usage, passive voice index, unique words, or estimated reading time. Of course, this depends on your target audience.


3. Top lists

There are many, but if you have unique and relevant data it should be a success. When we published the Top keywords list, it was our most visited blog post in 2016.
When writing top lists, think about timing and prepare to dig deep into data.

These are the most important tasks:

  1. Analyze search results for your main keywords
  2. Write something more comprehensive, unique
  3. If you have your own data, the job will be easier
  4. If your topic is time-sensitive, make sure you choose the right time

4. Produce educational content

Google SERP is full of “How to” articles. Publishers think it’s easy to educate. Well, it can be, but the amount of recycled content out there won’t attract readers just like that.
On the other hand, you can always target a specific group of people with your own opinions and unique insights.


5. Case studies

Case studies can be a backlink’s gold mine! That’s why I’ve dedicated a special point to them. Case studies are always unique and bring new information. Make sure to have proven data, do your research, try to experiment and test industry myths.

When writing a case study it’s good to list:

  1. Challenge
  2. Data background
  3. Selected time frame
  4. Results
  5. Key takeaways

6. So-called “Green content”

Yes, it’s content, but very specific and beneficial when it comes to gaining high-quality links. If it’s good enough and deals with the most up-to-date issues, not only environmentally-friendly organizations will share it.
Environmental threats such as climate change, water pollution or species extinction have been discussed widely for years. Who knows, maybe you will become an influencer who will help to save the Earth.


7. Thought-provoking, irritating, annoying content

This can be tricky. It can ruin your reputation when done wrong. Don’t try to abuse people, their struggles, and their opinions. Help them to solve their issues. Be careful on what you plan to profit. I recommend reading this article by Sean Hodge.


8. White-papers

They’re widely used in the B2B world but you don’t need to be a corporation to conduct deep research in the industry, add your thoughts, charts, and knowledge others can benefit from. White papers are a great source of sharing opportunities and gaining valuable links.


9. Reviews and comparisons

These two rank very high when done right. Your deep analysis, pros, cons and recommendations will solve decision paralysis of many readers. What’s more, if you’re good enough, businesses will be willing to pay for reviewing their products. And suddenly, you can be a thought leader.

kwfnider review search results

Benefit

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10. Create a dedicated blog section

There are many companies with useful content despite not having a blog. It’s time to use that potential! A dedicated blog is an engagement magnet.
Make sure to go through this very detailed guide on how to learn blogging if you aren’t sure how to start. This infographic on how to start a business blog is extremely useful as well.

Benefit

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11. Make an interview

Try to partner with well-known authorities in the industry. It doesn’t need a superstar. The person will share the interview with their audience and might link to it on their website too.

Benefit

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12. Guest posts

Guest posts represent a good way to earn backlinks. Do website research, write outstanding content and try to publish it on an authoritative website. They usually have strict guest blogging guidelines and it sometimes takes a lot of time to accept your submission.
It’s a bit more time consuming, but it definitely works. You will find lists of websites accepting guest posts but if you plan to target relevant ones, use Google search operators. Start with the focus keyword and add “write for us”.

link building technique guest blogging search operator

You can specify your query with the operators: allintitle, intitle, inurl to find even more opportunities. Make sure to do a proper guest post outreach and focus on the quality of your email – it may be your only chance to get the attention and earn a backlink.
And now from the opposite point of view: If you publish guest content on your site and the same blogger publishes another content on a different site linking to the original article on your site, you’ll have a backlink.
Feel free to find some other great guest blogging opportunities.

Benefit

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13. Podcast guesting

We all know that podcasts are popular. They are easy to consume so you can gain a lot knowledge and get some cool industry news while cleaning your apartment or car. Doing podcast guesting means that you target podcasts relevant to your niche and outreach their creators to be part of them.
To be honest, I don’t like listening to podcasts. On the other hand,  I think it’s an underrated marketing technique that can bring a lot of exposure to you and your business. Make sure to read this podcast guesting guide.

Benefit

4 / 5

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Social

14. Social media outreach

Share your content on social media, promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, comment on relevant posts and create connections. I love these 4 powerful social media outreach tactics.

Benefit

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15. On-site social sharing actions

Sharing buttons and widgets. You can’t skip them on your website. Besides sharing your content via social networks, people can place your widgets on their sites and link back to you.
AddThis is a useful plugin in which you can track the results of social engagement of your website.

Benefit

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16. Share to download buttons

Give your users an opportunity to access exclusive materials, bonuses or discounts by asking them to share your website. Motivate them to share your stuff. We use Social Locker.

Benefit

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17. Specialized discussion forums

Join QuoraRedditStackExchange, and others to ask and answer related questions. Be careful, these forums usually have strict spam rules and are full of professionals, so you can suddenly get banned. It happened to me as well. I should have read this guide before.

The most important things to keep in mind:

  1. Prepare your submission, don’t just copy the text from your blog post
  2. Personalize it according to readers’ preferences
  3. Make sure the link is relevant so it’s not obvious you’re doing a self-promotion
  4. Reply to comments

Benefit

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18. Links from forums

Forums, Q&A sites, content aggregators, etc. You can add the link there, but keep in mind that the majority of them are low-quality links, usually no-follow, so their benefits are questionable.

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19. Quizzes, surveys, tests

Yet another interactive way to gain not only social exposure. We did it some time ago and the response was fantastic. We added a certificate of completion to motivate people to share their success via their social profiles.
Though we made it on our own, you can use many tools such as SurveyMonkey.

Mangools SEO test

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20. Link to others

… and tag them in your social posts. It might not work for the first couple of times, but sooner or later they will notice you. If your content is good enough and relevant, they may link back or at least give you a shoutout on their social profiles.

social outreach link building

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Marketing and branding

21. Contests and giveaways

Besides gaining a relevant link you have a promo for free. We were a part of a couple of giveaways and they generated subscriptions, as well. Research ongoing contests and giveaways and contact the organizers. Sometimes, these offers land in your inbox so you won’t spend any time.

Benefit

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22. Discounts and coupons

Everyone loves discounts and discount codes! And it’s a great motivation to share your product, too! Moreover, discount coupons are great for additional affiliate program promotions.

Benefit

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23. Traditional (off-line) marketing activities

Leaflets, stickers or even guerilla marketing. Don’t forget where it all began. Creative marketing attracts people. They will talk about you and might link to your site.

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24. PR articles

PR articles written by professionals and published on sites with high authority will give you high-quality links too. But prepare some budget for this.

Benefit

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25. Testimonials sections

Think about products you use, get in touch with people behind them and write testimonials to be published on their websites in exchange for a link. You’ll need to write a couple of emails and reminders but it can be very beneficial.

Benefit

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26. Set up Google Alerts

Google Alerts is one of those tools we all heard about. However, not many of us use it to find brand mentions. Setting up the alerts is super easy. Select the term(s), choose from the listed options and add a valid email address to receive the alerts.
In our case the terms could be “kwfinder”, “kw finder”, “kwfinder.com”, etc.

Google Alerts for brand mentions

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27. Ask the ones you know

Yes, why not? Reach out your family, friends or people you know for a link. They might be willing to link to your site if it’s relevant and fits the context. Don’t try to link to a marketing blog from a clothes e-shop.

Benefit

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28. Buy backlinks via paid blog posts

It’s similar to the previous technique, but this time you will have to pay for it. On the other hand, it won’t cost you almost any time. If you plan to be a writer and get paid, don’t forget to check these blogs that will pay you.

Benefit

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29. Reciprocal links

It’s one of the techniques that do not work anymore and have a bad reputation.

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30. Launch an affiliate program

You’ll gain both links and revenue. Our affiliate program is one of the strongest sources of revenue, exposure and high-quality backlinks. There are many affiliates searching for a new source of income. Don’t forget to prepare an attractive commission system.

how to launch affiliate program

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31. Join an affiliate program

We mentioned our affiliate program is beneficial for us, but that’s because it’s attractive for our partners. As an affiliate marketer, you can earn a lot of money on commissions and your product reviews or comparisons can generate many backlinks.
Tung from cloudliving.com trains people to become successful in this field.

Benefit

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32. Research and find out what works for others

Spy on and analyze your competitors’ backlinks. You can focus on those you can replicate easily to save some time.

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33. Brand mentions

Using search operator “brand name” -site:brandname.com will help you to find mentions of your brand. You need to check whether each mention is linked to your site. If not, contact these people to do so or to adjust the anchor correctly.

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34. Name mentions

I noticed that many websites mentioned founders or CEOs without linking to the company. Use this as an opportunity to thank them for mentioning you and for acquiring another link from a relevant source.

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35. Stolen images link reclamation

Technically, the link reclamation is when you try to locate broken backlinks, opportunities mentioned in #30 and #31, or if there is an improper backlink, misspelt domain or anchor text for any reason.
When it comes to images, it may happen some websites use your images without providing a source. It usually applies to infographics, charts and quality images. Last but not least, this technique makes sense for authoritative websites or if your images are a true inspiration for others.

Here’s a quick guide on how to find these images:

  1. Create a list of the URLs of your images
  2. Use Google image search by pasting the URL
  3. Check the websites from search results whether they gave you a credit by looking for your domain in the HTML code.
  4. If there’s no credit, reach out the authors.
link building techniques

Benefit

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36. Get interviewed

No, you don’t need to be Britney Spears. Things happen really fast in the digital world. Take the advantage of it. You can become successful in a short time so getting interviewed with a link is definitely a good idea.
However, nothing comes for free so don’t wait to be interviewed. Research publishers and get in touch with them. This is a detailed guide by Ann Smarty you should go through.

Benefit

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37. Gifts

How about sending gifts to your most valuable customers and partners? Use special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays and include a call-to-action to share it and link to you.

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38. Exchange

Exchange your products for a review or other promo activities leading to a link. Bloggers writing a review will usually include a link so you don’t need to ask them.
When it comes to affiliate partners, they tend to provide no-follow links.

Benefit

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39. Build a campaign microsite

Do you have a special discount, an event or a product launch? Build a microsite! Keep in mind that content should be 100% non-duplicate and you should also build a good link profile for the microsite.
Creating microsites from the SEO point of view isn’t as profitable as it was in the past but you should consider it when you are planning to build a long term authority website.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

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40. Create a sitewide announcement link

Yeah, a sitewide link isn’t that good when it comes to the link strength but it’s perfect for a short term link placement to gain high traffic, i.e. you can do this with a short term special offer. Keep in mind that the linked sites should be related.

Benefit

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41. Comment blog posts

In general, I think that comments with links don’t positively influence your SEO because they are deleted almost immediately. But if you select blog posts with high traffic, then you write a comment which is super relevant and boosts the discussion, it may end up providing a link that will add value to the discussion.
In this case, the moderator shouldn’t delete the comment. No one wants to stop a productive discussion under their blog post.

Benefit

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42. Cooperate with courses, schools and teachers

What’s better than to be recommended to many students by well-known courses, universities or respected teachers? Not to mention that a backlink from the “.edu” domain can be a great signal for Google. The quality of website users referred to this way is unquestionable.
What’s more, you can prepare a special offer for the students. One last thing I would like to mention is that well-known teachers tend to speak at various events or conferences on which they can promote your website.
The amount of time you will need to invest into this depends on whether you are the outreached person or you plan to outreach them.

Benefit

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Submissions

43. Content syndication

Content syndication is a great backlink source and you will get some additional traffic boost.

The most popular platforms are:

  • GrowthHackers
  • Medium
  • LinkedIn
  • Growthub
  • Business2community

You can submit an excerpt of your original article or create a unique description, it’s up to you. In case of duplicate content, make sure to check whether the platform has implemented a “rel=canonical tag”, which links back to your original content.

Benefit

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44. Beta lists and startup submissions

Links from these sites are usually no-follow but their overall influence helps a lot. There are highly focused people willing to test or support new products. Check BetalistProductHunt, or Erlibird.

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45. Business listings and catalogues

They used to work in the past. It’s really time-consuming and benefits are usually minimal. However, it’s ok to be there, at least on the most relevant ones.

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46. Submit creatives

Infographics, ebooks or leaflets can be submitted on SlideshareIssuuPinterestScribd and other alternatives. Reserve some time as you would need various digital formats, descriptions, and links.
In fact, creative formats like infographics can be incredibly powerful for link building. As long as you’re building an infographic that includes important information about your industry, you can generate more and more links and website traffic. Learn more about how to build links with infographics.

Benefit

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47. Submit videos

Compared to the time needed for video production, the submission is nearly nothing. And it’s not only about YouTube. There are many sites where you can attract views such as Vimeo.

Here are some best practices when uploading a video:

  1. Create a custom thumbnail
  2. The title should be both appealing and well-optimized
  3. Add at least a short description, not only the link
  4. Consider adding an end screen and annotations

Benefit

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48. Develop and share

Have you developed something that works and looks like a charm? Share it on highly-focused forums such as GitHubBitbucket, or CodePen. It doesn’t directly make a link but helps build your personal brand and that means audience, clicks, and links.

Benefit

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49. Wikipedia link building

Link building on Wikipedia isn’t complicated but you should think tactical. The biggest con is that linking from Wikipedia will automatically generate new links because your site will be used as a reference. Jon Cooper wrote a Wikipedia for SEO guide you simply have to read.

Benefit

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50. Barnacle SEO

Many of the mentioned techniques in this category and some others are part of barnacle SEO. However, the main point of barnacle SEO is that you optimize someone else’s website and leverage its authority at the same time. That means you focus not only to get a backlink. You should help the website to rank high by improving it with quality content.

Benefit

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Email

51. Email outreach

Email outreach is a time-consuming task. You need to do it as a part of many link building techniques mentioned in this article. It’s all about finding the right prospects, listing the potential link placement, researching email addresses and sending personalized emails. Get ready for sending reminders and don’t forget to track the results.
You’ll find many guides on this. Last time, we reached a 16% response rate. Therefore, I’ve formulated 9 actionable email outreach tips.

Benefit

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52. Resource pages

There are thousands of pages listing guides or tools and linking to them. Use Google search operators such as exact match, allintitle, intitle, inurl with your keyword and you will find many pages on which you would like to have a backlink. Example:inurl:”seo resources”

How to use Google search operators for link building

Once you create a list of the pages, prepare personalized messages and outreach the authors.

Benefit

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53. Top lists, how-tos, guides

Creating this kind of content attracts links so why not to have a backlink there? This technique is similar to #44 and it requires using the exact match, allintitle, intitle, inurl search operators. When creating the list of prospects, think about your website’s authority too. You should provide a value for the outreached person.
Besides using the search operators, you can try tools such as BuzzSumo.

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54. Email signatures

How many emails do you send per month? Imagine only a few of the recipients click on the link under your name. You get a couple of clicks and it costs you nothing. Keep in mind that email signatures don’t positively affect SEO.

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Technical

55. Internal linking

It’s a must! Internal linking means you rule anchors and add links where you want to. If you do it regularly, it’s a matter of seconds. In case your website is full of content without internal links, you’ll spend a couple of days fixing it. Before doing so, I recommend reading the Essential guide to internal content link building by Julia McCoy.
My advice: Don’t add more than 2-3 links per article. Avoid using a plugin which automatically links particular words. It’s annoying and ruins UX.
One more tip: Identify your most-viewed pages so you know where to put specific links.

Benefit

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56. Breadcrumbs

Another internal link building tip is to use breadcrumbs. The site navigation is transparent thanks to them and you can optimize the anchor text distribution as well.

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57. RSS feed

You probably have it but in case you don’t, create one. Sooner or later, somebody will scrape your content. But if you place internal links in the content, you’ll earn a link.

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58. Create a sitemap

This is one of the internal linking methods and it’s extremely useful. Search engines like sitemaps. Moreover, it’s a good navigation for visitors. You can use one of the many WordPress plugins.

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59. Broken link building

Identifying links leading to non-existing sites and linking them to your content can be a time-consuming but effective method. You can use search operators or various tools for this. This Ahrefs guide will help you with broken link building.

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60. 404 errors

Check the Google Search Console if there are any. No one likes to land on 404 – Page not found.

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61. Do you have robots.txt?

Review it whether there are any linked pages. Either contact webmasters of sites linking to them or consider allowing crawlers to index these pages.
robots.txt syntax:

User-agent: * (e.g. Googlebot)
Disallow: /  (e.g. /images/pizza.png)

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62. PBNs (Private Blog Network)

PBNs are a way as well but you have to be very careful. These links should look as natural as possible. PBNs are websites to implement links to other websites (ones that generate money). It’s an expensive technique. You need to pay for a domain, hosting and set of blog posts.
It can be risky because Google bans PBNs from time to time. Think wisely. The costs of PBNs can be higher than the income. That’s why I’d recommend reading the guide by Lion Zeal.

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63. Expired domains

Look for expired domains with working links. All you had to do in the past was to find them and redirect them via 301. Nowadays, it’s more complicated. Watch out for relevancy.

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64. Create a free tool

Everyone loves free tools: free = buzz. That means it’s shared and likely to build a solid number of backlinks. So why not to create a free tool to use this potential of high website traffic and many backlinks for your own needs? You can link your other websites from it.
We did the same thing with RockingPage where we included links to our SEO tools.

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How To Copy Your Competitors In Link Building

 

Backlinks are still an essential part of SEO.
And what is the best way to find them? By spying on the backlinks of your competitors.
In this quick step-by-step guide, we’ll take a look at how to check the competitors’ backlinks in a couple of minutes.
We’ll go through these 3 simple steps:

How to find your competitors in Google

When doing competitor analysis as a part of your link building strategy, you may struggle with the very first step:
Who are my competitors?
Here are some simple tips to find your competitors in a couple of seconds:

Websites in your niche

The first (and most obvious) step is to simply look for the main keyword of your niche in Google.
If you run a blog about a vegan lifestyle, just Google for “vegan lifestyle blog” and you’ll most probably find:

  1. Blogs in this niche
  2. Lists of blogs in this niche
find your competitors

If the results are not satisfactory, you can try a more advanced technique using the search operator.

The related: operator

This is quite a simple and neat technique you can use to find your competitors using a Google search operator. All you need to do is to insert the related: search operator + your domain to Google search form:

related:yoursite.com

The results will be websites topically related to the web used in the search query.
Here’s an example of websites related to chicvegan.com:

related search operator

The results include sites such as supervegan.com or veganbeautyreview.com which are clearly the competitors from the vegan lifestyle niche.

Note: This search operator works only for websites with a certain amount of traffic. If you don’t find any websites related to your web, pick a big competitor from your niche and try with their website.

I’ll be honest, doing a link building campaign isn’t my favourite part of the SEO process. It’s not 100% in your hands and it usually takes a lot of time.
However, there are handy tools such as LinkMiner that can make the whole process a lot easier.

Tip: You can create a free 10-day trial account (no credit card needed) and try LinkMiner yourself alongside this guide. You can check 500 backlinks per 24 hours for free.

All you need to do is to enter your competitor’s domain or a specific URL and the tool will show the backlinks pointing to it.
This brings us to the basic classification of competitors:

a) Domain competitors

Domain competitors are websites that compete in the same niche as your site. By checking their link profile, you can find interesting backlink opportunities.

domain competitor

b) Page competitors

Besides the general competitors, there are also competitors on a page level.
Let’s say you wrote a blog post with your vegan pizza recipe. A quick Google search will show you many other websites ranking for the term.

vegan pizza serp

Just select the first one and run the URL through LinkMiner.
Now you have found backlinks pointing to that specific blog post. The minimalistbaker.com may not be your general competitor on a domain level (the blog is probably not only about vegan recipes) but it is your page competitor for a specific topic.

page competitor

Now you can select backlinks that are interesting for you and add them to a list (by clicking on a little star next to the backlink row).

What to focus on when evaluating the backlinks:

Link Strength

Link Strength is a metric that calculates how powerful is the backlink from a certain website, based on the authority of that website. In simple words – the more authoritative is the linking website, the more authority will your web get if the site links to you.

Pro tip: Set up the filter to show only do-follow links. Nofollow links do not pass the authority, so they are irrelevant for your SEO efforts.

Link relevance

Even though the backlinks pointing to your competitor should be relevant, make sure they really are by checking the linking page. Trying to replicate an irrelevant backlink with no added value to the reader is a waste of time. These backlinks are useless.

Link placement

The right side of the LinkMiner interface offers a quick preview of the linking website with the placement of the backlink. The most valuable backlinks are those in the body of the text, while backlinks in sidebars and footers are not that effective nowadays.

How To Copy Your Competitors In Link Building

In LinkMiner, you can check both relevance and link placement thanks to the right panel with the preview of the linking page and a highlighted anchor text.

How to replicate the backlinks

Now that you’ve selected the relevant, strong and well-placed backlinks of your competitors it’s time to replicate them!
How? With the good old email outreach.
You need to contact the website owners or the authors of the posts and ask them to:
a) Link to your website instead of the website of your competitor (this is called The Skyscraper Technique)
b) Add your website/post as an additional resource next to the link to your competitor

The Skyscraper Technique is a simple link building technique named by Brian Dean.
All you need to do is to find the best article on a certain topic and write an even better piece of content covering the topic. Then contact all the websites linking to your competitor and ask them to link to you instead.
Ways to make your content better:
  • Make it longer
  • Design it better
  • Cover the topic more deeply
  • Make the content more up-to-date

It’s like finding the tallest skyscraper in the town and building one that is even higher.

Email outreach is an overused link building technique. But there are many people who just do it wrong, which means you can shine easily.
Here are some basic email outreach tips you should follow:
Don’t use email templates – using an outreach email template is lazy and people you’re contacting don’t want to feel like they’re one of the 500 other contacts on your list. If you don’t bother to write a personalized message, why should they bother to link to you?

skyscraper technique outreach template

The Skyscraper Technique outreach template that’s been literally copy-pasted by too many lazy website owners.

Personalize the email – instead of using the templates, take the time to make every message well-crafted and personal. Quality always beats quantity and it’s especially true when it comes to email outreach.

Make it easy to link to you – the whole process should as easy as possible for the website owner you’re contacting. Tell him where the link could be placed, what anchor text to use or write a whole new paragraph to make the backlink fit naturally. All he needs to do is to copy and paste your text.
Follow up – if you don’t get an answer in a couple of days, give it another shot with a simple and polite follow-up email. One is just enough. Don’t be that annoying follow-up guy with 5 emails in 5 days.

That’s it

Link building is a long process that can last days, even weeks.
It may not be an activity you enjoy, but as long as links are a Google ranking factor, we have to do our best to play the “backlink game”.
I hope this quick guide will help you to find and replicate the quality backlinks of your competitors to boost your SEO efforts.


Contribute to this link building checklist

What other link building techniques come to your mind? Share them in the comments below and we’ll update the post.

Action Point
PS: If you would like to have an online course on any of the courses that you found on this blog, I will be glad to do that on an individual and corporate level, I will be very glad to do that I have trained several individuals and groups and they are doing well in their various fields of endeavour. Some of those that I have trained includes staffs of Dangote Refinery, FCMB, Zenith Bank, New Horizons Nigeria among others. Please come on Whatsapp and let’s talk about your training. You can reach me on Whatsapp HERE. Please note that I will be using Microsoft Team to facilitate the training. 

I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.

 

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