White hat link building techniques
No matter what others say, SEO is not dead and neither is link building. Actually, SEO has been dead for years, for those who failed to adapt to the ever changing rules and increased requirements on skills, tools, details and perseverance.
Five years ago, one could easily buy his ranking position. A little bit of these and a little bit of those links, and you are on the first page. Well, that time is long gone.
Link building is not dead, it just reached a new level of complexity and is now more advanced than ever before.
Read on and learn more about smart link building techniques. You will learn how to build links without hurting your search rankings and see which tools can help you find the best links.
Simple Link Building Tips
Although proper link building is not an easy thing to do, there are still many white hat SEO techniques you can start with even today, without considerable efforts or expenses.
1. Ask for backlinks
This is a good way to start, especially if you are a beginner in this job. Think about your friends, relatives, colleagues, partners, clients that have a blog or a site. All you have to do is ask for a backlink. Ask for in-content links instead of links in the sidebar or footer.
But be careful and make sure that the backlink comes from a website that is relevant to your niche, otherwise it will not have too much of an impact and may even be harmful.
2. Build relationships
For good link building, you need to build good relationships. There are plenty of opportunities to build new contacts. You should start with niche-related communities: forums, blogs or social groups.
Make the first step and start contributing with interesting and relevant comments and posts, providing contextual value to each discussion. By actively participating in these online communities focused on your niche, you will not only gain some good backlinks, but you will always have access to the newest industry news and be able to connect to some interesting people that share your passions.
3. Give a testimonial
Testimonial link building is a win-win scenario. Many businesses offer you the chance to say a few words about your experience using their products. On the one hand, this is a perfect way for them to build customer trust. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity for you to get a backlink and potential traffic from that site and it usually has a much higher approval rate than your standard link request e-mails. The contact gets another testimonial to place on their site, while you get a new incoming link.
4. Start a blog
Don’t make a blog with one post and one backlink to your site. If you do, you not only wasted your time, but probably also just created another risky link for yourself. If you want to have your own blog, you need to keep it alive.
Write posts on a regular basis. Focus on your industry and on your client’s needs! In time, it will most likely gain authority. Make sure that your content is relevant, useful and well-structured. This is the only way to ensure that the WORLD will want to link to it again and again. That’s how you get great backlinks, you earn them!
5. List your site in trustworthy directories
There are many directories that provide no real value to the Internet users and Google has excluded them from its search results. You don’t want your website to be on such pages!
But not all online directories are bad. A directory that not only gives you the chance to post a link to your website, but also provides useful information for your potential customers is a directory you would want to be listed on.
The new PageRank is RELEVANCY, therefore niche directories and directories attached to informative websites for a specific industry are a good choice. Having your business listed with such directories makes it easier to get indexed with the major search engines and helps people find you online.
You could start with a listing in the Dmoz – Open Directory Project. This is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
6. Write a good guest post
There are many sites and blogs that will accept to publish your article. Before you write an article somewhere, make sure that:
- the website or blog is relevant to your topic
- the article is NOT about how great you are/ your company is
- you have a focus on quality (well written, professional, and interesting)
- you keep in mind that a poor article can bring bad reputation
It’s important that you build links that help your website and not links that can negatively impact your website’s ranking in search results.
Build links for your business, for your customers, make them relevant, and associate them with great content. Your users will be happy, Google will keep you in the search results and your business will grow.
Check out this infographic that reinforces the tips above and gives you a clear picture on how to build high-quality links and how to stay away from building bad links.
It’s all about quality, relevancy and user focus.
Advanced Link Building tips
Link building has become a very hard and tricky job, and because of that you need professional tools to help you with that. LinkResearchTools developed 20 different tools that you can and should use for discovering and building new, high-quality links.
7. Discover competitors' common backlinks
If you research your competitors, you will probably notice that they have some backlinks in common which you do not. Well, if they managed to get these backlinks, why shouldn’t you too?
All you have to do is to analyze these backlinks and try to get them as well. The Common Backlinks Tool (CBLT) is a tool especially made for this. Enter up to 10 competitors and start your report.
This tool will help you not only find common backlinks, but also discover competitor’s sources and techniques.
8. Get an indirect backlink from your competitor
It is quite common that some of your competitors link to the same sites. These sites are usually big authorities in the industry. A link from such a place would be very helpful as to the powerful link juice your website would receive. But there is something else: if you manage to get your backlink here, your competitors will indirectly link to you.
9. Recover your dead backlinks
Sometimes you might find broken links to your website. This may be the case if the location of your page changes or if another webmaster misspelled your link. In both cases, these backlinks will return a 404 error.
Such issues may also commonly occur after a site was re-launched or migrated to another domain. You should then redirect these backlinks to some other page.
The Link Juice Recovery (LJR) is a very easy to use tool. First, you will get a list of all your broken backlinks:
Once you have the list, the LJR tool will generate a .htaccess code which you can easily insert into your .htaccess file.
10. Turn your mentions into backlinks
This is probably one of the easiest ways to gain some new backlinks. Somebody already wrote something about you. They mentioned your brand or product, but they have not linked to your website. In situations like these, it is usually enough to contact the webmaster and ask him to convert that mention into a backlink.
But, how do you find those mentions? Start a BLP report and filter the results by mention as Link Status.
11. Find the strongest competitors healthy backlinks
Since Google launched the Penguin update in 2012, strong links are not the only webmasters concern. If you do not want to be penalized, links must be safe as well. How do you find those strong, and yet not risky links?
Use Link Detox (DTOX) to explore some specific competitors, or Competitive Link Detox (CDTOX) to compare your site against 10 of your competitors. After you get the report results, you can easily sort links by Power*Trust and by very low DTOXRISK.
12. Find the most relevant link building opportunities
There are many opportunities for link building on the Internet. There are many forums, blogs or sites where you could place your backlink, but usually it is not so easy to find them. Whether you want to find a strong relevant site or blog where you can place a guest article or thematic forum with follow links – the SERP Research Tool will help you. SERP is designed to help you find the most relevant and strongest results.
After you get your results, you can sort them by strength, theme or any other metric you want. The best thing about SERP is that you know these links are relevant and high authorities in your industry.
13. Be aware of your competitor's new links
Very often, in everyday life, a quick reaction can mean the difference between success and failure. On the Internet, it is pretty similar. It is extremely important to be aware of your competitor´s activities.
Link Alerts is a tool made to inform you about your new backlinks, but, apart from that, you can also use it to monitor your competitors. Not only will it help you find some new backlink opportunities, but also discover some new sources and techniques you could use in the future.
The best thing about Link Alerts is an e-mail notification you get twice a week with fresh backlinks. This will allow you to identify negative SEO attacks right away. In case of new, unwanted links, you can react immediately, and thus protect your site from being hit by a Google Penalty. Read all about the risks and techniques of negative SEO attacks here and learn how you can protect your site.
Earn your links!
Let´s start with the basics. Content is king!
This is one of those phrases you can find all over the Internet and something that you have to remember once and forever.
Why is content king?
To understand this, you have to think like a search engine, for example Google. The primary goal of Google is not “good user experience”. The primary goal for Google is, just like for any other company, to earn money. And Google cannot earn anything unless they provide good user experience. And good user experience, in turn, comes with good and relevant search results. If they fail to show relevant results, users might switch to some other search engine.
What is good content for Google?
For content to be considered good, it must have at least the following simple attributes:
How can Google value content?
Google checks technical features of your site like site load speed, navigation, design, keyword density, complexity, etc. Also they will measure user experience through CTR, bounce rate or time spent on site.
But, there is something more; one really simple fact.
Good content will bring you a lot of natural backlinks!
That´s the best user feedback you can actually get.
“How to write a quality article” would be another interesting topic, but for now, let´s focus on how you can earn more backlinks with your content.
14. Social media
So, you created a unique, quality and powerful article, but it stayed unnoticed? Well, sometimes it happens. Great content alone doesn’t get you ranked. In situations like these, you will have to push your content a little bit. The best way to do so is to use social media.
Good content on social networks doesn´t mean just new visitors, but also promotion to people who can build new backlinks for you. Share your content more than once to get more traffic and to reach visitors in different time zones. Make sharing buttons clearly visible around your content.
Long or complex articles can be hard to digest. On the other hand, a short one might not be very convincible. With infographics you cannot go wrong. It is a compelling way to use visual content to tell a rich story at a glance. Infographics will attract attention and potentially go viral. Depending on their quality, influential people or companies will use them.
Sometimes someone might use your infographic, but without linking to you. In such case, you could start a “Google reverse image search”.
If you notice that a webmaster “forgot” to link you, you could simply warn him to do so.
You know what?
It’s psychological; our brains love lists. If you create some cool list, there is a big chance that people will actually click on it and later share it. Just compare these two headlines:
"Green tea is good for your health"
"7 incredible reasons why you should drink green tea"
Let´s be honest, even if you do not like green tea, you would click on the second headline.
17. Research reports and case studies
Your personal opinion can be interesting and valuable, especially if you have been in a specific field for a long time. But, if you want to become an authority and earn a lot of backlinks, you will have to show facts and stats. That’s the reason why the most sharable contents are:
- Research papers
- Case studies
Try to be the first to write about a certain topic. Fresh content is critical in any industry especially if your niche changes quickly. In your research, include all relevant data, test results, charts and always link your sources.
18. Newsletter subscriptions
Usually, companies do not understand the importance of a newsletter. If it is used properly, the benefits can be great. Publishing a newsletter will increase attention and awareness of your readers or clients. With quality and interesting content, you increase the probability of sharing it, thereby increasing traffic and the amount of backlinks.
Try to include some effective call-to action button in your newsletter, for example offer them to register for some webinar, download some whiter paper or eBook.
<h3"> 19. Extra material
No matter how interesting and cool your content is, you can always make it more valuable by adding some extra material like:
- White papers
This way, you will generate more leads and move them further. Also you will show expertise and increase your authority.
20. Learn from others
There is nothing as sad as people who spend days and weeks writing about something and then… nothing. All that passion and knowledge for nothing. Good, and yet unnoticed articles are something that happens every day and to everybody.
The problems can be various. Usually, people make a mistake with the choice of topic. It doesn´t matter how good your article is if nobody cares for that topic. The opposite can happen too; cool topic, but weak content!
You can read hundreds of articles and watch dozens of videos about good content, but there is always one safe road: learn from others.
For example, you want to write about health, but don´t know which topics are the most popular? Well, let´s start one simple report with SSPT. We tested on thehealthcareblog.com. Here is a list of the blog posts, sorted by Power*Trust.
If you really want to see, how many backlinks these blog posts received, you only need to analyze these pages in the Juice Tool.
Now, if you want to understand why these case studies got so many backlinks, open and read them 🙂
Real link building has always been hard. Why wouldn’t it? Creative endeavors require time and effort and this is exactly what link building is – a way to add value to the Web, working all the time alongside great content.
But no matter how hard it is, don’t ever be so desperate to use black hat link building techniques that can cause more harm than good. Do not buy backlinks! The backlinks you buy, can only hurt your site. Instead of that, invest in software that can help you get white hat SEO backlinks and invest in people that are able to produce great content!
Most important of all, focus on the users and give people real value. Build links that are relevant, enriching both the web and its users.
Build links that you will be proud of!
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