Backlinking is a sport.
The main goal in many different sports is the same.
Get the ball to go to a certain place and score a point.
However, the players of each sport use totally different strategies to accomplish that goal.
A soccer player can’t just pick up the ball and throw it into the net. A football player can’t take a bat and hit the football to his teammate in the end zone. Neither can a baseball player kick the baseball out of the park.
Obviously, different strategies are needed in these different situations in order to accomplish that same goal.
Well, the same goes for SEO and backlinking.
You see, depending on the type of website you have and the audience you want to reach, your best backlinking strategy will be different.
That’s why today, we’re going to find out exactly which backlinking strategy is perfect for you and whatever site you’re working with.
How to Tailor Your Backlinking Strategies to Your Goals
Obviously, I can’t just tell you which backlinking strategy is right for you. I don’t know you or your site.
However, you know yourself.
You know what you want and need to get out of linkbuilding.
I’ve simply highlighted who I’d expect to get the most out of each strategy. Brand new websites have different needs than well-established ones with tons of existing backlinks. E-commerce sites have different needs from blogs. And so on.
That said, as you go through the list below, don’t feel that you’re limited to using just one. You may well find that your particular situation fits into more than just one of these categories.
Explore, mix and match, go outside the box. It’s good for you. While you may find that one particular backlinking strategy works best for your website right off the bat, it’s always a good idea to employ multiple strategies. That way you’re never relying solely on one way of getting backlinks.
The 12 Top Backlinking Strategies
Backlinking for Blogs
1. Modified Skyscraper Technique
We all know the basics of Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique. This technique for building backlinks has been touted all over the internet, and is basically a formula for getting backlinks through good content (that’s designed to beat the competition).
Brian Dean focuses on three steps:
- Finding linkworthy content
- Creating something that improves on that content
- Getting in contact with the right people
How can we make this even more specific to your blog and, without fail, beat out the competition? Here’s my modified version, which focuses even more heartily on competitor research:
Step One: Find your competition’s best content using Monitor Backlinks.
Using this tool, you’ll see a comprehensive list of all the backlinks coming in to your competitor’s websites. (Monitor Backlinks even allows you to track new or changed backlinks to a number of your competitors!)
Export this list into a CSV and start weeding through it. Remove any page links (home, about, contact) or any image links. Then, sort the list alphabetically by the linked-to URL.
Did you find that one or two posts in particular have quite a few backlinks coming in?
Excellent. You’ve just struck gold.
This content has already been linked to, and you’ll probably find that it has social shares and engagement as well. This means that it’s a solid post formed around a topic that’s on people’s minds. You’ll know that the topic matters, and that the audience is interested in reading more.
Keep this information on hand. You’re going to need it.
Step Two: Create something better.
Now you know exactly what topic you’re starting with. You already know it’s going to be popular online, assuming you do a killer job with the content creation.
So, how can you make this post better than what the competition has?
You could try:
- Creating a more up-to-date version
- Making a longer, more thorough post (e.g., if your competition’s post lists “10 Ways to Make Your Own Soap,” then you could create a list of 20 or 50 Ways to Make Your Own Soap.)
- Giving your page a better design, graphics or images
For a foolproof execution of this plan, do all three.
Step Three: Reach out to the right people.
Remember that exported list of your competitor’s backlinks? Well, that’s going to come in handy now.
You’ve already seen quite a few backlinks pointing to one post on your competitor’s website. Now, you have content that (hopefully) blows the doors off of that other post.
So, it’s time to get in contact with the people who are linking to the original post.
You don’t have to beg for backlinks, just talk about how you found their page and noticed that they linked to a great piece of content about [insert subject].
Then, gently mention that you have a similar post that’s more up-to-date (or more detailed, or that has a great infographic). Send them the link and let them decide if they want to use it or not.
Using his skyscraper technique and a simple outreach email, Brian Dean had an 11% success rate, and got multiple backlinks to the content piece that he created.
What kind of success rate will you have?
2. Create Educational Resources for Smart .edu Backlinks
You might think, how does my niche relate to something educational?
For some websites this is a natural fit, especially in niches related to education, law, science, parenting, etc. But even if your content tend to be a little less than educational, don’t blow past this backlinking strategy just yet.
Creating an educational resource might not be as hard as you think.
You have a large range of grades to focus in on, from kindergarten all the way through college. Are you sure your niche can’t link to any of these students?
For example, a blog about cosmetics might create an educational resource talking about teenagers and their self image. Or a blog about travel might create a fun resource to help kids with geography. A blog about finances could create a resource for understanding (and paying off) student loans.
Once you’ve created your fantastic educational resource, it’s time to get in contact with different schools or homeschooling websites. A simple Google search will help you find the right people to get in contact with.
With many well-written emails and some time, you’ve got extremely valuable .edu links coming in to your website!
3. Play to the Influencer Ego with Features and Interviews
No matter what niche your blog finds itself in, there are always influencers.
Backlink from these websites are invaluable. But we all know that simply asking for them doesn’t always work with such successful online personalities.
That’s why it’s time to play to their egos.
Start by creating the content you want links to, either features or interviews.
Has an influencer in your niche recently done something really cool? Do multiple influencers have valuable information for your blog readers?
Let’s talk about it!
- These 5 Travel Bloggers Have Visited a Combined 500 Countries
- Meet the Fashion Blogger Who Started Today’s Hottest Trend in Footwear
- See What 10 Top Gaming Bloggers Say About Purchasing the Best Gaming Chair
You could either draw information from what’s already online in order to create a feature post, or you could go right ahead and contact the influencer beforehand in order to get a short interview.
Once your content is published, it’s only natural to let the influencer know. And very likely, they’ll want to share and link to this post on their own website and social channels!
Personally, I love this method because it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. The influencer will be happy to be featured, and you’ll be getting a valuable backlink!
Backlinking for E-commerce Websites
4. A Little Give and Take: Give Products, Take Reviews
I cannot stress this enough: niche bloggers are the best thing that can happen to a e-commerce website.
Bloggers have more influence than ever now, and when they recommend a product to their readers, that products will grow in popularity.
But, you won’t get a recommendation for nothing.
First, you need to find the influencers within your niche. This can easily be done with tools like Traackr, which allow you to search for the top influencers within your specific area of expertise.
You’ll also want to do a bit of extra research to make sure that these influencers’ audiences matches up with your target audience.
Next, it’s time for some simple outreach. Start by introducing the product to them, explaining what makes it stand out from other similar products. Then, offer to send them a free sample in exchange for a review on their website.
Once accepted, the influencer will create a post that will naturally link back to your ecommerce website.
Lastly, rinse and repeat. Do this with all of the top influencers in your niche and not only will you have a bunch of valuable backlinks coming into your website: You’ll have some fantastic reviews for your product across the web!
5. Gather Your Minions on Social Media
If you’re digital-marketing-smart, you probably already have a Facebook page for your business.
But all that does is present your information to the world. It won’t help you get backlinks.
What if you could gather a group of people together that were enthused about your product, and use them to get backlinks?
Voila: Introducing the Facebook Group.
When you create a group on Facebook, you can draw in excited followers and influencers from around the globe. Make them feel like they’re part of something, and be active in group discussions.
Best of all, if you’ve followed the backlinking strategy above, you’re probably already in contact with a few influencers. Invite them to join your group, entice them with interesting conversation and discussion about your products and your niche.
Doing so will draw even more people in.
Once you’ve created a community, there are endless opportunities to earn backlinks.
For example, you could interview different bloggers who have used your product and feature them in a blog post (which they’ll naturally want to link to).
You could use this group to promote a product giveaway in exchange for reviews (creating a modified version of the strategy we discussed above).
Or, you could organize a physical event in relation to your topic, and invite bloggers within the group to cover this event on their blogs.
Like I said, once you have your minions gathered, the possibilities are really endless.
Backlinking for Local Businesses
6. Make the Headlines
Local newspapers love hearing local success stories.
Have you started a local business that has grown rapidly? Do you run a family business that has grown exponentially since the day your great-grandfather opened it?
All you have to do is contact your local newspaper and sell the story. Simply ask they that place a link in the online article back to your website.
Of course, if you want to be in a bigger newspaper, you’ll probably have to do something that’s either extraordinary or that’s controversial. Find a topic that truly strikes a chord with people, that will appeal to emotions and local issues. Then, work with that!
This backlinking strategy for local businesses can give you some very valuable links, but will be an investment of time and effort. You’ll probably need to send out quite a few pitches before someone accepts. But all that work is worth the result.
7. Bring the Community Together
Community events are almost always listed on your town’s website. And you know who gets a backlink? That’s right. The event host.
All you have to do is organize a community event and let the town know.
This could range a number of different events, such as:
- A clothing, food or toy drive
- A scavenger hunt
- A seminar on a local topic or issue
- A seasonal family event
- Something related to your business
If the event takes place in your business, you get the added bonus of more exposure and your physical address listed on the town website as well!
8. Local Guest Blogging with a Twist
Guest blogging is one of the standard methods that’s still used by many in order to get backlinks. For local business to gain exposure within the community (and get local backlinks), guest blogging on locally-based blogs could be a very good idea.
Here’s my twist.
First, find a local figure to interview. This could be a political figure, a business figure or even just an interesting person who’s known in your community.
Once your write up this interview, you can offer that valuable content to local blogs as a guest post.
At the end of your post, you’ll get credit that promotes your business and a link to your business website.
Backlinking for Brand New Websites
9. Taking Influencer Advice and Turning It into a Backlink
Like we mentioned above, backlinks from influencers are extremely powerful because their websites tend to be high in authority and can give you a ton of link juice. However, they’re also hard to get.
Both of these points are especially true for new websites.
Once again, it’s time to play to their ego and get a win-win situation for both parties.
First, scour the websites of influencers within your niche for advice.
Next, follow that advice and see the marvelous results.
Then, write a case study about how that advice worked for you.
Finally, contact the influencer, and let them know about your great success story and the case study you’ve published. Chances are, they’ll be happy to link to it!
For example, if you’re a website in the digital marketing niche, you could follow the advice of some top marketing influencers. Record your results, and write a post about it! For example, “How Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique Got me a 50% Success Rate.”
Now all you have to do is let Brian Dean know, and he’ll probably link out to your case study. Imagine how impressive that backlink will be for your backlink profile!
Backlinking for Websites That Already Have Tons of Backlinks
10. Make Successful Content Work Double Time
What do you normally do when you see that one of your posts has a ton of great backlinks?
Most of us simply pat ourselves on the back and move on.
But you can still squeeze more juice out of those old, successful posts, which is what this backlinking strategy is all about.
First, use Monitor Backlinks to analyze your own backlinks. Use the filters to see only certain “linked-to” pages within your site, and check which content has the best amount of good backlinks.
Let’s say that your most linked-to post is only in text format. Could you create a video, podcast, infographic or other form of content based around the same information?
Most of the time, this is actually relatively simple.
Once you’ve got that new content up and running, you can contact the people that are already linking to the original content and let them know about your latest infographic, video, etc.
If they were excited about the original content, you can bet at least some of them will be happy to link to your new content as well!
Backlinking for B2B Websites
11. Conference Your Way to Success
If you’re a B2B company with a reasonable amount of money to spend, this backlinking strategy could definitely work for you.
Sponsoring a conference will cost you, but it’s a great way to get backlinks from high-authority sites. The conference website itself will obviously link to your website, but think of all the other opportunities! Depending on the size of the conference, you could be getting backlinks from many other websites who mention or cover the conference.
It’s also a good idea to set up a page within your website with information about the conference, and promote the conference to other websites within the target niche. That way, those people can link to your website when talking about the conference to their audiences.
Here’s three of your best options for choosing a conference to sponsor:
- Local conferences: Good for SEO, but may be more difficult to fit into your specific niche
- Industry conferences: Great to get your brand in the sights of your peers in order to form partnerships
- Target audience conferences: Present yourself to your target audience and give them your card (with your website’s address on it)
12. Tell ’em How You Really Feel
Most B2B’s are constantly using products and software of other businesses.
If you like a product or software, why not let the world know?
And by this, I mean write up a nice testimonial.
This backlinking strategy for businesses is great way to make friends and get backlinks at the same time. The other business will be happy to have a testimonial to add to their site, and you get a link back to your website!
Another option would be to track how using this product or software helped your company, and then offer to write up a case study for the company. Again the results are the same: everybody wins!
The Final Word on Backlinking Strategies: Stick to Your Favorite or Mix and Match!
Now that we’ve discussed 12 of today’s top backlinking strategies, did you find your perfect fit?
If not, don’t worry. All of these methods are effective for backlinking, so feel free to mix and match! You may find that using two or three methods combined can actually work just as well (or even better) than just using a one backlinking strategy.
It’s time to get out there and start building better backlinks for your website.