Currency rules the world.
Despite every country having their own monetary equivalent, there’s one common denominator: We need currency to get by.
It’s no different in the digital world.
In the world of SEO, the currency is backlinks.
You can’t get far in the SERPs without having a decent stash in your back pocket.
But how do you keep building backlinks after you’ve exhausted every link building guide known to man?
The answer: these simple link building tips and tactics that a lot of SEOs overlook.
8 Unique Link Building Tips You’ve Probably Forgotten About
So you’re all set to make a dent in your backlink profile and build a secret arsenal of backlinks. I’m excited to give you a helping hand.
But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this post, a quick warning: This guide isn’t talking general strategies to build links (we’ve got an entire guide to that, here).
Instead, we’re going to talk about the small ways you can improve your SEO strategy and build more backlinks in ways you’ve probably forgotten about.
If you wanted to say one of my pet peeves, these link building tips are the “low-hanging fruit.”
(Sorry to all of the people who hate that phrase as much as I do. I really am.)
1. Share Original Data, Content and Studies
The first step to building great links (and to keep building great links) is to create great content.
After all, the internet uses content to communicate. It’s how we get people to engage with our brand, and how search engines understand what we’re talking about to determine our rankings.
What I’m trying to say is: Content is important.
You can take this methodology and transform it into a link generating machine by creating content pieces that act as linkable assets.
Let me explain.
Unique pieces of content are classed as “linkable assets” because they were created by and belong to you. Hosted on your site, these types of content draw in more links over time because they offer something original, that only you have.
- Your own data or research
- Industry reports from your own surveys
…can all act as linkable assets. Because they’re unique, nobody can steal the backlink limelight and the link juice will head straight to your site.
Here’s a great example of what I’d class as a linkable asset. Social Media Examiner surveyed their audience and compiled an extensive report into social media usage, including original statistics from marketers.
They hosted this exclusive report on their website, and created a dedicated landing page for anyone who’s referencing the data and giving credit.
As a result of this linkable asset, you can see from the Free Backlink Checker that they’ve collected links from the likes of Neil Patel, Webfirm, TapInfluence and Impact BND:
How to Create 10X Linkable Assets
What would you say if I told you that it’s possible to rank your linkable assets on Page One for the keyword you’re targeting?
Well, it is.
But just like anything else in SEO, there’s a certain process you need to follow to get there.
Start by compiling the data or creating the infographic acting as your linkable asset. For content to be truly linkable for the long run, it needs to be 10x.
10x content is a framework created by Moz, that essentially just means content that’s 10 times better than anything else available on the topic. This is what you should be thinking about in the research stage, when you’re deciding what to create your content about.
Do a quick Google search for the topic you want to rank for, and meet your competition. For each topic, ask yourself: Can I create something 10x better than what they’ve created?
Some ways you might be able to do this include:
- Turn data into pie charts, graphs and other visuals
- Include more data and research than your competition
- Add external links to high-quality sources
The more detail you can include, the better.
This’ll give you more opportunities for other bloggers to find and reference your data, research or infographic in their own content—and give you a backlink, as credit.
Yay for natural link building!
2. Build Relationships with People in Your Industry
We all know that relationships lead to opportunities. It’s no different in the link building world—that’s why it’s so important to network with people in your industry.
Opportunities for referrals or guest blogging spots could spawn from a relationship with an influencer, or just a friend you chat with every now and then.
Don’t believe me?
After building a relationship with a fellow freelance writer, she asked me to get involved with a piece she was creating for her client. I jumped in with both feet and agreed to help her out.
…Talk about hitting the jackpot!
How to Build Meaningful Relationships
Relationship-building is hard. You don’t want to come across as a kiss-ass, but you want to be doing enough to make people remember you.
The first (and most obvious) step is to find people you want to build relationships with. You could search Twitter and find a list of users with a specific job title, or work your way through round-up posts which list influencers in your niche.
Once you’ve got your list, follow them on social media. Twitter and LinkedIn are great ones for professionals.
But, don’t just leave your budding relationship at a follow. You can:
- Retweet their Twitter posts
- Comment on their Facebook statuses
- Reply to their LinkedIn posts
Basically, you want to engage with them and get on their radar.
Once you’ve done this consistently and the two of you have a good vibe, you can then email for backlink opportunities—or wait for them to come to you.
Granted, this link building tip isn’t going to open the floodgates to links, but you’re working towards long-term gain.
3. Give Testimonials to Your Favorite Brands
Have you fallen head over heels for a product or service that your business couldn’t live without?
That leads us to our third link building tip: Give testimonials!
Businesses are always looking to collect testimonials. Not only does it give their website the wow factor, but 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family.
(Psstt… did you notice the linkable asset in that last paragraph above? I just gave them another backlink!)
Because testimonials are so highly regarded, why not offer to write one for a company you love?
The Monitor Backlinks team were able to provide me with a testimonial for my writing services. I love to show this off on my website, and I included a backlink to the main site, as credit.
You can collect these types of backlinks for your own site, too.
How to Build Testimonial Backlinks
First of all, you’ll need to find the site (or business) that you want to write a review for.
But, this might not be as straightforward as you first assume—you’ll need to make sure the site is relevant to your own business. It’d make sense for an SEO agency to get a testimonial backlink from an SEO tool they use, but not from a local restaurant or a cat food distributor.
Once your target is in sight, follow the relationship-building steps I outlined earlier, and end it with your offer to write a testimonial.
Chances are, the business will jump at the opportunity. People always want to hear good feedback about their business, right?
So, write your testimonial—bonus points if you can show some numbers! Let’s face it: “This software helped my business gain 35% more leads in two weeks” is much more impressive than “I’ve seen heaps of new customers.”
Then, ask that the business link to your site when publishing the testimonial on their website. Since you’ve done the good deed of helping them, it’s a small (but worthwhile) reward for them to dish out.
4. Recover Dead Backlinks
Did you know that you could have backlinks pointing to broken or deleted pages on your website?
Not only are these bad for user experience, but you’re missing out on their SEO power. Since the page doesn’t exist, Google won’t pass link juice through it.
Luckily for you, it’s pretty easy to find these dead backlinks and turn them into flourishing links that are an asset to your backlink profile.
And it only takes a matter of minutes, at most.
How to Recover Dead Backlinks
Firstly, you’ll need to find the backlinks that are pointing to broken pages on your site.
This is simple: Sign in to your Monitor Backlinks account and find your backlink profile under the “Backlinks” tab.
Then, hit the filter button and select “404 not found” under the Status section:
You’ll then be greeted with a full list of broken backlinks pointing to your site.
Then, all you need to do is comb through each one and either:
- Automatically redirect the broken backlink to another relevant page on your site, or,
- Ask the site owner to edit the link, giving them a replacement for another URL on your site.
And as simple as that, you’ve got the SEO power back!
(Don’t have a Monitor Backlinks account yet? Grab yourself a free 30-day trial here, and in 24 hours you’ll have the data you need to complete this step for yourself!)
5. Reclaim Brand Mentions
It’s not uncommon for people to mention your brand online without linking to it. We do it all the time.
Whether they didn’t think to or simply forgot to include a link to your site while talking about your brand, you don’t have to let these unlinked mentions plague your link building strategy.
In fact, you can turn these brand mentions into backlinks.
And, since the linked-to site has already done the hard work (of mentioning you), it’s fairly straightforward to turn that into a juicy link.
How to Turn Brand Mentions into Backlinks
Start by finding the brand mentions you want to transform.
Go through each one and for any instance where a link hasn’t already been included, reach out to the owner and ask for credit.
6. Double-Check Social Media Links
This link building might seem obvious but it’s one that’s commonly forgotten about: building links from your social media profile.
All too often, businesses:
- Misspell the link in the bio section of their social profiles
- Send people to the wrong landing page
- Don’t include a backlink, at all
…which doesn’t help at all with your link building attempts.
But if you’re debating the value of these social media links, remember that they’re not all worthless.
Yes, Twitter and Facebook dish out no-follow links, meaning you won’t have tons of SEO value pointing to your site. But, they’re still great for brand awareness and turning social media visitors into traffic to your website.
How to Get Social Media Links
Here’s a quick rundown of how you can collect a super-valuable and instant backlink from each of these social media networks.
- Facebook: Head to your page’s settings and add the URL to the “About” section.
- YouTube: Add your URL in your channel’s settings, and in the description of every video you upload.
- LinkedIn: Under “Contact Info,” create a backlink to your website.
- Twitter: Hit “Edit Profile” and add your homepage URL:
7. Look at Your PR Strategy
Another great link building tip is to combine your PR and marketing strategy.
Although PR is tailored more towards reputation-building and marketing focuses on driving sales, you can build fantastic backlinks by combining the two.
Chances are, you’re already doing PR tasks that have backlink opportunities. Just look at the press releases you’re creating—although these are designed to boost brand awareness, why not include a link to a landing page in your write-up?
This multi-channel approach to link building expands your horizons. Instead of sticking yourself in a marketing box, look at the other tasks you’re doing to build your brand and generate backlinks from there.
How to Build PR Backlinks
We briefly touched on building press release backlinks, but here’s a mini-breakdown to combining your PR and link building strategy:
1. Write a press release announcing company news or sharing data you’ve collected (from your linkable asset!).
2. Include a backlink to a landing page hosted on your website.
3. Send the press release (and link) to journalists in your industry, asking them to cover your story on their site.
Simple as 1, 2, 3!
8. Create Your Own Round-Up
We always talk about how round-up posts are great link building opportunities if you can manage to get featured in one. But let’s try switching it up.
You can create your own round-up post, linking to other people, and still build backlinks to your site.
It’s true—and I’ve experienced it first-hand.
After I responded to a HARO query, Fit Small Business mentioned me in their round-up post. In their email to let me know about the mention, they asked me to include a link to their round-up post on my blog:
Because they did something nice for me (gave me a mention in their round-up), I’m much more likely to give them a link. Especially if the post makes me look good!
How to Build Links with a Round-Up Post
To kick off your link building emails, you’ll need to create the round-up post.
You can do this by reaching out to influencers in your niche, or simply asking people you’ve built relationships with (notice how many opportunities present themselves from relationship-building?)
Once your round-up post is done and published, send a quick email to everyone you featured. Thank them for their help, and mention that you’d love for them to link to the round-up from their own site.
Told you it was simple, and low-hanging fruit! (…My apologies, again.)
Now that you’ve built a strategy around these link building tips, it’s time to run with your new outreach tactics.
Just remember that the best backlinks come with time.
It’s unlikely that you’ll see an influx of links after implementing all eight of these link building tips. But like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Stick to it, and remember that it’s a long-term gain. It’ll be worth it in the end!