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Link Building SEO

What is a Link Building Campaign? A Noob’s Guide

Want to know what a Link Building campaign is but were afraid to ask?

Well, read on as we lay it out nice and simple!

So, the key thing to understand is that Link building campaigns in SEO are designed to increase the number of links pointing to a website. These backlinks can point to your homepage, service pages, specific articles, and so on.

Google and most other search engines consider backlinks as “votes of confidence” from one website to another. This explains why the more links you acquire, the more likely your website will appear trustworthy and authoritative in the eyes of search engines.

This helps you:

  • Boost your ranking in the SERPs
  • Raise your brand awareness
  • Increase your legitimacy in the eyes of your customers and competitors

That being said, link building is not always a numbers game. In most cases, it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you have acquired for your website but the quality and relevancy of those links.

In this simplified guide, we’ll show you how to put together a successful link building strategy that drives customers to your business on autopilot. Without much ado, let’s get right into it!

What Are the Key Elements of a Successful Link Building Campaign?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the strategy will vary depending on your industry and competitors. However, there are a few basic ones that you should never overlook. 

For starters, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity, always. Getting backlinks from high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche is much more effective than linking from low-quality websites in large numbers.

Additionally, strive to build genuine relationships with other website owners and influencers in your industry — this will pay off in the long run as they are more likely to link back to your website if they know and trust you.

That said, the following are what we consider the foundations of a successful link building strategy.

Assess Your Resources

Every successful link building strategy starts with resource evaluation. Remember, this is not a one-off job and requires plenty of time and money to cater for research, software, content and outreach needs.

So first and foremost, how much money are you willing to spend? An average link building outreach campaign can cost anywhere between $500 and $10,000 or even more per month depending on the business model, industry competition and needs.

Secondly, how much time can you spare? Building backlinks is time-consuming because it involves a lot of strategic thinking and manual labor.

Before you start building backlinks, think about the amount of resources you have for the task ahead of you.

Review Your Link Opportunities

Link opportunities vary based on industry. But generally, it’s important to have an idea of who to target and can link to you. Otherwise, you won’t get any quality backlinks and your campaign will fall flat on your face.

To begin with, figure out who your ideal categories of linking candidates are. Think bloggers, niche-focused web directories, trade organizations, etc. Then, identify which of these websites are suitable for your business.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t waste time trying to get links from websites competing for the same keywords as your business. No one will want to offer a helping hand to a direct competitor.

Create Link-Worthy Assets

Your linkable assets could be information-packed blog posts, industry reports, infographics, research presentations, white papers, and more.

Even so, for an asset to truly qualify as link-worthy, it needs to set your brand apart in some way. For example, you can include original research and surveys into your content to create hooks or connection points to external anchor texts.

If you have no idea about what people are raving about in your industry, try brainstorming ideas using SEO tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs.

Based on your findings and the information you have in your hands, you can then create useful assets that attract links and shares.

Align Link Building With Business Goals

Link building can only be truly effective if it’s aligned with other business goals. This helps to ensure that alongside acquiring links, you also accomplish other business or marketing objectives in the end.

For example, let’s say you run a plumbing blog and want to promote yourself as the best plumber in your area.  In that case, you can reach out to local real estate bloggers for reviews of your service.

By doing so, you’ll earn a backlink for every review and also get your brand name out there as a result of the publicity you get. Talk of hitting two birds with one stone!

Prioritize Relevance and Authority

A site’s relevance and authority matter a great deal when it comes to link building. Links are more valuable when they come from websites with content closely related to the topic of your page.

Contextual links promote a seamless transition from the current page to the one being linked, as well as ensure a good reader experience. This is what Google loves and will reward you accordingly.

Another useful aspect to consider is the Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) of the site that hosts your backlink. Again, Google places more weight on links that come from authoritative websites.

High authority sites pass link equity or “link juice” to the linked page which then causes a boost in the page’s ranking.

How Do I Start Building Links?

So you want to build backlinks for your online business? We won’t lie; the process can be exhausting but as with anything, every journey begins with a single step.

Here at Profit Engine, we focus on three main approaches as follows:

Outreach

For this method, you first get a list of the websites you’d want to get linked from. The goal is to reach out to the owners asking for guest blogging or link insertions opportunities.

Outreaching can take a lot of time and effort but when done right, the reward is worth the hassle.

Before jumping right into contacting websites and requesting for links, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Links should come from websites in niches related to yours
  • Consider the credibility and authority of the websites
  • Know the audience they serve

If everything checks out, you can contact site owners through email or social media.

Manually Add Links

Manual link building is where you add links yourself. You can place your links in a blog comment section, share links on social media or web 2.0 properties, or through press release platforms.

This form of building links gives you more control over how many backlinks you can build, unlike when you rely on third-parties to link to your site.

However, a word of caution here is that Google perceives most of these links to be generally manipulative, hence you’ll likely not get much results from them. Worse still, if overdone, they could land you in big problems.

So if you’re going to use this method, it’s important to play safe and only add your links sparingly on platforms that Google deems safe.

Earn Links Organically

Link earning is when you create original, high-quality content that other sites can’t help but link back to. This method allows you to earn editorially placed links that competitors struggle to replicate.

Link earning gives the highest reward but also requires a great amount of effort. You must be prepared to invest time and resources to develop top-quality content that naturally attracts links from strangers on the internet.

The idea here is to make sure the content you produce is a cut above every other post existing online.

Is Link Building Difficult?

Link building is a fundamental part of any SEO strategy, but it’s also one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of the job. While the concept behind it appears fairly straightforward, executing a real campaign can be quite a complex thing.

The reason why good link building is difficult is because it’s a manual process with very little room for automations and shortcuts. For example, you’ll need to find relevant sites with high DA and PA, spend a lot of time on outreach, create amazing content, and do plenty more.

Worse, many website owners will often ignore you if you reach out to them with a generic message, not mentioning that almost all of them now ask for payments for link placements.

So yes, link building is no child play and it can get pretty expensive if you don’t know your way around.

Is Link Building Ethical?

As long as your links were acquired naturally without violating Google’s guidelines, then yes, link building is ethical.

Ethical link building can be achieved in several ways, including high quality guest posting, link insertions that add value, journalistic content creation, among others.

On the other hand, building backlinks through spamming and other black hat SEO techniques is unethical. It’s also the surest way to have your site penalized or de-indexed so keep off no matter how tempting it looks.

We Can Help Drive More Traffic With SEO

Link building can be a tough nut to crack, but with the right strategy in place (and some help), it can yield some serious results.

If you want to run a successful link building campaign, make sure to focus on quality over quantity, target high-authority sites, and mix up your link types.

Finally, consider hiring a reputable agency that specializes in this type of work. This helps you avoid many of the common mistakes made when attempting to build links on your own.

Plus, an experienced agency will have established relationships with high-quality websites, which will make it easier to get your links placed on these sites.

If you need the backing of a strategic marketing partner with proven results, then we’d love to speak with you.Get in touch with us now and let’s build a bespoke backlinking strategy that skyrockets your brand and profits using SEO.

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Link Building SEO

Link Velocity For SEO: Is it still Important?

“How fast should you build backlinks without getting penalized by Google?”

This has remained a hotly contested topic among SEOs and anyone who has been involved in building links for almost two decades. The debate still rages on!

For starters, this question is all about the concept of natural link velocity. Considering how much weight Google places on backlinks as a ranking factor, it’s crucial to your SEO strategy to have a good understanding of link velocity, as it DOES have an impact on your serp rankings!

  • So, what is link velocity?
  • Why does link velocity in SEO matter?
  • What is the ideal link velocity?

In this latest guide, we explore everything you need to know about the speed at which to build backlinks for your website. Let’s jump straight into it!

What is Link Velocity?

Link velocity refers to the rate at which a website acquires backlinks over a given period. It is commonly measured in terms of links acquired per month or referring domains acquired per month.

In theory, the formula for calculating link velocity is:

Link Velocity=Links Acquired/Time

However, as an SEO metric, link velocity is more complex than it looks. Unless you conduct competitor research, there’s really no standard approach to calculating link-building velocity.

The best way to figure out your appropriate link-building velocity is first to determine the current rate at which you’re building links.

Here, you need to consider your existing referring domains as well as your existing backlinks. We like to use Ahrefs for this.

For example, let’s say Ahrefs shows your site’s current metrics as follows:

  • Existing referring domains=47
  • Existing backlinks=95

To determine your optimal link velocity, find the top 5 competitors in your niche. Again, you can use Ahrefs to check who your best competitors are.

Hint: Select the competitors whose referring domains are 40-60% more than your site.

Now with a list of your competitors, it’s time to track the growth of their backlink profiles, preferably over the last 30 days. The following is an example:

  • Competitor one: 7 new backlinks
  • Competitor two: 18 new backlinks
  • Competitor three: 15 new backlinks
  • Competitor four: 3 new backlinks
  • Competitor five: 26 new backlinks

In this case, the average link velocity = (7+18+15+3+26)/5

Link velocity: 59/5=12

Your competitors are building an average of 12 backlinks per month.

Now, as much as benchmarking your competitors is a good idea, don’t get excited and start building 12 links per month right away. Link building velocity needs to be as natural as possible.

So, if your site is currently only averaging around one or two links per month, then jumping to 12 links per month would look like you’re trying to manipulate Google’s search rankings.

It’s even worse if your backlinks don’t look as if they’re built naturally and organically. It would send negative signals to Google and you may get penalized.

What’s The Best Link Velocity For SEO?

There’s no definite number that indicates a good link velocity. In fact, Google has said before that it doesn’t care so much about the speed at which backlinks get added to a website (although you should always take such statements with a pinch of salt).

Rather, it cares about how natural and organic the links are. The number of backlinks that are added to a site needs to increase steadily over time. Put otherwise, link growth should be in line with your site growth.

For example, if you acquired 5 links this week, it would make sense to acquire 10 or 15 next week, but not 100.

Ideally, an organic link velocity needs to maintain some level of consistency without compromising link quality. Again, your link building quantity needs to have a natural curve comprising growth, peak, and a taper off.

Be careful not to follow a specific pattern, though. Google can detect patterns, too many backlinks acquired too quickly is a definite red flag! and if big G sees that, you risk getting your site penalized.

How we do it here at Profit Engine is to take a random approach to link building. For instance, if starting a campaign for a client from scratch, we try to structure their monthly link acquisition to look something like this:

  • Day 1: 1 link
  • Day 3: 2 links
  • Day 6: 1 link
  • Day 11: 3 links
  • Day 17: 5 links
  • Day 22: 3 links
  • Day 27: 6 links
  • Day 30: 2 links

Of course, we can sometimes break this rule and ramp things up a bit but even then it’s recommended to keep it looking natural. The last thing you want to do is to get slapped with a Penguin algorithm penalty.

This does not always pan out though, you may have high quality content that you promote through link outreach that gets a lot of links in a short space of time. The key is to keep up your link building even if its at a lesser velocity.

Also, if you were to build backlinks quickly, they better be contextual, niche-relevant, and from high-authority websites with real traffic. Exactly what our link-building playbook directs!

Ultimately, the most surefire way to guarantee the best link velocity is to work with a proven link building agency.

Why Does Link Velocity Matter to SEO?

Link velocity is not a new concept in the SEO community. Indeed, it all started in 2003 with the discovery of a Google patent named Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data.

The patent, among other things, discusses some ideas about how the search engine should treat websites based on the growth of their backlink profile.

Worth mentioning is that the term “link velocity” isn’t explicitly mentioned anywhere in the patent. But there’s one particular passage that’s related to this idea.

This is what it says:

“While a spiky rate of growth in the number of backlinks may be a factor used by search engine 125 to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine 125. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine 125 may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming.”

As you can see, it mentions a “spiky rate of growth” in the number of backlinks and the possibility of getting demoted in the SERPs.

However, it doesn’t directly mention that the rate of growth in backlinks is the reason why a website’s ranking score may get lowered. Instead, it says a spiky rate of growth “may also signal an attempt to spam search engines”.

If we interpret this message in detail, it means the search engine might lower a website’s ranking score if its rapid growth is due to spammy links.

Put simply, spammy links are backlinks that come from spam or poor authority sites. They usually cause a sharp spike in traffic to a domain and can attract a manual review from Google.

So, to be fair, it doesn’t really matter how quickly or how slowly your backlinks grow over time. What matters more is whether you acquired those links in line with Google’s guidelines.

In fact, according to Google’s John Mueller, the quality of links is what counts. While addressing the question of link velocity, he says:

“So it’s not so much a matter of how many links you get in which time period. It’s really just… if these are links that are unnatural or from our point of view problematic, then they would be problematic. It’s like it doesn’t really matter how many or in which time. “

But from our experience, Google continuously monitors how your links are built over time and won’t hesitate penalizing your site if it detects anything spammy.

As a rule, focus on creating high-quality backlinks and avoid anything that the search engine may interpret as black-hat SEO strategies.

How to Design an Effective Link Velocity Strategy to Avoid Google Penalties

There are a few key factors that affect the rate at which your website attracts links, including its authority, how often you link out and the amount and quality of content published.

When using tactics such as link building outreach, these same factors should determine your link velocity, and we’ll explain why below.

Create high-quality and linkable content

If you want to attract tons of fresh, high quality links without raising an alarm with Google, focus on publishing quality content regularly.

Depending on your niche, you may want to include stats, tips, and examples in your content. This helps readers get adequate information and increases your chances of getting natural links.

Besides, bloggers and industry experts are always on the lookout for useful content that they can link back to their websites.

Only build links from relevant/niche-related websites

Niche-relevant backlinks are a golden ticket to boosting your rankings on Google’s SERPs. They appear to search engines that the site is a credible resource for information about a given topic, product or service.

Bear in mind that relevancy can also be at the page level. If your site is about, say, dog food, and you get a link from a high DR general site on a page about dog health, that works too.

So if your site has lots of links coming from other websites or webpages that are not related to yours, Google’s algorithm could view this as spam. This sends negative signals to Google and can result in your site getting demoted in search rankings.

Build your site’s authority

Site authority, also called domain authority (DA), refers to how powerful a website is in the eyes of Google which also determines its rankings on search results. Higher authority sites are usually considered trustworthy by users, industry experts, search engines, and even other websites.

Because these sites are popular and well-respected in their fields, they are likely to attract backlinks a lot quickly, hence a higher link velocity shouldn’t be a problem for them.

Typical examples of authority sites include The New York Times and Forbes, both of which can rake in hundreds of links per day without attracting the wrath of Google.

Link out more often

The ration behind this is that when you link out to other websites, the site owners are more likely to reciprocate by linking back to yours. In general, reciprocal linking occurs when webmasters agree to link to each other. At Profit Engine, we focus on reciprocal links as a key part of our campaigns.

Even so, you want to target high-authority websites within the same niche as (or those related to) yours and do it within reasonable limits. This way, you can justify why you’re gaining backlinks at a quicker pace than usual.

Don’t forget to diversify your anchor texts

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Using the same anchor text for all links pointing to your website is a bad idea. The reason is search engines consider this an attempt to manipulate rankings and this could result in severe punishment.

When building links, it’s important that you diversify your anchor texts to incorporate a mix of phrase match, partial match, brand and generic terms. The idea is to have your backlinks looking as natural as possible.

Conduct a competitive link velocity analysis

Competitor link velocity analysis is an integral part of any successful link building campaign. As we explained earlier, the goal here is to determine how many links you should be building vis-à-vis your competition.

Performing a competitive analysis of your competitors helps you know:

  • Total number of links they have
  • Total number of incoming links per month
  • Number of unique linking domains
  • Recently lost links
  • Page performance
  • Link quality
  • Anchor text type and variance

From this information, you can get a sense of what your competitors are doing and reverse engineer their link building strategy. You can then aim to build the same (or better) link profile to improve your odds of ranking higher in search engines.

Need someone to take care of your Link Building?

There you have it! Whether you acquire links fast or slowly is not what matters the most. Instead, the quality of the links and how they are acquired is what drives results and enables you to avoid penalties.

Nonetheless, link velocity is a vital SEO metric that should not be ignored. If you don’t want to attract any unwanted attention from Google, focus on building links in a way that appears natural and organic, instead of just building them fast just because you can.

Are you looking to build high-quality backlinks that move your business up the search results and bring you customers organically? We can help.

Get in touch with us now for a free strategy call or conversation. You could be our next success story!

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Link Building

A Simplified Guide To Link Insertions For SEO

Link Building Data capture

Links are one of the most fundamental parts of any SEO campaign. The more you have pointing to your domain or page, the higher your rank will be on search engine results.

The concept behind it is Google judges websites and determines their ranking using a mathematical algorithm called PageRank. You can learn more about it here.

Knowing how vital links are, it pays to get it right and put in a good link building strategy. One method that we’ve had a lot of success with here at Profit Engine is link insertions. In fact, we’re currently building north of 500 links for our SEO clients every month this way.

In this quick guide, we walk you through the exact steps we follow when building links using link inserts.

Remember, you can always reach out to us for link building services and we’ll quickly rank your business higher on Google for more customers and revenue.

What is Link Insertion?

Link insertion is a simple way to build links at scale, especially when compared to tactics like guest posting and skyscraper technique (does this even work anymore?).

Essentially, it entails reaching out to website owners and requesting them to add a link to your website on already-existing content, usually topically relevant to your resource. In some SEO circles, this link building method is also known as niche edits.

Example:

Say you run a home and gardening website and are embarking on a new SEO campaign. You could approach a local real estate company and ask them if they’d be interested to embed a link that points to your website.

Of course, this is almost never going to be given to you for free, but we’ll explain how to go about that shortly.

As long as the real estate website has some authority and doesn’t engage in spammy activities, you should notice an uptick in your rankings once the backlink goes into effect.

Why Are Link Insertions So Powerful?

For starters, link insertions serve to create partnerships, raise brand awareness and site authority, and bring in traffic. But what makes them such a powerful link building strategy?

Link inserts are easy to do

Let’s admit it; unless you have a lot of patience, time and deep pockets, it’s never going to be easy getting a backlink via guest posting today. Normally, you’d have to spend time writing, editing and formatting new content to be published on another site, and still pay in exchange for a backlink.

Link insertions offer an easier route for the same (or even better) results. This is because you’re not creating any new piece of content. And this goes two-way – the owner of the site offering you a link won’t also need to go through all the hassle of reviewing and publishing your content.

Instead, you’re simply identifying an already existing blog post that covers or mentions something related to your site and inserting your link(s) within those posts.

The strategy offers an easy way for bloggers to make money online

If someone offered you some money to edit one of your posts and insert a new link, would you be completely against it? This is what makes link insertions so tempting even for established webmasters.

Most will be happy to collect a payment for a 5-minute task as long as whatever they’re linking to is worthwhile.

How To Find Link Insertion Opportunities?

So you’ve decided you want to try out this strategy? Let’s go into the nitty-gritties of it all, starting with how to find decent places to get links from.

Look for sites that accept paid guest posting

The idea here is simple; if someone can accept money for a guest post, then they’re more likely to do the same for a link insertion, which is even easier because the content already exists on their site.

Seen some prospective sites that link to your competitors and you want a similar link from them? Contact them to find out if they can do a link insert for you.

Start a new outreach campaign

Here, you simply look for relevant websites with decent authority, locate pages on their sites that you’d like links from and ask them if they can link to your site.

When launching a new outreach campaign, you need to pay attention to a few link building metrics:

  • Overall domain authority score of the website you want to partner with
  • Page authority of the exact page you’d like to get linked from
  • Number and quality of linking domains to that page
  • Topical relevance of the content on the linking page

Whenever we’re launching a link insertion campaign for our clients, the latter two factors matter the most to us. 

For starters, we don’t want to link from a page with zero or spammy backlinks pointing to it. Also, we want our link to be surrounded by content that’s relevant to our client’s site. 

How To Negotiate With Website Owners for a Link Insertion Deal

Suppose you have identified a few websites that you deem relevant and reached out to them. What next? Before anything else, you want to keep the price per link as low as possible. At Profit Engine, when we are link building for our own site we try to keep this below $80 per link.

Here’s how to negotiate with webmasters and close a deal:

Ask for their price

With your budget set, reach out to your list of targeted websites for a quote. A quick tip here is to refrain from telling them what your budget is. Force them to make the first move.

Negotiate

Often, site owners will quote a huge amount. Don’t panic or go cold on them. There’s always room for some negotiation.

In your response, you can say something along the lines of “Sorry, but that’s beyond our budget this month and we simply can’t afford it”. Then suggest something like “Could you do link insertion into an existing post for $20, instead of a guest post?”

Close your deal

Should they accept your offer, go ahead and request their payment details right away. Then complete your payment and share your URL and anchor texts for link insertion placement.

Quick tip: avoid sharing your URL before your request is accepted, otherwise you risk attracting bad publicity if things fail to go to plan.

Best Practices for Quality Link Insertions

Let’s now take a look at some best practices to acquire high-quality links that will actually elevate your brand and improve your SEO results:

Find top domains in your space

We can’t emphasize this enough but you want links coming from high authority domains in your niche or shoulder niches for maximum topical relevance.

For this, we use Ahrefs for domain ratings and amount of traffic the website you want to link from has. Even better if you can link from a blog post that already has several links pointing to it; the result is going to be even more powerful.

Focus on topical relevance

Topical relevance is a key aspect of any link building strategy. Link insertions should only happen on content, articles and websites that align with your niche. Ideally, the link should look and feel 100% natural. If not, let it go.

Let’s go back to our example on home and gardening site above:

Say you want to build a link to a page titled “Home Inspection Checklists”. And you know a high-authority realtor that has published a popular blog about “Essential Steps for Buying a Home”.

You could approach this realtor and ask them if they’d be interested to add your link within their blog post.

This helps to serve two purposes: to enhance user experience for readers that want more in-depth information on “steps for buying a home” and to boost your brand’s visibility and authority. A perfect example of a win-win situation.

Use the right anchor text

This is key. Write a concise and compelling anchor text that contains your target keywords, but be sure to also mix it up with partial and generic ones. You can learn more about anchor text ratios here.

Want To Outsource Your Link Building?

With the right approach, link insertion can be an extremely effective way to improve your website’s SEO. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure that your link insertion strategy is helping rather than hurting your site’s ranking.

Finally, if you’d rather outsource the process, Profit Engine can help. Get in touch with us now for a free strategy call.

Categories
Link Building

How Do Backlinks Work?

“Backlinks”, “hyperlinks”, “inbound links”, “incoming links”, “one way links”, you name it. Regardless of what you call them, backlinks have a significant impact on where a page lands in Google’s search results pages.

If you’re just getting started with link building, chances are that the tons of information available online about backlinks and other jargons are already confusing you. But don’t fret. Profit Engine is here to make things clearer for you.

In this quick article, we break down everything there is to know about backlinks and their impact on SEO rankings. Let’s dive in.

What Are Backlinks?

Essentially, backlinks are links from one website pointing towards another website. What this means is if an external domain points to a page on your domain, then you acquired a backlink from them. If your domain links to a page on an external domain, then they acquired a backlink from you.

You can run a link report in Google Search Console or use a tool like Ahrefs to see all the sites that link back to yours.

Website owners use backlinks to connect one web page to another, usually when citing a source, expanding on a topic, or defining a specific word. Backlinks can also help to drive visitors to your website from a news site, a blog, an online directory or elsewhere in the internet.

A backlink comprises two components:

URL

You need a clickable URL that directs visitors to your web page.

Anchor Text

You need a concise, relevant text that tells visitors what they’ll find on the linked page.

How Do Backlinks Work?

Backlinks work as peer reviews between websites. When another site links back to your web page, Google and other search engines treat it as a vote of confidence for that specific page.

As such, the more links pointing towards that web page, the better it will rank on search engines. That’s because a backlink carries link juice that can improve the rankings of a linked page.

However, not all links are good enough to boost the authority and ranking of a website or page. This is why you need as many relevant and authoritative backlinks as possible to achieve high organic search engine rankings.

Think of how citations in books and scientific research work. If a book is cited by many relevant and authoritative sources, chances are that it contains super valuable information.

Similarly, if a web page is being linked to by many relevant and authoritative websites, it’s a sign that its content is worth it. So, while it’s a good idea to want to create as many backlinks as possible, the emphasis should always be on quality over quantity.

In a nutshell, high-quality backlinks are topically relevant and originate from authority websites. For example, someone who runs a plumbing business should link from high authority plumbing and construction related websites instead of gaming websites and the likes.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks underpin Google’s original PageRank algorithm. Each backlink symbolises an external vote that tells Google how valuable, credible, and useful the content on a web page is.

A website’s backlinks portfolio can help with the following four main areas:

SERPs Rankings

Backlinks signal to search engines that other websites are confident about the contents of your web pages. As such, the more external websites linking to your web pages, the more likely they are to rank higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Usually, when search engines crawl your website, they check the links on it to determine the authority and relevance of the referring domains. So if you’ve accumulated backlinks from reputable sites that are popular in your niche, it increases the chances that your website’s pages will rank for relevant queries.

Online Visibility

Backlinks help search engines discover new pages that they haven’t indexed before. Often, their bots revisit old or popular pages to check for any links to new pages.

By getting backlinks from older, more established pages, your chances of online visibility are so much greater. This is why if you’ve just published a new page or post, a backlink from an older site can make all the difference.

Backlinks from established websites also give your new content additional exposure, so Google can find and index it more quickly. This results in a passive boost to your brand over time.

Referral Traffic

Backlinks are there to direct users to useful resources on a similar topic. That’s why they include clickable text in the first place. This allows you to get referral traffic when someone clicks on a link to your site.

Backlinks can deliver tons of referral traffic to your website. But that’s not all. A high-quality, relevant backlink tells search engines that you are the real deal in your niche.

As long as the referring site’s readership matches yours, a backlink can bring qualified prospects into your sales funnel so you can kick start your conversion strategies.

User Experience

Backlinks also prove useful for end-user experience. As mentioned earlier, backlinks connect people with additional information beyond what is available on the linking page.

For example, assume someone is reading a page that discusses “the top 10 SEO trends of 2022.” As they scroll down, they come across a link with a study on “how Google algorithm updates impact your SEO.”

In this case, a backlink connects a user with more information they might be interested in. This establishes a solid user experience because the searcher can follow the link and get additional information.

We Can Help You Build High-Quality Backlinks & Bring You More Customers

SEO ranking factors change all the time. But one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is backlinks.

Quality backlinks can boost your search visibility, drive referral traffic and qualified leads to your website, and ultimately move your business closer to success.

Are you looking to start your link building campaign? Look no further. Profit Engine is a tried and tested link building company with provable results. We’ve helped tens of businesses from around the world increase leads and customers by ranking their websites higher on SERPs.

You could be our next success story. Reach out to us now for a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our SEO experts. 

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Link Building

Link Building Guide – Powerful tactics that work in 2022

Link Building Guide

Link Building Techniques for 2022

If you want to succeed in search engine optimization, you must always stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry. This means not just keeping tabs on the latest algorithm changes that Google keeps rolling out but also trying out new SEO tricks and strategies that others are implementing,

In this guide to link building we aim to show you what link building strategies are working in 2022, from our own experience!

What is Link Building?

Link building is one of the most important parts of any SEO campaign,a great backlink profile is vital if you want the search engines to show you some love! The problem is it’s frequently misunderstood and often overlooked. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details, but no matter your strategy, you should have a solid understanding of what link building is and how it can benefit your business.

Link building is the process of increasing the search engine visibility of a web site or a web page by creating links to that page from other websites. The links that are created are what search engines such as Google count as votes in favor of your site.

Here at Profit Engine, we’re continually testing new link building techniques to ensure our clients are getting the best possible SEO results in their link building campaigns. Recently, we set out to find the best link building tactics that still work in 2021. After a lot of research and testing, we settled for 11 link building methods that we know can improve your site. And that’s not all; we’ll also share a handy tip that we use to boost our guest posting and outreach results.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert SEO, we highly recommend that you read till the end to brush up your SEO knowledge and link building skills. Most importantly, implement what you learn in this detailed link building guide. Building links to your website can be tough and time consuming but if you implement a focused link building plan that you carry out monthly you will go a long way towards increasing your rankings.

Link Building Tools

We recently put together a specific post on link building tools which goes into this in more detail.If you are serious about your link building campaigns then it’s vitally important that you have a system or tool stack that allows you to scale your outreach activity and improve your link building efforts.

Using Pitchbox for link building outreach

We have put a number of outreach tools through their paces over the years before settling on Pitchbox. Our main reason for this is that as we scaled as a purely link building agency we needed a tool that could help us manage all of the link building process along with the ability to run all of the different strategies we mention here (and more). Pitchbox is now at the heart of our Marketing toolset.

Pitchbox Campaigns

We also use:

  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic
  • Buzzsumo
  • alsoasked.com

Using free tools

There are a lot of different SEO and link building tools available, some free and some paid, but here are some of the top free ones that you should know about.

Majestic SEO

I like Majestic and think it’s a great tool for analysing your link profile and the type of inbound links you have which is all that’s available on the free plan. We use it when we are measuring the value of a link opportunity for our clients. Trust flow and citation flow can help you determine the benefit of pursuing a link opportunity. Starting at around $50 per month it’s not bad value.

Majestic SEO
Linkody

Their free online tool allows you to check the top 100 backlinks of a site and it also allows unlimited searches!

Linkody Backlink Checker
hunter.io

Hunter is a really good tool for finding email addresses. The free plan comes with 25 searches and they have a low end plan at $49 with 500 searches per month.

They have also launched a free outreach tool which is pretty cool.

Technique #1: Link roundups

Link roundups are an excellent method, not only for building powerful backlinks but also for starting valuable relationships with other webmasters. If you’ve never used or even heard about this link building strategy, stick around to find out more.

Link Roundups

Image source

For starters, link roundups are daily, weekly, or monthly blogs or blog pages where a site owner curates exceptional content that has been published recently by others in their niche. Essentially, the publisher surfs the web looking for high-value content they can share with their readers. They then write a short description of each of these resources and link back to those pages.

To succeed with link roundups, you’ll need to put out great content consistently and position yourself as an industry thought leader.

How to find link roundup opportunities

There are three methods you can use to prospect for link roundups.

Using search strings on SERPs

These are query types that bring back specific search results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. Go to Google and use the following search strings in combination with your keyword:

  • “keyword” + “best blog posts”
  •  “keyword” + “best posts of the week”
  • “keyword” + “best posts of the month”
  • “keyword” + “best pieces of content”
  • “keyword” + “link roundup”
  • “keyword” + “roundup”

This can be a time-consuming process as most link roundups may not appear as so. You can save some time by paying attention to the title and meta descriptions of the search results. This is because a lot of them won’t belink roundups but posts about link roundups. If they pass this test, ensure they are linking to external posts and not internal ones.

Contacting site owners

Once you’ve found several relevant sites, it’s now time to reach out to the owners requesting them to consider your content in their future roundup chains. Start by finding their contact information, preferably email addresses or social media handles. A few tools you can use here include Hunter.io or Findanyemail for email discovery.

You can also use the BuzzStream’s Buzzmarker plugin to scan the page and look for social profiles, names and contact information.

social profiles

LinkedIn is another great place when you want to gather more details about your target contacts.  If you find them on there, you can accomplish two important things. First, contacting them on LinkedIn helps you to make a personal impression on your prospects, which is a great way to show that you’re not a spammer. Besides, you can send them a personalized message to their inbox which also goes to their email.

If you don’t find them on LinkedIn, they will probably be on Facebook or Twitter.

Armed with the right contact information, you can now go ahead to contact the website owners. The following is a simple email/social media message template that has worked magic for us:

Subject: Hey (site name), A New Resource for Your Roundup

Hey [name],

I just came across your (roundup name) this morning. Loving the link to (mention an interesting link you found on the page).

I’m reaching out because I recently created (content description) that might be a good fit. If interested, you can check it out here: URL here.

If you do include it I will share across my social media profiles and generate some traffic to your site!

Either way, keep up the fantastic work,

Cheers,

Jason,

Essentially, your cover should include the following key points:

  • Personalize the email with their name
  • Personalize the pitch with the name of their roundup and something specific from the page.
  • Tell them why you are emailing them in the subject line
  • Keep your email short and direct to the point
  • Offer them something of value (social media shout out)
  • Provide a link and thank them

The reason why this pitch works is that it’s simple, straightforward and not spammy or pushy. Your aim should be to let the webmaster know that your content exists while avoiding being seen as begging for a link. If they think your post is stellar and deserves to be seen by their audience, then you’ll be lucky to score a free link.

Technique #2: Broken link building method

A lot has been said about the broken link building method, including claims on how it no longer works and is not scalable enough(admittedly,it can be difficult to scale). However, we can assertively say that this technique still works if you have the right system and are ready to put in the work.

As the name suggests, broken link building is the process of finding “dead” links (links that no longer exist) on relevant websites and notifying their webmasters about them. You can then offer to replace the broken links with links to your site.

For starters, you will need to identify sites with links pointing to pages or websites that have since been deleted or shut down. You can then suggest that they point to a resource on your site that offers equally relevant or even better content than that which is already broken.

You get a link. They point to a piece of content that’s useful to their readers. Simple, right?

Here’s how to find relevant broken links

There are several ways you can use to find broken links on any site. But for this guide, we’ll show you two easy methods that we use nearly daily.

We start with a free method where we use a Google Chrome extension known as Check My Links. It’s a free tool that helps you find broken links page by page. Sure, you might need to spend a bit more time to find these links but the method is quite effective if you’re on a tight budget.

Begin by creating a list of websites you’d like to test for broken links. This could even be the current competitors you are aware of. Run the tool on the target sites and let it identify all the broken links on its pages. All the dead links will have a 404 tag, while invalid links will show in red.

You can run the links through the Wayback Machine to see how the original content used to look like. This can help you recreate the exact or similar content that would fit the link.

Another more effective method we use when we want to find broken links in bulk is through the broken link checker by Ahrefs. To do this, go to the Site Explorer tool and enter the domain name of your target website and search.

Under the Pages section, click “Best by Links” to see all the best “dead” links on their pages. This powerful tool enables you to scan and locate every 404 error pages that exist on your target website.

You can then export the data as a csv file, clean up and load to your outreach tool of choice.

Ahrefs also has a link analysis tool that shows you all sites linking to these broken pages. This is the information you want for your link building techniques to work.

Contacting site owners

Once you’ve compiled a list of sites with relevant broken links, it’s time to contact their owners. As we discussed earlier you can use two methods:

  • Using a paid email tool like Pitchbox  (which we do, it’s awesome)
  • Using free email checkers like Hunter.io and FindThatLead

Once you’ve gathered the right information, send them the following pitch:

Hey [name],

Jason here over at Profit Engine,

I was doing some research on [related topic] and found your page [title of page].

It’s a great resource and highly useful, I did however notice that one of the links on your page , which should lead to [original anchor text/URL], is broken.

I thought you would be interested in checking out our [content name, infographic] about [related topic]. It would be easy to link to our page instead of the 404 page you are linking to now.

Here’s the link if you would like to check it out [link].

Let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Jason.

You can speed up the process by saving this template in the “canned responses” tool in Gmail Labs. Be sure to customize it to each person to boost your response rates.

Important Point!

Always send a follow up mail! Two if you can. We have found responses to second and third emails really help you maximise your link building campaign.

Technique #3: Podcasting for link building

Less than a decade ago, podcasts were hardly a topic in the ever-growing digital marketing industry. Today, nearly every expert hosts one on their site or popular aggregator platforms like Stitcher and iTunes. Most hosts love them for their effectiveness in reaching wider audiences and helping to grow brand visibility.

And now, you can leverage the power of podcasts to build quality backlinks and boost SEO, whether as the host or the guest. How this happens is that the website hosting the podcast will usually link to their guest’s website. In return, the guest will link back to the podcast to direct their readers or subscribers to check out the resource. Simply put, you get on shows, discuss your article topic and build links back to it.

Using podcasts is a powerful tool to use when you want to reach large audiences. Some fans are also likely to link to their favorite podcasts on the hosting site. Most podcast episodes run for between 30 and 60 minutes but this is enough to build trust, authority and help you build links. It’s also an excellent way to tweak conversations to meet the level of your audience.

The following are three simple steps to podcast link building ;

Step #1: Find podcasts to guest on

To begin, create a list of potential podcasts you can guest on. Head over to iTunes and search for keywords in your industry and check out the shows. Note down any show that appears interesting and relevant to your niche. New podcasts are easier to pitch so give more priority to them especially if they’re part of authority websites.

Another easy way to search for relevant podcasts is to enter “podcasts + keyword” on Google. Switch keywords ideas to find a variety and find blogs that are linking to the authority podcasts in the industry.

An even sneakier way to find podcasts you’ve never heard of is to go back to Google and search for “podcasts + competitor site” or “influencer name”. Add all the podcasts you find to your list and then start filtering search results to pitch only the right people.

Part of the filtering process is to remove podcasts that are no longer running. To find out about this, visit their page to see when the last episode was posted. If you can’t see the date, head over to iTunes and search the podcast. This will reveal their most recent episode. Remember to also check out their content to see whether or not it’s relevant to your audience.

How to become a successful podcast as a guest

If you’ve podcasted as a guest before, you certainly know that it’s not always a rosy affair particularly if you’re new in the industry and unknown. As such, you want to be very well prepared whenever you get a chance to shine. Give your listeners a reason to listen you to the end which also helps to raise the value of your host’s show.

Another excellent tip for succeeding in podcasting is to identify and stick to a particular niche. Your podcasts should be relevant to your business to help you draw a relevant audience.

Step #2: Pitch

When it comes to pitching, it’s important you’re selective on which podcasts you’d like to appear on. Apart from pitching shows that are in a relevant industry, you want to go for those that are likely to attract a significant audience. Regardless of your expertise, your requests might get rejected.

Here are a few persuasion and conversion tips you should have in mind:

  • It’s about them – not you.
  • It would help to find a way to benefit your host and the audience. Landing a guest spot to podcast depends on how a brand will benefit from your show.
  • Establish connections by indicating why the host should consider having you on their show
  • Include a call to action that will compel the brand to grant your request.
  • Write a unique pitch – make sure you stand out among the many applicants that contact the host.

Besides, it will be best to find an angle that would connect with the host. Go through their content and ‘About Us’ and ask yourself:

  • How can I help them by being a guest?
  • Does my knowledge help their users?
  • How would it impact their bottom line?

If you’re able to tick these boxes, your chances of getting accepted and consequently acquiring backlinks increases significantly.

A great podcasts pitch should have the following parts:

  • A brief but catchy headline.
  • Say hey/hello
  • Mention the host’s name
  • Share the connection angle
  • No bragging. No one loves a show off.
  • Let them know you’d love to be in the show

Keep in mind that these podcasters get tens of pitches every week which means your message could sometimes get lost. They can also forget to write back to you. This is why you need to automate your follow-up emails using a tool such as Mailshake. If you’re accepted, it’s time to go all in!

Step #3: Record the show

To get more high quality links and traffic to your podcasts, take time to understand the audience you’re speaking to and tailor the conversation in a way that connects with them. You may need to invest time into listening to other episodes of the show before recording. This will make your podcasts better as you know the value to add to the episode.

Step #4: Maximize the opportunity

At this point, it’s important to do a few things to enhance your relationship with the host as well as the listeners:

Show gratitude to your host and share links to any resources and content mentioned in your show.

Make sure that all links leading to your website have a clear call to action to help listeners find more information about you

Request your host for a review that would boost your marketing strategy and authority.

Benefits of using podcasts for link building

No one would be interested in podcasting if it weren’t beneficial. Podcasts help your brand reach audiences you’d have otherwise never reached on your own.  They are also incredibly effective in positioning you as an expert in your field.

Among other benefits, podcasting can help to:

  • Improve your brand’s popularity and its presence in the industry
  • Reach both regular clients and new audiences
  • Boost ranking resulting from increased search results and acquired backlinks

Technique #4: Turning unlinked brand mentions into backlinks

If you’re looking for a simple way to build high quality links to your site, we recommend that you prioritize this one. Essentially, it involves finding websites that mention you, your company or anything that is directly related to your business but do not link back to your site. When someone does this, it means they’re already familiar with your business and this make it very easy to convince them to give you a backlink.

So, how do you find unlinked mentions in a sea of websites?

There are several ways to do this type of link building tactic, but I’ll show you the most reliable and simple methods that have worked for us and our clients.

Step #1: Automate tracking of mentions

For starters, I implement the Ahrefs Alerts tool to track brand mentions on the web. To set up a campaign, all you need is to specify the search terms(s) you want to track, your preferred language, web sources that you’d like to track, and where you want the results to be sent to (email). To avoid unnecessary or false notifications, I always block my domain from getting tracked.

Another simple method I use is through a handy tool known as Brand24. This is a social monitoring and listening tool that helps you track keywords and brand mentions across multiple online channels. To set it up, you need to create a new project with the keyword you want to track (in this case, your business name), the channels you’d like to include, and the keywords you don’t want to be tracked (if any).

Monitoring begins after you set up your campaign while results are returned after every hour. You can choose to receive your notifications via email or by visiting the tool’s user dashboard area.

Step 2: Send your pitch

Once you’ve identified several potential link opportunities, it’s now time to reach out to those sites and try to convert the unlinked mentions into links. I have used the following outreach template with an impressive level of success but feel free to tweak it to suit your campaign:

Hi (name),

Jason here, from Profit Engine.

Thank you for mentioning My Profit Engine in your recent post on white hat link building tactics for affiliate websites. (Insert the article’s URL here)

Such an excellent article – I particularly loved your unique insights on the broken link building method.

Anyway, I was wondering if it might be possible to include a link to our site if your readers want to learn more about what we do?

(Insert link to your site here).

Either way, keep up the excellent work,

Cheers!

Jason.

When requesting the link, be cordial and appreciate them for their time without sounding pushy. Also, genuinely compliment them and thank them for including your brand name in their article. Don’t forget to explain how the link will offer value to their audience.

If you do not get a reply, make sure to follow up a few more times. However, you don’t want to send requests daily as this is likely to appear spammy. Your first follow up could be after 3-4 few days, then another after a week and a final one after 10 days. You could also try using an alternative email in case the one you’re using is going to the spam folder.

Additional tips to improve your results when using this link building tactic

If the above method doesn’t offer the results you’re looking for, here are a few more tips you can implement as well.

Take advantage of competitors’ mistakes

Tracking what your competitors are doing and their progress is an excellent way to strategize. And what’s better than capitalizing on the mistakes and converting them into your wins. 

Most companies have an extensive index of pages and rarely check for errors in their links. It means they may not rectify any errors or redirect them as effectively as they should. This is one area you can take advantage of and score big links for your business.

Start by exploring their backlink profile on Ahrefs to discover any broken links. Check if any of the resources match a page on your brand.

Next, find how you can contact the owners of websites that point to these broken resources. Notify them about it and request if they can replace them with something similar (or of higher quality) on your website. Just like that, you win yourself a high quality link to your site!

Find and fix any lost link

Most webpages lose countless links daily for unknown reasons. Fortunately, you can regain some of these links using a very simple method.

Before anything else, try to find out why you’re losing backlinks. We recommend Ahrefs to help with this process. Some of the possible reasons this could have happened include;

Site owner updated their content

This could result in a link being removed because it was irrelevant. You can suggest a new one that better suits the new piece of content.

Publishers stopped linking because of new policies

There’s very little you can do about restoring these kinds of links. However, it doesn’t hurt to request yours is given a special exception especially if the resource being pointed to is remarkable.

Your link was replaced by your competitor’s

 In this case, it will be best to learn from the resource that won and try to produce premium quality content going forward.

Claiming unmentioned and lost backlinks is a fairly easier way compared to other link building tactics. If you can implement the above tips, you should have little problems that significantly improve your search engine rankings.

Technique #5: The HARO strategy

We can all agree that acquiring links from sites with high domain authority is one of the hardest things any website owner can deal with (of course, along with creating high quality content consistently). Luckily, there are still a few ways you can use to land these high quality links even if your website is still a ‘nobody’ in your industry.

HARO, which is an abbreviation of Help A Reporter Out, is a free service meant to provide journalists and reporters with sources of information for media coverage. In return, the sources which mostly comprise bloggers and business owners get press mentions and consequently quality links.

How to use HARO to acquire high-quality backlinks

To begin with, you’ll need to sign up as a source on the HARO website. This service sends out three emails from Monday through Friday at 5.35 am, 12.35 pm, and 5.35 pm ET time. What you’ll be looking for in these emails are requests you think are relevant to your niche and whose answers you can provide expertly. You will then submit a pitch to the news outlet that sent that particular request.

To increase your chances of getting responses, you need to provide detailed and well-thought-out answers, especially if your target outlet is an authority site. While at it, don’t forget to provide links to your site and your author bio.

HARO might not promise tens of link opportunities, but the few links you acquire here will likely be powerful and worth the hassle. With time and as your pitching experience grows, you should be able to land links to your site from some of the world’s biggest news media houses like the New York Times, Inc., and Forbes.

Writing a HARO pitch

As we already mentioned, it’s important that you are very specific on the requests to go for. The idea is to only pitch publications that need something you’re an expert in and have quality information to back it with.

Once you’ve narrowed down your selected HARO categories, here’s how to go about the pitching process.

Planning

For starters, you need to pay attention to the following:

The publication’s expectation on content

Carefully go through the request letter and note all the information they want. If it’s something you can provide, move to the next step.

The appropriate tone and writing style

Are they formal or friendly in their request? Match that in your response.

Length and depth of quote

Some requests require that you write a lengthy and detailed quote while others a short and brief response.

Executing

When writing the pitch, make sure that:

  • Your quote has the correct journalist’s name, lacks typos, and is written using flawless grammar.
  • Your content mentions why you’re qualified to respond.
  • The relevant details required from you are clear. Use bullet points or break your sentences as this makes scanning your content easier.
  • The quote contains links to your site so you can earn a backlink in case your content is published.

The following is a detailed breakdown of a sample pitch you can use for HARO link building campaigns:

Image source

Once you’ve done all of this and sent your pitch, sit back and wait. Ideally, your pitch will be accepted and published but like anything else, you can expect rejections. Most journalists will notify you if you’ve been accepted but it would pay to follow up if you don’t get any response after a few days.

Unlike most link building strategies, HARO is a quite passive way to build links and get quality press mentions. Sure, you will need some patience and also spend a bit of time crafting quality responses. But it’s all worth the effort when it presents a chance to get featured on authority sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider.

Technique #6: Pre-outreach link building method

Let’s face it; creating great content is costly and time-consuming. Promoting it is an even bigger hassle especially when you have to compete with thousands or even millions of other websites for attention. For this reason, the one thing you want to avoid is to create content that no one is interested in reading, watching, or linking back to.

Pre-outreaching is a strategy that involves contacting other sites to promote content even before you can publish it. The idea is to inform people you collaborate with or industry leaders about a piece of content you are creating and which you think they could love.

For the best results, only use this strategy when you’re sure that the content you’re producing is super interesting and probably contains data from your research or experiments. Sure, it could be a topic that has been covered by others before, but if you can approach it from a unique angle, then it’s likely to elicit significant interest.

Another way to increase results with the pre-outreach method is to leverage your existing industry connections and brand power. This method hardly works for new or little-known websites with few relationships with industry experts and content promotion partners.

Finally once your post goes live, prioritize those who responded positively to your initial outreach email. Send a simple email requesting them to share it to their social following or email lists or just offer feedback on it.

A word of caution here is to refrain from openly asking for a link. If they think the post deserves a backlink or mention, then chances are that they’ll be happy to give it some love.

How to executing the pre-outreach strategy

The past few years have seen the pre-outreach link building strategy become very popular especially among budding bloggers. What that means is you need to have something special to stand a chance of succeeding with this method.

An effective trick that hardly fails is ego-baiting. This is where you offer your prospects an opportunity to be your “featured expert”. It exploits their ego-driven human psychology by making them feel valued while also giving them a chance to contribute to your article.

Here’s an example template that has worked for us the many times we’ve used the pre-outreach method:

Hi [prospect’s name]

I was exploring some resources online on [mention topic] when I came across your article.

[Article title or link]

Great content! I particularly liked [mention a favorite section].

I’m actually writing a similar post and wanted to feature you as a resource.

If this sounds good, would you mind sending a quote I could include in the article? A sentence or two would work great! I’ll obviously include a link to your website and your name.

If I don’t hear from you, thanks for the amazing post!

Cheers,

Jason,

Profit Engine.

Once you’ve published the article, it’s time to reach out to the prospects again. Here’s a sample pitch email you can use:

Hey [name],

Thank you for the quote, the article is now live!

[link]

If you think this would be valuable to your audience, feel free to share.

Best,

Jason.

Technique #7: .edu resource page link building strategy

A few years ago, Google rolled out a ferocious algorithm change that severely punished websites that were seen to be misusing the powerful .edu backlinks. As has always been the case with all major algorithms, thousands of sites were significantly affected, losing massive amounts of traffic in the process. Since then, the SEO industry toned down on building .edu links with some experts even discouraging webmasters from using them altogether.

However, I’d like to confirm that .edu links still work and are as powerful as ever. The reason we know this is that we have been running a highly successful outreach campaign based purely on .edu resource page and scholarship web pages. You will however need to be extra careful to avoid crossing Google’s red line on them. For starters, do not overuse this strategy or make it your primary link building method. Having .edu links from fifty different sites is obviously going to look shady in the eyes of Google, especially if yours is not an authority site.

It’s also hugely important that your content and that your niche is very relevant to the resource page.

Finding .edu link building opportunities

Say you have a website on debt management and you’re looking for relevant resource pages on popular University websites. To do that, pop the following search strings on Google:

  • Site:edu “your keyword”
  • Site:edu “your keyword” + inurl:links
  • Site:edu “your keyword” + “resources”
  • Site:edu “your keyword” + other sites”

Using this method, you should find several relevant web pages that could accept some of your detailed and professionally done content pieces. Email the people who run those pages using the following simple script:

Hi (name),

I was searching for content about (topic) on Google this morning when I stumbled upon your excellent resource page: (URL here).

I just wanted to thank you for creating this page. I have been looking for (resource they link to) like this for a while.

Coincidentally, I recently published a detailed post on (topic) where I share (brief description). It’s full of actionable tips and is backed by verifiable facts and data.

You can check it out here: (URL)

The guide might make a great addition to your page.

Either way, thank you for the amazing work you’re doing.

Best,

(Your name).

Top strategies to score more EDU backlinks

Let’s face it; educational institutes are extremely picky when it comes to linking out to sources. So, how do you convince them to give you a backlink? Below are three powerful tactics you can employ with good levels of success.

Develop high-quality and factual content

Academic sites focus on giving information that’s legitimate and trustworthy. This is why most only accept high-quality, extremely well written content whose data can be verified. It’s no wonder Google places a higher value on EDU backlinks than nearly all others.

When looking to build links using this method therefore, be sure to focus on developing content you can back up with verifiable and authority resources.

Target aged pages

Most EDU websites with high domain authority prefer to list an aged web page as compared to a freshly developed one. With this in mind, try finding one of your longstanding resources and revamp it with super valuable content. This should help to increase your chances of getting accepted.

Create scholarship opportunities

This tactic is some sort of investment on your part but with the potential to give huge returns if executed well. The idea is to ask an institution to allow you to sponsor deserving students or hold a contest where you award the winners. Ideally, you will get mentions on their website and consequently win nice (and oftentimes multiple) links that move the needle for your business. Again, make sure that your scholarship offer is relevant.An offer of a scholarship around data science from a big data SaaS would be an ideal choice whereas a gambling site offering a scholarship may not go down so well!

Technique #8: Moving man method

The name ‘Moving Man Method’ was coined by Brian Dean of the famous Skyscraper technique. The concept behind this method is quite similar to the broken link building technique that I explained earlier.

First, you will need to find online businesses and web site pages that are outdated or those that have changed names recently. After that, look for websites that still link to these dated or invalid resources and let them know about it.

Implementing the Moving Man technique

This technique is applicable in two distinct ways:

Link to a specific page

When using this approach, you’ll target to improve rankings by requesting sites link to a particular page on your website.

Link to your root domain

Here, you will be asking website owners to link to your homepage to increase your domain’s overall authority.

A simple two-step strategy for implementing the Moving Man technique

Locate recently closed online businesses

Let’s take a look at this example; a local restaurant just closed shop after many years of operating. As a result, they leave behind a shell website that no longer serves its purpose. This is a good candidate for targeting when using this link building strategy.

An easy way to find such websites and everyone who was linking to them, we recommend using a backlink checker. I’m a big fan of Ahrefs but you can use any other including SEMRush, Moz Link Explorer or Majestic SEO.

If you don’t have a budget for tools, here is an alternative method that works well too.  

Go to Google and enter the following phrases. We’ll use the example of a closed local restaurant example we gave earlier:

  • “Page not found” + restaurants in [mention location]
  • “Service unavailable” + restaurants in [mention location]
  • “Citation needed” + restaurants in [mention location]

Other useful search strings you can use include:

  • ”Your keyword + shut down”
  • ”Your keyword + out of business”
  • ”Your keyword + rebrand on Google News”
  • ”Rebrand” on popular press releases websites
  • ”Your keyword + this page no longer exists”
  • “Your keyword + service not available”

Find backlinks

Once you’ve found a few target businesses, it’s time to find high-quality sites that link to them. For this step, I recommend using Ahrefs by following these steps:

  1. Type the URL in the tool’s site explorer and select backlinks
  2. Click ‘do follow’ to view links that pass link equity
  3. Click ‘English’ to view only pages in English
  4. Filter out tags, categories and author pages by selecting ‘remove groups with similar links
  5. Click export to transfer the selected links to Excel
  6. While inside Excel, filter out low-quality sites based on the number of links, domain rating and URL rating.

Contacting site owners for backlinks                        

At this point, you’ve identified the sites that are pointing to the dead business and also weeded out low-quality ones. Besides, you’ve also established that your content can serve as a perfect replacement for whatever resource those websites were pointing to. Now go ahead and contact the site owners.

Here’s an email template that has worked well for us before:

Hi [name]

Jason here from ProfitEngine.

While visiting your site to research on [mention topic], I came across your post from a few months ago and saw that you mention [target company name].

I’m not sure if you’re aware but [target company name] closed shop and now the link on your site points to a dead page.

Attached is the screenshot for the paragraphs with the links.

Also, I thought you’d love our [product/website] as a fitting replacement for the broken link – [your link here]

Please check it out and maybe we could make a nice addition to your post?

Either way, keep up the nice work!

Thanks, [name]

Jason.

This link building technique works for a couple of reasons. First, you’ve helped the site owner to know that there’s a problem they were possibly unaware of on their site. What’s more, you’re providing link-worthy content which is key in enhancing their user experience.

Additional tips to boost your results when using the Moving Man method

Only sites linking to relevant resources

Your aim shouldn’t be on finding outdated resources but ones that match your keywords and are suited to your niche. Remember your content about web design cannot substitute a link to a resource on the keto diet.

Prioritize the quality of your content

High-quality backlinks come from domains and pages with high authority. Usually, these pages only link to top content; the reason you should ensure that your content is informative before asking them to link back to it. Skyscraper type of content works very well here.

How you frame your message matters

Convey your request confidently and in a manner that the other party will understand how backlinking will benefit both of you. Avoid sounding too needy or pushy and be as succinct as possible.

Though tedious and time-consuming, the Moving Man link building method can be an incredibly effective way to build links and increase your website’s visibility.

Technique #9: Guestographics

Just as the name suggests, the guestographics method of building links combines both guest posting and infographics. Usually, you will need to write highly informative articles which you then repurpose to create a visual asset. The trick here is to go for a topic that hasn’t been covered exhaustively by others, but which still garners a lot of interest in the industry.

Create an epic piece of content on nearly everything you think can be included in the post. You can then hire someone to create a colorful infographic from your written content, or you can even do it yourself if you have the skills.

Once it’s ready, start contacting site owners to inform them about the visual piece and show them how it could benefit their audience. If your infographic is well done and you’re lucky enough, you should be able to acquire a few links using this method.

How to improve your results when using the guestographics technique

Guestographics is a fairly easy yet effective way to master if you’re looking for quality backlinks. Below are a few simple tips you can use to boost your results.

Target trending topics

You will never go wrong with trending topics when it comes to infographics. You can use them to generate freshly relevant content that has the potential to attract quality backlinks. For example, when Pinterest was launched, websites that quickly generated infographics about it gathered decent numbers of backlinks.

Be strategic about your information

You have to be selective with what you choose to share in your infographic. Too much information makes it hard for readers to digest it. Only include relevant info to make it memorable and likely to get natural shares and backlinks.

Work on the layout

While great infographics sometimes focus too much on design, the layout is equally important. Design controls how information looks but it’s the layout that determines whether or not your infographic is readable.

A proper layout will have the best content at the top and strategically create more blank spaces to accentuate the message.

Contacting prospects

Once you have your infographic ready, it’s time to promote it to people who might need it. For this step, we like to send two emails. One to all the prospects and another to anyone who responded positively to our campaign.

Here are the sample templates you can implement now:

Email 1

Hi [name],

I came across your guide on [topic] and really liked the content.

Coincidentally, I have created a relevant infographic that I think would supplement your content.

Let me know if this is something you might want to check out.

Cheers,

[Your name]

Email 2 (for prospects who show interest in your infographic)

Hey [name],

Here’s the link to the infographic: [link]

Please let me know when you’re ready to publish it and I’ll provide a unique guest post just for you!

Regards,

[Your name]

Technique #10: Skyscraper Technique

Tested and improved since 2015, the Skyscraper Technique is another powerful link-building strategy that works to date. It was developed by Brian Dean, one of the most respected figures in the SEO circles. After just 14 days of testing the technique, his website’s search traffic nearly doubled.

So, what’s the magic behind it? Read on to discover how the strategy works.

The Skyscraper technique works by improving existing content which in turn attracts high-quality backlinks. For starters, you need to find already popular blog posts published by authoritative websites in your niche. You will then recreate their ideas and topics to add relevant information and remove the outdated. Finally, you will identify and network with websites that link back to your competitors and try to get them to link to your more superior content instead.

What makes this a powerful technique is because you’re targeting sites that are already interested in a given topic. Besides, you boast more updated content which means there’s some incentive on the part of the target website to want to refer their audience to you. Slowly but surely, this drives traffic to your blog while you also gain new backlinks and networks.

A step-by-step link building guide on how to implement the Skyscraper Technique

Step #1: Find an authoritative blog to recreate

Begin by researching websites in your niche with longstanding and well-performing content. This could be How to guides, Case Studies, unique Data findings. Find out if they’ve written on topics your audience is interested in. Pick a few that can be improved or updated with fresh data.

This step requires a bit of patience as your core goal is to find content that’s both interesting and worth spending time and money to improve. To speed up the process, you can use a tool like Buzzsumo. It helps you find authority websites with high-ranking articles that also pull good amounts of traffic on a particular keyword.

Step #2: Pick your distribution partners

Once you’ve identified blogs with content you can recreate, it’s time to pick your distribution partners and pitch your idea. A good place to start is the websites that had linked to the original content.

It’s worth mentioning that not everyone will respond to your invitation. Even Brian Dean, the creator of this Skyscraper Technique, had an 11% success rate.

Another way to find distribution partners is to look for blogs in your niche that serve similar content to what you’re recreating. For this step, we recommend using a backlink checker tool like Ahrefs or Majestic SEO.

Step #3: Improve the original content

It’s now time to put your research and writing skills to work to come up with better content. Improve the original content by rewriting it from scratch, editing out any outdated info and adding relevant data.

You can also improve its visual representation to make it more engaging and easy to understand. Finally, you can draw out sections that require more details but were ignored in the original content.

Step #4: Promote your new blog

A quick but effective way to do this is by announcing it on your social media profiles. You can also share some of your best pieces just to showcase your work. The idea here is to make sure you’re reachable and visible elsewhere besides the email and your website.

Step #5: Communicate with your distribution partners

Remember the distribution partners you shortlisted earlier? This is the time to try and convince them to link back to your new piece of content.

Start by reminding them about the original content they had linked to before from their site. You can then explain how you’ve improved it to create more value for their audience by making it more engaging, practical, or comprehensive.

But wait, that’s not all; it is one thing to communicate with your distribution partners, but getting them to link to you is a whole different ballgame. Below are some actionable tips to help you reach out to more people (and do so without spamming):

Send personalized outreach emails

Brian Dean recommends sending out outreach emails that emulate the following template:

➔        Hey, I found your post: (insert the link)

➔        [extend a generic compliment]

➔        It links to this post (link the original/unimproved content)

➔        I made something more appealing (link your improved post)

➔        Request them to swap out the original link for yours

Here’s the rub, though; most SEOs decided to copy the email template “as is,” and if you try to use it for outreach today, chances are you may not be as successful. For this reason, we recommend you create your personalized email while following these outreach principles.

Step #6: Segment your prospects

People will link to you for diverse reasons; hence it doesn’t make much sense to send everyone the same pitch. A more effective way to achieve greater success with outreach campaigns is by dividing your prospects into segments based on the context of their outbound link. You can use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool to find links that use closely related anchor texts.

For instance, if the anchor text links report reveals that a considerable number of people link using the anchor text, “how to enhance content marketing,” you can use the following pitch:

➔        Hey, I found your post: (insert the link)

➔        It links to this post (link to the original content)

➔        That has some awesome tips on enhancing your content marketing strategy

➔        I just wrote this post (link to your improved content)

➔        It has even more irresistible tips on optimizing content marketing strategy

➔        CTA: You could add the link to the page

Another way is to reach out to prospects who are linking to outdated or poor content.Here, the idea is simple: look for outdated resources, use Ahrefs to see who’s linking to them and then convince the site owners to consider your more relevant skyscraper content.

On Ahrefs Content Explorer, enter the target keyword and set some filters to discover outdated, low-quality resources. Here are the three basic filters you will need:

  • A data filter for finding content published at least a year ago
  • A content-length filter for finding presumably poor content
  • A referring domains filter for finding linked content

You can then send the site owners a pitch like this:

➔        Hey, I found your post (insert link)

➔        It links to this post (insert a link to the original content)

➔        It’s an epic post, but some of the information is outdated, more so, […]

➔        I just wrote this (insert link)

➔        It’s a far more relevant article about [……]

➔        CTA: Do you mind swapping out the link?

If you follow this process properly and do a few follow-ups, there’s no way you won’t acquire a few quality backlinks to boost your SEO.

Technique #11: Guest Blogging

If you read online articles often, chances are you’ve come across posts written by guest bloggers or contributors. Guest blogging remains one of the most popular link building techniques today and rightly so.

Gregory Ciotti is a good example of how effective guest blogging can be when done correctly. In a detailed publication, he explains how he acquired over 36,000 email subscribers in 9 weeks of implementing the technique.

So, what makes it such a powerful strategy for boosting online visibility? Here are a few of its benefits:

  • Guest posting helps to build social proof
  • It enables you to acquire quality backlinks
  • Drives targeted organic traffic to your website

For the purpose of this link building guide, we’ll dwell more on how to leverage the power of guest blogging to acquire relevant and high-quality backlinks. Below are steps you can follow to find achieve success using this link building strategy.

Find blogs that accept guest posts

As you can imagine, not every site on the web accepts content contributions from outsiders. Some prefer doing everything internally.

When looking for guest posting opportunities, you want to target websites that can accept your content in return for a link to your site. You can easily find them by entering some phrases on Google.

For example, if you’re looking to publish your work in business blogs, here are a few keyword combinations to enter on the search engine to find those sites:

  • Business blogs + guest post
  • Business blogs + write for us
  • Business blogs + become a contributor
  • Business blogs + guest blogger

What I would say is that these days we tend to steer clear of a lot of the ‘write for us’ type sites, they have been targeted by everyone. You can still do this, you will just need to vet the sites a lot more closely.

It’s better to look for blogs in your target niche and build a small targeted list. You can then pitch content that you know will resonate with these sites. Let’s look at this.

Understand the target website’s audience

Developing good content for someone else’s blog requires a deep understanding of their website goals and purpose. Apart from acquiring a link, it’s important that you also add value to their readers and maybe even positively impact your host’s bottom line.

Research topics and articles with a high audience engagement rate on their website. This is easier if they list their most popular and trending content on the sidebar or somewhere else on their site. You can also use Buzzsumo if you want to know the exact data on those posts.

Pitch the owner

After you’ve identified the websites you’d like to be featured on, it’s time to reach out to their owners. Your best chance of convincing them is to put yourself in the shoes of the potential host. Remember, if they own high authority websites they probably receive tens of such requests every day. This is why you need something special to capture their attention.

One of the golden rules for outreach to remember is ‘What’s in it for me?’ Always put yourself in the shoes of the site owner. Why would he link to you, or why would he publish your post?

Here are a few blog post pitching guidelines that will make website owners want to publish your work.

Start with a strong intro

When emailing a prospective host, you want the intro to be flawless and extremely objective. Start by explaining who you are and what you do. This helps the host understand whether you’re a good fit for them or not.

In the next part, mention where you’ve previously interacted with them – it could be a social platform, their comments section, online community, etc.

Finish the intro by applauding the work of the host without blatantly flattering them.

Here’s a sample outreach pitch intro that I use often:

Hi [name],

Jason here from Profit Engine

We think may have exchanged pleasantries in the [insert the name of the group or social network] as well as on your blog comments section. (BTW, I really loved the post on [topic featured on their website].)

Give a candid reason you’re writing to them

Don’t even think of touching on your credentials or pitch immediately after the introduction. You must first explain why you’re writing to set the mood for the busy editor to read your pitch. You also want to let the editor be aware that you know they accept guest posts – this paints the picture you’ve been reading their blogs and you’ve even checked their Contributor Guidelines.

Here, you should write something like this:

Since you accept guest blogs on your website, I thought it wise to reach out and pitch a topic your audience might resonate with.”

Make the host love your content

I’m assuming you’ve familiarized yourself with the host’s guest posting guidelines and know the kind of information they may be looking for within your pitch. Some prefer a brief pitch whereas others like a detailed outline. For the latter, you want to recommend the title of the potential content piece and explain why their readers will love it.

Something like this:

I plan to write an article about [insert the suggested title]. Below is a quick outline of the post including the key points I’ll cover inside”

Share samples of your previous projects

Inserting links to your previous projects on your pitch should come naturally, whether or not the host asks for them as part of their guidelines. The samples confirm to the editor that you can write on specific topics which is obviously a huge plus.

This part should sound like this:

Here are a few links to my previous works in case you want to have a glance at how I write:

  • Link 1
  • Link 2
  • Link 3

Close with a direct ask

Closing with a direct ask increases the chances you’ll get a response. It also directs the editor on how to reply to you. Here are a few sampled questions you can ask here:

Would you like this piece for your blog?”

“Kindly let me know if the topic would be a perfect fit for your blog.”

“Can I submit this article to you on Tuesday next week?”

A warm sign-off

No email is ever complete without a nice sign-off. Something as simple as this will work just fine:

Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you!”

Cheers,

Jason.

Write top content

Got accepted? Congratulations!

At this point, the aim should be to develop highly actionable content that offers a solution to a specific problem that readers could be facing. It’s advisable that you try to mirror the writing guidelines that your host uses to avoid having your content returned for revisions or worse, rejected. Make sure in your initial conversations with the site that you nail down exactly what they want from a content piece. Is there a specific word count they want? Images? Specific links?

Needless to say, don’t forget to include at least one hyperlink to a platform, page, or resource where you want to drive search traffic to. Use keyword-rich anchor texts links depending on your SEO strategy. Finally, promote your published post on social channels and your email list to increase visibility.

Assess the results

After thanking the site owner for publishing your work, it’s time to track results for your guest post. A few things to do here are;

  • Find out how readers are responding to your work. Are they sharing or commenting on it?
  • Is the post driving organic traffic where you intended?
  • Find possible areas of improvement on future link opportunities.

Bonus tip: Using Google Images to find guest posting opportunities

You’ve probably heard some SEOs claiming that guest posting is dead; however, nothing could be further from the truth. When done correctly, guest posting remains to be one of the most powerful techniques for building links and boosting organic traffic. Here at Profit Engine, we offer bespoke outreach services, with the majority of them being guest posts on niche relevant and quality sites.

Over the years, we’ve streamlined our process for finding sites to guest post on. A simple tactic that has worked exceptionally well for us is the use of Google images. Here’s the exact procedure we follow:

  • First, we identify a few webmasters that write a lot of guest posts in a particular niche.
  • We then capture the URL of the headshot that they include in their author bio.
  • Finally, we reverse search this image on Google to find everywhere it’s featured, which in most cases are websites where their other similar posts have been published. Easy-peasy, right?

Tying it all together

So, there you have it; some very effective link building tactics that work in 2021 and a sweet bonus tip to scale your guest posting results.

In other posts we will be covering some of these techniques in more detail, as well as exploring other tactics such as Link Reclamation and generating ideas for Linkable content and assets.

These tactics should help improve your search engine rankings and improve your link profile. If you’re just starting out, we advise you to choose one technique at a time and perfect it, before moving on to the next.

Of course, do not overdo any of them as this could land your website into trouble with Google for over-optimization. Other than that, you need to take a lot of caution with your choice of anchor texts. But that’s a post for another day.

Remember relevance is key, so always strive to build your links from websites that are either in your industry or related fields.

So, what did we leave out? Have a secret method that has been bringing fantastic results? Do you have a link building tactic. that works especially well in your niche?

Leave us some feedback in the comments below.

Categories
Link Building SEO

25 Best Link building Tools For 2022

So, after what feels like the longest most awful year ever, 2020 is behind us. We wanted to start the new year with a look at some of the best Link Building tools around.

Looking to build links? Need the right tools? This is for you.

OK, let’s get into it.

So, it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to selecting the best link building tools – or any SEO software for that matter.

There is no one, ultimate, Link Building tool.

Many claim to be ‘The only SEO tool you need’ and they might have a nice suite of tools. However you can find that you only use half of them and by that time you discover that, you probably have already bought a year’s worth of usage from the platform.

For this reason, we’ve created a list of 25 different link building tools and SEO tools that we feel are the best available.

As we said, most platforms claim to be the best, but best at what? 

For that reason, we have split the tools up into categories, from Link Research through to link prospecting.

We’ve looked at overall usefulness, value for money, and any unique offerings each platform brings to the table.

We have also included the link building tools that we use everyday to build links.

You may even choose to use a combination of the below for the best results. We’ve included tools that we feel meet all budgets and cater to a range of users, from individual link builders to small and large search agencies.

After putting in the research, we believe that the following are the best tools for link building in 2021.

Ahrefs

Ask any SEO professional or marketing guru about the best tool for link building and they’ll mention Ahrefs without a second thought. Whether you’re looking for software for content marketing, keyword research, or link building, Ahrefs has got you covered.

For our agency it’s a vital part of our tool stack and is heavily used as part of our Link Building process. Everyone uses it, from myself (Link Audits, looking for broken link opportunities, checking referring domains), our Campaign managers through to our Link Prospectors(great for finding guest post opportunities)..

Ahrefs describe themselves as an “All-in-one SEO toolset”, something that’s not an empty boast. They are also an ideal platform for those new to search engine optimisation, as they offer a comprehensive (and complementary) bank of learning materials.

The suite comes with six distinct features: content explorer, site explorer, positions explorer, Ahrefs alert, crawl reports, and position tracker. Each of these features plays a critical role in link building, plus they’re all efficient and fast.

For instance, Ahrefs Alerts keeps you updated with new referring domains and mentions in real-time. Using this feature enables you to receive instant notifications via email whenever your competitors get a new backlink. What’s more, it can notify you if somebody mentions your website or a particular keyword.

Pricing

Ahrefs has four plans with a price range of between $99 and $999 per month. Before that, you can test the tool by subscribing for its 7-day trial for $7.

Looking for new Link opportunities? This feature keeps you updated on the sites that link to your competitors and not linking to you. How’s that important, though? Your competitor may be getting linked to from a reputable site but that doesn’t guarantee the site will be willing to link to you. However, if two or more of your competitors secure backlinks from that site, chances are you’ll also get accepted.

SEMrush

SEMrush is another all-in-one SEO tool for keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink audit, link building, etc. It’s a trusted tool with a customer base of more than 5,000,000 plus over 1000 media companies the world-over.

Semrush and Ahrefs are the two heavy hitters when it comes to the SEO tools marketplace and if you have the budget then get both.

With this tool, you can have an unparalleled view of your competitors’ strategies, explore their keywords and domains they’re ranking for, and analyze their performance via a mobile device or a desktop.

Pricing

SEMrush has three different payment plans; the lowest-priced is Pro and costs $99.95, followed by Guru which costs $199.95, and the Business plan wraps it up at $399.95 all billed monthly. Before that though, we’d recommend its 7-day free trial too!

My favourite feature: Keyword Gap Tool

Want to easily grasp the keywords that you and your rivals both have in common?Or find out where your rivals are targeting keywords that you aren’t? The Keyword Gap Tool is just the job.

Keyword Gap tool

You can compare up to 5 domains at a time and see common keywords, unique keywords, unique keywords in the first keyword domain, and then a complete view of all keywords. If you have selected the competitors and the set of keywords you want to see, you will be able to dig into each keyword and filter the data by metrics such as specific keyword, location, MSV, and more.

Majestic SEO

One of the grand daddies of Search Engine tools, maybe a bit in the shadow of Ahrefs and Semrush these days but still, their metrics are important and trustworthy. For many years this was the go-too Link building tool for anyone in search.

Majestic SEO allows users to track their domain dominance, number of backlinks, anchor text etc. It boasts one of the biggest link index databases (they claim the biggest, but ahrefs would dispute that) supported by their bespoke metrics.

Trust Flow is a measure of the quality of links that point to URLs and websites. Typically, a web page with a higher trust flow than Citation Flow would have good-quality links.

Citation Flow looks at the quantity of links that point to a website. Citation Flow does not care whether a link is of good-quality, or poor quality.

Pricing

Majestic SEO is available in three plans; Lite, Pro, and API. The lite plan costs $49.99 per month and is ideal for domains and light users like freelancers. The Pro plan costs $99.99 and it comes with additional features like email alerts and custom reports. Lastly, API costs $399.99 and is ideal for software developers and digital marketing agencies.

My favourite feature: Trust Ratio (TR)

As a link building and outreach agency we care about the quality of the links we build and using Trust Ratio helps us to do this.

To get the Trust Flow you simply do the following calculation: Trust Flow / Citation Flow = Trust Ratio

If the Citation Flow is high and the Trust Flow is poor, this means that the website being reviewed has a lot of link equity (or “juice”), but little trust in those links. This generally means that these links have been taken from “spammy” parts of the web because they are not similar to authoritative sources.

On the other hand, if a site has a high amount of Trust Flow and a low Citation Flow, this means that links to that site come from very credible sources, i.e. A trustworthy place from which you want a connection.

What is a good trust ratio? Well, there are many different opinions on this, but we typically like to see a TR higher than 0.4, otherwise, it is a higher chance that the site has lower quality or spammy links. anything closer to 1 is brilliant.

Moz pro

Moz pro for Link Building

Ah, Moz, the OG of SEO products!

It’s expanded over the years and now has a range of solutions from site audits through to Keyword research. However, many people know Moz for its respected Domain Authority (DA) metric. It was revamped a couple of years ago and is useful to use alongside Ahrefs and Majestic metrics to build a picture of how valuable a link is.

Pricing

Moz Link Explorer has four payment plans; standard, medium, large, and premium. Price ranges from $99-$999 whilst you can take advantage of its generous 30-day free trial period to get started!

Moz Link Explorer is an excellent tool to help you find your competitors’ websites pages, their overall backlink profile, the quality and quantity of linking domains, and the types of anchor texts used. It has a premium suite known as Moz Pro which offers a helpful anchor text analysis feature to allow you “reverse engineer” your competitors’ backlinks.

The tool comes with a simple interface that makes navigating and understanding backlink data a no-brainer.

Linkody

Linkody is a link building tool that leverages robust metrics from established tools like Majestic and Moz to track backlinks. You can use it to track lost and newly acquired links, explore your backlink profile, observe competitors’ link moves, and detect potentially harmful links.  

Pricing

Linkody has five payment plans with prices ranging from $13.90 to $138.90 for Webmaster and Agency XL respectively.

My favourite feature: top pages

This feature helps you identify the top pages that gets the highest number of links. You can then adopt what’s working for your competitors and drop backlinking strategies that are slowing down your growth.

Linkody doesn’t offer the same perks of the bigger sites like Ahrefs. However, those with a smaller budget or those looking for a more straightforward experience will be right at home with the platform.

URL Profiler

Like Linkody, URL Profiler draws its data from a range of other high-profile tools – including Ahrefs, Google Analytics, Moz and SEMRush. To use it, you’ll need to download it and add a list of URLs that you wish to audit.

This enables you to search and assess data such as social link metrics, media shares, page rank, page speed, HTTP status, robot access, etc.

The tool then provides a report in the form of an Excel file.

I know a lot of SEO people that really rate this tool, I have it on my ‘to do list’ to get to grips with it.

Pricing

The URL profiler is available in three different plans, each having different prices. They include Solo ($29.95), Pro ($39.95), and Agency ($99.95). Note that these are the prices for monthly billing.

There are a number of Link Prospecting tools out there but I really like this.

You can target only the most relevant sites for link opportunities like guest posts with topical link prospecting using Majestics data and also extract the relevant email address.

While the platform looks like it’s ripped directly from Windows 98, don’t let that fool you. URL Profiler is the real deal for those looking for accurate link building and data analysis.

Raven Tools

Have you been wondering why your competitors are always outranking you? Or what keywords, anchor texts, and links they’ve been using to rank higher? Raven Tools have the ultimate answers to these questions! You can bank on the suite for high-quality SEO, link building, research, and reporting.

It has an all-in-one toolbox comprising reporting and tools such as keyword and competitor research, backlink analysis, site audits, SEO data, rank data, and social reporting. It’s pretty easy to use too.

Pricing

The lowest monthly plan costs $39 while the top-most goes for $399. Further, all five plans come with a 7-day trial period.

Link Spy: Find New Links and Spy on Your Top Competition - Raven Tools

This feature enables you to spy on your competitors and establish what keywords and links they’re using to outsmart you in the rankings. It’s one of many products out there that will find Link Building Opportunities for you.

Screaming Frog

crawler website : Screaming Frog SEO Audits, Insights & Monitoring 🚀

Screaming frog is the swiss army knife of tools. It’s an all-purpose website crawler that works by extracting data from various URLs and auditing them to optimize search. What’s good about the platform is it pulls data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console as well as other leading SEO platforms like Ahrefs.

It comes with free and paid versions with the former enabling you to audit data from up to 500 URLs. Even better, you can purchase a license to have unlimited access to data sources and enjoy more advanced features as well.

The paid version comes with everything you’d want in a top-class web crawler. You can evaluate internal linking, detect duplicate content, find redirects and broken links, collect and analyze data from internal and external web pages.  

Pricing

Screaming frog has a free version but it comes with a few limitations. For example, it doesn’t offer access to full configuration, saving of crawls, and lacked advanced features like custom extraction or link metrics integration.

Purchasing a license costs £149 per year, and there are lucrative discounts for those who buy in bulk. For instance, if you buy 5-9 licenses, it’ll cost you £139, £129 for 10-19 licenses, and £119 for 20+ licenses.

My favourite feature: visualise site architecture

This feature lets you assess internal linking and the URL structure, thus forming a good foundation for link building.

CognitiveSEO

CognitiveSEO is a downloadable software that can be installed to offer backlink analysis. While not on the same level as bigger platforms like Ahrefs, it has some unique features that other platforms can’t boast.

For starters, the unnatural link detection is a feature unique to this tool and one of the reasons it made it to this list. This feature enables you to detect if a site you’d like to link from has a harmful or questionable backlink profile.

CognitiveSEO has an on-page website crawler and SEO audit tool that enables you to point out weak areas that affect your site’s performance. It also offers a pie chart showing your domain profile influence, which is a nice touch!

Pricing

After completing your 7-day free trial period, you can decide to upgrade at the cost of $129.99 per month.

My favourite feature: domain profile influence

You can use this feature to calculate how many of your links come from authority sites. This way, you can know the amount of effort to put in to get more of these powerful backlinks. It’s a neat feature that allows you to keep track of your link profile.

SEO Powersuite

SEO Powersuite (link assistant) does exactly what it says on the tin. It offers a powerful software suite as downloadable software to serve as your one-stop shop for any type SEO campaign. You can use it for backlink analysis, ranking data, on-page audits, and even PPC Ads optimisation options.

The best part about this tool is that you can preset all your research and analysis in a matter of minutes such that by the time you log in to your computer the next morning or after a few hours, all the reports and suggestions will be ready.

While it may contain tools which some link building specialists may not need, it’s a nice package for those who do.

Pricing

It’s available in two license types; the professional plan costs $149, and the enterprise plan costing $349 (all billed annually). There’s also a free version with basic features. It’s definitely one of the best priced tools out there and perfect if you are just starting out.

My favourite feature: SEO Spyglass

The feature enables you to analyze up to five of your competitors’ sites and gather insights on how to boost your link building activities. It also creates bespoke link building reports as and when you need them. I am playing with this tool at the moment and it looks promising.

SEOJet

SEO JetThere’s more to link building than simply looking for reliable websites; using the right anchor text for every backlink is equally essential. SEOJet is a nifty tool that helps you analyze your competitors’ moves, suggests anchor texts to use and even detects unnatural links.

Pricing

The Launch plan goes for $57.50 per month while Attack which is the highest costs $165.83. There’s also a 14-day free trial to help you get started!

My favourite feature: anchor text generator

This feature makes it easy to create a natural anchor text profile that Google loves. It also automates the process of choosing great anchor texts for each link you acquire.

Outreach Tools

Respona

Respona is an all-in-one blogger outreach platform outfitted with all of the necessary tools to set up and launch an email campaign of any kind, be it for link building, digital PR, marketing, or even sales.

It’s integrated with Google’s search engine for streamlined prospecting, and pulls metrics like Domain Rating and Ahrefs Rank directly from Ahrefs.

An easy-to-use email finder is also included, making it extremely easy to find the right person’s contact information without having to rely on any other tools.

Respona’s intuitive interface guides you through every step of creating and launching your outreach campaigns, keeps track of your performance, and also the status of your conversations with each prospect.

The tool will be especially useful to link builders, as it was initially used to help Visme scale their link building outreach efforts, helping the website gain over 2 million organic visitors a month.

  • Automated email outreach
  • Great for prospecting and finding contact information
  • Deep personalization
  • Built-in analytics and reporting

GroupHigh

Their tagline is “The ultimate swiss-army-knife of blogger outreach, influencer marketing, seo, and

affiliate marketing tools.”

With it, you can discover the influencer and blogger social profiles that have the right audience for your brand. As an outreach tool it could be very useful if you just want to guest post , it can help you find guest blogging opportunities pretty easily.

The creator claims that it offers the world’s largest database for blogs and influencers. After playing around with its search filters, the results for my keywords were quite impressive! Not only do you discover the audience size for each influencer, but also critical info including their niche, location, websites, blogs, and more.

For link building, GroupHigh allows you to batch import social URLs, blogs, and websites from other similar tools such as BuzzSumo and Ahrefs. Further, you can automate functions like influencer social profile research and targeted outreach.

Pricing

You can try the tool for free for 7 days. From there, prices begin at $179 and climb to the dizzying heights of $499 a month. However, we feel it’s worth it for lots of users.

My favorite feature: Blog Search Engine

A relevant Guest Post is a beautiful thing (in my opinion). Having a blog search engine in one place can take the strain from guest blogging and outreach campaigns.

BuzzSumo

Initially, BuzzSumo was a content marketing tool that you’d use to discover viral content across various niches. But it has since evolved into an all-purpose digital marketing tool for outreach, link building and research.

I use BuzzSumo regularly to build useful connections to influencers with an aim to leverage those for link building. It comes with four primary features namely discovery, research, monitoring, and influencers.

Discovery and research features allow you to find linkable content using relevant keywords in your niche. The monitoring feature provides insights into useful metrics that you discover from your selected URLs.

Pricing

BuzzSumo has four pricing plans namely Pro, Plus, Large, and Enterprise. If you’re just starting, I recommend the Plus Plan, which has a decent combination of link building features. It costs $179 monthly and $139 monthly if you purchase the annual plan.

My favourite feature: Influencers’ location of activity

The influencers feature shows where key influencers in your target location are sharing their content. This way, you can discover opportunities for creating relevant backlinks especially if you’re in the local SEO space.

BuzzStream

BuzzStream is an email outreach system that I know a number of agencies and link builders use. It’s an outreach tool that we looked closely at when choosing our own tool.

A few key features to like about this tool are campaign management, contact information discovery, and outreach templates. You can use it to research information about the prospects you’d like to network with, including their email details.

Finally, it helps you easily track specific conversations with your prospects when you have numerous outreach projects open. I would use Buzzstream if I was a freelance Link builder or possibly an agency with a focus on PR outreach.

Pricing

Buzzstream Outreach tool

BuzzStream offer a free trial, but after this, the Starter Plan which is suitable for personal projects will set you back $24 per month. There’s also a group plan that goes for $999 per month which is best suited to bigger organisations that need multiple logins.

My favourite feature: Buzz Marker

I love BuzzStream’s Chrome browser extension known as BuzzMarker. It helps you scan websites and social profiles for contact information and where email addresses are not found, it provides the link to the contact page.

JustReachOut

justreachout

I really like JustReachOut, it is all about pitching to journalists and media groups. It provides a rich database to discover journalists, their ranks in respective industries, content, guest posts,location, and much more. Essentially, this platform exists to help sites get their links and web addresses mentioned in various media publications.

The software shows by rank the list of journalists who would be interested in linking back to your website. It also connects you to editors who comment to increase the reply rate.

We are looking to test this platform for sniper focused PR type pitches. When it comes to building links it’s good to test new prospecting tools.

Pricing

JustReachOut offers three pricing plans namely Simple Outreach, Advanced Outreach, and Guided Outreach which cost $159, $319, and $559 respectively. This may sound steep but the tool can be worth its weight in gold especially if your links appear in large and prominent publications/web pages.

My favourite feature: Build a Targeted List of Journalists & Influencers

Find Press opportunities and Journalists covering your topic and keywords. This is a great feature when you want to take a more targeted ‘sniper’ approach to you Link building strategies.

Ontolo

Ontolo is a multi-purpose tool that offers functions spanning from link building through to social media analysis. You can use it to discover influencer prospects, dig for viral content, and find popular blogs that you can reach out to for backlinks.

According to the developer, Ontolo crawls over 400 million URLs daily making its database a rich source for link building information. What’s more, it supports two critical outreach functions; prospecting and querying.

With prospecting, you can either instruct it to find new prospects in its database or upload a URL list for it to scan. In my experience, working with uploads is faster and I can even use other outreach tools as my data source.

Querying allows you to fine-tune your search results to include social profiles, ads, contact pages, and more. Not only do you find prospect info by topic/term but also by opportunities to determine the best places to promote your content for backlinks.

Pricing

The cheapest pricing plan starts at $97 per month and goes up to custom plans.

My favourite feature: Free prospecting templates

You can use any of Ontolo’s 700+ prospecting templates freely. Plus, it has a simple interface that connects you to all its features in just a few clicks.

NinjaOutreach

This is the tool we first used as an outreach company to put together our link building campaigns but we moved on to another platform as we outgrew Ninja Outreach. To be fair it’s evolved a bit over the last few years and has refined into a better product.

Like other outreach platforms, NinjaOutreach is about building links through reaching out to third-party platforms. But it stands out for one reason – it has a large and highly refined database. For example, you can choose to organize the search results to rank the prospects by social metric or reach.

Combine this with other filter options such as Page Authority, Domain Authority, and backlinks stats and you have access to rich information for creating a powerful link building campaign.

Pricing

Prices start at $69 a month but climb to $599 for all in memberships.

My favourite feature: Infographic promotion template

This feature helps you visually organize your contacts and levels of engagements. For better results, you need to customize the templates regularly to suit each prospect in your list.

Pitchbox

Pitchbox for the win!

I have to say, for our business implementing Pitchbox has been a game changer.

We would not have been able to scale the way we have without it. I can’t speak highly enough of it. Of all the Link building tools we have looked at,trialed or used this is the best.

Pitchbox is a true end-to-end Link Building Productivity Platform. From the initial building of a list of sites through to email delivery it has it all. Email sequencing and follow ups are done seamlessly.

Pitchbox enables you to integrate various SEO metrics including Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz.

Pricing

Pitchbox’s high price may deter new link builders with packages ranging from $195 upwards. But if you can afford this price point, it’s absolutely worth the money!

Pitchbox supports various types of link building campaigns such as competitor backlinks, link removal, blogger outreach, product reviews, and recent press posts. Tie that in with the ability to to use search operators and you don’t really need another tool.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a lovely little tool for monitoring campaigns and keywords. It can help you discover popular phrases and words in your niche and adjust your link building strategy effectively.

For link prospecting, it has multiple benefits to offer. For example, you can track every mention of your brand to discover the unlinked ones. Similarly, you can use it to research your competition by tracking where they’re getting mentions.

Pricing

Free

My favourite feature: The tool is free

Google Alerts is one of the few value-packed tools that come free. This alone is reason enough to make it on to our best link building tools list!

Linksignal.ai

Link Signal is a specialist link building platform that’s growing steadily in popularity. Its focus is backlinking content to build credibility and trust across the web and it does this rather well.

I met with the founder Hamlet and was impressed with the product.

The platform uses artificial intelligence bots to offer outreach research and discovery. Can you trust it to help with your link building campaigns? Absolutely!

For starters, you can use it for keyword research to ensure your content is optimized for search engines. It also provides a database containing contact information for authoritative domains in your niche so that you can build your list of link opportunities.. You can gather valuable prospect data including links to influencer social profiles, influencer names, email addresses, and location.

 Pricing

LinkSignal has a free option but those looking for more will want to check out their Premium and Agency packages priced at $99.99 and $199.99 a month.

My favourite feature: Multiple SERP URLs analyzer feature

This feature lets you scan influencer websites, blogs, and social profiles then identify how they relate to one another. It also compiles all your query data into a zip file to allow you use the data in other outreach and CRM tools.

Disavowing Tools

DisavowIt

Those familiar with disavowing links will know it can be difficult and stressful. The process involves finding ways to isolate your site from untrustworthy links.

DisavowIt offers a simple and painless way to do this. Without tools like this, you’d need to manually create and format a disavow file to upload on Google Search Console.

The tool can be pretty useful for link building, particularly when your site is recovering from manual penalties.

Pricing

DisavowIt is free to use!

My favorite feature – Apply disavow file to URLs

This feature helps you decide which links to disavow and those to stay on your site.

Creating a disavow file manually can be quite a lot of work and time-consuming too. If you need a tool that takes the guesswork out of this crucial process, this one is definitely worth a try!

Hunter.io

Looking to gather email addresses for a website you’re targeting for outreach? I can happily recommend the Hunter.io chrome extension. Not only is this tool quick but in my experience, the contact information you find is also very accurate. If you have a link prospector then since can be an indispensable addition to there tool stack.

It instantly scours the internet for data from multiple sources that are connected to the website owners. The search functionality also makes it easy to connect with the company’s decision-makers who have the authority to run links on the websites.

Pricing

You get 50 free requests per month and thereafter pay up to $399 per month depending on usage.

My favourite feature: email verification

Hunter.io verifies each email to let you know whether it’s still active before starting your outreach.

SeoQuake

If you’re a fan of browser extensions, SeoQuake is a tool you’ll want to add to your link building arsenal. You can install it in most major browsers including Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

I like that it’s easy to conduct site audits and offers pretty much every search engine detail you need to know about a website. SeoBar is a part of the extension that gives you the values of essential parameters for the page you’re visiting. This way, you can easily determine whether a link from that website is worth pursuing or not.

View the search results and website data in CSV format that includes key metrics such as Pagerank, number of pages indexed by Google, Alexa rank, and much more. This helps you determine the value of sites when creating a list of link prospects.

Pricing

Free

My favourite feature: the real-time diagnosis

This shows areas of your website that require improvements and how to fix various optimization issues.

MozBar

Popularly known as Moz, this was one of the very first SEO tools in the market. It’s incredibly easy to add to your Google Chrome and other browsers with nearly half a million installations to date. The versatile extension shows some really useful on-page metrics including title tag, meta robots, alt text and domain authority.

It also highlights the anchor texts that were commonly used by other sites to link to your website to help you prioritize the right keywords for your future content.

Apart from link building, you can also use MozBar to find out about a site’s HTTP status codes, schema markup, and much more.

Pricing

MozBar has a 30-day free trial after which you will pay up to $99 per month

My favourite feature: Open site explorer

This tool offers a deeper understanding of the types of links pointing to a page, which helps me gauge how worthy a link from that site is.

SerpWorx

SerpWorx is a premium extension that provides more than 30 different SEO metrics for any website without leaving the Google search results. It uses a handy little sidebar that cuts the time you need to research data about pages and sites.

I love this SEO tool and it’s something I use every single day.

Some of the SEO metrics it provides instantly include trust flow, domain authority, domain rating, target keywords, and estimated monthly traffic. I love how the sidebar offers a quick scan of key competitive metrics in a few simple clicks.

To say it saves me tens of hours every month is an understatement because there’s simply no other tool like this. I’m happy to pay a premium for its in-depth competitor analysis reports!

Pricing

SerpWorx offers a 3-day free trial and $29.95 per month thereafter.

My favourite feature: metrics at your fingertips

I love the fact that you can look at all the key metrics of a site in one fell swoop, it makes site research a breeze!

Those are the 25 best link building tools I (and many other link builders I know) utilize nearly every day. There are others that we have not mentioned such as Citation labs Link Prospector and Link Research tools.

We are planning to expand this list so feel free to recommend any you feel we have missed off.

Of course you won’t need all of them, so how do you choose what to spend on and what to ignore?

  • Set a budget for your tools and stick to it.
  • Invest in software that you REALLY need and not products that have ‘cool’ features you will probably never employ.
  • If you have clients you need to report to, go for tools with reporting features
  • Buy tools that support multiple users if you have a team.

Now it’s your turn.

Which of these link building tools is a must-have for you? Did I leave out your favourite? Please let me know in the comments below!

Categories
Link Building

Choosing the Right Link Building Agency

How do you choose a Link Building Service?

Is your organisation in need of some SEO or link building support? Have you come to the conclusion that building white links is a difficult and specialised activity?

If you’ve decided to hire an agency then congratulations, this is a positive step and ideally will help your website attract more quality traffic and leads as a result.

But before you commit to a link building agency make sure you do your due diligence. Remember you have a choice when it comes to which agency you hire. Some may be a better fit for your business than others.

Here are 6 positive things to look out for and 6 warning signs:

Positive Signs to look for in a Link Building Service:

They Don’t Promise Instant Results

No link building agency can offer instant results or perfection. To be sure, they may be able to provide positive results quickly, but a legitimate company will under promise and over deliver. Link building success is created gradually and may require a few strategy changes along the way. Even the very best agencies need time to hit their stride.

They Hold Themselves Accountable

Digital marketing, particularly SEO and link building; is an art not a science. There is likely to be bumps along the road. A link building agency that is worth your time and money will be honest and upfront about this. They will also take responsibility when mistakes happen and clearly communicate how they plan to resolve them.

They Build a Clear and Realistic Strategy

Some digital marketing companies may just apply the same strategies to all their clients, offering minimal effort to really understand each as an individual entity. A quality link building agency really makes the effort to get to know your brand, then builds a comprehensive roadmap for how success will be achieved.

They Seek Feedback from You

The very best link building agencies not only keep you informed; they actively seek feedback from you as the client in an effort to provide a better service. They treat you as a valued partner and communicate effectively when things are going well – and not so well. A quality agency considers this part of their service and won’t be content to just send you a basic monthly report.

Clients Stay with Them

Do they have a loyal selection of clients who’ve been with them for a long time? This is a good sign. It shows that the agency successfully builds long-term relationships and uses link building strategies that get results. The mark of a good agency is one that works with their clients instead of for them.

They’re Prepared to Disagree with You

Business owners can be emotionally invested in their companies. This is completely understandable, but it can lead to them becoming blind to problems and even denial that there is one. A quality link building agency will always be honest with you, even if the truth is uncomfortable. Always listen to their feedback.

Red Flags when choosing a Link Building Service:

You Always Need to Initiate Communication

If you need to chase your agency for a response or an update on your link building progress, then this is a red flag. This is especially true if all communication is initiated by you as the client. A quality link building company understands that discourse between you needs to be a two-way street and should get in touch habitually. 

They Don’t Provide Unprompted Insights

A link building agency shouldn’t wait to be asked their ideas or strategies on how to improve your website. They should offer advice and insights without being prompted – and this doesn’t include attempts to upsell. An experienced agency should be able to look at your website and make suggestions without applying a one size fits all approach.

They Have a High Client Turnover

Are they frequently celebrating the signing of new clients on their website or social media but not celebrating milestones with existing ones? This is another red flag. Try to see how long (as an average) clients stay with them. If their turnover is unusually high, then it may be wise to take your business elsewhere.

Their Reviews Don’t Seem Genuine

Some companies use ‘stock reviews’ as opposed to genuine ones. These can be easy to spot. They tend to be short, repetitive, vague and overly complimentary without offering any actual context. Always dig a little deeper into their reviews to make sure they are from real people/companies, instead of just a stock photo of someone smiling while saying “Great job!”

They Say “Yes” To Everything

A quality agency won’t be able to say yes to everything, they may recommend another path and shouldn’t be afraid to disagree with you on occasion. Any agency that promises the earth is unlikely to be able to deliver it. Always ask your agency what challenges they foresee. There should always be some.

Their Results Are Suspicious

Link building results can sometimes be a little too perfect. Google and other SERPs have strict rules and guidelines when it comes to link building that not all agencies respect. Make sure they are playing by the rules – if not it could come back on you instead of them. A link building agency should always be transparent about their methods and practice their trade ethically.

So, in conclusion

Think carefully about the type of company you want to outsource your link building work too. Links can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to your SEO strategy. Choose a company that underpromise and over deliver and you cannot go wrong.

If you would to chat to a straight talking Link Building company then get in touch for a informal discussion and a realistic plan

Categories
Blog Post Link Building

Link Building Guide: Nine Strategies That Work in 2020

One of the most effective ways of succeeding in SEO is to stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry. This means keeping tabs on the latest algorithm changes that Google keeps rolling out and also consulting other industry experts to find out about new tricks and strategies that are working for them. In this Link Building Guide we aim to show you what is working in 2020, from our own experience!

Here at Profit Engine, we’re continually testing new techniques to ensure our clients are getting the best possible results in their SEO campaigns. Recently, we set out to find the best link building tactics that still work in 2020. After a lot of research and testing, we settled for nine methods that we’re about to unleash for the first time. And that’s not all; we’ll also share a handy tip that we use to boost our guest posting and outreach results. So, read till the end to brush up your SEO skills and stay ahead of the pack. Most importantly, implement what you learn in this detailed guide as that’s the only way you can boost your traffic and ultimately your business revenue.

Ready? Let’s dive straight in!

Technique #1: Link roundups

Link roundups offer an excellent method, not only for building powerful backlinks to your website but also for starting valuable relationships with other webmasters. If you’ve never used or even heard about this link building strategy, here’s what it entails.

For starters, link roundups are daily, weekly, or monthly blogs where a site owner curates exceptional content that has been published recently by others in their niche. Essentially, the publisher surfs the web looking for high-value content that they can share with their readers. They then write a short description of each of these resources and link back to those pages.

How to find link roundup opportunities

When using this method to build backlinks, you first need to find websites that run roundups in your niche. For this step, go to Google or Twitter and pop the following search strings:

  • “keyword” + “best blog posts”
  • “keyword” + “best posts of the week”
  • “keyword” + “best posts of the month”
  • “keyword” + “best pieces of content”
  • “keyword” + “link roundup”
  • “keyword” + “roundup”

Contacting site owners

Once you’ve found several relevant sites, it’s now time to reach out to the owners requesting them to consider your content in their future roundup chains. Start by finding their contact information, preferably email addresses or social media handles. A few tools you can use here include Hunter.io for finding emails and LinkedIn when you need to gather more details about your target contacts.

Armed with the right contact information, you can now go ahead to contact the website owners. The following is a simple email/social media message template that has worked magic for us:

Hey (site owner’s name), A New Resource for Your Roundup

Hey (site owner’s name),

I just came across your (roundup name) this morning. You’re doing such an excellent job!

I’m reaching out because I recently created (content description) that might be a good fit. If interested, you can check it out here: URL here.

Either way, keep up the fantastic work J

Cheers

(Your name).

The reason why this pitch works is that it’s simple, straightforward, and not spammy or pushy. Your aim should be to let the webmaster know that your content exists while avoiding being seen as begging for a link. If they think your post is stellar and deserves to be seen by their audience, then you’ll be lucky to score a free link.

Technique #2: Broken link method

A lot has been said about broken link building, including claims on how it no longer works and not scalable enough. However, we can assertively say that this technique still works if you have the right system and are ready to put in the work.

So, shall we get started!

Just as the name suggests, this popular link building strategy entails finding opportunities in broken links to build new links to your site. You will need to identify sites that are pointing to pages or websites that have since been deleted or shut down and inform their owners about it. In the process, you can suggest that they point to a resource on your site that offers equally relevant or even better content than that which is already broken. Simple, right?

Here’s how to find relevant broken links

There are several ways you can use to find broken links on any website. But for this guide, we’ll show you two easy methods that offer effective results.

For starters, we recommend a tool we’ve used with a lot of success named Check My Links. It’s a free Google Chrome extension that helps you find broken links page by page. All you need is to visit your target website, run the tool, and let it identify all the broken links on its pages.

Another method we use when we want to find broken links in bulk is through the broken link checker by Ahrefs. This powerful tool enables you to scan and locate every 404 error pages that exist on your target website. Ahrefs also shows you all sites linking to these broken pages, which is the information you want for your link building work.

Contacting site owners

If you have already compiled a list of sites with relevant broken links, you can now go ahead and contact their owners. Use the same process we explained earlier to find their best contact details and send them the following email:

Hey (site owner’s name),

My name is Jason and I’m an avid reader of the awesome content you publish here regularly.

However, as I was searching for some information on SEO this morning, I stumbled upon a link that didn’t seem to be working. The link in question is in this post (insert URL here) and goes to this page (enter URL here).

It looks like it used to be a post on SEO techniques, but the (site owner’s name) removed it.

We just created a similar guide last week and wanted to ask if it might make a suitable replacement for you? Here’s the link (URL here).

Either way, keep up with the great work.

Cheers!

(Your name)

Technique #3: Podcasting for link building

Less than a decade ago, podcasts were hardly a topic in the ever-growing marketing industry. Today, nearly every expert is hosting one either on their site or on popular aggregator platforms like Stitcher and iTunes.

Apart from using podcasts to reach and grow your audiences, you can also use them to acquire valuable links, whether as the host or the guest. How this happens is that the website hosting the podcast will usually link to their guest’s website. In return, the guest will link back to the podcast to direct their readers or subscribers to check out the resource. Some fans are also likely to link to their favourite podcasts on the hosting site.

But that’s not all as these links tend to drive highly targeted referral traffic that you can tap to grow your email list, boost your social following, and increase sales. When leveraged correctly, podcasting also offers an excellent way to build brand authority and trust.

Technique #4: Turning unlinked brand mentions into links

If you’re looking for a simple way to build links to your website, we highly recommend you prioritise this one. Essentially, the technique involves finding websites that mention you, your brand, or anything that is directly related to your business but do not link back to your site. When someone does this, it means they’re already familiar with your business, which makes it very easy to convince them to give you a link.

So, how do you find unlinked mentions in a sea of websites?

There are several ways to do this, but I’ll show you two simple methods that I use and which have worked for me.

For starters, I implement the Ahrefs Alerts tool to track brand mentions on the web. To set up a campaign, all I need is to specify the search terms(s) I want to track, my preferred language, web sources that I’d like to track, and where I want the results to be sent to (email). To avoid needless or false notifications, I always block my domain from the tracking process.

Another simple method that I use is through a handy tool known as Brand24. This is a social monitoring and listening tool that helps you track keywords and brand mentions across multiple online channels. To set it up, you need to create a new project that consists of the keyword you want to track (in this case your brand name), the channels you’d like to include, and finally the keywords you don’t want tracked (if any). Monitoring begins immediately after you set up your campaign while results are returned after every hour. You can choose to receive your notifications via email or by visiting the tool’s user dashboard area.

Once you’ve identified several potential link building opportunities, it’s now time to reach out to those websites to try and convert the unlinked mentions into links. You’re free to ‘steal’ the following outreach template that I have used with impressive level of success:

Hi (site user’s name),

Jason here, from My Profit Engine.

First off, thank you for mentioning My Profit Engine in your recent post on link building for affiliate websites. (Insert the article’s URL here)

Such an excellent article. I particularly loved your unique insights on the broken link method.

Anyway, I was wondering if it might be possible to include a link to our site, in case your readers want to learn more about what we do?

(Insert link to your site here).

Either way, keep up the nice work,

Cheers!

Jason.

Technique #5: The HARO strategy

We all can agree that getting backlinks from authority websites is one of the hardest things any website owner can deal with (of course, along with creating valuable content consistently). Fortunately for you, there are still a few ways you can use to land these enviable links even if your website is still a ‘nobody’ in your industry.

HARO, which is an abbreviation of Help A Reporter Out, is a free service meant to provide journalists and reporters with sources of information for media coverage. In return, the sources which mostly comprise of bloggers and business owners get press mentions and backlinks.

How to use HARO to acquire high-quality backlinks

To begin with, you’ll need to sign up as a source on the HARO website. This service sends out three emails from Monday through Friday at 5.35 am, 12.35 pm, and 5.35 pm ET time. What you will be looking for in these emails are requests you think are relevant to your niche and whose answers you can provide expertly. You will then submit a pitch to the news outlet that sent that particular request.

To stand a chance of getting responses, you will have to provide detailed and well-thought-out answers, especially if your target outlet is a popular name. While at it, do not forget to provide a link to your website and your author bio.

HARO might not promise tens of backlinks, but the few you acquire using here will likely be powerful and worth the hassle. With time and as your pitching experience grows, you should be able to land links from some of the world’s biggest news media houses like the New York Times, Inc., and Forbes.

Technique #6: Pre-outreach link building method

Let’s face it; creating quality content is difficult and time-consuming. Promoting it is even more difficult, especially when you have to compete with thousands or even millions of other websites for reader attention. As such, the one thing you want to avoid is to create content that no one is interested in reading, watching, or linking back to.

Pre-outreaching is a strategy that involves contacting other websites to promote content even before you can publish it. The idea is to inform people you collaborate with or industry leaders about a piece of content you are creating and which you think they could love.

For the best results, only use this strategy when you’re sure that the content you’re creating is super interesting and probably contains data from your research or experiments. Sure, it could be a topic that has been written before by others, but if you can approach it from a unique angle, then it’s likely to elicit some interest.

Another way to increase results with the pre-outreach method is to leverage your existing industry connections and brand power. Indeed, this method hardly works optimally for new or little-known websites with few or no relationships with industry experts and content promotion partners.

Finally, once your post is live, give priority to those who responded positively to your initial outreach email. Send a simple email requesting these webmasters to share it with their social following or email lists or offer feedback on it. A word of caution here is that you should refrain from openly asking for a link. If they think the post deserves a backlink or mention, then you be sure they will be happy to give it some love.

Technique #7: .edu resource page link building

A few years ago, Google rolled out a ferocious algorithm that severely punished websites that were seen to be misusing the powerful .edu backlinks. As has always been the case with all major algorithm changes, thousands of sites were significantly affected, losing massive amounts of traffic in the process. Since then, the SEO industry toned down on building .edu links with some experts even discouraging webmasters from using them altogether.

However, I’d like to confirm that .edu links still work and are as powerful as ever, only that you’ll need to be extra careful to avoid crossing Google’s red line on them. For starters, do not overuse this strategy or make it your primary link building method. Having .edu links from fifty different sites is obviously going to look shady in the eyes of Google, especially if yours is not an authority site.

Finding opportunities for .edu link building

Say you have a website on debt management, and you’re looking for relevant resource pages on popular University websites. To do that, pop the following search strings on Google:

  • Site:edu “your keyword”
  • Site:edu “your keyword” + inurl:links
  • Site:edu “your keyword” + “resources”
  • Site:edu “your keyword” + öther sites”

Using this method, you should find several relevant resource pages that could accept some of your detailed and professionally done content pieces. Email the people who run those pages using the following simple script:

Hi (name),

I was searching for content about (topic) on Google this morning when I stumbled upon your excellent resource page: (URL here).

I just wanted to thank you for creating this page. I would never have found the (resource they link to) were it for this resource.

Coincidentally, I recently published a detailed post on (topic) where I share (brief description). It’s full of actionable tips and is backed by verifiable facts and data.

You can check it out here: (URL)

The guide might make a great addition to your page.

Either way, thank you for the lovely work you’re doing.

Have a nice day!

Regards,

(Your name).

Technique #8: Moving man method

The name ‘Moving Man Method’ was coined by Brian Dean of the famous Skyscraper technique. The concept behind this method is quite similar to the broken link strategy that I explained earlier on.

To begin with, you will need to find online businesses and webpages that are outdated or those that have changed names recently. After that, look for sites that still link to these dated or invalid resources and let them know about it.

Take a look at this example; a local restaurant just closed shop after many years of operating. As a result, they leave behind a shell website that no longer serves its purpose. To find everyone who was linking to them, check the site using a backlink checker of your choice. I’m a big fan of Ahrefs but you can use many others, including SEMRush, Moz Link Explorer, or Majestic SEO.

Note down all websites that are still linking to their pages. If they are many, you can choose to go for only those you deem to be the best fit based on factors like niche and authority. From here, try contacting their owners to inform them about the closed business while also suggesting your site as a great replacement.

Technique #9: Guestographics

Just as the name suggests, the guestographics method of building links is a combination of guest posting and infographics. It entails creating infographics and publishing them on both your website and other sites. Usually, you will need to write highly informative articles that you then repurpose to create a visual asset for building links.

Suppose you run an e-commerce site which, as you probably know, can prove quite tricky to attract backlinks naturally. For this reason, you might decide to create a well-thought-out infographic and start promoting it to other website owners in your industry. The trick for succeeding here is to target a topic that hasn’t been covered exhaustively by others, but which still garners a lot of interest in the industry.

Create an epic piece of content on nearly everything you think can be included in the post. You can then hire someone to create a colourful infographic from your written content, or you can even do it yourself if you have the skills.

Once it’s ready, begin contacting site owners to inform them about the visual piece and show them how it could benefit their audience. If your infographic is well done and you’re lucky enough, you should be able to score a few links from your outreach work.

Bonus tip: Using Google Images to finding guest posting opportunities

You’ve probably heard some SEOs claiming that guest posting is dead; however, nothing could be further from the truth. When done correctly, guest posting remains to be one of the most powerful techniques for building links and boosting site traffic. Here at Profit Engine, we offer bespoke outreach services, with the majority of them being guest posts on niche relevant and quality sites.

Over the years, we’ve streamlined our process for finding sites to guest post on. A simple tactic that has worked exceptionally well for us is through the use of Google images. Here’s the exact procedure we follow:

  • First, we identify a few webmasters that write a lot of guest posts in a particular niche.
  • We then capture the URL of the headshot that they include in their author bio.
  • Finally, we reverse search this image on Google to find everywhere it’s featured, which in most cases are websites where their guest posts have been published. Easy-peasy, right?

Tying it all together

So, there you have it; our top nine most effective link building tactics that work in 2020 and a sweet bonus tip to scale your guest posting results. Each of these methods has worked superbly both for us as well as our clients’ websites. If you’re just starting out, we advise you to choose one technique at a time and perfect it, before moving on to the next.

Of course, do not overdo any of them as this could land your website into trouble with Google for over-optimization. Other than that, you need to take a lot of caution with your choice of anchor texts. Ideally, you want to mix things up and avoid overusing the exact match text. Finally, always strive to build your links from relevant websites that are either in your industry or related fields.

So, what did we leave out? Have a secret method that has been bringing fantastic results? Leave us some feedback in the comments below.

Categories
Blog Post Link Building

A Practical Guide To Internal Link Building

SEO Internal Linking

If you run an online business and want to rank highly on Google for your profitable search terms, you’ll need links – and of course, high-quality content to keep the resulting traffic. Links, whether from external sources or within your site, are the best way Google finds your posts and pages. Essentially, Google spiders follow links pointing to various parts of your website and use the content they find on those pages and posts to rank your business on search results.

The entire process of how search engines operate is pretty exciting, but that’s a topic for another day.

For now, I’m going to show you all you need to know about internal links, their importance in SEO, crucial guidelines to observe when using them, and common mistakes to avoid. By the end of this guide, you should be able to do internal link building like a pro, send all the right signals to Google, and grow your business in a very affordable way.

Ready to learn? Let’s get started!

The basics – what is an internal link?

Just as the name suggests, this is a link built in your website, and which points to another relevant page or post within your site. The aim of using these types of links is to connect different parts of a site and to improve the experience of both Google and visitors in discovering and navigating your content. Unlike external links, which are links coming from other websites to yours, you have more control over where to point internal links and the anchor texts to use for maximum effect on SEO.

What makes internal linking so important?

When it comes to SEO, most business owners and SEO professionals tend to invest heavily in external links while neglecting their internal counterparts. Sure, the former will likely cause the biggest shifts in rankings, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore internal links completely. Indeed, these links do more than just impacting rankings as we’ll find out below:

Improves navigation

How you’ve structured your website can have a significant effect on the overall success of your website. The easier it is for users to navigate your site, the better their experience, and this shows in the increased conversions and business growth. What’s more, happy visitors are likely to dwell longer on your business, which sends positive signals to Google and results in higher rankings.

There are several methods you can use to improve your site’s navigation, but only a few are as effective as placing internal links at the right places inside your website. To begin with, you can place links to your most important pages on the navigation bar. This makes it easier for visitors to locate vital pages like the homepage, services, about, and contact us pages. Alternatively, you can use internal links to help users find pages that are deep inside your website and not included in the main navigation area.

Reduces bounce rate

A website’s bounce rate represents the percentage of web visitors that enter and leave the site without visiting any other pages. Google uses bounce rate as one of its many ranking factors – the lower the rate, the higher the chances of ranking better on its search results.

Interlinking pages on your website significantly encourages visitors to visit multiple pages, and consequently spend more time on your site. This alone is enough to signal Google that your content is high-value and, therefore, worth showing to more people looking for similar queries.

Passes link equity

Say you have an excellent linkable asset on your site that keeps attracting links and ranks highly on search results for its target keywords. Better yet, it brings tons of traffic to your website every month and is one of your most valuable resources in the overall success of your online business.

While the results it brings to your business are probably enough, you can squeeze out even more value from it with a little trick – internal links. By adding links that point to other relevant web pages in it, you will be passing around the link equity (and traffic) to other parts of your website. This strategy also works best when you have newly created content that you want to index and rank quickly. By linking out to the new page from an already well-performing page, you make it easier for Google search crawlers to discover and index it.

How to do internal linking the right way

Internal linking is supposed to be an easy job. I mean, what’s so difficult about adding a link here and there inside your own site? Well, the truth is there’s more to it than just adding links: you’ll need to get your site structure right to enjoy maximum results.

In this section, we share five practical steps to creating an efficient internal linking SEO strategy that boosts your site’s rankings and ultimately increases revenue.

Find and fix broken pages

Nothing undermines user experience in a site more than a broken link. As if that is not enough, broken links waste link equity as well as your site’s crawl budget.

When creating internal links, ensure that every page you are linking to exists and serves the purpose for which it’s meant – to offer the user more detailed information on a given topic. Directing visitors to a broken link is one of the surest ways of losing, something you’d certainly want to avoid.

So, how do you find broken links on your site?

The issue of broken links often arise due to reasons like deletion of a page, reformation of a site, and misspelled URL. To identify these links, I recommend using tools, especially if your website already has many pages and, therefore, too complex to inspect manually. A few checker tools that I’ve found useful here include Screaming Frog, Ahrefs Broken Link Checker, Sitechecker, and Google Webmaster Tools. All of them work pretty much the same way by crawling, auditing, and listing missing pages that bring back the broken link errors.

Prioritise orphan and dead-end pages

The terms ‘orphans’ and ‘dead’ exist even in the world of SEO – just in case you found these descriptions bizarre. So, what do they stand for?

To begin with, orphan pages are exactly what they sound like – neglected pages that have no links pointing to them from their sister pages within the site. This makes it practically impossible for web visitors and Google crawlers to locate these pages from other pages.

And now onto dead-end pages, these do not have any internal link going out of them, meaning any user or search engine that lands here can only hit the back button to stay onsite. In most cases, though, they opt to leave the site altogether.

Both the orphan and dead-end pages negatively affect internal linking results, and any other work you may be doing for your on-page optimization. The two primary reasons for this is because these pages prevent efficient distribution of link equity and also harm user experience. So, be sure to identify all these pages and do whatever it takes to interlink them with other pages in your site.

Be careful with your anchor texts

There exists a common misconception among a section of SEOs that anchor texts matter very little when it comes to internal links. To them, you can use as many matched anchors as you wish as long as you’re doing it internally. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Google has, on numerous occasions, recommended that webmasters pay equal attention to the anchor texts used for both internal and external links. Over-optimization in any of them is highly discouraged and can attract harsh penalties including loss of rankings. While there’s no secret sauce for choosing the right anchor text to use for your internal links, the following three tips should provide some direction:

  • Whenever possible, try to include keywords that are relevant to the target page.
  • Never use the same anchor text for multiple links pointing to different pages on your site. Doing this can easily confuse the crawlers.
  • Avoid using one-word anchor texts as it is easy to keyword stuff it, sometimes unknowingly.

Mind where you place your internal link

The location of links in your site determines their power and impact on the target pages. For example, a link placed on a page with two outbound links is sure to pass more link juice than the one put on a page with two outbound links – all other factors kept the same.

In the same breath, links placed within the body of content (contextual links) have more weight than those placed on a site’s sidebar or footer area. A few years back, blackhat SEOs misused the latter technique, which forced Google to reduce the power and significance of these links. They now count very little and can even lead to penalties if used without caution.

Use tools to identify opportunities for internal linking

If you run a big site with hundreds or even thousands of pages, it can prove quite challenging to audit your internal linking structure manually. Luckily for you, advances in tech mean there’s no shortage of tools to automate and simplify this and many other website management processes. Today, you’ll find lots of both free and paid tools, so there’s no reason really why you should try to do things manually.

Screaming Frog is an excellent (and free) tool that you can use to analyse your website’s internal linking structure within minutes. The tool allows you to filter and organise URLs based on the number of internal links they have. You can also use it to identify pages that contain specific terms and phrases – a feature that will come in handy when you’re looking for pages to place your internal links.

Other useful tools you may want to check out include Ahrefs, Majestic, and Moz. All of them can show you the pages with the most inbound links pointing to them. With this knowledge, you can then identify where your most powerful internal links are likely to come from.

Common mistakes to avoid when building internal links

When done correctly, internal linking can be a real treasure-trove of SEO opportunities that you have full control over. However, for you to enjoy maximum benefits using this strategy, you will need to watch out for common mistakes that could painfully cost your business.

Mistake #1 – using long redirect chains and loops

Redirects, just as the name suggests, are aimed at directing web visitors to the right pages in or out of your site. There are two main types of redirects – described as either 301 or 302.

301 redirects are for permanently redirected pages such as those you have deleted from your site. On the other hand, 302 redirects should be used on pages that you’ve redirected for a short time, for example, when redesigning a page or moving your site to a new host.

While setting up redirects can help to improve user experience, it can also achieve the opposite effect if approached wrongly. For example, if a redirect leads to another one, the chains it creates can likely slow down your site, waste the crawl budget, or even confuse search engine crawlers. To fix this, consider linking directly to the new destination pages, especially in the case of 301, and only use redirects where it’s essential.

Mistake #2 – adding no-follow attributes to your links

When you no-follow a link, the message you send to search engine crawlers is that they should not follow that link to its destination.

You might wonder, but why do this?

Well, this command is incredibly useful when you want to prevent search bots from discovering and indexing pages like privacy policy and registration forms. However, for most parts, no follow tags are not needed for internal links, especially if you’re looking to distribute link equity across your website.

Mistake #3 – Not minding the page crawl depth

Crawl depth refers to the number of clicks required for a visitor to reach a page from the homepage. As a rule of thumb, no page should be further than three clicks away from home if it is to perform optimally on search results. The reason behind this is that the lower the crawl depth, the harder it becomes for search bots to crawl a page.

To fix this problem, be sure to have all your important pages as closest to your homepage as possible. Of course, this means taking care of your site architecture right from the beginning to avoid the hassle that comes with restructuring a website after it’s grown big.

Wrapping up

Internal linking is an important SEO strategy that you cannot afford to overlook if you want to remain competitive and grow your online business. The best part about it is that you have full control over the process, while you can even automate a good portion of the work involved.

If you’d like some help with your site’s SEO or want to consult on how to go about your internal linking strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will show you how to attract free organic traffic and customers to your business and ultimately skyrocket your sales and profits.Interested in learning more? Get in touch now for a free 15-minute consultation.