How to do SEO Yourself: Link Building Strategies

I guess you already know the importance of link building in SEO. Simply put:

More high-quality links = higher search engine rankings

I assume you already know the basics of link building like guest posting, blog commenting, social media, and the like.

But I want you to take an action after reading this post, hence, I’ll share two proven ways of building and gaining trusted links to your web pages.

1). Resource Page Link Building

Resource pages are those pages that link out to lots of useful content on a given topic.

Here’s an example:

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Link Building Strategies

Because these pages were created for the primary purpose of linking out, they make excellent link building targets.

That being said, here’s the step-by-step guide:

Step 1. Find Useful Resource Pages: Enter these search strings into Google to unearth awesome resource pages:

  • “Keyword” + “useful resources”
  • “Keyword” + “helpful resources”
  • “Keyword” + inurl:links
  • “Keyword” + “useful links”

Step 2. Analyze the page: The resource page you intend to earn a backlink from should be trusted and high-quality domain.

Simply enter the website URL into Moz’s Open Site Explorer and check its Domain and Page Authority.

This resource page, for example, has a decent domain and page authority:

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Moz Page Link Metrics

It’s obviously an authoritative domain.

If your website offers enormous value, then your link will probably end up somewhere in the body of the page. Already looks like a winner!

Step 3. Find a Befitting Content: Your content can be the very best on its topic, but if it’s not a perfect fit for that resource page? You absolutely won’t get a link.

So, on this step, browse your entire website and figure out content that will perfectly fit that resource page like a glove. Once that is achieved, proceed to step #4.

Step 4. Send This Proven Script: This script has been proven to work for many people, and I’m sure it will also work for you:

Email subject: Question about (Their site)

Hi (His name),

I was searching the internet for content about (The Topic) this morning, when I stumbled upon your fantastic resource page: (The URL).

I just wanted to let you know how helpful your page was to me. I would have never discovered the [Site They Linked To] without it.

Funny though: I recently wrote a guide on [The Topic] a month ago. Your content [Brief Description].

Here’s the link in case you’d like to take a look: [Your URL].

Also, my guide might make an excellent addition to your resource page.

Either way, thanks a lot for putting together your impressive list of resources. And do take care!

Talk Soon,

[Your Name]

That’s it about resource page link building — let’s fix some dead links. Shall we?

2). Broken Link Building

This has been one of my all-time favorite link building tactics.

Why?

Instead of begging for links, with Broken Link Building, you’re helping other webmasters by adding value to their website.

Below is how to go about it:

i). Install LinkMiner or Check My Links: Both of these Google Chrome extensions can quickly locate broken links on any web page.

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Link Miner

ii). Discover Pages That Has Lots of Outbound Links: The more outbound links a page has, the more chances of one of them being broken.

Resource pages, for example, work great here. So you can also use the search strings we mentioned earlier to find resource pages. But instead of contacting the website owner immediately, try step 3.

iii). Search For Broken Links: In this step, you just need to run the extension you installed in step one above. They will reveal all the broken links on that page:

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Broken Link Research

iv). Notify The Site Owner About The Broken Link: Finally, notify the person that maintains that page about the broken link, and pitch a relevant resource from your own website as a possible replacement.

Here’s the recommended script (you can tweak it):

Email subject: Problem with [Name of Their Site]

Hi [His Name],

Are you still monitoring and updating your website?

I was googling for content on [The Topic] when I found your wonderful page: [Page URL or Title].

However, I discovered that a few the links didn’t seem to be working well:

[Enter URLs of the broken links]

Furthermore, I recently wrote a guide on [Brief Content Pitch] which may make a perfect replacement for the [Point Out a Particular Broken Link].

Either way, thanks for writing such a helpful resource.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

That’s all about link building. These two methods alone can give you all the links you need to rank your website in the SERPs. Though you have to be consistent and systematic when using this method.

3). Link out to attract links

Online marketing experts like Ali Luke, Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, Robbie Richards, and the like uses this tactic to amass hundreds of backlinks with each blog post they publish.

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Performing Outreach

It may sound counter-productive, but linking out to others is actually a form of social proof which is hinged on the principle of reciprocity — which is based on people’s natural instinct to return a favor (in this case, a link).

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Principle of Reciprocity

Based on this principle, it means that linking out to more people increases your chances of getting more backlinks from the same people.

Jonah Berger, a Marketing Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On also noted that offering practical value that will save people time, money, and improve their health will cause your content to get noticed.

When it comes to link building, instead of working extra hard and hoping for influencers and pro bloggers to link to your “best” content, why not link out to them first. Initiate it.

Don’t be a link hoard. Use your content to gain favor from bloggers and website owners you admire their works.

Warning: If you’re operating in a highly-competitive industry (e.g., student loans) where it’s a total waste of your time and asset to link out, because they will not take notice of the link and reciprocate in any form. Then don’t do it!

But if you’re in an industry that’s competitive but encourages linking out such as weight loss, internet marketing, startups, don’t hesitate to reference other people’s work.

And when you do, send the website owner a quick email to notify them; tell them they did a great job and you’re excited to recommend their page.

The truth is, this simple act of kindness may not get you an instant link but you now have access to a busy blogger or marketer who wouldn’t, ordinarily, open your outreach emails before.

Neil links out to 30 – 50 resourceful and relevant guides in his long-form content (which is 5,000+ words). If your content isn’t that lengthy, then link out to a handful of blogs.

Above all, make sure the outbound links open in a new window. That way, you will still retain the visitor on your website — then they can decide to visit the cited website later if they want to.

4). Theme, Plugin, Template directories

Getting links from directories is still a viable link building tactics. However, the approach has changed a bit. You no longer have to sign up with several directories, submit your website, and get the links. Always follow the guidelines if you want your website to be accepted.

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Directory Submission Process

On the contrary, you can provide helpful content, tool, or resource and capitalize on it for directory links. One of such proven methods is by developing WordPress themes which you can submit on WordPress.org, with DA 100 and PA 98 and net a trusted link that will boost your rankings for that particular theme or plugin’s page.

Ideally, you can host the theme or plugin download page on your website or blog, so that all the clicks will come to your blog — which is additional traffic for your business.

Yes, it’s true that submitting on WordPress.org will earn you a nofollow link but it’s still a good thing because of the traffic potentials of this authority directory.

There are other directories as well, where you can submit your WordPress theme, website templates, and other website elements. Submit templates to Free-css.com, and don’t forget to include credit links in the themes or templates — as this may be the only opportunity to add your link.

Pro Tips: In this post-Penguin search engine world, an effective link building campaign entails links from web directories. However, if you want to achieve a sustainable ranking, make sure you’re submitting your websites and linking from quality directories — directories that have built a rabid community.

More so, dormant links from directories will likely harm your rankings, hence, you have to make sure that the directory you submit to can drive clicks and visitors to your website. At the end of the day, search engines care about activities on your links. That’s what counts.

5). Ask people you know for a link

No man is an Island. I’m sure you have friends, relatives, fans, colleagues, clients, and acquaintances who will go the extra length to support you endeavors. You may not ask them for money but asking for a link especially when your content is truly helpful wouldn’t hurt.

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Page Linking

There’s a possibility that the majority of people you know have websites and blogs. You can take advantage of it to quickly get trusted links without working extra hard — after all, they know you and wants to help you succeed.

This is similar to outreach email where you ask website owners to add your relevant post to their resource page — but in this case, you’re reaching out to people you know.

When Mike Wood launched his blog, he decided to ask for links from people He had built a relationship with. This single tactic earned him several relevant and trusted links, and his search rankings improved [case study].

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Page Linking 2

Pro Tips: Focus on getting links from relevant websites. If you’re in the food-related market, don’t aim to get links from an insurance website.

A wellness, fitness, or sports websites will be more relevant to your website. Again, it’s a lot easier for a website owner (including someone you know) to link to you if your content is relevant to what their audience want.

You would likely get a “NO” even from your grandma if you recommend she links to your Jewelry website, whereas her blog is about gardening.

Anchor Text Diversification

Over optimization of anchor texts can lead to Google penalty. Therefore, the best way to avoid this is to tactically diversify your anchor texts.

Rank Fishkin suggested that a 7:3 ratio of non-targeted and targeted anchor text would be a perfect frame of reference for emulating a ‘normal’ link profile. (Targeted anchor text refers to exact match, and phrase match anchors, while non targeted anchor text consists generic modifiers).

Here are the various types of anchor text distribution:

  • Brand Name, e.g., Raleigh Bicycle
  • Branded, e.g., this cool company, Zapier
  • Keyword Branded, e.g., a ton of motorcycle helmets at Dennis Kirk
  • Exact Match, e.g., Downhill Bike
  • Phrase, e.g., the monthly mountain bike magazine
  • Random, e.g., this website
  • URL, e.g., http://www.malibuboats.com

Take a look at this product anchor text distribution below to see how to properly diversify your anchor texts.

Hafiz Muhammad Ali-SEO Product Anchor Distribution

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