Link building is the most challenging element of SEO.
Yet, it also has one of the biggest impacts on where your site ranks in the SERPs.
Backlinks aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
This post will show you how to use 13 killer link building strategies to build a boat load of high quality links to your site…FAST 😉
I learned these tactics from some of the best minds in the industry, and have personally implemented each and every one them with success.
What You Will Learn –
- How to build fistfuls of quality links to your site
- How to leverage free tools to build backlinks
- How to build backlinks FAST
- How to build “penguin-proof” backlinks
- How to build links that deliver targeted traffic to your site
This post is a 7,000 word beast. I’ve included a table of content for your quick reference.
1. Delicious Link Prospecting
11. Expert Round Ups
#1: Delicious Link Prospecting
Delicious is a great place to leverage popular content in your industry and find excellent link targets for your own content.
The best link building opportunities come from people that have linked to, or shared, content similar to your’s in the past.
Delicious is one of the best places to easily find these people.
How to do it –
First, head over to the Delicious home page and search for a keyword related to your content (industry).
Using this post about link building as an example, we’d enter a broader term such as “SEO” –
Find content that is similar to yours, and has a ton of ‘saves’ (bookmarks).
This piece of content from Pointblank SEO has 357 bookmarks. Booyah!
Click on the bookmarks link –
Now you can see all of the people that have saved the link. These are the people that will likely have an interest in your content too.
Click on one of the profiles and see if they have a website listed –
If they do, head over to their website and locate their email address. Also, take note of their social accounts. For example, they’ll likely have a twitter account. Use this as an opportunity to network and build relationships with influencers in your industry.
Click the social icon and check out their account. If they actively engage with content in your niche, and have a considerable social media following, you will want to follow them and begin building a relationship.
In order to scale your link prospecting with Delicious, navigate back to the original search results. Look for any related tags listed under the links.
Take these tags and re-enter them back into the search box and you will be given a completely new list of links, and hundreds of new link targets.
Rinse and repeat.
List all of your link prospects in a Google Spreadsheet.
Finally, reach out to your prospects and let them know about your new piece of content –
Note – If possible, connect and engage with these people on social media for a week or so before you send an outreach email.
Thanks to Jason Acidre from Kaiser The Sage for exposing me to this technique in his linker outreach post.
#2: Steal Your Competitors Backlinks
I’ve dedicated an entire post to this link building tactic.
Basically, enter one of your target keywords into the search engine and identify which of your competitor’s websites are ranking on the first page.
These sites will likely have a diverse set of quality backlinks pointing to the site. Links that you want pointing to your site
You’ll be using a number of free backlink checkers to extract all the sites linking to your competitor’s website, indentifying the strategies they are using to acquire links, and then setting out to replicate as many of those as possible.
If the strategy doesn’t get you ranking on the first page, it will at least give you a solid foundation to build from. It will also give you insights into the strategies your competitors are using to build their links.
#3: Infographic submission sites
Submitting (quality) infographics is an easy, yet under utilized link building strategy.
Many people shy away from this link building technique because they think it’s super expensive and arduous.
In fact, you can get a professional infographic designed on oDesk or any other e-lance site for around $100.
Regardless of the niche, your infographic should meet the following criteria –
- Tell a story: Use free tools such as Topsy and Buzzsumo to see what types of content are getting the most social engagement in your niche.
- Digestible design: Highlight content in a hierarchical structure that flows and is easily scannable for the reader
- Keep it simple: Be a minimalist – Don’t bury your data in text. Use images, directional cues and white space to create connection and flow. Restrict your color palette and stick to one style for images and graphics. Try to avoid stock images.
- Data: Make it actionable or statistical.
- Size: Limit the length of your infographic to ~1500 pixels. This will prevent super long download time that may annoy readers.
- Sources: Always cite everyone you reference in your infographic.
Once your design is complete, its time to start building links.
1. Submit to infographic submission sites –
Paddy Moogan provides a nice list of infographic submission sites along with their domain authority and price of submission (many are free).
Here are a few Google search operators I use to find additional infographic submission sites –
inurl: submit infographic
intitle: submit infographic
intitle: infographic directory
In order to squeeze the most out of your infographic directory link, make sure you add a unique 200-300 word description that includes a few variations of your target keywords. A unique description for every submission will make the search engines think that your infographic is a unique piece of content everywhere it appears.
2: Promote your infographic –
Schedule it: Promote the infographic 2-3 times (at least 2 hours apart) each day on twitter for a week using Buffer or Hootsuite. Post to facebook every two weeks for the first month after publishing.
The best way to do this is to use the most interesting data points from your infographic as the social share title. Try and use a different data point for each scheduled post to keep it fresh and engaging.
Email Outreach: It’s likely you referenced a few authority resources in your infographic. Now is the time to reach out to them and let them know they’ve been referenced
Hey [insert name],
I want to start by saying I’m a big fan of [insert site].
In fact, I found [insert post name] to be such a great resource that I referenced it in my latest infographic: [insert name of infographic].
You can check it out here: [insert URL]
Just wanted to let you know.
Feel free to share this with your readers, I think they’d get a ton of value out of it.
Either way, keep the great content coming 😉
[insert your name]
Also, make sure to mention your sources when you are promoting your infographic on social media. This is particularly effective on Twitter and Google Plus, as the people who are mentioning will likely be influencers with large social audiences.
Reddit: This is a very under utilized promotional source for many marketers. In fact, Reddit is consistently one of my leading social media referral channels when it comes to infographics.
First, head over to Reddit and create a free account.
Once you’ve logged in, click the “submit a new link” button.
When submitting your link, try to post an attention-grabbing title. Reddit gets a ton of traffic, so its important that your post stands out.
Reddit has hundreds of ultra-focused categories called “subreddits”. For your infographic to get the most targeted exposure, it is really important that you submit your infographic to the most relevant subreddit.
If you can’t find a relevant subreddit, or you’re submitting to dull niche, just post it in the “infographic” subreddit”.
Reverse Engineer Pinterest: I’ve had a ton of success with this tactic. First, head over to Pinterest and do a quick search using the search string “KW” + infographic.
Next, select a related infographic and click through to the source of the graphic.
Now, copy the URL of the source page and enter it into Ahrefs.com –
Make a list of all the root domains linking to the page.
Finally, send them this email letting them know about your new (and improved) infographic.
Hey [insert name],
I was checking out [site name] today and came across this article [insert URL].
First off, let me say thanks for creating such a great piece of content!
As I was reading through your post I noticed that you linked out to [insert post name].
Great infographic! In fact, I just created my own inforgraphic: [insert title].
You can check it out here: [insert URL].
It provides a more up-to-date and in-depth look at [insert title].
P.S. I’d love to hear what you think 😉
They may not link to you, but there’s a good chance they’ll share it across social media which could lead to some indirect backlinks.
Paid Stumbles: StumbleUpon’s paid discovery offers a platform to quickly build targeted exposure for your infographic.
First, create an account. Then, submit the URL to your infographic and set up your campaign.
The Paid Discovery platform provides a robust set of targeting features, including location, device and interests –
The final step is set your budget, schedule and price per stumble. Advertisers are charged when a person visits their page. You also have the option to bid for “engaged visitors only”. These are people that spend at least five second on your page.
Paid Discovery is effective because it will insert you infographic directly into the user experience. There’s no need to create an ad; your infographic is your ad.
People will find your infographic right when they are looking to “stumble” upon something new
Scoop.It: Scoop.It is a content curation platform where people collect their favorite content from across the web and publish it in a magazine format similar to Paper.li and Flipboard.
Many of these publications attract thousands of views and tons of social engagement.
This is a great platform to get targeted exposure for your infographic.
Here’s how to do it.
Head over to Scoop.It and create a free account. Once logged in, search for a broad topic related to your infographic.
For this example we’ll pretend we’ve created an infographic about link building. So, search for SEO –
Next, click on the “recommended” topics tab –
Now, you will see a list of Scoop.It pages related to SEO. Choose the page that is most closely related to the topic of your infographic.
This one looks good with 27,000 views –
Follow the page you are targeting.
Then, enter the URL of your infographic and hit “suggest” –
This will notify the owner that you have suggested content for their Scoop.It page. If they like it, they’ll post it to their page and you’ll have your backlink.
Embed Code: This will make it easier for people to embed the infographic with an attribution link back to your website.
First, head over to Siege Media and select “embed code generator” from the tools section.
Next, fill out the information and copy the embed code –
Finally, head back over to WordPress and paste the embed code into the text editor –
Click “publish”, and you’ll see the embed code on your website. Anyone that visits your site will be able to copy and paste this embed code into their own text editor, and automatically generate an attribution backlink to your website.
Reverse Engineer Visual.ly: This is a great link prospecting strategy as it will allow you to identify the people (sites) that have already shared popular infographics related to yours. These people are more likely to syndicate your infographic.
First, go over to visual.ly and search for an infographic related to your content. Try to find one that has a large number of impressions and engagement –
Next, copy the link address of the infographic and paste it into Google’s reverse image search –
You will be presented with a large list of sites that have syndicated that infographic. These are the people you will want to reach out to through social media or email and let them know about your new (and improved) infographic.
#4: Reverse Image Search
Reverse Image Search is a different type of search that takes an image instead of a keyword and retrieves similar images.
It is also a great tool for building backlinks.
Reclaim What Is Yours
If you run a site (or posted a piece of content) that uses quality images you’re a target for image theft. That’s the bad news.
The good news, you can leverage image theft to quickly build quality links.
Here’s how to do it –
First, go to Google Image Search and type the site:yourwebsite.com search operator –
You will see a list of the images from your site that Google has indexed.
Click on an image and you will see this displayed –
Hit “search by image” to get a list of all the sites that have used your image –
If you find a site that is using your image on their website without an attribution link reach out and notify the site’s webmaster.
In your email inform the webmaster that the image originally came from your site and request that they place an attribution link back to your site.
Webmasters usually want to avoid any chance of legal dispute, so the response rate to these emails is generally high.
You can also use a free site such as TinEye for reverse image search. Simply enter the image URL into the search box and you’re off to the races –
Identify Guest Blog Opportunities
First, go to Google Plus and type the name of popular guest blogger in your industry. For this example, we’ll use Ann Smarty –
Select the person’s Google Plus profile.
Now, right click and copy the image URL –
Head over to Google and open the images search bar. Click the small camera image and paste in the image URL –
You will be given a list of sites where that person has been guest blogging.
Rinse and repeat this approach for as many popular guest posters as you like. .
Then, make a list of the sites you want to target for guest blogging.
Reverse Image Search is also a great way to track where your competitors are placing their images. Maybe you can get your images placed their too.
The strategy here is identical to that outlined above. However, this time we will be using the search operator yourcompetitorsite.com. We’ll use a furntiure store as an example –
Check out where your competitors have their product images listed online –
This is am effective strategy for discovering new revenue streams. For example, if you notice that one of your top competitors is using affiliates or trade expos to reach customers, you might want to look into testing these channels as part of your own marketing strategy.
Bonus Tip: There is a free chrome extension called Search By Image that adds a new option in your right click menu that will let you instantly search the web by that image –
Hat tip to Ann Smarty for pointing the extension out in one of her posts. Huge time saver!
Scoop.It is a content curation platform, and is one of the best ways to promote content and build quick (quality) backlinks.
It’s basically a platform where people collect their favorite content from across the web and publish it in a magazine format similar to Paper.li and Flipboard. The best part, many of these publication have 2+ page rank value.
Here’s what a Scoop.It page looks like –
This is a PR3 page with 27,000 views.
First, create an account. Click the “my topics” button and choose “create topic” –
Make sure that your topic is related to the content you have written –
Next, search for Scoop.It pages that curate content similar to what you content is about –
Make sure the pages you target with your content have a large number of page views, and ideally a large Twitter following. Generally, active “scoopers” (creative, I know) will also share their content on Twitter.
If they have a large Twitter audience, this opens up additional indirect link building opportunities.
Follow all the people with popular Scoop.It pages and large Twitter followings.
Now it’s time to Scoop some content. Click “new scoop”, and choose “create your own Scoop”.
Copy and paste the URL of your content –
You will then be asked where you want to share your content. Choose the curators you follow that have a large following –
Now, hit “suggest”.
This will notify the owner that you have suggested content for their Scoop.It page. If they like, they’ll post it to their page and you’ll have your backlink.
This is a very scalable technique. If your content is high quality and related to the Scoop.It page you have fistful of high PR backlinks pointing to your content in no time.
To increase the number of Scoop.It prospects you can target, click the dropdown next to the search bar and see if there is a category related to your content –
Next, click the “recommended topics” tab –
You will then be given a list of popular Scoop.It related to that category. Suggest your content to any related pages.
#6: Guest Blogging Hacks
Guest blogging has been met with heavy skepticism recently.
However, when done properly, guest blogging can –
- Generate backlinks from high authority sites in your industry
- Build exposure and credibility for your brand
- Deliver targeted traffic to your site
- Create a powerful relationship-building platform
So, we know that guest blogging can be a powerful link building weapon, but where do we start?
The first step is to find sites in your industry that offer guest posting opportunities.
The sites you target should meet the following criteria –
- High domain authority
- Related to your niche
- Post high quality content
- Receives lots of traffic (use Alexa)
- Has an engaged audience
- Provides contextual links
- Active social presence
Here’s how you can find these sites –
Head over to Google and start entering the following search queries:
Keyword “guest post”
Keyword “write for us”
Keyword “submit a guest post”
Keyword “guest post by”
Keyword “accepting guest posts”
Keyword “guest post guidelines”
Keyword “submit blog post”
Keyword “contribute to our site”
Keyword “submit article”
Keyword “guest author”
Keyword unurl: “guest post”
Inpostauthor: “guest + post” Keyword
Inpostauthor: “guest + blog” Keyword
You can also use the wild card operator (*) to expand your results. The previous search strings included quotation marks which returned phrase matches (all keywords had to appear in exactly that order) –
The wildcard operator will help returned slightly different search results, without sacrificing relevancy. For example, if your write “submit * guest post”, search results will include –
- “submit a guest post”
- “submit your guest post”
- “submit a new guest post”
We can take this a step further using the tild (~) sign. This will help us return guest blog opportunities for sites using synonyms of of our target keywords. For example, “~SEO” might return the following synonyms, “SEM”, “online marketing”, “link building” –
Track prolific bloggers
If you read popular blogs in your industry you will have a good idea who the prolific guest bloggers are. For online marketing, these names include – Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Kristi Hines, Marcus Sheridan, to name a few.
Head over to Google and enter NAME “guest post by”. This will show you all the sites where these influencers have written guest posts –
Add these sites to your list of guest blog targets.
Another way to uncover where influencers are guest posting is to perform a competitor backlink analysis. I dedicated an entire post to this tactic.
If you don’t want to use backlink analysis tools you can also use the following search string to reveal additional sites your competitor has written for –
link:domain.com -domain.com “guest post”
Twitter is another platform you can use to identify guest post opportunities.
You can use the same search strings in Twitter and receive a different set of results. Also, Twitter’s result are fresher than Google’s index, which means you will be able to uncover the sites that are actively looking for guest posts.
First, go over to Twitter and enter one of the search strings listed above –
Scan through the list of results and add any relevant targets to your master list.
AllTop lists the best blogs on the internet by category, and is a great resource for finding high PR guest post opportunities.
First, head over to AllTop and enter in a keyword related to your industry.
Pick the industry that is most relevant to your niche –
Check out each of the sites listed in the category to see if they offer guests posts –
Yes, there is another search engine out there 😉
Why would we use Bing for identifying guest post targets?
Bing uses uses a different search algorithm to Google to return search results. Often, entering the same search string into both search engines will return vastly different results.
Pitching your targets
Now that you have an extensive list of guest post targets, it’s time to reach out and pitch to them.
Before you email the site, try to build a relationship with the guest post target. There are a number of ways to do this –
- Engage them on Twitter
- Interact on Google Plus
- Actively participate in forums and comment on their posts
- Email them and let them know how much you love a particular post they have written
After you have engaged the prospect it’s time to reach out and request a guest post opportunity.
Here’s a template –
Subject: You should blog about [insert your guest post topic]
First, I just want to say I’m a big time of INSERT BLOG NAME.
Anyways, I’m writing to you today because I’d love the opportunity to contribute a guest post to [insert blog name].
I’ve been reading through some of the content on the blog and have put together a short list of topics that I think would provide a ton of value to your readers –
I have a personal SEM blog that will give you an idea of the style and quality of my writing. You can view some of my recent posts here [insert blog URL].
Let me know if you’re interested.
Keep up the great work!
Instead of simply listing guest post ideas, you can take it a step further and include a link to the complete article you’ve written. Some bloggers prefer this because they don’t have the time to communicate back and forth with everyone pitching to them.
The definitive guide to guest blogging written by Brian Dean over Backlinko is one of the best posts I’ve read that covers this link building tactic, and has heavily influenced my guest posting strategy. You should bookmark it 😉
#7: Use Google Alerts For Link Reclamation
Google Alerts is one of the most powerful, and often overlooked, link building tools at your disposal.
If someone mentions your business name or website online, you likely want them to link to you. Google Alerts allows you to keep track of brand mention across the web.
Some example queries might include –
[article name] “100 link building tactics from 50 SEO experts”
Setting Up Your Alerts
First, head over to Google Alerts and enter the term you want to be alerted for –
In the Result Type box, select to receive alerts for everything.
Next, choose how often you want to receive alerts. For me, the frequency depends on what I am monitoring.
I usually select once once a day in the how often box.
The Deliver To box lets you choose if you want alerts sent to you via email or RSS feed. For brand mentions, I prefer to have them delivered via email.
Claiming Your Link
Each time you brand or website is mentioned on the web check the source and make sure the site is linking to you. If they don’t provide a link reach with a friendly email to the webmaster requesting you link.
You can use this email template for you outreach –
I was checking out your site today and noticed that you mentioned my brand/post in [insert post name].
I appreciate the call out and wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind linking back to my site [insert URL].
Keep up the great work 😉
#8: Transcribe Videos From Industry Influencers (and outreach)
Video transcription can used as a scalable link building strategy.
Experts and influencers in virtually every industry used video as medium to communicate their expertise.
Today, video can be used in a number of formats –
- Webinars, Hangouts, Q&A’s
- Vlogs (video blogs)
- Industry updates
Transcribing the video content of influencers in your industry and publishing the content to your site is a great way to get links from authoritative sites that get a lot of traffic.
Here are some additional benefits of video transcription –
- It is a fast way to build linkable content as it comes directly from influencer/ expert in your industry
- You can get links through attribution (experts use transcription with their video)
- It helps you get in front of influencers and stand out (you are helping them out). This makes it easier to build relationships.
- You can leverage their large social audience. If they share your transcription, you get more (targeted) eye balls on your site.
How to do it –
First, head over to YouTube and type the name of influencer in your industry. We’ll use Matt Cutts in this example.
Set the filter to the “this month” –
This looks like a good topic –
Make sure the video doesn’t already have a full transcription. This one doesn’t have one (bingo!).
Once you have transcribed the video, it’s just a matter of reaching out to the influencer and letting them know.
Matt responds –
Matt Cutts has 352,000 followers, so any link promoted in one of his posts has the potential to send a ton of traffic to your site.
Thanks again to Jason Acidre over at Kasier The Sage for introducing me to this tactic.
Dmoz (Open Directory Project) is one of the most powerful directory links you can get.
A link from Dmoz is very valuable because of it’s high page rank (PR7) and domain authority. These links are followed.
When submitting to Dmoz you need to –
- submit your site to the most relevant category
- choose a category that has high page rank
- find a page with a relatively low number of outbound links
The lower the number of outbound links on the page, the more page rank that will be passed to your site.
Let’s use “Boise dentists” as an example. Click on the link below –
Notice that I used a very specific search string to find an appropriate category –
Usually when you do a search in Dmoz you will be presented with a large number of categories. You will want to submit to the category with the lowest number of listings to maximize the page rank passed onto your site.
In this example, you can see that the category is relevant and has less than 10 outbound links –
Before you select a category make sure you have the SEOQuake chrome extension installed and enabled. Check the page rank of the category –
This page has a PR of 3 with only nine outbound links. It’s time to submit our URL to the directory.
Here’s how to do it –
Choose your target category and then click the “suggest URL” link at the top of the page –
Dmoz has very specific submission guidelines that need to be strictly adhered to. Read them carefully before submitting.
After you have made sure your site adheres to the submission guidelines, hit submit.
Wait a couple months.
If you haven’t been listed after this time period either re-submit or choose another closely related category.
It took me almost 18 months to get my client’s site listed in the category above. Stick with it. It pays off, believe me 😉
#10: Link Building With Your Twitter Profile
Twitter provides a number of opportunities to acquire ‘followed’ backlinks from high page rank sites.
Unfortunately, many people fail to take advantage of Twitter’s link building potential for one critical reason:
“They don’t optimize their profile for link building”
Many people place their link in the web field of their Twitter profile, while failing to leverage the description field.
Make sure you include a your link in both the Web field and Bio Field.
To edit your profile, go to Twitter and hit the gear icon and choose settings from the drop down, and select “profile”. Fill in the fields and you will have two links in your profile –
The links in your Twitter profile are “no follow”. So, how do you build links?
There are a number of high page rank sites out there that will scrape your Twitter profile information. Some will use your bio information, or both your bio and web link.
By including a link in both the web and bio fields you cover all your bases and guarantee a backlink.
Many of the sites that scrape your Twitter information have high page rank and some provide ‘followed’ links.
Klout, for example, pulls your bio information and automatically hyperlinks any web links inserted in the bio field.
This is a ‘followed’ backlink from a PR7 domain. Jackpot!
Twitaholic (PR6), on the other hand, pulls in your bio and web link, but only hyperlinks the web link.
Other sites that automatically link back to your Twitter profile –
Twitter Counter (PR6)
Tweet Level (PR5)
A big shout out to Kristi Hines over at Kikolani for bringing this strategy to my attention.
#11: Expert Round Ups
Expert round ups are one of the easiest (and quickest) ways to build backlinks and generate serious traffic to your site.
Gather expert opinions on popular topics in your industry. Because you are featuring insights of influencers in your industry, those people (and many of their followers) will likely link to, or share the resource across social channels.
First, think about a topic related to your industry that people will be interested in. For example, SEOs will likely be interested in the following topics –
Best link building tools?
Link building tactics to focus on 2014?
Are black hat link building tactics dead?
How do you measure the success of an SEO campaign?
If you could only use three link building tools, which three would you choose? Richard Marriott put together a fantastic roundup for this topic.
These are all topics people in the SEO field would be interested in.
Once you have a topic it’s time to find experts to pitch.
First, identify the round ups that are already out there in your niche. Influencers that have already taken part in an expert round up will be more likely to respond to your pitch.
Go to Google and search for roundups in your niche –
“link building experts” + roundup
As you can see, the roundup “55 SEO Experts Reveal 3 Favorite Link Building Tools” attracted 155 backlinks from 77 domains –
Now, scroll through the post and add all the featured inflencers to a spreadsheet.
Check their Twitter profiles to see if they have a website listed –
Go to website and collect their email address or contact page URL –
Followerwonk is another great tool for identify influencers in your niche.
Go to the site and enter a keyword related to your niche and hit “do it”. You will see a list of the most authoritative people on Twitter in your niche –
You also have the option to set more advanced filters. Hit the “more options” link and filter the results by location, following and number of tweets –
Check out the people that have the keyword in their profile, as well as a large following and social authority –
Head over to their profile and verify that they are in fact an expert in the industry –
If they have a website, head over and grab their contact information. Add it to your master list.
Rinse and repeat.
Another tactic you can use to identify influencers is to look at who influencers are following. Often, they will follow a very select number of people. For example, check out Matt Cutts’ Twitter profile –
This short list is likely jam packed with other industry experts you’ve never heard of.
AllTop is a directory of the top blogs in different industries.
Head over and enter a keyword related to your industry –
Pick a category that is most closely related to your niche/industry –
AllTop will then present you with a list of the top blogs in that category –
Go to each site and add the contact information to your spreadsheet.
Buzzsumo is one of my favorite tools for quickly identifying which content is performing well in an industry and who the major influencers are.
Head over to Buzzsumo and enter a keyword related to your industry –
Next, hit the “influencers” tab in the top left navigation bar –
You will see a list of the top influencers that can be filtered based on follower count, domain authority, reply ratio and a bunch of other metrics –
Bonus Tip: Follow the influencers and engage with them on Twitter for a few days before you pitch them with your roundup question. I’ve found this to dramatically increase the response rate.
Kred is another site you can use to identify industry influencers.
Go to the site and create a free account.
Next, enter a hash tag related to your industry in the top search bar –
Hit “leaderboards” and select the “top influencers” section –
Go through the top influencers for a number of hashtags related to your industry and add them to your list of prospect.
Bonus Tip: Pay close attention to the outreach level for the influencers. The higher the number, the more engaged they are, tweeting, commenting and retweeting content. These are the people most likely to engage with your content –
Now that you have a large list of prospects for your expert round it’s time to reach out to them.
The key here is to make sure that your outreach email is short, to the point and personal.
Here is a template you can use –
Hey [insert expert name], quick question for you…
I’m doing an expert roundup on my site [insert website URL] and I think many SEO newbies like myself would love to know your answer to the following question:
I know you’re super busy, so a short paragraph is plenty.
Thanks in advance!
Of course, I’ll include a link back to your site 😉
Thanks to Richard Marriott for the advice in his expert round up post.
In your spreadsheet keep track of who you have reached out to and when you contacted them.
It’s always a good idea to send a follow up email 1-2 weeks after your initial outreach.
If there is still no response, reach out to them on Twitter.
Your round up should include a short description about the topic being covered with a brief introduction to the featured experts –
Then, name the expert and include their response with a link back to their site –
Once the post is published, send an email to the person letting them know the post is live with a link to the round up –
Hey [blogger name],
First, I just want to say thanks for the great advice. Much appreciated!
I included your feedback, along with X other experts, in my roundup [insert title of post].
You can check it out here: [insert URL].
Feel free to share the post with your fans too 😉
Also, make sure you mention the experts when you are promoting the round up on social media.
#12: Directory Backlinks
Around the time of the Penguin update in May 2012, Barry Schwartz came out on SEO Roundtable and declared –
“…about 50% of the free directory submission web sites are no longer to be found in Google.”
That said, directory backlinks are not dead. In fact, many directories still provide high PR backlinks. The best part, most of them are followed.
Four things to consider before submitting your site to a directory –
- Does the directory provide followed links
- Will the link send qualified traffic to your site
- Make sure the listing page is being indexed (check Google cache)
- Does the directory have a thorough screening process
Here are some high PR web directories you might consider submitting to –
Local Citation Directories
Consistent citations is one of main local SEO ranking factors. Ensuring that your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) are listed correctly across these directories is crucial for local search optimization.
Here are some google search operators you can use to find local or niche business directories –
industry + directory
location + business + directory
inurl:category + directory
If you’re looking for some other quality local business directories to submit your site to, check this list from HubSpot.
You can also analyze your competitor’s link profile to see which directories they are submitting their site to.
#13: Buzz Bundle
BuzzBundle is great for content promotion, as well as direct and indirect link building. It allows you to monitor track conversions related to specific keywords and brand mentions across a number of channels, including –
- Social networks
- Q&A sites
The tool allows you to quickly find your target audience and engage in the conversations related to your content and area of expertise.
Here’s how we do it –
First, head over to BuzzBundle and download the free edition of the software. Note: the free version is restricted to 30% of the conversations.
Once you have it installed, open it up and click “create new project” –
Hit “Create New Stream” and enter the keywords and URLs you want to track. For this example we’ll use “link building” as our keyword target (add as many as you want) –
You will then see a list of streams highlighting content and conversations surrounding the topic of “link building” –
It may take a while for the streams to fully populate.
The threads that have been grayed out are only accessible with the paid account.
Create a persona
After you’ve selected the keywords and URLs you want to track, it’s time to create your persona. This is the identity you will be using to engage in conversations online –
Type in your username, password, email and email password. BuzzBundle requests the password to your email account in order for verification purposes.
Then, you can add your social media profiles –
Now you’re ready to start buzzing!
Get Your Buzz On
Once you have your persona completed and keywords added click the “Find Buzz” button. You can also filter the types of websites you want to monitor –
BuzzBundle will go out and scrape all the content listed on social media sites, forums, blogs and Q&A sites related to your keywords.
Once you find a post that you like start engaging. I look for people asking questions related to the content I have already written.
For example, this person is asking about different link building techniques on Twitter. You would engage this person –
And provide him with a link to your post –
Or, you might find a question in a forum that you can drop your link in –
This is a great strategy for engaging your target audience and driving traffic to your site. It also provides an opportunity to build links directly through forum, blog and Q&A comments, as well as build links indirectly through social engagement.
The more your content is shared the more people see it, the more people that see it the more likely you are to get some backlinks.
On the topic of social engagement…
BuzzBundle provides you with the ability to filter social media conversations. This is great if you find a piece of content similar to what you have written that has gained a lot of social engagement –
Enter the post’s URL into the search filter and look through all the people that engaged with that post. These are the people you will want to reach out to –
I would reply with something simple like this –
“Hey @person, if you liked [insert post name] then will want to check this out [insert your link]”
Now you have a powerful weapon to find your target audience, engage and drive traffic to your content.
Link building is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO, but it is also one of the most important for ranking your site highly in the SERPs. Each of the 13 link building techniques mentioned in this article will help you build quality links to your site, and FAST. Let me know how it goes 😉
If you have had success with any link building strategies not mentioned in this post, please leave a comment below so other readers can benefit from your feedback. If you liked this post, subscribe to my email list and get my most actionable online marketing strategies delivered straight to your inbox.