Ready to grab some quality backlinks and boost your site’s Google ranking?
This post contains 9 proven link building strategies that are working GREAT right now.
Let’s get started!
1. Use Data to Get Links From News Sites and Blogs
In one of my recent guides I covered how to use HARO to become a source for reporters.
And that’s something you should DEFINITELY be doing.
But HARO connects you with journalists who are planning features in advance.
And what else do reporters do? They report the news of course! And news doesn’t work on a set schedule.
So… if there’s breaking news related to your niche, that’s a HUGE opportunity to pick up mentions and links.
Here’s what to do:
1. Monitor the news for new mentions of your site’s main topics
The easiest way to do that is by setting up a Google alert or BuzzSumo Alert.
2. Reach out to reporters with added VALUE
If you’re going to get a link from a news site, you’re going to have to put in some work.
You have to provide real value to the reporter. And ideally, make their life easier.
Reaching out and saying “I see you wrote about this, I wrote about it too.” will quickly get you flagged as a spammer.
How do you provide value? Here are some ideas:
- Give them a quote with personal insight from your industry. Include your credentials.
- Offer unique data or statistics.
- Offer an alternative take.
- Create an infographic or custom visual that they can embed in their story.
Whichever way you go, there’s one thing that’s SUPER important…
You need to act FAST.
Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s recycling. So ideally you want to reach out the same day that the news is breaking.
Pro tip: Create a personal black book of journalists who cover your industry. Then ping them as soon as you see a story breaking. That way you might catch them while they are still working on an article for publication.
2. Scale The Skyscraper Technique
Yup, skyscraper content is still my #1 go-to tactic for building high quality links.
In fact, this piece of Skyscraper Content that I published last year has already racked up 2,460 backlinks:
The best part? This approach is SUPER simple. In fact, it’s so simple, I can boil it down to just 3 steps:
- Find a popular piece of content in your niche. Hint: popular = lots of backlinks.
- Make something even better.
- Promote the heck out of it!
With that, here are a few extra tips to help you scale this strategy.
Find Popular Content
Your first point of call is Google. Search a popular keyword in your niche, and it’s a safe bet that the page ranking at #1 will have backlinks powering that #1 ranking.
But say you’re not sure which topic is going to be best for attracting links. Is there a way to take out the guesswork?
(note: you’ll need an Ahrefs, Majestic or Moz account for this)
Ahrefs and other link analysis tools have a report called “Best by links”. This will show you the most linked to pages on any site. For example you can see that my Google Ranking Factors post has picked up links from over 5K domains!
So plug-in a competitor’s site, find their most popular pages, and you’re set. Easy peasy.
Make Something (a LOT) Better
Found a page to skyscraper? Great. Your next step is to create something even better.
…making your page “a little” better isn’t going to cut it.
If you REALLY want to pull in those links you’re going to have to make something a LOT better.
In fact, I try to make my skyscraper content 5-10x better than the current top page.
How do I do it?
Easy. I work out what’s missing. Then, fill in those gaps.
Here are a few tips from my personal checklist:
- Does the ranking page go in-depth on the topic? If not, I’ll make sure I cover EVERYTHING it skipped.
- Is the ranking page text heavy? If so, I’ll include TONS of high quality images in my post to make it more visually appealing.
- Does the ranking page include video? If not I’ll add one to mine. In fact, I’ll probably do that anyway!
- Does the ranking page include 10 tips? Then I’ll include 20. Doubling is a good starting point.
- Does the ranking page include links to related resources? If not, I’ll make sure mine does.
I’ve yet to find a page that I can’t 10x with a little thought and a lot of hard work.
For example, a few months ago I noticed that most posts about “how to get more YouTube subscribers” sucked.
- They were written by people that don’t have successful YouTube channels
- They cited outdated strategies, techniques and features
- They didn’t have any visuals to show you how to implement each strategy
- They all regurgitated the same tired strategies
So I set out to create something WAY better.
Unlike the other posts that I read, my post had:
- Real life examples of how I used the tips to grow my channel
- New strategies that you couldn’t find anywhere else
- Lots of screenshots and visuals to make the techniques easy to understand (and use)
Promote The Heck Out Of It
Reaching out to people you featured in your content is a good place to start with content promotion.
Besides that, here are some other tips:
- Reach out to people who linked to your competitor’s page.
- Reach out to people who commented on your competitor’s page.
- Reach out to people who shared your competitor’s page on social.
- Reach out to people who linked to other pages in the top 10.
Build a big prospect list… and go nuts!
Pro tip: Check out Skyscraper 2.0 to find out how to take this thing to the next level!
3. Moving Man Method 2.0
Nailed “The Moving Man Method”?
Here’s another way to nab quality links from outdated content.
(Moving Man Method 2.0)
This time… instead of focusing on businesses that have gone pop or rebranded, we’ll leverage outdated information.
Why? Because things change!
Here’s a super simple example.
Let’s say we had a page that ranked the most popular websites in the world.
And guess what happened? Suddenly there were a TON of pages that contain outdated information:
Over 11,000 of them to be precise!
(and that’s just one query)
So, we’ve now got a perfect “in”.
- Reach out to all the sites with the old info.
- Let them know that it’s changed.
- Point them to our own page while we’re there!
Pro Tip: If something has changed recently in your industry, then use Google’s date function to find articles published prior to the change.
4. Double Down on Effective Content Formats
When it comes to creating content that will attract quality links I don’t like to rely on guesswork. And neither should you.
There are a number of proven content formats that people LOVE to link to:
- List Posts
- “Why” Posts
- “How to” Posts
That said, every industry is different. In your space videos might work best. And for others, it’s list posts.
So I recommend trying out a few different formats… and seeing what works best for you.
Then, double down on those formats.
Pro tip: Combine two or more of these formats into one piece. Hint: A “How To” post in list format, or a “Why” post with an infographic or video would do the trick.
5. Podcast Link Building
A few months ago I was checking out where one of the sites in my niche got their backlinks from.
And I noticed that a big chunk of their backlinks came from going on podcasts.
So I decided to become a guest on as many podcasts as I could.
In fact, I appeared on over 50 podcasts over the next year and a half.
Not only did these podcasts send some serious traffic my way…
But they resulted in tons of backlinks.
How do you find podcasts to go on?
First, grab a headshot of someone in your niche that goes on a lot of podcasts. Then, put their headshot into Google reverse image search.
And you’re set:
6. Resource Page Link Building
What’s the purpose of a resource page? To link out to other useful pages!
And that’s a link builders dream.
All you gotta’ do is:
- Find em’.
- Make sure you have something that’s worthy of a link.
- Reach out.
I’ll be honest:
Finding them is probably the hardest part. So here are 10 advanced Google searches that will help:
- “your keyword” + inurl:resources
- “your keyword” + inurl:links
- “your keyword” + inurl:recommended
- “your keyword” + “top websites”
- “your keyword” + “top sites”
- “your keyword” + “recommended websites”
- “your keyword” + “recommended resources”
- “your keyword” + “further reading”
- “your keyword” + “recommended reading”
- “your keyword” + “useful sites”
Pro tip: Flipping this round, a well curated, super helpful resource page on your own site can be great for picking up quality links. You can even try reaching out to OTHER resource pages to suggest they link to YOUR resource page. Sounds a bit like Inception… but it works!
7. Unlinked Brand Mentions
If someone mentions your brand in an article, but doesn’t include a link, that’s a HUGE opportunity.
All you gotta do is reach out…
…and 9 times out 10 you’ll get a link.
I recommend setting up an alert for your brand name.
That way you’ll get a notification any time your business is mentioned on the web.
Pro tip: Got a branded technique like “The Moving Man Method”? Then set-up an alert for that too!
8. Name Your Strategies
Heard of “The Moving Man Method” or “The Skyscraper Technique”?
Well… both those terms were coined by yours truly 🙂
Which means whenever someone is writing about them…
…I get another quality backlink!
Can you do the same?
Sure! All you have to do is:
- Figure out a process or strategy that’s unique to your business.
- Give it a catchy name.
- Write about it!
And it’s writing about the process that’s key. Because you’ll only get links if:
- Your strategy is SUPER useful.
- You can prove it works.
Which is why I always feature real life case studies when I reveal a new strategy or technique.
9. Two-Step Email Outreach
A softly, softly approach to outreach can often yield better results than straight asking for a link right off the bat.
Try using feeler emails like the one below to warm up your prospects:
Pro tip: I also use this technique before launching a new post. I’ll reach out to a prospect and tell them what’s coming, then ask permission to send it their way when I publish. Most of the time the answer is a resounding YES! A little courtesy goes a long way in outreach.
Ready To Grab Some High Quality Backlinks?
All of the above tactics are tried and tested. And I’ve used them to grow Backlinko’s search traffic from ZERO to over 175,000 unique visits per month.
Bonus: they’re also 100% white hat. So no need to worry about getting slammed by a Google update.