No need for a lengthy intro! Keep in mind that these are in no particular order, you might love some and hate others. Let me know in the comments what you think and I’ll craft more content based on your feedback!
Here are 44 of the best link building strategies for 2016!
Direct, Earned and Paid
I have broken these 44 ways to build links into three categories, direct links, earned links and paid links. Direct links are easy to get links that anyone can get. Earned links are based on something you’ve done and the quality of your creation matches the quantity of links.
Amazon allows anyone to write and publish a book. These authors are given their own page, along with a description of the book and an author biography. Each of these locations can have a link, some are plain URLs, some are hyperlinked.
2. Author Page RSS Feed (Live Example)
Amazon allows authors to create an “Author Page” (AuthorCentral.Amazon.com). On this page you can have pictures, a lot of content as well as a few RSS feeds. These links show in Majestic and most link trackers.
3. URL in Your Book
Include URLs related to your brand inside your book. This is especially effective for e-books because search engines will be able to scan any links inside the content.
4. PDF of book with URL embedded
Offer a PDF version of your book so readers can choose where and how they want to read it. You can easily convert any book format into a sharable PDF. Free PDFs are always a good way to obtain opt-ins from new potential customers.
5. Convert book to PPT and Share on Slideshow Sites
Convert book chapters to PowerPoint slides, then share on Slideshare and similar file sharing sites. Taking those chapters and embedding them on your site will encourage users to spend a long time on your site. This increases time on site and reduces bounce rate, two significant factors Google looks at.
6. Author Biography
Authors on Amazon are allowed to create their own author pages. You’ll want to discuss your book, of course, but you’ll also want to convey your expertise in your industry. You’ll also want to mention and link to your brand name. These are not live links, but you can use a URL.
7. GSA Search Engine Ranker
This is an automated link builder. On the technical side, Search Engine Ranker can have a learning curve, the GSA SER forums are filled with useful info even for beginners. These platforms are a fast way to easily obtain a lot of links, but the downside is that these links go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (if you care about those) and have the potential to get your website penalized by Google.
8. Forums / Free Registration
Be an active presence in forums and other community sites related to either your industry or target audience. Regular contribution to public forums will increase your industry reputation in a positive way.
You can also create your own forums right on your site. Active forums with many users are the type of dynamic system search engines love to see.
This community-run question and answer site can increase brand exposure and search engine placement. Try to answer questions related to your industry while mentioning or linking to your site. I have a site that has been getting about 25 unique visitors per month from an answer I published in 2013. The post and answer rank #3 for a fairly decent term that is very relevant to my site.
10. Industry Forums
No matter what product or service you provide, there are likely industry forums you’ll want to frequent. Become a regular presence on forums by answering questions and providing other helpful knowledge. Outside of guest posting, this is a strategy that has brought in a considerable number of new clients. If you establish your credibility and expertise and then provide value, and you won’t need to actively promote yourself.
This stands for “Help a Reporter Out.” You can create a free account and make yourself available for inquiries related to your area of expertise. Use the opportunity to connect your professional exposure to your brand. If you mention your brand in an info-rich answer, the reporter will likely have to quote you directly.
I spent a lot of time working with HARO in 2014. After replying to a large number of responses I was quoted in two small publications, one in print and the other a blog post. If you have time it could be valuable, but if you’re busy, don’t waste your time. Try to include your brand name in your answers, many reporters will copy and paste your answer.
12. Submit Your URL to Website Feedback Sites
Have your site reviewed by fellow internet marketing pros with peer review sites such as Criticue. Input your URL and receive reviews from other users of the site. The more sites you review, the more reviews you’ll get in return. This is a great way to know what people think about your site.
13. Submit Your Site to Aggregators
Blog aggregators gather popular content from across the web and present it in an easy-to-read format. Most blog aggregators accept submission from content creators directly.
You can create your own content aggregation site, too. While this is a lot of work, a regularly updated content aggregation site can really boost your industry authority to the search engines.
14. Scoop It
Scoop.it is a content curation program used by over 2.5 million organizations both large and small. Scoop It finds hidden content gems from across the web which you can curate and publish. The better topics you’re able to identify, the higher quality content you’ll be able to find and curate.
15. “Suggest” a high PR Scoop It page
You can fine-tune your search results to include only sources which connect with your audience. This increased level of engagement is looked upon favorably by the search engines.
16. Contact the Owner for More Opportunities
Scoop It is also a great tool for connecting with other content creators in your industry. You can make a professional introduction and then hopefully build links by creating guest blog posts.
17. Press Releases
Traditional press releases still play an important role in marketing. By emphasizing a news angle related to your products or service, your brand can gain wide exposure in mainstream media outlets such as news, entertainment, and tech publications. Best of all, you can find good press release syndication outlets for under $100.
18. Link from Press Release and Distributed Sites
Don’t forget to link to your media mentions within your own content. Add your accomplishments to your front page, bio and elsewhere. For example, “as mentioned in The Wall Street Journal.” It’s also a good habit to include a plain URL in the body of the content as many syndication sites strip out any HTML.
19. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
Private Blog Networks are groups of blogs all controlled by one publisher. They’re called “private” blogs because only the owner can publish and their main purpose isn’t to attract public visitors but is instead to generate links which will boost your site’s position in the SERP. An effective PBN must conform to Google’s webmaster guidelines, should look real and have social media accounts that back up the content. Real pictures help and avoiding advertising pages also helps.
20. Direct Links
You can add direct PBN links as long as you’re careful. Depending on the quality and contextual relevancy, just a few links from a good PBN can show real ranking results.
21. List RSS Feeds on Feed Sharing Sites
Update your audience about your new content with an RSS feed. There are many sites dedicated to RSS feeds where you can promote your brand.
22. Links RSS Feed in Sidebar/Footer (using WordPress Widgets)
Your PBN’s can cross link to each other through RSS feeds embedded as widgets. I usually will do 3 or 4 RSS feeds in a footer, three of them should be relevant to the PBN topic and one can be to another domain you own.
23. Create a Scholarship (Live Example)
Creating a scholarship is a great way to gain links from a wide variety of .edu addresses, which are notoriously difficult but great links. A $1000 scholarship is enough to draw interest in most industries.
Place information about this scholarship on your website. Then contact universities who offer classes related to your scholarship. You want the university to list your scholarship on their .edu site. This helps your site rank with Google Scholar and otherwise increase your SERP’s. You can maximize the effectiveness by asking other sites in your industry to help spread the word.
24. Guest Posts
Boost awareness of your brand while establishing authority by writing blog posts for sites related to your industry. You’ll need to develop relationships with other bloggers, experts, and influencers in your industry. Also look for opportunities outside your industry to reach your customer base.
25. User Profile Page
Social media tools, forums, and other interactive platforms usually let you create a profile page. This is a great opportunity to discuss your brand, website, and industry experience. Include a picture of yourself, too, as customers often relate better to people instead of brands. It’s better to have a couple industry specific sites rather than a 100 unrelated sites.
26. Post URLs
When you’re creating guest content for another site, include any relevant URLs. This could be your site listed under your name or links to other content. The goal of guest blogging is to expose a new audience to your company and content. These links are usually social media links and are included in the byline, introduction or footer of the post. For example, “This was a guest post from Brandon Hopkins, you can find him on Twitter…”
27. Links in Post Content
When you write a guest blog, be sure and include links to your site within the content. Make sure the links relate to the topic directly. The best links are embedded contextually and contribute to the value of the post. I always link to other relevant sites as well, this add legitimacy to the post.
28. Answer All Comments
After reading your guest post, someone might post a question. This question tells you want people want. Take the opportunity to point them to another of your posts or guest posts. If you haven’t already answered the question, make a note and it might be a good idea for a blog post, guest post or even a followup post on the same site.
29. Twitter, Facebook and Social Media Shares
Although basic, social media shares aren’t just a great way to boost brand awareness and customer engagement. Active social media pages will increase your ranking in the search results. Sites like Quuu.co make it easy to get real shares from people in similar industries.
30. Interview Sites
People are always interested in learning from experts. Interviews with experts can help boost your SERP. You can also give interviews yourself, which will help you create backlinks to a new audience. You can also link your site to other interviews. There are about 15 good interview sites that we regularly do for our clients. Only 2 are publicly available, IdeaMensch and Inspirery.
It’s a big internet out there – you’ll go far when you can connect with others in your industry. Develop relationships with influencers in your industry. These can be social media leaders, members of the media, industry experts and more.
Guest blogging is different from how it’s been in the past, but still a viable and effective link building strategy. You’ll want to contact bloggers for guest blogging opportunities. This is when you write content to be published on someone else’s site.
33. Tangentially Related Outreach
This is a fairly new type of blogger outreach and if you’ve read through this entire post, this one method alone is enough to build a business upon. In a nutshell you publish content on your site that is tangentially (slightly) related to your main subject. If you are a link building company, you might publish a post titled “25 Ways Dogs are like Link Builders”. With this post you can reach out to both dog websites and link building websites and share the post with them.
34. Broken Links
Webmasters don’t want broken links on their site. If you can find broken links and create suitable replacement content, most webmasters will often welcome an email so they can replace the old link with your link. Finding and fixing broken links for any site can help your brand’s SERP as you’re getting links from contextually relevant sites.
35. Expert Roundup
This is a collection of opinions from industry experts on a topic. You’ll conduct all the interviews and then compile the answers into one piece of content. Each expert will hopefully promote the published content on their own social media channels, which can really increase your reach. This is an overdone type of link building so if you want to succeed, look for second-tier people to interview. If someone gets 5 requests per week for an interview, they’re unlikely to comply. If they have never received a request, they’ll reply within minutes.
36. Testimonial Links
If you create positive, well-crafted testimonials, companies will often love to feature them. You can help increase your SEO by including links to your site within your testimonial. This can often be as simple as reaching out to the companies that you already use and value their services. I have created links like this by accident, sending my honest thoughts about a product or service only to have them reply asking if they can publish my testimonial on their site.
37. “Best of” blog posts
People like to learn about the best. Readers respond pretty well to “Best of” posts. A tool like Buzzsumo can help you find existing blog posts about your industry. Simply search by topic and Buzzsumo will show you the most popular posts. Curating these Best of posts on your own site can lead to an increase in links. Make sure you email or tweet a link to the original content creator letting them know that you mentioned their post in your “Best 99 Link Building Posts of All Time”.
38. Link Roundups
Google your industry plus the phrase “roundup.” You’ll likely find a few weekly or monthly round-up sites. These will usually be posts summarizing industry news. Try to build a relationship with the owners of popular round-up sites for your industry. Send them information related to your brand to include in each roundup.
You can also create your own roundup posts. Even just one round up a month will usually have a fairly big reach. Keep the info short and simple. People prefer roundup posts they can quickly scan.
39. Link Reclamation
Search online for every review related to your website. You want to double-check that your site is linked at least once in every review. If you find unlinked reviews, contact the site hosting the review and ask for a link. The link alone will still help increase your site’s value to the search engines.
40. Obtain .edu Resource Backlinks
Education-related backlinks are valuable precisely because they’re not too easy to obtain, especially if you’re a private business. One strategy to try is to present your business as a useful student resource. You’ll need to connect your brand with those hoping to learn about your industry. Done correctly, you can then approach nearby universities and request a link to your site from their Student Resources page. Your resource page will indeed need to be a resource and not just propaganda.
41. Use “The Moving Man Method”
The Moving Man Method is a spin on the dead link method involves replacing dead links on defunct sites with active links related to the same niche (and to your brand).
An example would be former video outlet Blockbuster. There are still plenty of backlinks out there related to Blockbuster which have likely died. Contact the owners and ask them to replace their non-working Blockbuster links with links to your content about video production, online video service or similar service.
The specifics of which sites have links you can replace will depend on the specifics of your industry. Use your industry know-how to identify companies which have gone bankrupt or otherwise disappeared.
42. Find Guest Posting Gigs on Twitter
Your brand should be active on Twitter. You’ll want to connect with others in your industry. Always keep an eye out for guest blogging opportunities. These let you reach a whole new audience by introducing your content through another Twitter user’s retweets or another type of guest posting. Eventually you’ll be noticed and won’t have to work at getting guest posting gigs.
Find guest posting gigs by searching for hashtags related to your industry.
43. Post in Your Niche
Finding the right place to post is often as important as knowing what to post. Create articles related to your industry. Then post those articles on as many different types of sites as possible.
Here are the four niche areas to search for:
- “your niche” + guest post
- “your niche” + guest author
- “your niche” + write for us
- “your niche” + guest article
You’re looking for sites which post frequently and don’t have particularly strict guidelines for guest bloggers. Don’t worry too much about the size of the audience on the sites you guest blog for. Even a small site can help your increase your rankings.
44. Broken Link Building
There are all sorts of links which lead nowhere. The content the link points to is no longer there. You want to find those links and create new, working content to replace the dead content. Broken Link Building is a win for both your brand as well as the owner of the link.
Almost certainly you aren’t currently implementing all 44 of these tips. Which ones are new for you, would you add anything to the list?