So first, let’s try to understand the essence of link building before we even start with link-building methods. As Moz states, “Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.” A hyperlink serves the purpose of helping the users navigate between pages on the web.
It is no secret that businesses are putting their focus back on the web presence, thanks to the global pandemic. With this, the link-building landscape is changing too and it’s time its importance is recognized.
In this post, I’ll give you an in-depth look into why these link-building methods are effective and how they should be successfully delivered. By the end of this blog, you will have a clear understanding of the top link-building methods you could leverage to drive your SEO strategy for 2021.
Most of these link-building techniques are scalable and if used appropriately, they could bring you loads of honor and organic traffic to your website. Read on to learn more about the link-building methods that drive modern-day SEO practices.
Top link building methods
SEO professionals and webmasters alike never miss out on an opportunity to utilize the most effective link building methods. They leave no stone unturned in optimizing their content for search engines and assuring Google, “Hey, my site is a quality resource worth a citation.”
Now, link building methods are changing so rapidly that the proven methods of last year might not come close to that same level of performance this time around. Thus, building quality links becomes even more significant as millions of blogs are competing for the top rank every day.
While most of the survey respondents use all of the effective link-building techniques, market pressure and client preferences have a part to play in their decision-making process. They make sure they don’t build links that tend to stir up patterns.
The team at LinkDoctor ran a survey and the below chart shows all the link-building methods that were used by respondents to get the job done:
The following are the best link-building methods according to the survey:
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1. Content Creation and Outreach
Content creation and outreach is still the top and most preferred link-building technique used by SEO professionals. More than 82% of the total survey respondents confirmed that they use content creation and outreach as their go-to method to build quality links.
As easy as it might sound, reaching out to top bloggers and getting them to link to your site can be quite intimidating. If your content is of top-notch quality and has relevance to your target blogger’s audience, you are very likely to receive their appreciation and you can rest assured that they’ll go and link back from their site to yours.
A solid blogger outreach strategy starts with identifying your niche, followed by content creation, finding and collaborating with top relevant bloggers, and finally measuring the results. There are numerous blogger outreach services out there that allow you to research blog post titles, measure content performance, and most importantly, find the top bloggers and content in a specific niche.
BuzzSumo is one of those rare tools on which you can pretty much do all that is mentioned above. For identifying top niche bloggers, you can employ BuzzSumo’s Find Top Influencers option. No matter whether you are a writer, or a YouTuber, or a Twitterati, BuzzSumo has got you covered with helping you find the top influencers in these categories.
Type in the keyword you are looking for and hit the search button. Being tech-savvy, I’ve used “technology” for a demonstration.
Find the relevant bloggers you feel will be the most approachable and reach out to them.
Tip: Set your to-do list before starting your outreach. This list should include the content editor you are going to use, blogger expectations and guidelines based on your top pick, and more, followed by blogger outreach. Don’t forget, there is always room for negotiation.
2. Guest Posts
As per the survey, Guest Posting holds second place in the top link building methods. Close to 75% of respondents believe that Guest Posting can help you in your link building endeavors.
One of the biggest challenges in link building is to assure the person linking to your site that you are bringing value to the table. Getting them to link to your site might be a daunting task, but if done properly, it can do wonders for your website.
It’s not quite as simple as, “Hey there! I have great content. Are you interested in posting on your site?”
Instead, approach them this way: “Hello, I’ve gone through the content on your website and I suspect your content is intended for this audience. We too write content for this audience. Kindly check out these blog samples we have on our site. Also, these are our topic ideas to write for you. If you are interested, please revert. Thanks!”
It is always recommended to start your guest posting outreach for high authority sites with a specific outreach message.
Pro tip: To find the best guest posting sites in your niche, use the following search term in your browser.
Eg. tech inurl:guest
By doing so, the search page will display the top guest blogging sites for that particular niche.
3. Broken Link Building
Standing at number three on our list of top link building methods is broken link building. Per the survey, this method is used by 47.6% of respondents.
This is how it works: You find the broken links on a page, check out the content it had, create the same content on your site, and reach out to the site with that broken link requesting them to post your content instead.
Ahrefs explains broken link building like this, “Broken link building is a tactic whereby you find a broken (i.e., dead) link, recreate the dead content, then tell anyone linking to the dead resource to instead link to your recreated content.”
Not everyone is on board with this idea as it is a time-consuming choice. The entire process seems tedious; starting with finding dead links, then creating new content, and then reaching out to the site for linking. But if you get your process right, it’s still a scalable link building technique.
This is how I go about the process of broken link building on my site:
- Identify dead links on top sites in my niche on brokenlinkcheker.com
- Use the Wayback machine to find the dead content (if it doesn’t fetch the results, I try to get a clue from the URL itself)
Note: The broken link may or may not be relevant to you. You need to do all the hard work to find the relevant broken links on which the blog posts are missing.
- Create similar content as the broken link on my site.
- Draft an outreach email to the site on which I want my blog to be linked, citing the current resource.
It may not always work but if you can nail 5-10% conversions with this strategy, you can pat yourself on the back.
Other powerful link building methods
While Content Creation & Outreach, Guest Posting, and Broken Link Building are the most preferred techniques by SEO professionals to build quality links, other methods such as directories, forum bookmarking, paid links, digital PR, and links through blog comments also remain search engine experts’ favorites.
The graph clearly shows the trends in link building methods used by professionals across the world. To our surprise, 12.1% of respondents shared other link building methods such as business listings, skyscraper content, link roundups, forum commenting, PBNs, cold outreach, among others.
These are the best link building methods as per the latest survey you can leverage. While you might be using a few of these techniques already, you’ll need to make the call on which methods you need to adopt to meet your link building requirements for best results.
If you still aren’t sure which methods would be most helpful for your purposes, blogger outreach services are always there to help steer you through troubled waters to smoother sailing.
Guest author: Daniel Martin loves building winning content teams. Over the past few years, he has built high-performance teams that have produced engaging content enjoyed by millions of users. After working in the Aviation industry for 9 years, today Dani applies his international team-building experience in LinkDoctor to assist in solving his client’s challenges. Dani also enjoys photography and playing the carrom board.
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