Five Tips for Successful Link Building

Successful Link Building Tips – Where To Start?

Ron Burgundy - Links they're kind of a big deal

So you own a website and you know you’re supposed to get other sites to link to it in order to get Google to trust you. Awesome! You’re already leaps and bounds ahead of most website owners.

Depending on your game plan though, authority building can either be a very rewarding or a very frustrating experience. Having been a link builder for the majority of my SEO career, I’ve been at both ends of that spectrum. There are things you’ll do that pretty much guarantee you aren’t going to get the link and there are also sure-fire things you must do in order to make sure you get the link.

That said, here are my top 5 tips for link building success – at any skill level.

1. Link Building Preparation – Preparing is Key!

One of the saddest mistakes I see people making when it comes to acquiring backlinks is to jump in headfirst and go nuts without being diligent in recording their progress and researching. If you’re not taking the time to research the niche, getting to know the top sites, seeing what type of content the industry likes to link to and creating a game plan based on your findings, then you’re most likely going to fail, or at the very least, get super confused and just give up.

Getting prepared is easier than you might think… when you make use of free industry tools such as Open Site Explorer. Use tools like this in order to gather valuable information and common data such as relevance and domain authority, which are a common metric used to evaluate a site’s strength & accuracy in search engine rankings. You can also use tools like Open Site Explorer to find who links to competitors or industry leaders: links that you can then go after.

And, by preparing a chart of your findings, you’ll be better able to keep track of your prospects and the progress you’re making with each one!

2. Transparency Matters – Use White Hat Link Building.

“White Hat” link building is described as acquiring a quality, relevant backlink in an ethical manner. It’s difficult, but because it’s a sign of what real businesses do: have connections with other real businesses online, and therefore it’s a valuable metric to Google.

Transparency is crucial. For example, if you’re a SEO building links for a client, then let the site you’re contacting know that. Always build your relationships based on truth and trust. You never know when you’ll need that link again for a different client or situation.

Additionally, don’t inflate your sites attributes (or lack thereof). If you find yourself having to stretch the truth about your sites worth, then it’s probably time to put some focus into making sure your content is linkable.

3. Build Quality Backlinks Over Quantity.

Just because you’re actively seeking out relevant backlinks for your site, doesn’t mean you can’t be selective in the ones you take. Avoid adding opportunities to your list that are low quality or not likely to be obtainable. Instead, spend your valuable time by going after the ones that make the most sense (Whether they have tons of authority or not etc.). This is a game where one relevant, quality backlink will help your backlink profile much more than a bunch of smaller, less relevant backlinks. A strong, stable foundation of fewer quality backlinks from strong directories or blogs will be infinitely more helpful than building a bunch of low quality ones.

4. Have Determination in Quality Link Building – It’s Ok To Fail.

There have been instances that I’ve been turned down for a link, yet because of my perseverance and the fact that I didn’t give up, I ended up getting the link in the end.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t take “no” for an answer, but just because a site declines your initial request, doesn’t mean that its final (unless of course they say it is!). Conduct yourself professionally, and ask yourself: Have you created content specifically for their audience? Have you made sure to let them know exactly why linking to your site will directly benefit their readers or customers? Have you offered to help them with a technical site issue you noticed they have? If you weren’t able to hit these pain points before in your initial pitch, try and build content that does, talk to the site owner about being given the opportunity, and try again! Quality, persistent effort pays off.

5. Cleverness FTW: Use Creative Link Building Strategies!

There are many different techniques for attaining a link. From Broken Link Building to guest-posting, from give-aways to contests and everything in between. How you choose to go after the link will be your most valuable tool – just make sure to choose the appropriate methods.

My personal best tip as far as link acquisition goes, is to find out what type of content your prospect already links to and then make it better/more useful/newer/funnier – improve it in some way, shape, or form. You can easily find out what a website is linking to by spidering their outbound links and then visiting the pages.

In Conclusion…

Good prospects are tricky to find and great links are hard to get, and hopefully these tips will help give you some motivation and foundation to begin your own link building. How much time and effort you are willing to put into building your online presence & link building relationships directly relates to how much success you’ll eventually enjoy – so get going!

  • Ameet Khabra

    Great post Melanie! I know this will help me build links better = )

  • Awesome! Happy to hear that, Ameet :)