How To Execute A Link Building Strategy In 30 Days
You hear hundreds of link building techniques all the time.
But those techniques don’t tell you where to start or how to build backlinks step-by-step.
To execute a link building strategy, you need a repeatable plan with clear instructions.
This article will help you with that!
In case you are new to link building, I have a beginner’s guide to link building SEO you should go through first.
This post, how to build a link building strategy in 30 days, will take you through 6 processes:
- Goals- Why do you want to build links?
- Research- How to find link building opportunities?
- Content- How to get free backlinks with attractive content?
- Process- How to get quality backlinks consistently?
- Tools- Which are top link building software and tools?
- Result analysis- How to know if you have created the best link building strategy?
So, let’s begin!
Goals- Why do you want to build links?
“I want more links” is not quite a focused goal. But this is how bloggers and website owners usually think when it comes to link building.
You have to forget this idea of “getting more links” as your ultimate goal.
Instead of following a vague goal, you should choose to execute a link building strategy with clarity.
It’s exactly like- when you know your destination, it’s easier to find the most effective path to go there.
One simple way of doing that is to ask yourself- why do you want to build links?
This question will lead you to some of your core SEO goals such as ranking higher, gaining domain authority, increasing the conversion rate and many others.
You can merge those SEO goals with your link building strategy.
This way, a link building bullseye will be in front of you.
You can choose to build links for multiple reasons, such as:
1. To go higher for a keyword
Have a page ranking on 2nd or 3rd SERP?!
You can work on getting backlinks that will help you rank on the 1st SERP for a keyword. You can even reach the top position, depending on your efforts and content quality.
- Relevant content pages that are already ranking
- Relevant list pages that rank well already (for example- top 50 bloggers, best cake recipes etc.)
- Roundup content pages of relevant resources
- Content submission sites or forums in your niche
- Distributing keyword-based content for backlinks
- Answering a high-ranking, keyword-based Quora question
- Developing infographics and video versions of your content
- Promoting those content pieces with direct outreach
2. To grow domain authority
Established by Moz, Domain Authority or DA is a well-known ranking metric.
Domain authority is measured from 1 to 100, with an increasing order of site’s authority in the digital world. Higher DA value means, higher rankings and brand power online.
While there are several SEO aspects that decide DA, number of quality backlinks is one of the greatest.
- Relevant domains with DA higher than 30
- Social media networking of your domain
- Q&A forums such as Quora
- Developing popular/trendy content
- Promoting content and domain brand on social media
- Finding top forums in your niche to answer questions
- Submitting guest posts for top, relevant platforms
- Getting rid of backlinks that have DA less than 15
3. To get targeted traffic for higher conversion
For many sites, link building is also a way to increase conversion rate. Links are generated to increase brand awareness, win leads and grow onsite sales.
The more targeted traffic you acquire, the better chances you have of converting them into customers.
- Resource providers and media platforms that cover your industry keywords
- Social media influencers
- Learn user intent of keywords in your niche
- Develop a list of informational, navigational and commercial keywords
- Find sites and media platforms already ranking for those keywords
- Request them to link to your conversion pages
- Indulge in ongoing conversations with influencers through social media
4. To expand your keyword/topical portfolio
When you are already getting ranked for core keywords, it’s logical to think about diversifying your topic or keyword portfolio.
You can go broad and choose more relevant keywords/topics to cover.
Or, you can go deep and target long-tail keywords to increase your topical authority.
For any type of keyword expansion, you will require relevant backlinks to grow your site and content.
Backlinks for keyword/topical authority also brings more conversions and revenue from popular SEO rankings in your niche.
- Pages that are already ranking for the new keywords you have selected
- Content pages which are relevant to your topic selections
- Social media pages with a huge following for the relevant content
- Influencers who can help you build reputation for new keywords
- Create content pages for new keywords and link to your existing pages
- Promote content to influencers, high-ranking pages, and on social media groups
5. To attain relevant/quality traffic
This is probably the most common type of link building you can target.
Quality traffic means you get relevant people visiting your pages, which increases rankings, conversions and gets you more backlinks at the same time.
- Content pages with highly relevant traffic
- Niche directories that accept links
- Resource pages offering linked content for relevant traffic
- High-traffic platforms that accept guest posts
- Distribute link requests for homepage traffic
- Write and post guest submissions on an ongoing basis
- Request links from niche directories and high-ranking curated content pages.
6. To increase location-based rankings
If your business targets multiple regions, backlink strategy for your site has to be a little different.
It is possible to rank on top for a keyword in one region, but not get ranked in another.
Location-based ranking is acquired by building links from region-based relevant sites.
With such links, you can improve your location-based rankings for certain keywords.
No need to mention that location-based rankings bring more sales, leads, and revenue.
- Local review sites and local directories
- Local niche blogs ranking for same keywords
- Local social media pages targeted to relevant topics
- Analyze content and keyword trend in the location
- Create a content strategy for local sites
- Generate and promote your content
- Participate in content publishing with popular local blogs or news sites
- Send out link requests to review sites and local directories
With that, you have all goals, targets, and tactics to execute a link building strategy.
There’s more though!
You can now think about the research process to find link building opportunities.
Research- How to find link building opportunities?
People don’t know how to create link building strategy, because they don’t understand where to begin the research work.
You have to know a few other things about links beyond what your goals are.
There are 3 major questions you need to answer to find link building opportunities consistently:
- Who is already linking to my site?
- Who is linking to my competitors?
- Why are they linking to my competitors, but not to me?
For an in-depth research, let’s discuss these questions in detail.
1. Who is already linking to me?
If you have been creating quality content for a while, your site would surely have some links.
Researching your existing backlinks can help you understand what sort of sites link to you.
To do it all in one go, you can utilize the exceptional Link Explorer of Moz.
The tool allows you to simply enter your root domain and find all the linking domains, top linked pages and more!
You can find out which pages are getting most links and the quality of those backlinks.
This way, you can smartly create your content strategy and work on link prospecting.
2. Who is linking to my competitors?
With the same tool, you can also find out the backlink profiles of your competitors.
Moz has launched a new feature on Link Explorer called Link Intersect.
Link intersect allows you to find link building opportunities by comparing the common backlinks of your competitors.
Here is how you can perform a research with link intersect:
1. Go to the link intersect section in via Moz Link Explorer and enter your root domain.
2. Now, scroll down and add up to 5 competitor root domains or page URLs.
3. Click on “Find opportunities” to see the results.
The obtained results will include all the common root domains that are offering backlinks to your competitors.
The free version offers top 10 results. But you can obtain the whole list by upgrading to the paid version of the tool.
3. Why are they linking to them?
Link Intersect research will give you a broad picture of your competitor pages and their backlink providers.
And here comes the most important question- why are your competitors getting those links?
To answer this, you will require a thorough competitor research of 3 factors:
- Content type
- Content quality
- Content popularity
Are backlink providers focusing on a particular type of content?
Do they like to give backlink to long-form content, infographics, videos, in-depth data and/or other quality aspects?
Do more popular content pieces get more backlinks?
Such questions require analysis of competitor backlinks, so that, you can execute your own link building strategy effectively.
Content- How to get free backlinks with attractive content?
Content type, quality, and popularity are great factors to evaluate your competitors at first. But you have to dig a little deeper when designing your content strategy.
The most ideal condition is when you create good content and backlinks come automatically.
But there’s a difference between good content and good content that gets backlinks.
Beyond the type of content, the location, time and other factors impact the ability to attract backlinks too.
The content part of your link building strategy execution should always aim for an ideal condition of getting automatic backlinks.
To do so, you need to focus on 6 factors that impact content quality and popularity:
1. Occasion-based content- festivals, events, seasons
If you target recent events, festivals or connect your content with seasons, it can attract more backlinks.
How to keep your wardrobe updated this winter?
Top recipes to impress your guests this Christmas
Top 20 lessons to learn from Stan Lee’s life
The creator of MARVEL characters, Stan Lee passed away recently, so, there’s a huge demand for content on his life and his comic characters.
Similarly, you can target other events and blend them with your content niche.
For instance, if you have a company selling e-learning solutions, you can design the Stan Lee post something like this:
Top 20 lessons every student can learn from Stan Lee’s life
Using festivals, events and seasons can increase the visibility of your high-quality content. And you can get more backlinks as a result.
Valuable tip: Ensure that your content targets an occasion and stays evergreen at the same time.
2. Location-based content- local market or a global market
The desires and interests of your target audiences can depend on the location they are in.
If your link building goals revolve around getting local rankings, you need to target the interests of your local audiences.
Understand the content popularity in a local market and conduct research for local market keywords.
This way, you can create location-based content such as:
How to find the best lawyer in Miami
Top restaurants in Dubai
Similarly, you can satisfy the interests of your targeted local audiences. This will improve content popularity and bring local backlinks for your content.
If your niche allows you to target a global audience, you can keep your content strategy targeted to a global market.
3. Uniqueness- How unique your content looks to potential link providers
If your content looks like a rewritten version of existing contents online, it won’t attract link providers.
You have to represent your idea, information, or data in a unique manner. Potential link providers should feel they have never seen the same information represented in such a manner.
This uniqueness leads to a higher number of backlinks.
4. Freshness- how recent and accurate your content is
You need to consistently provide fresh content in order to attract backlinks.
Outdated or wrong information can’t get you backlinks.
If you created a content,
Top digital marketing trends you need to know in 2017
It won’t seem fresh to link providers and readers in 2018. You have to update your information with trends popular in 2018, 2019 and so on.
Along with that, the accuracy of the provided information matters too.
Changing the year of this content won’t help you get backlinks. You have to research new digital marketing trends and update them in this content piece to make it accurate for the current year.
You can’t expect to get backlinks if your content piece has wrong data, broken links, or other accuracy issues.
Sometimes, the market changes with time and your information become meaningless.
Hence, you have to keep your content pieces updated, as per the most recent information and data popular online.
5. Consumability- how interesting your content seems to audiences
If your content is difficult to read, contains large chunks of words, has bad font choices and no images, forget backlinks.
Content presentation decides the consumability, which impacts the interest of target audiences. This directly impacts the popularity of your content and lowers link building opportunities.
To improve consumability, you have to focus on multiple aspects of content presentation:
- Short paragraphs
- Meaningful images
- Bullet points
- User experience
6. Shareable nature- how easily shareable that content is
You have to make it easy for audiences and potential link providers to share your content.
More shares mean more eyes watching your content. And that increases the chances of getting backlinks.
More reading on content creation:
- 50 Universal Steps Of How To Write A Blog
- How To Empower Your SEO With Continuous Unique Content
- Writing Long Blog Posts: How To Write Without Boring Your Audiences
Process- How to get quality backlinks consistently?
To get quality backlinks consistently, you need to choose a process and stick to it.
But, the process has to be repeatable and scalable as well.
A repeatable and scalable link building strategy offers smoothness to execution and scope for modification.
You should be able to analyze the results and make suitable changes to modify existing link building strategy execution.
There are 4 actions required to execute a link building strategy:
- Setting a target audience
- Collecting contact details
- Broadcasting your content
- Outreaching with email marketing
- Using broken link building
Let's discuss in detail.
1. Set a target audience
You can’t execute a link building strategy without setting your target audience first.
As you have already worked on your goals and content, selecting an audience should be too difficult.
Just brainstorm every possible audience according to the content pieces you have created.
Suppose you have written,
A Definitive Guide to Becoming an Entrepreneur
You have a marketing agency that offers services to startups.
So, ask yourself- who would offer backlinks to your content?
Business bloggers: Obviously, they would be interested in this content!
Lifestyle bloggers: Not all, but the ones who write about balancing professional and personal life.
Business websites: Entrepreneurship is a popular topic in the business world.
Marketing websites: sites offering content to help marketers.
Give a while to thinking and you will come up with a whole list of potential link providers.
2. Collect contact details
After setting your target, you can find them via search engine and Twitter.
Here are some examples-
This will help you make a list of bloggers, websites and content publications.
Now, visit their official sites and find contact details.
You can use ToutApp for this purpose. This Chrome extension finds and highlights email addresses when you visit a page. (We’ll talk about other tools for contact collection later in this article.)
So, now you have all the relevant people along with their contacts in your list.
Promotion is the next important step in any link building strategy.
You need to spread the word out there about the existence of your content.
Use different modes such as:
- Guest posting
Make sure you create a cycle of broadcasting your content on every platform.
If you stop after posting your content only once on social media, it will hide in the vast digital world.
You have to choose a suitable cycle of 10 to 15 days to promote your content again and again.
Content promotion tools- Use Triberr to promote content with a relevant community of bloggers and influencers.
You can also utilize Guest Post Tracker to monitor and promote on 1000+ sites for guest posting.
4. Outreach with personalized emails
Stay away from impersonal and spammy looking email pitches.
Your target audiences differ, so one specific email can’t work for everyone. Plus, the type of content also decides how it should be pitched to potential link providers.
You can follow a set email copy, but give time and modify every email for a personal outreach.
Here are many approaches of emails you can choose from:
Content preview: a personalized message with an overview of the content piece to influence for a backlink.
For example- I have a detailed infographic about Instagram marketing, breaking down stats from past 5 years.
Exclusive information: promote content’s exclusive nature and uniqueness.
For example- Exclusive data about AI market growth
Mention the mention: inform that you have mentioned their brand and ask for feedback, a backlink, and/or a social share.
For example- Your guide has been mentioned
Social proof: represent the number of shares, downloads in the message to increase the likelihood of getting a backlink.
For example- My statistics have gained 5K shares on Facebook and 4K retweets on Twitter.
Ask a question: Ask a question about their content, video, conference or an interview. Pitch your content as a solution.
For example- Quick question related to your latest marketing strategy blogpost. You mentioned the growing importance of AI in marketing. I have a great content dedicated to AI and marketing strategy.
Edit consistently to match the needs of your content type and target audience.
To execute a link building strategy, you need a pitch-perfect email copy.
Though editing is constantly required, you can follow this copy as an example:
5. Start broken link building
Broken link building is a method through which you find relevant pages with broken external links.
Then, you approach their owners via email to inform about the broken links on their pages.
As a solution, you offer one of your content page links.
This improves the quality of content online, plus, increases your domain authority.
Online Business Transformation offers a great guide to starting with broken link building.
Tools- Which are top link building software and tools?
You won’t know how to execute a link building strategy if you don’t have the right tools handy.
We have already understood the use of some tools in this post. Here is a complete list of link building tools to help you execute your backlink strategy:
1. Moz Link Explorer: For backlink analysis, competitor research and link prospecting.
2. Fresh Web Explorer: To find and compare mentions of your business, competitors, as well as keywords.
3. Link Prospector: To understand link prospects and gain insights for link building strategy.
4. Pitchbox: To personally reach out to content marketers, publishers, bloggers, and other influencers.
5. Buzzstream: To find targeted influencers and run promotional campaigns.
6. Haro: To get relevant emails from journalists and become a source of content for them.
With all these tools in hand, you can execute a link building strategy in less time and effort.
I have a complete list of 90+ top link building tools if you want to have them all.
Result analysis- How to know if you have created the best link building strategy?
Analyzing the results is extremely important to find out how effective your backlink strategy has been.
One question that might pop-up during result analysis would be-
How to evaluate quality of a link?
A backlink is only useful if it fulfills your goals and priorities.
To judge the quality of a link, you can focus on the following factors:
Content relevancy: Analyze the quality of link provider's content to ensure it's relevant to your content.
Domain authority: Evaluate domain authority with respect to content quality to see the broad value.
Linking root domain: Check how many unique domains are linking to your page.
Follow or no Follow: Compare the number of “follow” and “no follow” links to your page.
Anchor text: A little importance to keyword-focused anchor text if possible.
Traffic: The quality and quantity of traffic you attain from the backlinks.
You can choose your analysis factors as per your backlink goals to evaluate the quality of the links obtained.
30-day plan to execute a link building strategy
Let me give you specific deadlines to effectively execute a link building strategy in 30 days:
Day 1-3: Invest time analyzing your own business, website, social media and overall online presence. This would give you a clarity of goals.
Day 4-6: Collect tools and leverage them to conduct link building research work.
Day 7-17: Create a diverse content strategy and work on developing quality content. At the same time, work on contact collection from relevant channels.
Day 18-28: Focus on content promotion, email outreach, and follow up.
Day 29-30: Evaluate the success rate of your efforts. Celebrate obtained backlinks, evaluate mistakes, and modify accordingly.
Ready to win backlinks!
It’s your turn now. You have a step-by-step guide to execute your backlink acquisition strategy.
Let me know how effective this strategy sounds to you.
Or, you can ask more questions in the comments below.