No matter how much SEO evolves, one factor has remained incredibly resilient when it comes to ranking your website: the need to build links.
Getting links from other web pages has long been a fundamental requirement for ranking highly in search, and this is still true in 2019.
However, while links are still important, the way to build links has changed. Tactics that worked a few years ago could now be ineffective or even dangerous.
So what still works in 2019? Here’s our guide to 7 link building tactics that could supercharge your SEO this year.
1. Use Expert Opinions in Your Content
If you want to build links, you usually need to create content, however, creating good content is time-consuming and comes with no guarantee that it will get noticed, read and shared.
So give it a helping hand by including expert opinions, quotes and tips.
Start by finding other bloggers, experts and influencers in your niche, and add quotes from their blogs to your own content. Mention amazing things that they have done or advice they have provided, and basically find a way to praise them in your content.
Once you publish your content, reach out to the experts quoted and let them know that you have mentioned them.
People like to be mentioned positively. If they like what they see, they are more likely to share your content and hopefully link to it. If they have a large audience, this could lead to even more shares and links.
This is just the basic process, and you could take it further. You could collect quotes from influencers by asking them to contribute to your content. If you do this, they are even more likely to share it and link to it because they have been involved in the creation of the content.
If you create an expert roundup of 20 quotes from industry experts, at least a few of those experts are likely to be keen to share and link to your content. People love to be mentioned alongside other experts because it increases their authority.
2. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is one of the oldest link building techniques, and it takes a bit of work – but it still works incredibly well and it can provide you with a way to earn potentially dozens of links from a single piece of content.
First, you will need to find a website in your niche (e.g. healthcare) that has a lot of links pointing to it. Don’t worry, there are tools that make this easy – one of the best is Ahrefs.
Take the website’s URL, and plug it into Ahrefs, filtering your search results for ‘HTTP 404’ errors. This will show you all the pages that no longer exist on the website.
Then order the pages by the number of links pointing to them. If you find a page that has 30 links pointing to it, but the page no longer exists, this presents you with an opportunity.
Take the URL of the non-existing page and use the Wayback Machine to search for it. This should give you an idea of what the page was about. Or just use the anchor text to make an informed guess.
You can then create a page on the same topic as the one that no longer exists. Once you publish your page, reach out to all the sites linking to the non-existing page, tell them that they have a dead link – and ask them to link to your content instead!
You’re helping them out by doing this (no one likes to have broken links on their website). And if you reach out to enough sites, a few will hopefully link to your content.
Using a tool like Ahrefs, you could find dozens of pages that you can recreate and publish on your site.
Do you ever leave testimonials for tools or services you have used? Do you get links back to your homepage in return? If not, you’re missing out.
Testimonials are usually seen as beneficial for the recipient. Companies like to show off their testimonials to build authority. But you can also benefit by being the giver of the testimonial.
Start by thinking of some tools that you use. This could be email marketing software, communication tools, marketing tools – anything that you use.
Then reach out to the company, tell them how much you enjoy using it, and ask if they would be interested in a testimonial.
Companies are often desperate for good reviews and testimonials. By writing up a positive testimonial for them, you can ask for a link back to your site in return.
Not all testimonials will be published, but you can increase your chances by making it positive but not so gushing that it sounds fake.
Another good tip is to include specific figures. Rather than just saying it is a great tool, say that it has increased your leads by 112%. That’s the sort of thing companies like to shout about.
All in all, this can be an easy way to get some powerful links pointing back to your site.
4. Brand Mentions
This is another easy link building technique. If you have a company that is fairly well known (enough to get mentioned online), this can work very well.
All it involves is searching for mentions of your brand name or products online. You will often find that people mention your name but they don’t link to you, or the link will be broken or wrong.
When you find one, reach out to the website owner and ask them if they would mind adding a link where they mention your name. The chances are they are already familiar with your company, so it should be a fairly easy pitch.
5. ‘Steal’ Competitor Links
Stealing may be wrong, but there’s nothing wrong with this technique.
It simply involves finding out where your competitors are getting their links from, and then using the same techniques to build your own links.
Start by searching your competitor’s URL in Ahrefs, and simply search for the pages on their website that are generating the most links. Look for blog posts or guides that have got lots of links, then check out the pages.
Could you do better? If so, create a new guide on the same topic, but make it better. Then simply reach out to the sites linking to the original page and recommend yours instead.
If your content provides additional value, there’s a good chance some of the sites will want to link to it.
6. Create Amazing Resource Pages
Resource pages are pages that link to great resources. Simple. And there are two ways to use them to build links:
- Find resource pages in your niche, create a useful guide, reach out to the owner and ask for your link to be included.
- Create your own amazing resource page and get people to link to it.
For this second option, your aim is to make it the go-to page for a particular topic in your niche. Don’t just stick to adding lots of blog posts. Instead, make it comprehensive by adding videos, white papers, guides, infographics – anything that provides value.
If people benefit from your page, there’s a good chance that other sites will want to link to it to help their own audiences.
7. Use Offline Events
You can also venture offline to find link opportunities, as suggested in this guide at Moz.
For example, if you host an offline event, you can create a landing page for the event where you ask people to register. Then simply go to event listing sites and get your page listed for an easy way to build links to your event page.
You could also ask influencers to share and link to your event page, which should not prove to be too difficult if the event is relevant and you already have some good contacts.
Build More Links in 2019
These are 7 techniques that can work wonders for your link building in 2019. The best thing? They aren’t going anywhere.
None involve cheating or cutting corners, so they are likely to remain effective for years to come.
Focus on just a few of these, even two or three, and you could find that they provide you with enough links to give your SEO a huge boost in 2019