In the past, link building was based on quantity, not quality.
However, tables have been turned over this concept in the past few years.
Link building has become a different ball game.
If you’re working on link building strategies for your business, you have to understand that you can’t create incoming links instantly. Slow and steady wins the race.
The pages where you build links – specifically the authority and quality of those pages – make all the difference in determining how high you’ll rank in search engine results.
Here are a few links building strategies that wont get you penalized.
Broken Link Building
Most websites are link intensive, I am talking hundreds, sometimes thousands. Some link externally, some externally. Sometimes, these links can stop working, yet still show up on the website. Most website owners fail to realize when it happens, wreaking havoc on their SEO, reputation, and experience. In fact, before you read further, why don’t you pop on to Ahrefs, and check if you have any broken links, perhaps some from an old a/b testing experiment where you failed to redirect the test page?
Discovering broken links gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to nurture lasting relationships with website owners, get high-quality links, and add value to their website. Which is why, I love this form of link building. Not to forget, Nikolay Stoyanov used to leverage Broken link building to acquire 15 links a day with a whopping conversion rate of 15%. I would venture as far as to say that it is one of the most underrated link building strategies of all times, one that should merit more recognition. Let me delineate the straight-forward process of finding and fixing broken links.
Define a Target Website
Start by singling out a prospective website that you want to get a link from. While you can get as fancy as you want, say The New York times or Inc, it is prudent to stay realistic about your expectations. Your chances of getting a link is fattest from small companies and personal blogs. Managers and owners of those will likely thank you for your troubles by gifting you with a quality link.
Finding the Broken Links
Once you have chosen your battlefields (websites you want to get a link from), it is time to arm yourself with the right tools and start searching for the broken links. Ahrefs and Check My Links are two of my personal favorites. While most of you must be acquainted with Ahrefs, Check My Links is also an invaluable Chrome Extension that allows you to look for defected links within a specified page. This tool works best when you have a page with a lot of links, such as a resource page or an article listing recommendations. For instance, say that you sold cooking tools. Kitchenstewardship features all the tools that they recommend. Now if you were to check for broken links within, you would click on Check My Links extension and let it scrutinize the entire page!
Well luckily for them, and unfortunately for you, he tool did not unearth any broken links. With every website you visit, despite your intent, it is a great habit to become aware of the available opportunities. Every time you find a broken link, you can add it to your list of broken links from various pages. IT will come in handy someday. Ahrefs on the other hand, can save you time if you wish to look for broken links within a site, no matter the location of the link. Ahrefs will crawl through your website and enlist all the broken links it has festering.
For this, you need to pop open Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and add the website that you wish to analyze in the main search bar, the one in the center of the page. Then go to backlinks > broken and see all the broken inbound links the website you are analyzing got.
Any broken links that you come across present a huge window of opportunity for you to pitch to the site that linked to a broken link, to get a link from them in turn.
Once you have a viable list, export it and save to a separate Excel sheet.
Once this step has been done and dusted with, navigate to the left-side menu and click on Outgoing links > Broken links. This churns out all the defected outbound links from the site under scrutiny. Let the website owners know about this list of links. Also let them know if the page they linked to still exists.
Here is where you can play your card.
To replace a broken link, recommend a similar page on your site that can fill its shoes. Now export this list as well like the last time and get right into finding all the internal broken links. For this, click on “pages” in the search bar menu and choose Best by Links. Once you have reached there, choose the third button from the left and navigate to “404 not found”.
This will give you the list of all the internal broken links, organized by their URL rating. This narrows down to the fact that the higher a page ranks on the page, the more link authority is associated with it. In a nut shell, enjoy an important link boost of a top page (one that seems way out of your league) gives you a link.
Export this list of links as well and repeat this process for every website that is on your list.
Contacting the Blog Manager
After you have analyzed all the pages and sites, it is high time to let the blog manager or owner know about the broken link. Instead of simply sending them a message you should try to cultivate a relationship with them and build trust. If some page of your website is relevant to the one where the broken link was found, better let them in on it. Don’t make it obvious that you are going to all the painstaking efforts just to get a link. Do it to help them have a great page for their readers. Even if your website doesn’t have anything relevant to offer, you can still focus on fixing the broken link at hand at the moment and perhaps avail some other opportunity to ask them for a link.
Testimonial Link Building
Doesn’t this link building method seem too easy? Well… that’s probably because it is! In just a few minutes, you can create potent homepage links to your website. If you are using some products and services, you can reach out and offer positive testimonials for them and have them published with a link back to your website. This is how it works.
Step 1. List down your Targets
First things first; you need to find the websites for products and services that you want to write testimonials for. Make sure that each site offers products or services that you use, has existing testimonials, and is relevant to your niche. So, a great place to start is to pen down all the services, products, tools that your business is using. This could be something along the lines of:
- Any services/tools that you use
- Some training course that you took
- Your action camera
- Some horse saddle you found handy
Well, if you are finding it a tough nut to crack to come up with ideas, why not look up what services and tools others in your industry are employing. Your search would spawn something like this:
Even better, you can avail a free trial associated with the tool to test the waters a bit. Or perhaps you could search for relevant people in your industry who have recently launched services/tools/products that could be of some use to you. If they are about to launch, your testimonials could really give them wings and the gesture would be reciprocated in kind. These people usually hang out on sites like BetaList, HackersNews, and ProductHunt, Facebook Groups, or niche related forums. Use a spreadsheet to collect all your targets.
Step 2. Find the Right Person To Pitch
The next step is to find the right person to pitch to. While some websites have dedicated testimonial submission forms, you can also use the contact form on the website, and someone will get in touch. However, if we are talking bulk testimonials, perhaps a tool like NinjaOutreach can be of more use to you. Simply take out a website from the excel sheet and the tool will dig up the contact details. Easy breezy.
Or perhaps, a handy extension such as Hunter or Find That Lead can help you unearth email addresses. Not only content with email addresses, these tools will also pull out the role of the person behind the emails, so that you will in a better position to decide if you are pitching to the right person. Add all email addresses to your spreadsheet and start contacting everyone on your list with a compelling pitch.
Step 3. Send Your Testimonial Pitch
Before you start crafting a testimonial, why not sell them on the idea that they would benefit from your testimonial?
When putting together your pitch, remember to introduce yourself, mention their products or services which you have used and explain how they addressed your pain point, and how they helped you overcome a dilemma including specific results. Ask for their permission to write a testimonial for them. Keep the pitch simple, polite, and to the point.
To get them to listen, you could perhaps mention a competitor brand and how their services weren’t meeting your needs, but how they came to the rescue and helped you transform processes. Tell them how you really want to write a testimonial praising their services, and if they would be interested in that.
Step 4. Penning down The Perfect Testimonial
Crafting a perfect testimonial is the easiest part; no frills attached. Ideally, you want a short piece of text incorporating:
- What you liked the most about their services?
- How particular service/product helped you?
- Result achieved (in numbers to be exact)
- Your personal recommendation to others.
In a nutshell, craft such a compelling testimonial that they would be foolish not to publish. However, make sure that you are not falsely endorsing a less than stellar service/product, especially when you are attaching your name to the recommendation.
In the cut-throat battle for backlinks, blog commenting has proven to be a reliable brother-in-arms for years on end. In adition to improving your company’s visibiltiy and raising authority, it also acts as a traffic and links magnet.
When done the right way, blog commenting can do wonders for your blog. To begin, you need to look for highly relevant websites which have enabled commenting. Now, you must be fretting over all the painstaking efforts you will have to go through to look for those websites, but you can simply use LinkAssistant to replace them. This is how it’s done:
- Fire up the app and create a new project for your site.
- Choose “Look for prospects” and specify “Commenting” as the preferred research method.
- Decide on your keywords from any of these two options: You can choose “related topics” and “category” types of keywords when searching for thematically relevant websites. On the other hand, when you are searching up exact match blog posts or articles, the topic of the article would determine your keyword choice. Enable expert options if you are going for this option.
- Next up, you need to assign tags and status to help you facilitate prospect management workflow. Sort your partners by tags or by groups in accordance with their status. Hitting “get exact URLs” helps the tool dig up URLs of individual pages and filter out domain URLs. Since you won’t need to contact webmasters via email, you can make the who search process faster by unchecking Automatically acquire title and description.
- Now it’s time to configure additional information and choose which information you would like to acquire for your link prospects. You can gauge the relevance of your prospects with this extra information. Once you procure a link of blog commenting opportunities, you can start commenting.
Resource Page Link Building
Most website have a resource page listing all the different articles, guides, or tools that they have found useful or of use. These pages boil down to a list of links with some descriptions. It’s a pretty straight-forward concept: Look out for the resource pages relevant to your business and ask them to provide you with a link.
How To Find Resource Pages?
There’s no single way to do this. However, if it is your first time doing this, here are a few ways you can try:
Search up terms such as Keyword +useful links, Keyword +inurl:useful links, Keyword +helpful resources, Keyword +useful resources, or Keyword +inurl:links. For instance, a search to build links to a meditation blog would appear something like:
Feel free to peruse through the results and have your pick. Better yet, add all pertinent links to a spreadsheet for the next step. On the other hand, if you want to take an easy route, here’s another option:
NinjaOutreach is another wonderful way to look for resource pages in your niche. Fire up the tool and type in your keyword in the search bar. The results can be filtered by “Resource Page”. The tool will instantly give out the list of relevant resource pages. In a matter of few steps, you can find their contact details and pitch to them.
Pitching Your Content
If you want your content to be added to the resource page, once you have gotten through the initial steps, it is time to reach out to the website and pitch them your content. The right strategy is to send the first outreach email and then pivot to the link placement. In the outreach email, you can thank them for their delightfully resourceful listicle, and once they reply back, ask for a link placement.
Using expired domains has been one of my favorite ways of link building. This is because you are likely to come across expired domains which are highly relevant to your niche, have high levels of authority, promise great backlink profiles or have valuable backlinks from high DA websites. This is why you should be harnessing their prowess for link building. And depending on how smartly you play your cards, you can get a super wonderful deal and buy an expired domain at the price of a new domain. When you buy an expired domain, you can:
- Redirect the expired domain to direct links to your site
- Capitalize on expired domains to link to your site
- Launch a new site on the expired domain and get high authority
This is why expired domains are so famous. When you build a site in a relevant expired domain having a high DA, you will get a head-start with an amazing link profile. Not only that, you will be in full control of anchor text, link placement, relevance, and content.
If you are smart about it, you have your very own army of dedicated high DA websites, all laser focused on linking back to you. But here’s the catch: The success of this strategy lies in your ability to discover high DA expiring domains in the first place, which are relevant to your niche! Once you have hit upon the gold mine, there are a million ways, you can harness them to your advantage!
Finding expired domains doesn’t have to be a tough nut to crack, depending on how you go about it. Perhaps, you can use a tool like DomainHunterGatherer to find expired domains and gather key metrics. Once you have found an expired domain, you can build a high authority site on It or build powerful backlinks.
Replicate Best Links From Competitors
Regardless of where your competitors earned their links, you task is to replicate their link building strategy. During the process, be wary of links that would land you in hot waters. For instance, instead of paid links, you might want to go for those that come from social engagement and high-value content. Since 76% of marketers capitalize on social media to boost and support SEO, you have to embrace social media as well if you wish to connect with influential marketing experts and blogs.
Coming back to replicating the success of competitors in your own link building strategy. The best part is that thanks to the advent of a large number of resources and tools available, your competitors cannot hide their best links from you. Once you find these links, time to harness their power. So how do you know which are their best links? Well perhaps the strongest metrics for judging the viability of a link are the page authority and domain authority of a link website.
For instance, if you want to get your resource mentioned on a famous site such as smashing magazine, here is how you would go about it:
- Create a high-quality and relevant resource page: Before you email the editor, you can boost your chances of getting a yes by making sure that your content is relevant to the topic, be it an article, a podcast, an infographic, or a video.
- Contact the editor: Most high authority sites operate their blogs through a team of editors. Contact the editor to make sure that your resource content can be published. You can build a better relationship with the editors via email outreach.
In my years in the industry, I have learnt one thing; if your content is helpful and unique, most influential site owners, blogs and editors would love to publish it and give you a link. So, in a nutshell, focus on penning down stellar content! Afterall, content is the key.