10 Modern Link Building Techniques You Can Adopt Today
Link building is not what it once used to be. Specifically, getting high-quality links has become a tad bit more diffiмcult than before. And it’s probably a good thing. If we look at backlinks as referrals, would you like for someone to refer you to a bad product, or in this case, a bad page?
This philosophy has really blossomed across the Web, with many site owners limiting how many guest posts they accept. Some will accept guest posts but without the ability to link back to your profile. And this kind of limitation has been growing everywhere.
Google itself has been quite strict on what it considers good links, and with its numerous search engine updates, we have seen different methods come and go. And despite all the shortcomings, link building remains one of the strongest signals for getting your SEO game up to par.
So, if you have just launched your website and have a few content pages up — where do you go from here? What is the next best step for making sure Google trusts your website? This and much more will be discussed throughout this extensive guide on modern link building techniques.
We’ll look at traditional methods and some more refined approaches which have come to light in recent years. Most importantly, we’re going to focus on link building methods that you can adopt right now. The sooner you begin, the sooner you’re going to see the fruit of your labor.
Changes to Link Building in The Last Decade
One of the things that Google has consistently tried to enforce over the years is the quality of any given backlink. Meaning, it’s no longer viable to “spam” your way to ranking signals as opposed to getting high-quality links organically.
In the earliest days of Google’s search, it was possible to build rankings for your content purely through the process of getting your links everywhere.
But that is no longer the case. Here are the most important things to remember in modern-day link building:
- Quality above all. Search engines are getting smarter every day. And there is a much higher emphasis on links being both quality and relevant at the same time. Don’t expect big ranking boosts if you’re getting links from a food-related website for your electronics-driven page.
- Don’t risk gaming the system. Although it might be tempting to participate in link schemes and other forbidden tactics, it’s not something we advise for you to do. Google has made it clear that people who violate its search rules will be penalized.
- Patience is key. As a new website owner, don’t expect to see reliable results for up to 3 months once you start. Understand that others are already building links way before you started, so patience is crucial in understanding what will work for you.
If all that sounds good, let’s take a closer look at modern link building techniques.
#1: Content remains at the core of it all.
If you want a straightforward answer for what to focus on the most, then the content is that answer. No matter which way you look at it, the content remains the strongest method for building links to your pages. And the more time you invest in creating truly fantastic content, the easier it will be to attract eyes to it.
It might seem daunting to look at the endless piles of content getting published every day. But, ask yourself. How many of those content pieces are truly refined, optimized, and created with a long-term intent behind them? The answer is, not very many.
Take a look at Brian Dean’s website, Backlinko. His approach to crafting content is some of the best in the industry. Not only he produces 5,000+ word long articles regularly, but he also invests in constant research and designs his content pages for long-term viewing purposes.
An extra few hours into research and design can make all the difference in how your readers will perceive the dedication you have for your content.
#2: Case studies are growing in popularity.
And for good reasons. Unlike traditional articles, case studies bring forth a real firsthand experience of a specific subject, product, etc.
For example, there might be a new tool on the market, and people are writing reviews about it all over.
But the problem is that reviews can be highly opinionated, and oftentimes lack any substance to the actual product usage in the real world.
As such, case studies help to make up for all the difference. And most importantly, you can convert case studies into many other forms of content.
- Video reviews that show you going through a specific tool or a product and using it.
- PDF eBooks and documents that go in-depth about a specific study you’re doing.
- Slideshows that can be uploaded to numerous slideshow platforms across the Web.
The most important part is to identify a specific topic or subject for which you’d like to do a case study for. Keyword research tools might help in this department, as it gives you a clear overview of the most popular topics.
#3: Interview people in your industry.
One of the fastest ways to get eyes on your website is through interviews. Interviews with experts and thought-leaders in your specific industry. Platforms like Interface Lovers have been doing this for a while.
Interface Lovers is an online magazine for creative professionals. We put the spotlight on designers who are creating the future and touching the lives of many. We ask them essential questions to gain insights that can push and inspire the rest of us. Interface Lovers is a peek into what turns the best designers on about pixels and usability.
Their entire strategy is to interview successful people from the Web Design community and ask them questions that others might find useful and interesting. You, as someone pursuing links to your pages, can do exactly the same.
Identify the experts in your field and find out whether they would be down to interview with you. Of course, the more effort you put into this the higher is your reward. And you will naturally build experience and reputation for yourself, too.
Interviews, much like case studies, can give an unbiased and plain insight into someone’s life and or topic. And people love this stuff!
#4: Guest posting is relevant, still.
A guest post is whenever you write an article for another website. In exchange, the site author “might” let you put a link back to your website. In other cases, you might only get a chance to promote a specific product or a book that you’re working on.
You’ll find that a lot of sites that accept guest posts have quite the strict guest posting rules. Some won’t accept posts below 1,500+ words, while other sites want you to do some serious research. The benefit, however, is that you can get your website’s links published on a highly authoritative website.
My recommendation is to start with websites already in your niche. Use SEO Tools or simple Google searches to find out who are the most popular sites in your niche. Then, one by one, identify whether those sites accept guest posts.
Gradually, you will build a portfolio good enough to be considered for pitches on authoritative websites. Even magazines and editorials if you truly dedicate yourself to it.
#5: Build a reputation on answer sites.
The two most popular Q&A sites by far are Quora and Stack Exchange. Both get visited by hundreds of millions of users each month. And that provides plenty of opportunities to have your voice heard. The way that both platforms function is quite straightforward.
You create a new profile and answer people’s questions. It’s that simple. Of course, you should only focus on answering questions that you are certain of an answer for. Gradually, you’re going to see people upvote (or downvote!) your answers, and you will start to build a reputation.
It’s worth noting that both platforms do allow you to post links, but this shouldn’t be your main goal. You see, posting only links is going to get you in trouble because it will make it seem like all you are doing is spamming your website. So, a little caution goes a long way.
Think of it as a long-term strategy to get new readers and gradually links to your pages. Some of my answers, which are more than 3-4 years old, still get anywhere from 500 to 1000 readers each month. And that also converts in new readers for my blog and subscribers to my newsletter.
It’s a strategy worth implementing for long-term gains.
#6: Create appealing giveaways.
We live in a time of social media. And this is great if you’re looking to get your brand in front of millions of people. And the best way to do is through giveaways. People love free stuff, and social media provides many different tools to incentivize people to participate.
Take this tweet as an example. Fortnite, the popular battle royal game, has recently closed its servers down for what is presumed to be a new content update. This event alone has attracted the attention of millions of people.
But, someone in the Twitter comments took it a step further. See this photo.
The person is offering $50 to a random person as long as they have re-tweeted their original message. Later on, that same person said that they have already given out $700 in prizes.
And, the next day, he reported that his tweet got over 1.7 million impressions. This is social media marketing at its best! You have to be there when the time is ripe, and you have to be willing to hustle for your exposure.
But giving away raw cash is not the only way to do it. You could offer promotions to your own products. You could give away interesting merchandise, and so much more.
Just by typing “giveaway” in the Twitter search bar, you can find hundreds of ideas of how people are using social media to conclude giveaway campaigns. The most important part is to ensure that people visit your website, and maybe even share it with your friends.
There’s plenty of research telling us that Google is looking at social media as a form of a ranking factor. Although many would like to deny the fact.
#7: You could just pay for it; sponsored posts.
Some bloggers have put their entire lives in their projects. It’s only fair that they get compensated for their hard work. As such, if you’re looking to get your backlinks up quickly — look into sponsored posts. This is pretty much the same thing as guest posts, with the exception that you have to pay to get your post published.
An upside to this is that your content will always get published, and you’ll be getting published on a site with a lot less spammy links than elsewhere. Not everyone has the budget to afford sponsored posts, but if you do — it can be a lucrative method for building not only new links but also a brand new readership audience.
This article from YourMarketingBFF covers the topic nicely. You’ll find a lot of platforms in that article that show you where to find sponsored post opportunities.
#8: Don’t forget about internal linking.
You might get so caught up with chasing backlinks that you forget about one of the most important aspects of it all: internal links. An internal link is simply a link that points back to one of the pages on your website. For example, this link to StylemixThemes homepage can be considered an internal link.
Of course, there are still rules to follow:
- Make sure that your internal links remain relevant to the content you’re writing.
- Organize your posts in a way that makes it easy for search engines to understand which topic you’re covering in-depth.
- Whenever possible, create a “main keyword” page where you list links to all your blog posts and other resources for any sub-keywords you’re trying to target.
Internal linking simply helps search engines to understand how you write your content. Which topics are connected, and whether Google should prioritize some posts over others. E.g. You specifically link out to a particular page because it contains the most information.
#9: Compare one thing to another.
The thing about comparison-content is that it takes time. And some people don’t have a lot of time on their hands. Especially when there is money concerned. Take any of your favorite products that you use on a daily basis. It’s guaranteed that the said product has an alternative, right?
Well, some people are curious as to whether that alternative is better than the product they have their eyes on. An example would be to compare trending SEO tools such as Ahrefs vs. SEMRush. Both are exceptionally good at what they do, but what are their core differences?
Likewise, if you write in the food industry, you could review different restaurants. Or, if you work within the car industry, comparing different cars. The concept remains the same, as long as you’re putting in the work to make your reviews and comparison as detailed as possible.
#10: Let things unfold naturally.
Build great links is a time consuming process. And yet, it is a rewarding one. Many of the techniques outlined in this post can easily be found substitutes and alternatives. The main thing to remember is that most of the time, you’re going to be interacting with other creators.
In that sense, it’s helpful to remember that you’re both helping each other. Be persistent with building a reputation rather than a portfolio of dry links. Because reputation will always give you a chance to find new opportunities.
Needless to say, dedicated yourself to this long-term might also help you establish yourself as an influencer. And before you know it, people will reach out to you to seek link building opportunities.
Link building in the modern day is definitely far more complex than it once was. But nothing that patience and hard work can’t overcome.
Think of it like this, when you’re starting out — you’re simply being an intern at your own company. As you know, interns generally don’t get paid the first couple of months. But, afterward, if all goes well — expect to see a return on your time investment.
Whether that’s through ads you’re promoting, books you’re selling, or anything else that brings you revenue. The organic traffic is there, and the challenge is to learn how to make sure your content gets the exposure it deserves.
Don’t hesitate to share your personal tactics for building links. We’d love to see them and maybe even learn a thing or two.