30 Advanced Link Building Techniques

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No matter how advanced you are in your link building career, there’s always room to take things to the next level.  So if you feel like you’re stuck in a blog commenting rut or you’ve hit an article submission wall, try out any of the following advanced link building techniques to improve your site’s performance:

On-Site Promotions

  1. Fix your internal links­ – If you aren’t yet maximizing your internal link structure, address these elements before seeking inbound links.  Clean up your own house first before you start inviting guests over!
  2. Host “best of” contests – People love to be recognized for their efforts, so creating your own “Best of the Web” competition should help you procure at least a handful of links back from your winners.
  3. Uncover your site’s 404 links­ – If inbound links pointing at your website result in 404 pages due to moved or deleted content, set up 301 redirects to point these links (and their corresponding link juice) to a current page on your site.
  4. Curate the web’s content – Becoming known for providing the best weekly link roundups in your industry is an easy way to generate both valuable web content and plenty of inbound links.
  5. Start a petition – If you feel strongly about a chosen issue within your field, starting a petition that’s linked to by others in your field can have a positive effect on your site’s SEO.
  6. Use the TYNT plugin – The TYNT plugin automatically appends a link back to your site onto content that’s been copied and pasted from your pages to another website.  It’s an easy way to secure links from those who would have otherwise stolen your content.

Technical Link Building

  1. Conduct competitive research – If you’re running out of ideas for link prospects, take a look at your competitors’ link profiles using tools like Majestic SEO or the Open Site Explorer to identify more options.
  2. Monitor backlinking partners ­– Most link building tools give you the opportunity to monitor the sites that are linking in to your pages.  If you see changes in this list, contact former link partners to determine why your site was dropped and how to get the link reactivated.
  3. Build links to links ­– At Single Grain, we call this “Linkception.”  Basically, the idea is that by building second and third tier links to your primary backlinks, you’ll strengthen their impact on your site’s overall performance.
  4. Use blogroll lookups to find expired sites with link juiceTake a look at Jon Cooper’s tutorial on identifying link building opportunities from expired blogroll linking sites in his post on SEOBook titled, “Creative Broken Link Building Tips.”
  5. Offer to update content on external sites for links – Monitor the SERPs for your target keywords regularly, looking for high ranking results that contain out-of-date information.  In these instances, contact the webmasters attached to the sites and offer to update the content free of charge in exchange for a backlink.
  6. Offer to remove malware for links ­– Similarly, if you notice sites in your target SERPs that carry the message “This site may have been compromised,” contact the associated webmasters an offer to fix the infections in exchange for backlinks (assuming you have enough technical skill to do so).
  7. Build deep links – As you’re building links, look for opportunities to link directly to the deep pages on your website.  Doing so will increase the odds of having your more relevant internal pages (versus your generic home page) ranked well in the natural SERPs.
  8. Use advanced Google queries to find link partners – Expand your search for potential link building partners using any of the queries found in Single Grain’s blog article, “25 Search Queries to Help You Find Link Building Prospects.”
  9. Ask for backlinks on sites with link lists – As you’re surfing the web, make a note of websites in your industry that have lists of links, recommended partners or recommended resources.  Get in the habit of firing off a quick email asking for your site’s inclusion any time you encounter one of these lists.

Social Media

  1. Connect with power users on social networking websites – Building your social networks occurs much faster when you leverage the existing followings of power users by forming relationships with these authority figures.
  2. Use Twitter’s “Twitter Cards”Twitter’s recently released “Twitter Cards” system allows you to attach media experiences to tweets that link back to your content, making them more appealing – and thus, more likely to be shared – compared to standard messages.
  3. Update wikis in your industry – Contributing to any group-managed wikis in your industry won’t just score you links.  They’ll help to enhance your perceived authority within your field as well.
  4. Ask readers to share your web content – Plenty of webmasters are afraid to “ask for the close” (in this case, asking for a social media share of your blog content), but this is a mistake.  Readers are often happy to help you out, but they often need the motivation of being asked before they’ll take action.

Content Marketing

  1. Experiment with instructographics – Infographics (that is, expanded image that visualize data in an interesting way) are hot right now, but the next big thing in the digital marketing world will be instructographics (which seek to teach, rather than simply inform).
  2. Reverse engineer viral content If you see a content marketing piece that’s performing well, try to isolate the factors that have made it successful.  Applying these lessons to your own campaigns should help to increase the number of inbound links you receive.
  3. Secure regular guest author columns ­– Don’t just look for one-off guest posting opportunities.  Try to secure regular columns on top industry news sites that will increase the amount of inbound links and referral traffic you’re able to secure.
  4. Publish content pieces in multiple formats – If you write a great article, why not publish it as a PDF, audio interview and video as well?  The more formats you release, the wider the audience you’ll reach – and, consequently, the more links you’ll acquire.
  5. Publish Creative Commons photos – Bloggers these days are desperate for high quality, Creative Commons licensed images.  If you’re handy with a camera, publishing these files in exchange for links back to your site can significantly improve your off-site SEO.
  6. Try “ego baiting” – Writing posts that flatter leaders within your industry will help you to develop relationships with these potential mentors, while at the same time earning you backlinks from the leaders’ existing followers.

Expanding Your Web Presence

  1. Search the web for unlinked brand mentions – Every so often, run a Google search for your name, your company’s name, your branded keywords and your website URL.  If you come across brand mentions that aren’t linked back to your site, contact the webmasters in question to request a backlink.
  2. Use Google alerts to track unlinked brand mentions – At the same time, set up Google Alerts for these keyword phrases so that you’ll be notified whenever they’re used on other websites.
  3. Submit testimonialsIf you’ve used products or services that are popular in your industry, offer to provide testimonials to their sales pages in exchange for a link back to your website.
  4. Submit your site for consideration in contests ­– Plenty of industries have their own existing “best of the web” type competitions.  If you know of any, submit your site for consideration as often as possible.
  5. Do something newsworthy – If you want to secure press attention, try actually doing something newsworthy!  Make a large donation to charity, set an audacious goal or undertake some other action that’s unusual enough to earn your interest and backlinks from your audience.


What techniques am I missing?  If you have any other unusual or advanced link building techniques that have made a difference in your site’s performance, share your recommendations in the comments section below:

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