Authoritative studies have shown that link building is the second most important Google ranking factor after content.
In fact, 93% of the time, internet users start their online experience from the search engines. So the search is how you’d get organic traffic. Which in turn gets you leads and revenue.
As much as 67% of all marketers agree that SEO and link building techniques generate the most leads for them.
All these points to one conclusion.
If you are not scaling your link building, you’re losing a ton of leads. And you don’t even know it.
What’s Scalable Link Building?
Starting a link building campaign is not the issue. But earning high-QUALITY links in QUANTITY. That’s the real problem.
You see, it’s not enough to have a link building strategy. You must build links that are scalable.
Google penalizes unnatural links by de-ranking or blacklisting websites that don’t earn editorial links. The search giant relies on its Penguin algorithm or manual penalties to punish sites or pages using non-editorial backlinks to boost their SERP rankings.
It’s obvious. Links take center-stage on Google’s ranking factors.
Andrey Lipattsev, who serves as Google’s Search Quality Senior Strategist, says high-quality content and links are Google’s two most important ranking factors.
No. You can’t afford to leave your link building to chance. You need scalable link building tactics.
But What’s Scalable Link Building?
Scalable link building is earning healthy and profitable links using link acquisition techniques that are sustainable and evergreen.
In short, scalable link building is continuously building links without violating the Google quality guidelines.
Why does Google punish unnatural links?
Shady links are intended to deceive the search engines to rank web pages high on the SERP. Google (and human visitors) don’t want deceit.
Some links add value and others cause problems. Links that are safe and good to build in large quantity are scalable links.
These may sound fancy in print. In reality, scalable link building demands more effort than you may think.
Link building is hard work. Allow me to clarify that: Building legitimate links that have genuine value in search is hard work. – Karen DeJarnette (SearchEngineLand)
Fortunately, the returns on scalable link building are always worth the effort. In the business of online marketing, you cannot go it alone. You need other people’s “votes,” and that’s what link building is all about.
Of course, it’s easy to consider some shady technique to build your online presence. You should dispel these thoughts as quickly as they come. And for good reasons too.
- Blackhat SEO is not sustainable
- Blackhat link building can ruin all your previous hard work
- Black hat techniques is a recipe for Google’s ever-present hammer
To drive home these points, let’s look at some case studies.
How AeroPets Court Google’s Hammer
Aero Pets, a transport company in New Zealand suffered for their poor decision. They enlisted the services of a black hat SEO company to help boost their rankings.
Well, the SEO company went straight to work. First was a revamp of the entire website. Next up were shady link building tactics.
Everything went well until Google’s Penguin update. In short, it took months to correct the damage that followed.
In particular, buying a bunch of unnatural links back to your site isn’t just useless. It’s now actively harmful… It’s a lot easier to buy them than it is to get them taken away. – Sonia Simone (CopyBlogger)
BMW Epic Link Building Gaffe
Not only small B2B companies get caught up in this shady business. BMW also got their share of Google’s penalty sometime in 2006 when they employed black hat SEO.
Google found out that BMW used using doorway pages. And stuffing these pages with keywords to gain traffic. This move was outright blackhat. And they got the worst punishment possible.
Google removed all of BMW’s web pages from their index!
Black hat SEO doesn’t work long-term. It’s your call of course. But in my mind, it’s not worth it. – Brian Dean
There’re lots of other cases like this littered over the web. Trust me, it’s best not experienced first-hand.
When Is Link Building Safe?
Link building is safe when the links come naturally. That is editorial links.
Editorial links are links that you gain from producing and promoting excellent content. You earn editorial links as rewards for your hard work and quality contents.
SEJ defines editorial links as:
links which a web site organically attracts because that site is producing good content and marketing that content via social media sites… link baiting, syndication and public relations.
In fact, Sean Si says that his favorite scalable link building technique is link baiting. He told Ahrefs that four pages on his site drive 21% of the site’s traffic because of link baiting.
No! You don’t buy or pay for editorial links. You can earn them from top ranking websites.
Anything contrary to an earned link isn’t acceptable. And Google is swift to react.
The search giant has spelled out, in explicit terms, what illegal link building means to them. Take care to avoid them.
Alright, enough of case studies. Let’s show you how to scale your link building the right way. The White-Hat way.
7 Vetted and Google-Safe Link Building Tactics that are Scalable
First off, if you’re seeking for quick wins and black hat techniques, stop reading right here. The tactics shared in this article are only white-hat. So they’re entirely in line with search engine’s recommendations.
These tactics are efficient at getting you desirable results while remaining sustainable. Here we go.
1. Create Linkable Content
How many times do you read blogs like Kissmetrics, Hubspot or Backlinko and think:
“Wow! This content is super insightful. I’ve got to share this tip right away!”
That’s what linkable content looks like.
Of course, creating linkable content isn’t a walk in the park.
In fact, it’s one of the most challenging aspects of link building. Except you’ve got the content writing cheat sheet. You are in luck; we’re sharing it right away.
Create Original Content
Original content is one that’s free from plagiarism or copy-paste. It’s unique and reflects your own opinions and experiences, honestly. And they get the bulk of likes, shares, and links on social media.
It doesn’t mean you cannot borrow ideas from existing excellent content – that’s fine. It just means that when you borrow these ideas, you must own them. Write them in your own words and your voice.
Craft Engaging and Actionable Contents
Your blog is not a thesis where you splay research findings in the blandest language possible. It’s your outlet to self-expression for your business and person. So write with as much naturalness as you can muster – as if you’re having a conversation.
Your blog post must solve problems. Contents that solve problems see the most online shares and links. Here are some tips to achieve this.
- Write as if you’re speaking to the next person. This gives your content a genuine and original writing voice.
- Look for problems that your audience may be facing and write the best article possible on it.
- Follow up with a call-to-action requesting for feedback and further questions from your audience.
- Edit and update your content often. If a tip you supplied becomes obsolete, remove it and add a newer, more effective one.
If you do the above, you’re sure to write linkable content more times than you can remember.
2. Blogger Outreach
Have you heard about the 80/20 rule?
It says 20 percent of your efforts yield 80 percent of your returns.
Blogger outreach is one of the most touted techniques in the link building world.
First things first: What’s the ‘20%’ in blogging? My answer: Marketing – Darren Rowse (ProBlogger)
Let’s face it. It’s an utter waste of time to write a brilliant content that no one gets to read. And if no one reads your content, you’re getting no links. Period.
This is the era of marketing, and you should never be caught on the back-foot. Here’s what you must do.
Get in the Face of Influencers in Your Space
This means when you create fantastic content, don’t hide it. Be shameless about it even. But be strategic too.
Influencers love great content. They seek it even. Because they need something to keep, their vast audience engaged all the time.
To get these kinds of valuable links you need to prospect for the types of articles your influencers love to share. There’s an easy way to do it. Look at your competitor’s content and the links they’ve won. This gives you an insight into what kind of content these big fishes are eager to share.
Here’s a step by step approach to getting this done right.
Step #2: Check out these pages and find out who’s been sharing and linking to them. You can use Buzzsumo for this. For instance, if I were in the fitness business, I could do the following with Buzzsumo.
- Register an account and log in. Type in my keyword, in this case, I’ll use “fitness”.
- Buzzsumo gives a list of the most successful articles on that topic. They define success through social media ‘shares’, ‘links’ and ‘likes’. There’re even options to view backlinks and sharers.
- To find out what your influencers love to share, click on the influencer tab.
- You’ll see a list of the most popular sites in your niche. Now click on search content shared. You’ll see plenty of links won by your competition from these influencers. Now tailor your efforts to win yourself one too.
Other tools that you can use are OpenSiteExplorer. This tool will return plenty of links won by your competition in your niche. And it also allows you to export them for offline use. Awesome, right?
Promote Your Content
After prospecting for these potential backlinks next up is the promotion. Reach out to these influencers to share your content.
Here are some tips:
- Study the influencer you plan to connect with. If they love social media, then create an account and follow them. If they prefer email, then email it is.
- Build a level of rapport before demanding links from them. You can dedicate a week, month, to this activity. The goal is to get them to notice you first. Then offer them your valuable content and nicely ask for links. If your content is fantastic, they won’t hesitate to do so.
3. Resource Page
The Holy Grail of link building is resource pages. Don’t get me wrong; influencer links are potent. But good resource pages can shoot your brand reputation skywards in a heartbeat.
Resource pages are pages whose content is a curation of the most valuable contents in the industry. They’re pages that link to the most valuable content on specific topics.
Here’s an example.
Now that you know what they are, how can they help you?
Well, first off, Google loves resource pages. It makes their job easier. After all, it’s evident that resource pages link only to the best content in a niche.
Getting your resource featured on authoritative resource pages is the goal. Here are tips to help.
Find Suitable Resource Pages
To find these pages, you’ll leverage the search engines. This method ensures only Google-vetted and valuable resource pages show up in the search results.
Here’s how to prospect for these pages:
If you are in the dieting business, try these combinations on Google search:
- Paleo diet + “resources”
- Paleo diet + “helpful resources
- Paleo diet + “links”
- site:.edu Paleo diet + “resources”
- Paleo diet inurl:resources
The screenshot below shows the output of a similar query I carried out.
Now copy the links to as many of these resources as you can handle.
Reach Out to the Owners of these Pages
Some of them may have a link through which you can contact them. Others may not. If they have a link, that makes your job easier, go on and shoot them an email. Make sure to recommend your awesome content as a good fit for their page too.
If they don’t have a link, then you have to use email finding tools to find valid email addresses. Some good tools are:
Once you get a functional email, proceed to contact them. Suggest your article as a useful resource for their page and wait for that link to happen.
4. Broken Link Building
This method is one of the cheapest ways to get good backlinks in a heartbeat. Broken links are links that are no longer valid and hence return errors when clicked.
In short, broken links are dead links.
And dead links are horrible for SEO. So the moment you can spot one, you may have just hit gold.
You can prospect for broken links in four ways.
- Look through your influencer’s website to find broken links.
- Look through resource pages in your niche to find broken links
- Look through your influencers’ pages for outdated content
- Reclaim links from mentions of your brand online
Reclaim Broken Links
First, install this handy Chrome Extension – Check My Links. It’s a broken link checking tool that automatically queries all links on a page for validity. If it finds any invalid links, it stores it for you to sift through them later.
If you find any broken link that your article can replace, then get an email ready for dispatch. The receiver will be more than grateful to replace these links in a jiffy.
Claim Links From Outdated Content
Content freshness is key to scalable link building. Older content is gradually phased out by search engines on the grounds of irrelevance. Use GreenLaneSeo Outdated Content Finder Tool to seek out old content on your influencers pages. You can also do this on resource pages.
Offer your own as a replacement to the site owner if you find any outdated article.
Reclaim Your Links from Mentions across Social Media
People may mention your brand on their blogs without giving you the backlinks in return. You should explore this channel to get relevant backlinks. You can do this in a couple of ways.
- Set up Google alerts to let you know about your brand mentions on blogs.
- Use Topsy to get alerts of mentions of your brand on the Twitter.
- Use Google Blog Search Feature To Find Mentions Of Your Brand.
This requires using the following query in Google Search:
“Author Name” -link:www.yourwebsite.com
Once you find a link, send a polite email to the site owner. Offer them a link to replace the previous mention, and that’s all.
5. Skyscraper Link Building
We have Brian Dean to thank for this technique. He had used the skyscraper link building method to earn tons of links to one of his pages. The page didn’t just earn lots of links, Dean also noticed that his website’s (not just that page’s) organic traffic doubled in a short 14 days period.
The skyscraper method is a simple technique but demands flawless execution.
Here’re the three steps to execute this technique.
Find a Content that’s a Link Magnet in Your Niche
This is the easy part. You have to look through all the best performing content in your niche. To do this, you can use the Buzzsumo tool.
Note that the best contents online are those with the most shares and backlinks. Buzzsumo lists them out for you.
Now you can pick out the best contents and study them. Find out the websites that link to it and make a list of them.
Create a Content that’s Miles Better
This is the hard part. Creating a content that’s miles better needs extensive research into the topic. You should not rush this phase; else, your efforts may go to waste.
You want to pay attention to the language, style and form of the article you want to replace.
- If it’s a list, attempt to create an even longer one with juicer details
- If it’s an in-depth article, you must go more in-depth and address portions they glossed over
- If it’s a case study, then research for a better one. Or even better, offer two or three case studies with each showing a different perspective on the topic you’re writing about.
The ultimate goal is to create a better article. If you have to, hire experienced writers to do this for you.
Promote This Content to the Right People
This is the critical part.
Remember the list of websites linking to your target article? Now’s the time to use it. There’s an excellent chance that people who linked to the first article are going to be willing to link to an even better one. And that’s your aim.
Armed with your flawless content, you should begin to send pitches for links. Here’s a sample email you can use:
Trust you are doing great?
While researching for some articles on [your article topic], I came across this page [URL of the article you intend to replace].
I found that you linked to one of my favorite resources on [Article Topic].
Well, I created a more thorough and resourceful version on a similar topic. Here’s the link [Your article URL].
In your spare time, you could look it over and see if it is worth a mention on your page.
Either way, keep up the excellent work.
Now, let those links happen!
6. Competitor Link Building
This is very useful if you are in an industry where your competition had enjoyed a measure of success before you came along.
To execute this technique here’s what you should do the following.
Profile Your Competition
Use Open Site Explorer to find out the websites that rank best for keywords in your niche. These are the ones whose strategies are providing valuable returns for their business. Make a list of five of the top sites and save them in an excel sheet.
Export Your Competitor’s Backlinks URL to Excel
Since you are both in the same business, you should target to get the same kind of backlinks for your website. Finding the sites that link to theirs is a very potent way to go.
Contact these Websites and Pitch Relevant links
Now’s the time to promote your brand. Send an email to these businesses pitching your content to them. Keep your email short and straight to the point. If they feel your link is relevant to their business, you’ll get the mention you desire.
7. Use HARO (Bonus Tip: Be the Queer Brand)
Help a reporter out (HARO) is a platform for connecting news stories to journalists in real-time. But there’s a perk. Journalists also use HARO to search for expert opinion on niche topics.
For instance, a journalist who wants to write a topic on cycling may use HARO to find expert opinions on cycling.
So if your company is into retailing cycling kits, this is a tremendous opportunity. You can offer a detailed response to this journalist and get a link in return.
Now, many big corporations including FOX, Gennet, the HuffPost, and more, use HARO. And a backlink from any of these platforms can boost your SERP.
You can also brew controversy to garner attention, intentionally. Be careful how you go about this as it could backfire.
Another technique is to consider taking a queer stance on critical issues in your niche.
As unconventional opinions tend to stir attention, this could improve your online presence. You also stand the chance of gaining backlinks as people discuss your ‘queer stance’ on their platforms.
Outsourcing Your Link Building
Outsourcing your link building means letting someone else handle it for you.
Caveat: Give this job to someone more experienced and with a proven track record and an impressive portfolio.
Why Outsource Your Link Building?
You must be thinking: “All this is hard work, I’m not sure I can do it alone.”
The truth is: yes, it’s hard work. Yes, you can do it alone.
But going that route may make your core business suffer. Outsourcing your link building to capable hands.
The key benefits of outsourcing your link building:
- You’d focus on delivering top-notch services to your clients; all the while, letting capable hands worry about getting those valuable links. You get to focus on building and growing your business, leaving someone else to do the heavy lifting.
- Outsourcing reduces or eliminates errors. Having professionals with the tools, experience, and skills to build your backlinks cuts your learning curve down and improves your chances of success.
- It’s cheaper, in the long run, to let someone handle your link building. Errors are expensive, and link building demands a long-term strategy. Having skilled hands take care of your link building keeps the link building process consistent.
- Speeds up results. Since capable hands will handle your link building, you’d be seeing measurable and pleasant results in months not years.
How to Outsource Your Link Building
Here’s how to outsource your link building effectively,
Find a Reliable SEO Company
Regardless of your link building budget, ensure to hire only trusted hands. Request to see their previous works. Ask them for a list of the websites they intend to win you links. And inquire about their work methods.
Verify their Techniques
Some SEO outfits may try to pitch you black-hat techniques for some quick wins. If you love your business, resist this idea and take your website elsewhere. Always inquire about the methods they intend to use. Do this before they begin winning you links.
Make Your Goals Explicit
Define your goals and make sure your SEO outfit understands them. Don’t leave vague descriptions, spell it out in clear terms. Also, let them give you a timeline with milestones. This way you can measure the ROI of your link building.
Link building will always be a crucial topic in the online marketing world. But it only takes one right move to start reaping enormous benefits. If you haven’t started hunting for those valuable links, suit up and get into the ring. You already know how.
If you’d rather outsource this process, then consider TopRankly. You can eliminate guesswork and get desirable results – faster.
Let’s start scaling your link building, now. Click here.