43 SEO Experts Reveal the Best Link Building Techniques in 2019
There are many link building techniques but in this ever-changing SEO world trends change very fast. What worked a few years ago, now is obsolete. SEO experts must come up with new and creative ways to earn backlinks.
Unfortunately, it tends to be very confusing for beginners who don’t know which is the best link building method they should focus on. The results you should expect after trying different techniques depend a lot on your niche, your budget and the size of your business.
Although there isn’t a solution that fits everyone, there are some methods more efficient than others.
To find out the pros’ opinions we have reached out to 42 SEO experts and ask them:
What They Think Will Be the Most Popular Link Building Technique in 2019.
We arranged the answers by categories to make it easier for you to find out all the arguments for each method. Let’s see what the experts had to say.
Content Marketing – Creating Unique, High-Value, Data-Driven Content
While I don’t think link building strategies for lawyer SEO will change drastically in 2019 from what was working in 2018, I do feel like there will be a greater emphasis on content collaboration and content marketing as it relates to link building.
Some of the most successful link building strategies in 2018 involved old techniques used in new and innovative ways.
For example, roundups are a classic way to get fresh, long-form, and objective content that is actually useful for users. It’s also a great way to get promotion for your content because the people participating in the roundup will likely link to it and share it at least once.
We saw some site owners answer some really interesting questions that their audience may have found extremely useful. The quality of the contributors was first rate and the information actionable.
I think we’ll see more of that kind of high quality and laser focus on content in the year to come.
Google has already come out and said that content is one of its top ranking factors so I think site owners and SEOs will take that to heart and work harder on producing really high quality stuff that users will actually find useful.
With everyone focusing on generating content in 2019 it is more important than ever to make sure you stand apart from everyone else in your industry.
Be a thought leader and generate unique, data-driven content that no one else will have. Anything worth having is worth working for and this is especially true for link building.
Real, shareable content is going to take time to create. Spend the time running an experiment or putting together a case study and then share your results with your audience. Be confident and original and over time you’ll be built up as a resource center for your industry.
This type of content not only paints you as an authority in your space but is something others will reference and link to in the future.
It sounds simple, but at the end of the day, the best links you can get are from going out and creating something truly special and worth sharing.
The most important link building strategy will be creating a creative piece of content for your niche that nobody else has done.
When we made SEO the movie, we got hundreds of links. The same thing happened when we made social media marketing the movie.
When it comes to link building, the one link at a time campaign can never match the power of making a creative work that you can promote for six months to a year.
I recommend people take the time to do industry studies, thought leadership, and make cool creative pieces of content. After that, it’s all about promotion and outreach.
I continue to trust in research articles: they are just as useful in backlink building in 2019 as they were in previous years. The best is if you can do your own research and work with your own data and create a statistical analysis that cannot be found elsewhere. Then you can contact influencers, experts, and journalists in the given niche and ask for their opinion on the article.
The other option is that if you don’t have unique data that you collect it from other available sources, investing a lot of time and work and create a compelling article based on the aggregated information, preferably backing it with an infographic if you can, including only the 8-10 most important data points on it.
This way you have two options to get backlinks: you can get links pointing at the article itself or marking you as a source if they cite data of share the infographic.
The point is to focus on content development with an aim to be the best in your niche – which is actually not that hard if you do your homework and research all the successful pieces of content and your competitors. In 2019 this is still a technique that will reward your work with strong backlinks, traffic, and overall more favorable rankings.
The most popular will probably still be private blog networks. A lot of people think of SEO as a way to try and outsmart Google, but unfortunately, that’s a storm term mentality and one that leaves you in a bad position at some point in the future.The best way that we’ve found to earn links for our site and for our clients is by creating proprietary data on a given subject.
Think content marketing, but with original data. We do this by creating surveys on a given subject and then create white papers and infographics using that data.
Our goal is to create the most up-to-date and interesting data on a given subject. Once we have the data the next step is to promote it. Good content doesn’t do much for link building if other people don’t see it. Find the publications and writers who are covering this subject area and reach out and share it with them.
Writers and publications with engaged audiences won’t need much incentive to share unique and interesting data and they will provide attribution back to your data with a backlink to your website.
We’ve earned backlinks on thousands of publications by using this method to earn backlinks.
Personally, I’ll be experimenting a lot with engagement data in 2019. So you got the SEO basics down, you got the “intent” down. Now, how do you get as much engagement as possible on your content or on your site? That’s the thing. The core link building techniques will always be there. Those that email to beg for links, those that email to tell you that you have a broken link on your content, etc.
Those will all still be relatively successful but a lot of webmasters are catching up to those strategies.
From my experiments the past year, I truly think it’s time to take it up a notch and actually go back to the roots of what makes content engaging. Those long-form, crazy ass content will have their place, but what other types of content can I do to make it link worthy?
The online landscape has changed a lot the past years but if you think about it…”link baiting” was a huge thing in the past. Though it never did disappear, people just didn’t talk about it as much maybe because the world is too PC now.
In my eyes, just like with fashion, it’s coming back again and it’s a pretty easy link building technique if you’ve done it in the past.
Guest posts, Infographic submissions, and Skyscraper aren’t going anywhere in 2019. I believe they’ll still prevail as the go-to strategies for link acquisition amongst most SEOs. It’s a no-brainer. It’s been proven time and time again, when well planned and executed, they simply work. I do, however, believe that other techniques that focus on relevancy and value will become more popular during 2019.
As most experienced link-builders can attest, webmasters, bloggers and editorial teams are becoming more wary of Content Marketers (ahem SEOs) emails and content proposals–same email templates, low-quality content, and the 8th “Ultimate Guide” that’s better than the other 7.
Because of the urgent need to stand out from the crowd, I think interactive and data-driven content will be on the rise during 2019.
I see industry-specific calculators and quizzes as the 2 big contenders in the interactive content category.
People love great content, but they love great, statistically accurate content even more. To generate the latter, you can either aggregate data from third-party sources to create compelling graphics to feature in your article or carry out your own surveys to compile the required info.
While the research process is more expensive and time-consuming, original content creates an opportunity for you to offer exclusives to top media outlets / authoritative sites in your industry.
My focus is on what should be the most popular link building technique, at least for people who want to use the most highly effective methods.Google is continuing to reward long form content that provides significant value to its target audience, especially that which offers insights throughout the entire conversion funnel.
So, the winners in 2019 will be people who create this kind of content, and then, rather than trying to market it in a scattershot way, get this content in front of the right influencers who might link to it.
Link building, in other words, can’t “just” be link building any more. Now, it needs to be part of the entire content marketing process.
Outreach & Building Relationship With Influencers
I think the most popular link building technique will continue to be blogger outreach – finding ways to connect with publishers and guest posting to get a link.With that said, although this may not be the most popular link building technique, we reverse engineered what big brands are doing like nerd wallet and ego bait seems to be working very well for them.
Essentially they give out “awards” to hundreds of cities in the US and get links from their homepages when the city displays the award.
SEO is a discipline as diverse and ever-changing as the internet itself. As online entrepreneurs find the best ways to exploit Google’s algorithm, Google finds a way to shoot back and refine their algorithm to favor only high quality, worthwhile sites. PBNs and $5 links used to suffice two years ago for grabbing page one results in SERPs, but now link building techniques need to be much more refined and subtle.
Remember: while Google uses crawling bots to decide site rankings, their end customers are real people who are looking for meaningful content.
This brings us to what is referred to as content marketing. Let me explain the entire process. First, a blogger needs to cultivate meaningful relationships with editors/webmasters of large online sites that have a legitimate online following and that people actually visit out of their own volition – in short: good websites.
Once the blogger has completed that, they need to supply their own content to the writer that matches in tone and quality to the website’s editor for them to post. The content is the most vital part of the entire process, as it has to be of a high enough quality to be engaging, informative, and worth the read.
Somewhere in this content, the link must be placed as naturally as possible, ideally in a fashion that will result in real click-throughs as well as not being obviously promotional.
Google is favoring this over more traditional link building techniques as the recipient blog is receiving a high-quality link from a trusted article on a page with sufficient word count.
The jury is still out as far as Google’s robots actually being able to “read” content, but I can imagine Google can differentiate at bare minimum a directory page from a content page.
Moving forward, Google is rewarding bloggers for having links from high quality, well-trafficked pages from high quality, well-trafficked websites.]
Interactive visual content will continue to be hugely successful in terms of outreach, natural links, exposure, and branding, however, this does require a large number of resources, time and creativity. The varied different forms of creative link building, such as interactive visual content, work really great but estimating link velocity can be an issue. For campaigns that have matured from a links perspective, these types of campaigns work great.
For new campaigns, It is likely that guest posts and niche edits will again be very popular due to the ability to process them and therefore perform them at scale. It is fairly easy to estimate the number of links a site can get with a solid process.
From this estimation, it is, therefore, possible to estimate timescales on the growth of the campaign. Link builders have spent too long creating their own ‘little black book’ of contacts and hidden gems.
This holds serious value and is usually one of the first ports of call when starting a fresh or maturing link campaign.
The most popular link building technique will be cold outreach via form-submission. It will be for guest blogging, buying links and broken link building. SEOs will send millions of these requests in 2019. Website owners will continue to think of these messages as spam. The technique will not be very effective. A less popular will be far more effective.
It will be the slower process of outreach and networking.
- Connect with content creators on social media
- Share and comment on their work
- Reach out, invite them to contribute to your content
- Promote that content together
- Continue to create and promote content together
Eventually, influencers become friends. At that point, you can win a link with a short SMS message: “Hey, Dave! I need a quick favor: could you please link to this article?”
Very few SEO link builders have the patience to build a personal brand, to focus on networking and to collaborate on content. They want fast results so they send cold emails asking for big favors. But influencer marketers know how to take their time. This may be why they are seeing better results than SEOs.
I think 2019 will be the year influencer outreach rapidly expands as the #1 link-building strategy. Several influencer tools and micro-influencer communities started to gain traction in 2018, and I think we will continue to see these marketplaces expand as more buyers and sellers jump on the bandwagon.
For link builders, this means you may have more pay-to-play influencers willing to mention your brand; however, that doesn’t mean your most rewarding efforts won’t still come from high profile influencers who only publish thought leadership material that is of genuine interest to them.
Having a link strategy that combines genuine relationship building as well as influencer sponsored mentions is ultimately the best link-building approach for 2019.
Pierre de Braux
When it comes to link building in 2019, I think we might notice marketers going back to basics and focusing on relationship-building and brand partnerships. Over the last few years or so, I think the marketing community has developed a strong distaste for the onslaught of cookie-cutter outreach tactics we’ve all seen a million times. It’s not very compelling when strangers ask for help but offer basically nothing in return.
This year (and in the foreseeable future), I expect forming and nurturing partnerships between brands to take center stage. What marketers and link builders need to consider is the importance of cooperation and mutual support if they want to take advantage of online communities.
So, the next time you reach out to a stranger in a link building context, don’t treat the outreach attempt as a one-off message to simply build a link. Aim to build strong, long-lasting ties that continue to grow for years to come.
Since Google algorithms are getting more sophisticated every year, I believe the future of link building is going towards the white-hat techniques more than ever. With that being said, I think the best approach would be getting backlinks as naturally as possible from high quality and topically relevant content.
However, that doesn’t need to be only articles or blog posts. With the increasing popularity of video content and Google being able to understand the spoken word, those “links” (aka citations) can be in the form of voice as well. If this is not the future of 2019, I am sure it will come very soon in the following years.
For 2019 specifically, I vote for the influencer marketing as one of the most efficient ways of link building. Working with people who have large follower base and strong internet presence in the given industry often results not only in a decent amount of traffic but also backlinks.
Looking from the other perspective, working on personal branding and authority will help with becoming the go-to source. That essentially means (in the internet environment) more backlinks, higher rankings and ultimately more organic visits.
Therefore, I believe that 2019 will be rather about the relationship with specific people than solely building links from casual sites.
I think the most popular link building method we’re doing to see in 2019 is indirect link building. Many of the typical link building strategies, such as reaching out and asking to be included in resource lists or alongside competitors, is done so much now that blog owners are getting tired of it. You’ll need to get more creative to build links this year.
Some examples of indirect ways to build links would be going on podcasts, using “powered by” branding, setting up an affiliate program, volunteering yourself for expert roundups, and making friends with industry bloggers to be cited as a resource. I think these areas have a much higher potential and ROI than the traditional types of outreach.
I am not sure what the most popular way of building links will be in 2019 but I am sure that building or getting access to a database to prospects that agreed on posting on their websites is always a good way to build some legit backlinks. What we do at my agency, is that we have 1 SEO scraping prospect websites based on relevant keywords that are later crossed with other niches.
For example, if we want a guest post for an organic product store, we will have our VAs to outreach to Health bloggers, gym blogs, mom blogs, recipe blogs or even productivity blogs in order to find some that agree on posting our article for a fee.
Once we find these websites, we add them to our database which we can go back later and use them for another client that is in a similar niche.
So, my opinion is that starting relations with webmasters (even if the relationships are just commercial) will be the best way to build backlinks in 2019.
Furthermore, a twist to this will be finding articles that are already ranking for our target keywords or similar keywords and discuss with the writer about an edit to the live article in order to add our link.
Usually, this is costs less than outreaching and writing a completely new article.
Depending on your resources and budget, natural link building process can be challenging. While before you were able to get the link in exchange for high-quality content (guest post), today most websites large and small charge fee for the link aside from the fact that you have to provide high-quality text along with the payment.
The fee for adding a ‘dofollow’ link (the link that is indexed by Google) can range from 10USD all the way to 1000USD or more, depending on the website.
We use a wide range of outreach strategies, while our main goal is to ensure that the backlink profile we build is natural, with links from ‘clean’ manually checked websites and using diversified anchors.
1. Building outreach lists. We reach out to numerous sites, in various niches to inquire about the link building opportunities. Although 80% of websites require a certain fee, there are still those that can post for free given that we provide quality content.
We evaluate the website on the basis of its backlink profile, its organic search visibility ensuring that it does not have any toxic links (we NEVER use DA to evaluate the website).
If we determine that website is suitable, we add it to the list. In case if the website charges a fee, more often than not you start getting discounts for repetitive business.
2. Create a persona. Unless you are promoting your own website only, it is necessary to create an outreach persona. Many times the relationships you build with website owners are unique and offer many perks, which will not be available to a newcomer. Therefore to avoid losing these relationships it is best to create an outreach ‘persona’ which will not be tied to any particular ‘real’ person.
3. Create ‘shareable’ content. We have found that creating content which you can ‘share’ with others offers unique ‘free’ link building opportunities.
For instance, we have created a pillar piece content for ‘SEO for Voice Search’ and at the same time we have created infographics for this post, which we are able to offer to websites in return for the link.
Infographics are a shareable content, especially if it covers thought-after topic. So the website owners appreciate this kind of visual content which can get them a lot of shares on social media. And you get the link: win-win!
4. Use outreach platforms. Using outreach platforms like Ninja Outreach will help you better organize your prospects and save time: once you’ve gathered an email list of websites you can email in the same niche, you can come up with a catchy template and if you receive any kind of feedback then you can spend time on writing a more personalized response.
We believe guest posting will be the most popular link building technique of 2019. It’s an excellent, mutually beneficial relationship between partners which results in SEO “wins” for each party.
For example, we host a blog with relevant articles to our business – web development and design, mobile app development, digital marketing, and SEO.
These articles are sourced through guest writers. Each guest post submission is carefully reviewed to ensure that it is informative and useful to our readers.
In return for our high quality, informative post which boosts our internal SEO, the guest post author receives a backlink from our site, which has a relatively high domain authority and helps improve the author’s SEO.
Most popular link building technique will be Guest Blog Posting but will it be the best…?
It depends if you’re getting a link on a site that’s got actual traffic stats, is relevant and has some power then yes. This will be the best link you can get in 2019 and will be a very popular option.
Having said this, many providers simply rehash PBN’s and sell them off as “Guest Posts” yes they are cheap, yes they may have some power but if there’s no traffic stats the links going to hurt you more than it will be worth – making this one of the less desirable links to get in 2019.
Make sure to always check the site stats before purchasing or negotiating a Guest Blog Post.
I think the most popular way to build links next year will be the same as in 2018. Guest posts and outreach.
There are several reasons why this trend is good and it will still be relevant for years to come.
Mainly because it’s a white hat technique when done right and a lot of companies and brands are using it to increase their awareness while also building authority in their sites.
While there will be always people trying to use gray/black hat techniques (those still work for some people) for most of the people who are in the game for the long run will focus on building authority by creating value.
A good guest post can not only help you with your rankings but also send you a constant flow of real traffic every month and it gives you the opportunity to present yourself or your brand as an expert in a field, getting new customers and followers in the process.
It’s a win-win situation for both the guest poster and the website who’s publishing the content. It’s not spammy, it can provide readers with high-quality content and Google loves it.
Without a shadow of a doubt; guest blogging.For the past few years, it’s been the most widely practiced link building technique and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Guest blogging is popular for a few reasons: You only need to create content AFTER a target site accepts your pitch (normally a title suggestion or post outline). Opportunities are plentiful, in fact, there are thousands of sites created solely for publishing guest posts.
Many of these sites are happy to publish your content regardless of content quality for a small-ish fee. But therein lies the problem.
The vast majority of websites accepting guest posts are low-quality, low-authority and in breach of Google guidelines.
And because of that, most guest post links do absolutely NOTHING for your rankings.
So what should you do instead?
Take the time, energy and resources you would have invested in several guest posts and put that into one mind-blowing post for your own site.
Unlike guest posts which produce one or two links per post at best, when you create genuinely amazing content for your own site the links you can win are limitless.
If I were to predict the most popular link building technique in 2019 I would say Guest Blogs would take the top spot.
In 2018 we saw Google continue to clamp down on blackhat link building techniques with many in the SEO community reporting PBN’s losing a lot of power.
Links from authority sites continue to carry a lot of weight so people are going to be looking for any opportunity to be featured in an authority site.
While not all guest blog links are equal, when done right links from guest blogs can be acquired in a very natural way from authority sites.
Although I predict guest blogs to be the most popular method many SEO’s would continue to agree “content is king” and the truly best way to get high-quality links is through creating shareable content that others will love.
A great link building technique for 2019 is to identify a key content topic related to your brand. Do competitive analysis for all articles published online for that particular topic. Then get into your own competitive mode and create a long-form content piece (1500-2000 words) that is more resourceful, comprehensive, and better written.
Once the piece is written, start research to identify influencers in that vertical and/or topic. Vet them to see if they and the entity they are affiliated with are active on social media and have a large following.
Then reach out to them and tell them about your article, and once you establish a relationship in your outreach communication, address two things – ask for a quote to include in your article, and also, attempt to persuade them to publish your article as a guest post on their website.
Once accomplished, provide an internal backlink in the content piece over to your brand’s website (to another relevant content page) and you will also like to get an additional link from your author info within the guest post article over to your personal profile on your website. This process requires ideation, research, creative & networking.
Your basic pitch is to offer someone something of value and get them to reciprocate back to you. It is so ‘white hat’ that it would blend into snow and clouds – and in today’s SEO landscape – you do not want to incorporate and sketchy ‘black hat’ techniques that will make Google get mad at you!
The most popular link-building technique will probably be guest-posting. That doesn’t mean it’s the most effective technique, but it will likely be the most popular.
There are many reliable services with connections to legitimate blog owners that offer paid guest-posting services.
Google’s Matt Cutts famously declared guest-posting dead, but he also stated quite clearly that the problem was guest-posting on spammy websites.
However, purchasing guest posts on legitimate websites is basically the same as conventional advertising. One interesting implication is that SEO retainers will probably need to increase in fees to account for this tactic.
SEO agencies with decent margins can absorb this trend; however, the ones who offered a bottom-dollar service and fee will have to pay from non-existent margins to get results through this form of paid advertising. That will be an uncomfortable experience for many in the industry.
Currently, the most popular way of link building is guest posting and PR. I think this is going the be the most popular for 2019. Besides social media, blogs, articles, etc.
Guest posts will be the most thriving part of link building for this year. It’s something that’s consistent and something everyone does. The most important aspect of marketing is content marketing. Guest post is a part of that.
A good guest post leads to more followers, likes, and shares, which creates more backlinks to the guest post and your site. Also, the thing about guest posting is that it stays forever (usually). You don’t have to worry about that link disappearing/breaking. Lots of other links may disappear within time but not guest posting, from our expert.
I recently attended SMX East, a premier SEO conference, and nearly every link building session referenced “original research” as one of the most modern and effective link building techniques.
This tactic involves brands performing their own proprietary research datasets and pitching the results to online media outlets.The conference sessions, as well as our own observations, testify to the effectiveness of this tactic.
One example covered at the conference was a research project focused on revealing the surprisingly unhealthy ingredients found in various popular protein bar brands. The results were pitched to various media outlets, several of which created stories covering the findings. Those stories gave credit to and linked back to, the original dataset on the company’s website.
We are incredibly skeptical of most link building tactics since so many of them dance too close to the line of what is acceptable and not acceptable to Google.
However, this tactic of creating original research data, crafting an interesting story found within that data, and pitching that story to the media, is a completely white-hat link acquisition technique that we both recommend to our clients and will be doing for ourselves in 2019.
I think the most popular – and by popular I mean those most likely to clog my inbox – link-building technique will continue to be guest blogging and posting to semi-authoritative article sites.
I get no fewer than 10 solicitations a day from link-builders offering to buy placement on my website. I get another half dozen or so each week offering to publish articles with links back to our site or our clients’ sites on Huffington Post, Forbes, Fortune and the like.
These tactics are popular because they’re easy to scale. In other words, they require little skill and can be executed by folks without a lot of industry savvy or professional maturity. I’m not denigrating the folks doing the work, merely pointing out that with little experience they’re probably less expensive by the hour.
As with most things, the most effective link-building strategies in 2019 and beyond are those which don’t scale. They require real, intelligent, human effort.
When we start with a new client, we ask them what associations they belong to, what charities they support and what, if any, other businesses they partner or work with on a regular basis.
With this list, we’re able to do some research and then make contact on their behalf asking for a link. For most local businesses a few well-placed links are vastly superior to a whole bunch of commodity links. And, if the connections we’re contacting for links are relevant in either industry or location, they are more likely to reinforce our client’s relevance.
We have tons of other tactics, but this one – looking for real relationships and leveraging them – is very replicable.
In short, I think we can expect to continue to see mass outreach for low-value links.
If we can ignore the traditional link metrics and focus on truly local, truly relevant links which don’t scale we’ll do a much better job for our clients and for the internet as a whole.
The most popular link building technique will always be the easiest. This is not to say this is right.
It is certainly not our strategy at Bowler Hat (my agency), however, the largest part of the market is the low budget small business market and many of the street level SEO companies that service these businesses are still using link building techniques that I (and Google) would classify as a link scheme.
What really matters is building links that enrich the web. Links that help people. Links that connect websites that should be connected.
This can take many forms but often the most scalable approach is to first create something that people will want to link to (what we call a linkable asset at Bowler Hat) and then to promote this asset.
Always remembering that we want to add links that improve and add value to the linking page and help users discover something of value.
This tends to look a lot like PR so we often regard this as Digital PR. And if you do that job well and promote your content you should see your content earn natural links from other relevant sites – once this starts to happen you are on the right path!
With the algorithm updates we have seen around YMYL and E-A-T this year we are seeing a continuation of Google’s drive for quality. So, the links that you build should make sense.
So in the real world, the best kind of link building for 2019 and beyond is content creation and promotion. This is not to say this will be the most popular technique, but it certainly should be.
So it is hard to answer this question in a kind of general way. What works for a huge company with a massive budget and a triple-A agency is often very different to what links will look like for small companies looking for a cost-effective option.
It is just so important for smaller businesses to really understand Google’s policies and the safe options when looking at affordable ways to improve rankings.
Unfortunately, the most popular link building techniques will always be the easiest. So I’d expect that email outreach and business directory listings will be among them. One tactic that I expect to see become much more popular in 2019 is appearing as a guest on podcasts. Most podcasters will publish their show notes and link to their guest’s websites.
These links should be valuable because they will demonstrate authority, while the show notes pages will also acquire their own backlinks.
I note that the question relates not so much to which technique will work best, rather which one will be more popular.
Sadly I think that a huge portion of our industry still thinks it is 2005 and will likely keep banging away with directory submissions, blog comments and other insanely pointless (yet incredibly easy to achieve) link building tactics.
It is human nature to try and find the easy path, or the path of least resistance which is why I honestly anticipate that much of the same pointless link building will continue to be the most popular
If however we start to pull back and not focus so much on widespread popularity, but rather look at some of the higher quality approaches many SEO’s are making more and more popular, I think we will see a shift in the way people are approaching the skyscraper technique for link outreach.
Over the last 5 years, we have seen people try to ‘skyscrape’ each other into oblivion which is resulting in frequent email requests for us to read 13,000-word posts.
I anticipate a widespread shift to people no longer approaching the skyscraper technique as one in which a large post is simply seen to be better, quite likely we will start seeing posts with custom development, custom animations, video etc as being the prevailing link targets as the world is simply too busy for us to engage with posts which are long for the sake of appearing authority like.
White-hat link building strategies will be the main choice among SEO professionals. Strategies like broken link building, resource page link building, competitor link building, skyscraper link building, infographic link building, guest postings all be as popular as before.
They all create high quality, relevant and editorial links. Hence, they will remain as effective as before. Definitely, the process will be much improved.
Some of the above strategies are not good for scaling up link-building activities. Skyscraper link building and guest posting will remain as popular as before for building links in scale.
We will see some new SEO tools for outreach and changes in guest posting practices. It will be more of from links from the real blogs with traffic that are professionally maintained and have good domain authority.
Media Features & PR
I have a few favorite link building techniques.
- Contributing to expert roundups. When you participate in a roundup, like this one, you earn a backlink with little effort.
Instead of having to send lots of cold emails begging for a guest post, only to then need to write a long post, in a roundup, bloggers approach you inviting you to their post. You only need to contribute 200-300 words with good actionable tips.
You can scale easily and have your face and link on lots of sites from your industry. Use services like HARO and Source Bottle to get more opportunities.
- Featuring in podcasts and interviews. This type of content helps you a lot to grow your brand and get more followers. It is more time consuming then participating in roundups, but you will be in the spotlight having an entire article only about you and your achievements.
- Publishing expert roundups. Personally, I have a list with all the roundups and interviews where I’ve been featured. And I am not the only. Lots of bloggers and website owners have a press or media page where they link to articles where they have been featured. It’s good for your readers to see that other industry leaders consider you an expert.
Do you know what this means? It means that many of the experts you feature in your roundup, will link to your site. There are a lot of benefits of expert roundups that many people aren’t aware of yet.
There are so many different link building techniques that it is hard to say which is the most popular.
In the niche that I am in mostly (travel), it’s very much about building relationships and connections where some are still very much building PBNS and guest posts.
A very popular link technique that I have seen increasing is contribution posts where you would need to contribute 150 – 250 words for a topic, very similar to this post.
Personally, I think these are great because it offers a variety of different info, from different perspectives and from professionals. Also, its good content that you don’t need to write, I think this kind of link earning will only get more popular and might be one of the most popular technique this year.
In 2019 we are starting to see a big shift into utilising PR as a stronger source of link building.
This includes using platforms such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and SourceBottle.
These platforms put you in touch with journalists that are looking for sources and more often than not, when using your quote, they will include a link back to your website.
includes using platforms such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and SourceBottle. These platforms put you in touch with journalists that are looking for sources and more often than not, when using your quote, they will include a link back to your website.
As with all things SEO – there are no silver bullets. The same applies to link building.
The best performing link strategies in 2019 will combine multiple strategies that span both proactive outreach and importantly, link earning.
Link building is far more multifaceted compared with just a few years ago. Contrary to the reaction following Matt Cutts’ blog post in 2014, guest posting or providing commentary for relevant and high-quality sites is still of value. It should not however be your sole link building strategy.
These strategies will utilize exposure via social channels, PR, design, written content, imagery, video and will always be focused on the very best possible content.
The most success will be gained by providing value for the user first and foremost.
Finally, the ability to scale your link building is essential. If you are able to create content that naturally earns multiple links for each piece, rather than a more linear outreach approach, you will realize a far higher ROI on your efforts in 2019.
Combining Multiple Link Building Techniques
The most popular link building technique in 2019 will actually not be links at all in my opinion, but instead, the focus will be on the syndication of short answers and checklists to rank in Position Zero and voice queries.
That said, for those with their heads still in 2017 or earlier, I imagine that the lower response rates from scholarships and infographics will move many link builders into influencer marketing and respectively into the platforms where they can connect with them, such as Upfluence and Linkqia.
This might be a bit of a flashback for veteran SEO’s who may have experimented with “Pay-Per-Post” or “Blogdash” in the past as a way to pay for links pre-Google Penguin.
Like any link network, these influencers will leave a digital footprint that will eventually be ignored by Google from a PageRank standpoint, so SEO’s should do the right thing and make sure the direct marketing includes a nofollow attribute on links, and allow the organic side of search to kick in as others talk about and share what their influencers are promoting.
Voice search is one of the most prevalent predictions for 2019. A rise in voice search is believed to happen.
This means that the competition for long tail keywords will increase as well and different strategies for long tail keywords will be in the limelight for most of 2019.
Link building strategies will also change to cater to long tail keywords. Some strategies that would work best for 2019 are:
- Forum postings where it’s easier to use long tail keywords as anchor texts when linking to your landing pages.
- Directory listings that allow us to put descriptions and links to our site.
- Guest posting
- Answer questions on Q&A websites such as Quora and Reddit. Even though these are no-follow links, answering questions that are related to our website’s niche is still beneficial for traffic.
Link building in 2019 needs to be less about achieving set targets, and more about providing a valuable and engaging experience for the consumer. With this in mind there are three link building techniques that we think will have the greatest impact.
Link Building Throughout the Customer’s Journey
In the past, link building has been used purely for new customer acquisition, completely ignoring other touchpoints in the customer’s journey. Customers require many things to help them through the stages of acquisition, nurturement, conversion and retention, and valuable, insightful content is a huge motivator in this journey.
Understanding audience intent is going to be a very important part of that; ‘Where does that link sit in my customer’s journey?’, ‘What they have done previously and what they’re about to do now?’
Link building in 2019 shouldn’t involve begging random sites to include your links, it needs to deliver far greater value. Content collaborations in the form of blogs co-hosted webinars, podcasts and more are a great way to build links, and the while providing engaging content.
Voice search is slowly but surely taking hold and as a result, many businesses are having to seriously step up their link building efforts.
According to Wordstream, 99.58% of featured snippets come from a page that ranks in the top 10. So given that voice search enabled devices to read these snippets, we can safely predict that the businesses that invest time and money in their SEO and link building efforts will see great success in the future.
Use HARO: Acronym for Help a Reporter Out is a service for journalists to collate content via different sources. It helps them get an expert opinion, get more media coverage and work efficiently.
Once the pitches are excepted, journalists share the backlinks to your company website.
Link Roundup: This is one of the best techniques used for link building. In this strategy, you can link your blog posts to useful content on a regular basis. This is a white hat technique and can be used to add relevance and trustworthiness to your website.
User Intent Keywords: Finding the right keywords is one of the most important tasks and plays a major role in creating quality backlinks. If your keywords can grab the attention of the readers and boost readership, it will directly improve your SEO.
Backlinks from Visual Content: YouTube is a popular destination for video marketing purposes. You can share your knowledge and content in the visual form and generate new leads for business with more links to your website.
Guest Blogging: Guest blogging is the best way to get free content. Business can get creative and pay influential bloggers to write a post or have an arrangement in lieu of backlinks to improve readership. This will be a major player in SEO in 2019.
I think the most popular link building technique in 2019 will definitely be branded anchor texts and to not overthink link building in general. Instead, just keep the focus on your brand with diverse backlinks types.
The key to success is to keep the balance in link building with a good anchor texts ratio, type of links, all while working on the main page, subpages, and blog posts.
Let’s not forget about Tier 2, an essential part of link building. This will also be a theme this year. The most effective strategy is to utilize a quality link versus multiple useful links in Tier 2.
Finally, in my point of view, for a long term SEO strategy, blogs with real traffic are more worthy than the Domain Authority number. Blogs of this caliber should definitely be utilized in 2019.
“They” say that link building is dead… It died in about 2003. In a way, “they’re” right. The way I used to do link building years ago is dead. Googles numerous updated required a pivot in link building strategy. What now?
Contacting websites to turn mentions into links is link reclamation. Remember, the goal of link building is establishing authority with Google. So, start with authoritative websites that relate to your business niche.
Let’s say that BlahBlah.com mentions your company but doesn’t include a link back to your website. Using your research skills on Google or Twitter to contact BlahBlah.com and ask to have that website mention linked. There’s your first backlink. You do that on a consistent basis, and your websites rankings increase.
The same tactic applies to graphics and photos. Just do a reverse image search on any of the graphics on your company’s webpage. There will very likely be some of your images elsewhere. Instead of complaining that people are using your images, nudge them into adding credit for the image with a link to your website.
Broken link building is a great way to earn high-quality links and it will be popular in 2019.
Even reputable websites have broken links pointing to pages that no longer exist. They lead to poor user experience and are bad for SEO.
You can use Ahrefs to find broken links on highly authoritative pages relevant to your niche, identify what content they referred to, and reach out to the website owners to let them know about the broken links.
Then, suggest replacing the broken link with a link to relevant useful content on your website. You can even create a new amazing piece of content for that purpose.
This strategy is beneficial for both parties: the target website will have no SEO error and you will get a valuable link to your website.
Thank you so much to all the SEO experts that contributed to this expert roundup! Please let us know in the comments below which link building techniques brought you the best results and which one is your favorite.
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