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Eric Enge, of Stone Temple Consulting, recently published a new study confirming that backlinks still matter. This research supports Andrey Lipattsev’s assertion that links are one of the top two search ranking factors. The key takeaway from the report is “When you aren’t facing page relevance or quality issues, links can, and do, continue to significantly impact rankings.”
Equally important, however, is the likelihood that links will continue to matter for a long time. Matt Cutts indicated as recently as May 2014 that “I think backlinks still have many, many years left in them.” I know from personal experience that just a few relevant high trust / high authority links can move the dial.The Challenge
“Publish great content that is relevant to your target audience (and will naturally attract links).” Have you ever seen this (…) happen (not in theory, in reality) in the history of web for small businesses and without reciprocal link?
As someone who works with small to medium-sized businesses, I hear this all the time. The good news is that it is possible to attract relevant links, naturally, to a commercial website. No reciprocal link required. It boils down to having the right content, finding the right audience, and then reaching that audience.The Approach
From my experience, the best approach for attracting relevant links is to develop a resource center on your website. It doesn’t require a sexy product or service – nearly any niche or vertical works. In addition to attracting links, this gives you the opportunity to build trust and authority.
Following are some good examples of resource centers. Use these as a starting point for developing ideas for your own site. I have no affiliation with any of these websites:
Annuity FYI: The center is filled with articles and guides covering a variety of retirement planning and annuity-related topics.
Safewise: They created a “resource library” offering guides, tips and best practices for keeping homes and communities safe.
Square One Insurance: Their impressive “Home and personal safety resource centre” provides tips on how to protect your family and home
Car Care: The entire website is a resource center. Run by the non-profit Car Care Council it is probably the best example of all. It features a combination of content ranging from articles to guides to schedules and even how-to videos.What Goes into a Resource Center?
The ideal content for a resource center is useful information. In many cases, the content will need to be developed by an expert. This isn’t a place to dump $3 outsourced SEO articles. This is where you provide real information that someone could find useful.
Start with a wireframe – the chúng tôi Example looks like this:
“Car Care Resources” focuses on
Car Care Guide
Vehicle Systems Overview
Do It Yourself
Car Care Tips
Car Tips and Videos
“Car Care Service Schedules” focuses on
Custom Service Schedule
General Service Schedule
“Car Care Videos” focuses on
How To Videos
Note: If this were a retail site, there might be an opportunity to mix in product videos, but keep in mind this is a resource center – not a sales center. The less “retail” the center is, the better the chance of attracting links from high trust / high authority websites.
“Go Green” focuses on
Steps to a “Greener” Car
The Aftermarket Green Story
What’s new in Green for Cars
Additional Articles in Green
National Car Care Month in April
Fall Car Care Month in October
“Industry Toolbox” focuses on
An aggregation of Press Releases republished on the website
This wireframe example could be modified to fit almost any business. Developing the wireframe is a fluid process. You may find that you need to modify it as you drill down for specific content ideas.Drilling Down for Content Ideas
Look for content with a proven track record. Content that has demonstrated the ability to attract links from multiple sources. The fastest way to find that kind of content is through the use of a content discovery tool like BuzzSumo or ahrefs’ Content Explorer, as shown below:
When you find content that has several linking domains and good organic traffic, you have a winner. What constitutes “several” and “good” will vary by campaign – there is no set standard. Once you do your research, it should become apparent.Finding an Audience
One might think that promoting content on social media is a good way to acquire links. According to a 2023 study by Moz & BuzzSumo, there is “NO overall correlation of shares and links, implying people share and link for different reasons.” Email outreach is still the best method for acquiring relevant and powerful links.
The first step for an email outreach campaign is to develop a list of targeted pages where you would like your link to appear.
Start your list building by mining the links pointing to the original content. The top three backlink tools are the Moz Open Site Explorer, Majestic Site Explorer and ahrefs Site Explorer. One can debate which is “best”, but any of the three will work.
Follow up by mining competitor backlinks, using a tool like the Moz Link Competition tool or ahref’s Link Intersect
Keep in mind that Google only shows a small sample of links – less than you will find with 3rd party tools. That said, the quality of the links disclosed by Google is likely to be good.
Finally, use Advanced Search Operators to find resource pages on authority sites. Two of the best searches for resource discovery are:
“keyword” site:.org intitle:”resources” -inurl:pdf -inurl:ppt -inurl:doc
“keyword” site:.org intitle:”links” -inurl:pdf -inurl:ppt -inurl:docEmail Outreach
The approach to email outreach is what separates the pros from the amateurs. If you want to succeed, the best email template to follow is none. There is no cookie cutter email template that will work for every link request. To improve your chances of getting a link from email outreach:
Prove that you are a human and not a robot – Don’t fall into the pattern of writing an email that emulates every spam link request that you have ever seen.
Read and understand the website: Is there a real possibility of getting a link? If not, move on.
Use a real email account: Not Gmail or another freebie to establish credibility
Subject line: Some websites require a specific subject line when requesting a link. Follow the instructions. Otherwise, personalize the subject line
Start your email by using the site owner’s name
Be specific with your request. Don’t make the webmaster think.
Explain why you are contacting them
Provide the URL that you would like to have a link from
Give a compelling reason to link to your page
For example: Check every resource page that you would like to have a link on for broken links. The compelling reason could be to fix a broken link on a page by using your resource as a replacement
Provide the URL that you would like a link to
In short – show the webmaster that you have invested some time in understanding their website as an incentive for them to invest time and consideration for linking to your site.Is it Worth the Effort?
Creating a good resource center, then performing outreach takes a lot of work. One positive is that you can launch a resource center as a work in progress. This form of content marketing is truly perpetual. Is it worth the effort? Once again, let’s take a look at CarCare.org:
This is what Google is referring to when they preach the gospel of “publish good content to get links.” These are the kinds of links that will stand the test of time. Even without the SEO benefit, these links are great to have as they can potentially drive massive amounts of highly relevant traffic to your website.
You're reading Building Links That Boost Your Serp Rankings
Thought you had to send millions of emails to build links?
My agency has never used mass emails to build links.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about my own site or our client ones.
Because it’s not the best way to use your time and resources.
In fact, this approach died a few years ago.
“Huh. Okay. But if that’s true – why are marketers still using this method?”
It could be because the Google SERPs are flooded with posts that share outdated link building approaches, such as the mass email outreach approach.
But the truth is, this strategy is completely the wrong way to build links, especially if you don’t want to be branded a spammer in your industry.
With this way of doing things, you’re going to build proper, long-lasting relationships with businesses that help you get to the top of Google search results.Why Sending Millions of Outreach Emails Doesn’t Work
I won’t lie to you – email outreach can work for some marketers.
But I want to show you why it’s just not worth the risk.
First, imagine this scenario:
It’s another Monday morning and you open your mailbox to take a look at the most recent outreach email that you got.
Urgh. Another one from the same company.
Do you want to reply to it or would you rather mark it as spam?
I’m guessing the latter (and possibly set it on fire).
You aren’t alone with your frustration.
Recent research by Brian Dean found that the average response rate is below 9% for these types of emails.
While some of our friends were lucky enough to reach a response rate of 16% by using a more personalized approach, the efficiency of this strategy is questionable.
The low response rate is definitely a problem for me and tons of other marketers, but what all eyes are on are the reputational risks.
This is among the biggest reasons why I don’t think it’s worth it.
Send a few emails and you could get a reputation for being a spammer. And once you’ve got that rep, it’s hard to recover from it.
As the great Warren Buffet said, “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
But why are emails ignored or labeled as spam?
Here are some reasons:Emails Are Sent to the Wrong People
The reason behind their silence is simply because they’re not interested in link buildingYour Emails Are Generic
It stands out a mile that this is a generic email that was sent over to hundreds or even thousands of recipients.
Basically, they know that you don’t care so why should they bother too?Email Messages Are Missing a Unique Value Proposition
The majority of outreach emails are asking for a link to their post since it’s sharing something valuable.
But let’s be honest: There are tons of similar posts that are super in-depth.
So what makes your post so special?How to Stop Wasting Your Time & Start Building Links
Even though we haven’t been involved in sending mass outreach emails, we’ve struggled to acquire links from time to time.
And we know better than most others that in link building there are no silver bullets and magic how-to’s that will guarantee thousands of links.
In fact, I should warn you that link building requires a lot of resources and time.
With the right strategy, though, it’s totally doable.
A winning link building campaign involves the following steps.Step 1: Link Prospecting That Is Focused on Finding Companies That Have the Same Goals as You (e.g., They’re Also Actively Building Links)
Lots of companies want to build links just like you do.
Because they’re in the same position as you, they’ll be more open to doing favors for other brands like yours.
There are a few approaches that will help you find those who are also working hard on improving their SEO performance, and who understand the value of links.
One of the easiest ways is to check the Google SERPs.
Everything starts with keyword research but, in our case, we need to focus on keywords that have a decent level of competition, as well as the number of monthly searches.
Also, we don’t need to have a lengthy list of keywords – around 20 search queries will suffice.
I use SEMrush to find keywords as it allows me to filter out those search queries that have the highest competition and the biggest search volume.
In the screenshot below, you can see the most competitive and popular keywords related to content marketing:
So now we have a list of keywords and it’s time to move to the Google SERPs.
What we need to do is download a list of sites that are currently appearing in the top 100 results.
To make things happen, you could either use the SEOquake plugin or the SEMrush tool.
Personally, I prefer to use the SEOquake plugin as it’s free and has a pretty straightforward interface.
If you decide to go with SEOquake, don’t forget to adjust your search settings to get all the results on one page:
After this, simply switch on SEOquake and export the list of sites that are appearing by a keyword that you searched for.
Once you’ve exported all the relevant URLs, you need to separate those who are actively building links.
To get this information, I recommend using the Ahrefs Batch Analysis tool, which allows you to analyze up to 200 pages at once.
The most important metrics to use are the number of referring domains and the site’s domain rating (DR).
To spot those who are currently investing heavily in building links, you can use Excel’s custom sort function where you’re asking to show pages that have the lowest site’s DR and the highest number of referring domains.
By using such sorting you’ll be able to see the sites that are currently working hard on building links.
For instance, in the screenshot below you can see the list of pages that have built a solid number of links back to them:
Then, do the same search and analysis for the rest of the keywords that you selected.
Finally, you need to double-check all uncovered URLs to ensure that they’re really building links right now.
The easiest way to do this is to check the Ahrefs graph that shows the growth trend of referring domains back to pages that you uncovered through SERPs analysis.
For instance, if an URL that you’re looking at shows a graph like this, then they’re investing heavily in link building:
Once you’ve got a list of sites that are looking for links, it’s time to make an initial connection with them.Step 2: Connecting With Potential Link Building Partners
Since you don’t have tons of sites that you want to connect with, it definitely does make sense to use a personalized approach rather than sending generic mass emails when establishing link partners.
Because link building is in many ways relationship building.
Therefore, a personalized touch helps a lot.
Moreover, as we saw earlier, sending generic mass emails can get you labeled as a spammer.
What I recommend doing here is using LinkedIn as an ice-breaker.
You can switch to email eventually, but it’s good to make that first connection via LinkedIn.
When you send your initial message, make sure to let them know why you want to connect with them on LinkedIn.
You could, for example, say that you’ve noticed they’ve been working hard on acquiring links back to their site and that you thought there might be some synergy between your respective companies.
Make sure to introduce yourself first, but get to the point as quickly as possible.
Keep your messages friendly, personable but concise. Be direct with what you want because honesty really is the best policy.
After connecting on LinkedIn, you can switch to an email communication where you need to tell them what kind of benefits partnering up with you would bring them.Step 3: Giving Them a Good Reason to Partner up With You
Finally, it’s time to give them a big fat reason to work with you.
What do they get from linking back to your content?
Will they receive links from you back to their content?
Will you deliver awesome content that they can put in front of their audience?
In my experience, the best value proposition is giving them links in exchange for them giving you links.
In other words, reciprocal links.
No one (not even Google) has explicitly said that building links back to your partners on some other sites is something that could harm your SEO visibility.
An easy way to return links back to your partners is by writing guest posts.
With a guest post, you can create relevant and useful content that both of you can share.
This means you both gain more traffic and increased exposure to wider audiences.
However, if you don’t think it’s a good idea then there’s still a way to sort this out by joining some industry groups and keeping your eye open to link building opportunities that are popping up here and there.
And, in that case, you’ll simply be sharing those opportunities with your partners.
If you’re within a B2B niche, the right place to find such opportunities will be by becoming a part of the B2B bloggers boost group on Facebook.Conclusion
So, mass email outreach doesn’t often work if you want to build links.
Or, at least, it can easily put your reputation at risk.
But as we’ve seen, there is a different approach that is friendlier, more personable and way more powerful at developing links and relationships with other businesses.
All screenshots taken by author, March 2023
Link building isn’t right for every single business.
It feels a little weird to say it, especially as someone who has practiced link building for nearly 20 years and wrote an entire book on it!
But it’s true.
More specifically, link building may not be the best investment for a business when it comes to digital marketing spend.
After all, our job is to grow businesses and measure that growth in sales and revenue. If we’re not sure if link building (or any activity) can do that, then we at least owe it to clients to be honest and have a conversation about it.
Putting this to one side, sometimes it may be clear that link building can contribute toward sales and revenue, but another activity presents a bigger opportunity right now. Again, we owe it to clients to talk about this even if your agency or field of expertise isn’t aligned with the opportunity.
There are some very good reasons why link building may not be right for your business. Today, we’ll explore a few of those reasons and ensure that you’re looking for opportunities to drive growth everywhere – not just via link building.1. Blockers in Internal Politics, Bureaucracy, and Signoff
With most forms of link building, you’re likely to need approval from various people within an organization before you can proceed.
This is particularly true if you’re doing content-led link building and launching campaigns, or using digital PR tactics such as reacting to changing news cycles and reaching out to journalists on their behalf.
Here are just a few of the internal blockers that can get in the way of you getting things done.Communications and PR
They often hold (and want to keep hold of) relationships with key publications and journalists, leading them to put together a list of them who you can’t contact.
This limits your ability to get results. And in extreme cases, it could leave you with very few relevant publications to target.Design, UX, and Copywriters
These can be different teams but I’ve put them together because if you are producing any content at all, they are very likely to take an interest in it.
Each may want to have the ability to sign off (or not sign off) whatever you produce.Legal and Compliance
In some industries, there will be a high bar when it comes to what the organization is able to publish. This is most likely to happen in highly regulated industries such as finance and insurance that have external industry bodies keeping an eye on them.
It can also happen in the healthcare and medical space, where the consequences of inaccurate or misleading content can be real and severe.Technical and Development
If you are producing content, you’ll need to upload it to your client’s website at some point.
If this is a simple execution such as a blog post, it will probably be pretty straightforward.
However, if you’re looking to upload something more complex such as an interactive infographic, a tool, or a large report, you’re likely to need help from a developer at some point. This isn’t likely to completely stop you from getting things done, but it could slow things down.How Internal Blockers Threaten Link Building Success
There are more, but this gives you a good overview of some of the most common blockers to getting your job done as a link builder.
That’s not to say that things are impossible, but the combination of multiple of these blockers could lead to:
Big delays in getting campaigns live and links built, leading to frustration and more importantly, a delay in results being achieved and wasted budget.
Campaigns that change so much that the original message, story, or core point is diluted or lost completely.
Significantly reduced outreach targets, leading to KPIs being much harder to achieve and less realistic.
If an organization has these kinds of blockers, the consequences above become very real. This could well mean that content-led link building isn’t right for them until these blockers are removed.
The last thing you or your client want is for these kinds of blockers to stop results from coming in.
It may well be that the organization can benefit from link building, but the chances of being able to get momentum and build links quickly are low and mean they shouldn’t make the investment right now.2. Little or No Buy-in for Link Building at the Executive Level
This is a tricky one but I’ve seen it happen a few times over the years. The thing with this one is that you can still sell a link building project to a client but you’re basically delaying what may be inevitable – you being fired.
When an organization first starts talking to you about an SEO project and this possibly involves link building, one of the first things to clarify is how they will be measuring success.
Your main point of contact probably has an answer for this which may be one or more of the following:
Quality of links.
Quantity of links.
This is a good starting point, especially if they are talking about real business outcomes such as measuring activity in sales and revenue.
However, you need to dig deeper than this and get an understanding of how the wider organization views SEO and link building and its value to the business.
Beyond this, you need to understand exactly how SEO and link building is measured and how far and wide it is reported.
Having objectives and KPIs in place around links, traffic, sales, and revenue is all well and good. But when it comes to reporting, who sees those reports?
Is it just your current point of contact, or do their bosses take a look, too?
The key thing you’re looking for here is evidence that the wider organization is invested in your activity. If they are, then you’ll see signs that involve senior management being involved in things such as:
The pitch and onboarding process.
Signing off on budgets.
Setting objectives and KPIs.
Asking you tough questions about your process and measurement.
While these can make your life difficult during the sales process, it’s a good sign because it can indicate that your activity will be taken seriously. It’s a valuable part of the wider strategy.
If you don’t see signs like these, yes, it may make your short-term life easier — but it’s almost certainly going to pose problems further down the line.
These problems can occur when the organization starts to struggle and activities are looked at more closely.
Typically, senior executives will begin looking at activities and where the budget is being spent and start to make decisions on whether to continue with them or not.
If this happens, do you want to be in a position where you’re starting from scratch in convincing a senior executive that your activity is valuable to the organization?
I wouldn’t – I’ve been there!
I’d much rather be on the front foot and have this conversation knowing that the executive is already aware of the value of the work I’m doing and needs some help to show that it’s worth continuing.
Bringing this back to the core point, if senior management are not remotely bought into (or interested in becoming bought into) your activity, then it may well be a sign that the activity isn’t right for them.
It can also make it much harder to get things done.
Ideally, you want understanding and buy-in from other departments and leaders so they can help remove blockers.
Again, it can be hard to act on this kind of information during the sales process because you can sell a project with the full knowledge of these potential issues. It’s only further down the line that things may go wrong.
But at the very least, you should probe into these areas to learn more and understand what may go wrong later.
Ultimately, if an organization is at the point where senior management does not understand or value link building, then it may not be right for them to invest in it.
Education is needed and this education may well come via real projects that you deliver, but you should be aware of this from the start of a project and treat it as a trial of your services.3. The Website That You’re Working on Is Technically Flawed
Another scenario I’ve been presented with over the years is where link building has been outlined as a requirement, but the technical aspects of the website in scope are under par.
In situations like this, links will simply not be as effective as they could be. Whilst you may see a greater uplift later when technical issues are resolved, you’re not going to see the value from your work in the short- to medium-term.
Years ago, building enough links would paper over technical SEO cracks or content that wasn’t good enough. Now, these fundamentals are table stakes and will be required just to get you into the game.
If you don’t have them, links alone are unlikely to save you.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you need to only work on websites that are 100% technically perfect (is there even such a thing?).
It does mean that you and your client can’t turn a blind eye to technical and on-page SEO issues. These must be owned by someone, whether that’s you as part of your scope of work or an internal team.
If there are serious technical issues with a website and no one is owning them getting fixed, then link building may not be right for the business. They are likely to see more value from getting this technical debt fixed and prioritizing that.
Both technical SEO and link building can happen at once, but try to avoid entering into link building if technical SEO is being ignored.
Leading on from this, avoid making predictions on what objectives you can achieve without knowing who is in control of technical and on-page SEO.
Link building can move the needle a lot but if technical SEO is an issue, you shouldn’t be held to targets where such a big part of the puzzle isn’t in your control.
Either you need to look at technical SEO too, or you need to be confident that it is being looked at and prioritized elsewhere.4. Your Link Building Activity Won’t Make a Dent in Their Link Profile
Finally, this one is a little bit less common but is worth mentioning.
Sometimes, you’ll get a large brand coming to you who is either well known in your country or well known around the world.
You may ask yourself – why do they need link building?
Most domains, no matter how big the brand, can benefit from link building. But if a domain is getting a large number of links naturally just because of who they are (think: Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, etc.) then will you be able to build links that will make a difference to them?
Every time Apple releases a new product, they get links. Not just that, they get links directly to their product pages and homepage, exactly where you want them to go.
In cases like this, content-led link building (and other techniques) are not likely to move the needle for Apple.
If this is what they’re asking you for, then link building isn’t right for them.
The focus here would need to shift toward scalable techniques and enabling them to own SEO and link building internally and integrating it across departments.
Essentially, it needs to become part of work that is already being delivered so that more value is generated from it.
I’ve said no to working with a few very large, multinational brands over the last couple of years because of this. They almost certainly could have benefitted from link building, but being who they were meant that they generated a lot of links anyway, so our approach needed to change.
Unfortunately, this change wasn’t possible so we had to let them know we couldn’t pitch for their project.In Summary
Saying no to working with someone is hard, and you’re not always in the position to be able to do this.
But it’s a reality that more agencies need to recognize because you’re only setting yourself up for failure later on if you ignore the signs of link building not being right for a business.
During times when a big focus is on ensuring that your team has the environment to thrive and succeed, we need to put as much emphasis as possible on setting them up to win rather than failure.
So don’t always assume that link building is right for everyone. Look for the signs that it may not be. Do what you can to overcome them early, to keep them from becoming issues later on.
A huge part of the link building process is outreach.
This is the step where you approach other websites and see if they will link to you.
They may link to you for a range of reasons such as you’ve created a great piece of content or you’ve told them about a broken link and have a new resource to replace it.
The thing is, when many of us think about link building, our default mindset usually goes toward proactively building links using outreach techniques.
We tend to think of link building as something that we do, not something that just happens.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and of course, many of us spend a lot of time adding value to businesses by proactively building links via techniques such as content marketing, digital PR, or broken link building.
For many businesses, this is a good use of budget and helps to improve organic traffic faster than they may otherwise get.
The thing is, you shouldn’t need to ask for every single link that a website gets.
Proactive outreach and campaigns are important, but to make link building drive the absolute best return on investment possible, focus on how a website can be link-worthy naturally.
A link-worthy website gets links you didn’t ask for and even if you stop doing outreach, you’ll still get links.
Sounds pretty good, right?
For most of us, it takes work to make a website link-worthy enough to generate links at a good scale and over a long period of time.
For others, it’s not so hard.
For example, when Apple launches a new iPhone, pretty much every technology publication on the internet will link to it!
The same can be said for other huge brands such as Samsung or Amazon.
The sheer brand awareness that they have, often combined with truly unique and innovative products, means they don’t need to worry about getting links.
The same can’t be said for the majority of other websites online which, across the UK and US, are made up of over 90% small businesses.
For many of us, we need to put a lot more effort into making a website link-worthy.
Let’s look at a few ways that you can do this.The Role That Brand Building Plays In Link Building
While brand teams and above-the-line campaigns often sit in teams away from SEO, it’s important to understand the role that brand building plays in link building.
If you are working with a brand that is reasonably well known, either within your industry or generally, then you are in a much better position to generate links without asking.
A strong element of brand awareness and affiliation can add credibility to your link-building campaigns.
Brand awareness can also mean that writers, bloggers, and journalists naturally seek out your content, data, information, and opinions when writing stories which can lead to links too.
Smaller, less-known businesses are not as likely to have this happen and as a link builder, you probably need to work a lot harder to get links.
This is an important distinction to understand because depending on the type of business you work with, your link-building approach and strategy may be different.
For well-known brands, you may be able to generate links you didn’t ask for simply by adding linkable assets to the website or providing PR teams with content assets.
These assets may then generate links naturally without any direct outreach.
For lesser-known brands, you may need to put more work into content that ranks well for research-led keywords and try to establish them as an authority in their niche.How To Create Content That Ranks Well And Is Linked To Naturally
One of the key ways that a piece of content can generate links naturally over time is to rank well in search results.
By doing this, more people will find the content and in some cases, people who find it will link to it from their own content.
This works particularly well if you create content that can rank for keywords that indicate that someone is doing research for something.
Some of the people who carry out this kind of research will be writers, bloggers, and journalists who are looking for information for their own articles.
If they find your content and reference it, they are likely to link to it too.
For example, if a journalist is writing a story about dogs, they may want to include some information about dog names.
If they Google [dog name statistics], this article from Rover ranks well and is updated regularly with new trends and content.
If this article didn’t rank well and wasn’t regularly updated each year with new trends, then it wouldn’t get anywhere near as many links as it does.
You can also look for opportunities to optimize this type of content for keywords that may indicate that someone is looking for data, trends, or statistics.
You can use basic on-page SEO to optimize for keywords including:
[topic] statistics 2023.
Latest [topic] trends.
Anyone searching for these kinds of keywords may not only visit your content but also reference and link to it if they write an article or blog post on the topic.How To Build Linkable Assets Into Link Building Campaigns
One of the classic challenges with link-building campaigns is when you get lots of coverage but no links.
Someone may write about the campaign and mention the brand and campaign, but for some reason, they didn’t include a link to your campaign.
Some publications have no link policies but putting that to one side, you should spend time with each campaign thinking about how you can increase the likelihood of someone linking to you.
One of the best ways is to think about what makes your campaign link-worthy and to carve out time during the production process to create assets that may encourage someone to link to your campaign.
A strong, relevant story may be enough for a journalist to cover it and mention your brand, but to encourage a link, you may need something else such as:
Unique imagery that adds or illustrates the story, allowing you to ask for a credit link for the image.
A profile page on your website for someone from your company who has been quoted in the story.The Importance Of Building Relationships Within Your Industry
Building relationships is an often overlooked part of link building.
We tend to think of building a relationship at the point at which we need a link from someone, not before this point and not maintaining it afterward.
It really pays off to use an approach where you genuinely try to build relationships with key industry contacts outside of your campaigns.
For example, sending them random feedback, tips, or information that they may find useful for their stories that have nothing to do with the brand that you work on.
This is not only useful for them, but it shows that you want to help them outside of times when you’d like something in return – this is what strong relationships are all about.
Bringing this back to link building, having strong relationships with key contacts in your industry can mean that you get links naturally because they are already aware of your brand and the content that you produce.
If they come across your content themselves, they may pay more attention to it and cover it, even if you haven’t explicitly been told about it yet.
Another possibility is that they search for content to link to which you may have produced in the past. If it’s still useful and relevant, they may be more likely to link to it because of their existing relationship with you.
To wrap up, it’s perfectly possible to generate links that you didn’t ask for.
It does take some thought and planning, particularly if you aren’t a well-known brand and don’t have the natural credibility that this can bring.
But even if you’re not a well-known brand, you should put some of your time and resources into some of the activities above that may start to move you in the right direction of generating links that you haven’t asked for.
Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock
But how do you reach your target audience, especially with your uniquely competitive search results and strict industry regulations for legal businesses?
When it comes to serving legal information to users, Google holds websites like yours to a higher standard of quality and accuracy – there are many considerations to take when creating online content.
As a business that targets clients during some of the most stressful situations of their lives, how do you reach them while they’re actively searching for answers?
How do you create the helpful, informative content they’re looking for without violating the latest search engine policies?
How to succeed in highly competitive search results with content.
How to create a content marketing strategy when people have high-stakes questions.
How to build high-quality content assets.Legal Content Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
Creating exciting and engaging content for fields in a more serious line of work can be challenging – but it doesn’t have to be.
There are some simple steps you can take to improve your law firm’s content strategy and inspire potential clients to reach out.
It’s time for marketers to reinvent the way they look at creating content for a “boring” niche.
Want to learn how to think outside the box and produce compelling messaging that will resonate with your target audience?
This guide has everything you need to know about taking complex legal material and making it more engaging for potential clients.Local SEO For Law Firms
When marketing for law firms, it’s important to get in front of the right users in the right stage of their journey – and that requires a hyper-targeted approach.
Local SEO tactics can be very effective in narrowing down competitive search results for users.
If you want to rank higher on Google, you’ll want to show up in the most relevant results, targeting local searchers.
This ebook will show you how to optimize your law firm’s website and business listings to rank better for local SEO.
Want to learn more about content marketing for legal businesses?
Download your copy and discover how an effective content strategy can make all the difference for your firm!
SEO is complex, to say the least.
So, when tools come along that make the art of search engine optimization a little easier, we stand up and take notice.
Why? Because social sharing sites fuel one of the most important elements of SEO: links.
Take, for example, Pinterest.
Pinterest, one of about 130 sites we’re going to tell you about, are important for SEO.
But don’t be fooled.
Search engines are looking to these sites for more than link signals.
Start by taking a look at the 130 of our favorites we’ve gathered below.My Top 24 Social Sites 1. Twitter
Twitter is huge.
While it might not be the first site that pops into your mind for submitting content, it has a large audience and is an efficient platform for posting.
Many people use it to post links, content, and images that they find interesting and worthy of a revisit in the future.2. Pinterest
In its lifetime, more than 50 billion pins have appeared on Pinterest.3. Mix
In June 2023, the popular discovery platform StumbleUpon became Mix.
Mix lets you experience the internet as curated by machine learning, editors, or publishers.
You can also tag content that you liked, in particular, to share with others.4. Slack
Slack is a group messaging program that provides users with customizable channels in which chats can occur.
You can also create private groups, and have direct messaging.
In 2023, Slack had 12 million Slack groups.5. Delicious
Delicious is a great booking marking site when you’re looking to build up maximum traction on your content.6. Pocket
Appropriately named, when you put something in your Pocket, it’s there to be found later.
Users of Pocket can hold onto anything they find on the internet or through various apps.
Bonus points for the fact that once something’s in your Pocket, you don’t need an internet connection to access it.7. Digg
Got great content?
Then it belongs to Digg.8. Folkd
The more saves a piece gets, the higher it’s rank in their social search, which helps connect their visitors with even more quality content.9. Reddit
What can’t be found on Reddit?
Reddit is a great tool when you’re looking to quickly promote your own content.10. Fark
One of Fark‘s best attributes is their commitment to quality.
As a social networking news site, Fark receives mountains of submissions on a daily basis but presents only the best to their audience.
This site isn’t for wimpy, weak content.
But, if you’re ready to showcase your talent and drive traffic to your own site, Fark is the way to go.11. BizSugar 12. Slashdot
Users of Slashdot submit and share content on gaming, cloud computing, computer hardware, security management, and more.13. We Heart It
The site is nice to look at, easy to use, and inspirational – especially for anyone who loves great imagery.14. Scoop.It
This site, aimed toward professionals, offers solutions for content creation, content curation, predictive analysis, and content intelligence.
Scoop.It offers two different platforms – a free version for individuals and a paid version for businesses.15. Trendiee
For people who loved Newsvine, and were disheartened when it shut down, Trendiee offers a similar platform that’s super easy to use.
Their goal is to connect people with trending news, and it’s one that they accomplish beautifully.16. Diigo
Educators, students, researchers, and anyone with an inquisitive mind love the features that make keeping track of their resources and sharing them easy.
Diigo is perfect for content that’s focused on statistics, analytics, or research of any industry.17. BibSonomy
Granted, not many businesses publish scientific material as part of their marketing strategy.18. Instagram
Instagram is for photo, video, and live video sharing.
In the 2010s, it was the fourth most downloaded mobile app.
One billion people use Instagram monthly, and 500 million use Instagram Stories daily.
On average, Instagram users spend 28 minutes on the platform daily in 2023.19. Pearltrees
There’s a simplicity to Pearltrees that makes it a favorite among users who love to create collections of their favorite things.
Pearltrees offers functionality and a platform that makes it easy to share and gather new content.20. DZone
Each day, thousands of developers come to the site to learn, share, and read about the latest technologies and trends in the world of software development.21. Medium
Typically used to share personal, original stories, Larry Kim has shown just how successful Medium can be for repurposing content.22. SlideShare
While some claim SlideShare is on its way out if you’ve created an amazing keynote or PowerPoint presentation, you’re going to want to repurpose that on SlideShare.23. Quora
Not only a great research tool for Q&A content brainstorming, but Quora is a question-and-answer based site filled with a wide range of topics to discuss and follow.24. Facebook Groups
A Facebook Group is a closed or open community within Facebook where users can post content ranging from links to events and questions.
As of 2023, 1.4 billion people used Facebook Groups, and there were over 10 million groups on Facebook.69 More for Good Measure
A few of these you’ll be familiar with because they’re already insanely popular, but there’s also plenty of lesser-known sites on the list.25. Facebook
Facebook is arguably the most popular social network in the world.26. Flipboard
Flipboard curates the world’s stories you can focus on investing in yourself, stay informed, and get involved.27. Feedly
Feedly is the most popular RSS blog reader with more than 15 million users and acts as a news aggregator for various web browsers and mobile devices.28. Pinboard 29. Instapaper
Instapaper is touted as the simplest way to save and store articles for reading offline, on-the-go, anytime, anywhere.30. Kirtsy
Kirtsy, initially a content aggregator, now allows users to submit slideshows focused on art, design, products, pins, photos, and projects.31. LinkaGoGo
LinkaGoGo has been around since 2001.32. LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a 500 million+ member social network designed to build and engage with your professional network.33. Disqus 34. Listly
Listly helps bloggers and publishers engage readers by viral top 10 lists created by the community.35. Tumblr
Tumblr, the popular “microblogging” network, allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.36. Crazybacklink 37. Dotnetkicks
Dotnetkicks is a community-based news site edited by the community who specializes in .NET development techniques, technologies, and tools.38. Emolinks 39. TikTok
TikTok is a video sharing service in which users share videos that are 3 to 60 seconds long.
The app is credited largely with the success of many celebrities whose reach extends beyond the app and into the mainstream.
As of publishing, TikTok boasts 800 million users.40. PiPiNews 41. Sitejot 42. Skybacklinks
Skybacklinks is an online service that enables users to store, share, and add links across the web.43. SocialBookmarkNow 44. SocioPost 45. TechDirt
TechDirt is an online newsblog that allows users to post their own stories.46. Tracky
Tracky is a social collaboration and project management tool that allows anyone to socialize projects and store all of your digital “stuff.”47. Zypid 48. MetaFilter 49. AixinDashi 50. Steemit
This is a blogging and social media website that gifts users with its cryptocurrency, STEEM, for publishing and curating content.51. Bookmarkfeeds 52. BookmarkMaps 53. Leavemark
Leavemark launched in 2023 is an ad-free data storage and social media app that lets you save videos and photos and share them later.
The app features a time and space capsule option that allows information to be released in increments of 2 weeks, 2 months, 10 years, or when the recipient is within proximity of a given place.
There is also direct messaging, a newsfeed, and a family tree feature that allows you to preserve information for future family members.54. Fabric
Fabric is like VH1’s Pop Up Video but in real life (IRL).55. Vero
Vero is a social media app designed to compete with the one-two punch of Facebook and Instagram.
Instead, users select who gets to see their posts, and posts appear chronologically.
You can share suggestions for music, books, films, and more.
You can also shop within the app for any recommendations that you found particularly striking.56. Caffeine
Caffeine is a platform that streams live content that you can interact with including gaming, sports, and music.57. Twitch
Twitch is a video streaming service owned by Amazon.
The platform focuses primarily on live video game streaming, but also includes e-sport competitions, music broadcasts, and other forms of creative content.
As of February 2023, 3.8 million streamers had broadcasted on Twitch.58. Houseparty
Houseparty is a group video chatting app that runs on mobile and desktop devices.
Users get updated when their friends are online and available to chat.
There are 20 million Houseparty users, as of publishing.60. Facecast
This is a global video community that people use to share a short video, live broadcasts, and chat roulette style video chats.61. Masterminds
Mastermind is a social media platform for coordinating goal-oriented video chats with like-minded individuals.
The aim is to benefit from each other’s shared experience, encouragement, comradery, and accountability.62. Triller
Triller is a social media video app in which you film yourself lip-syncing, dancing, or both.
Triller’s editing algorithm then goes to work to edit your video for you based on audio and facial analyses.63. WhatsApp
WhatsApp is an encrypted messaging service that allows you to send text and audio messages, make video and phone calls, share media, and send each other locations.
WhatsApp currently has 2 billion users worldwide.64. Tagged
Tagged is a social discovery platform that lets you browse the profiles of any members and share tags and virtual gifts.65. Wattpad
Wattpad is a platform that services user-generated stories.
As of 2023, Watpad has 400 million stories and over 65 million users who spend over 15 billion minutes on the app each month.66. Badoo
Badoo is a social networking website meant to facilitate friendship, romantic relationships, or just brief conversations.
You can search based on who’s nearby, a more specific geographic search, a Tinder type feature where you swipe left or right, and you have the option of video chatting as well.
Users are verified by uploading a photo of themselves in a specific pose that’s then verified by a moderator. People can also request selfies to confirm an identity.
Since launching in 2006, Badoo has had 435 million members.67. Bubbly
Bubbly is an app that allows users to record voice blogs upwards of 90 seconds in length to subscribe to the voice blogs of others.
Currently, you can apply voice filters, effects, and background music to the posts.68. Cellufun 69. Classmates 70. CollegeHumor
CollegeHumor is an internet comedy company that, in addition to creating original content, allows for user-submitted videos, pictures, articles, and links.71. Discord
Discord is an instant messaging software that allows you to communicate via text, image, video, and voice.
As of July 2023, Discord had over 250 million users.72. GIPHY
In July of 2023, Giphy reported that it had 200 million daily users on both its app and website and around 250 million monthly active users on their site.73. Imgur
Imgur is an image sharing community and image host.
Many popular viral images and memes are hosted by Imgur.74. LINE
Line is a messaging service that lets users community using smartphones, tablet devices, and PCs.
Text, images, video, audio, and free VoIP calls and video conferences are all available.
Line also has a digital wallet called Line Pay, a news stream called Line Today, a video-on-demand service known as Line TV and two digital comic services known as Line Manga and Line Webtoon.
As of October 2023, 217 million people use Line.75. LINE PLAY
Line Play is an app wherein you create a cutified avatar that serves as your alter ego.
You can then interact with other users, keep a diary, create a room for your avatar, and share your creation with your friends.
Currently, more than 70 million people use Line Play.76. LiveJournal
LiveJournal is a social networking platform where people keep diaries. LiveJournal’s highest recorded number of users is 2.5 million.77. MeetMe
MeetMe is a mix between a social media platform and a dating app.
Meetme works by verifying and populating your profile with data from Facebook.
You’re then shown users nearby who you have the opportunity to chat with and even arrange an in-person meeting.
In 2023, MeetMe reported that it had 100 million users.78. MocoSpace
Inspired by Myspace, MocoSpace is a mobile social network that includes games, chat, instant messaging, eCars, and photos.
In 2008, MocoSpace reported that it has 2 million registered users and 1 billion monthly page views.79. Myspace
Between 2005 and 2008, Myspace was the biggest social networking platform in the world, catering to over 100 million users per month.
As of 2023, MySpace had 15 million monthly visitors.80. Open Diary
Open Diary is an online diary community similar to LiveJournal and Xanga.81. Skype
Skype is a popular video chat software that lets users community via audio, video, or text.
You can also send images, videos, files, and more.
There’s a group chat feature as well. In March of 2023, it was reported that Skype was used by 100 million people monthly, and 40 million people daily.82. Telegram
Telegram is a chat app available for both desktop and mobile users.
The mobile version features encryption.
You can also send photos, videos, stickers, audios, and files.
As of April 2023, Telegram has reached over 400 million monthly active users.83. Tribe
Tribe is a social messaging app.
You can record and send messages to your friends just by holding your finger on their photo and then releasing it.
You can also create groups to send videos to several recipients at once.
Once the video is tapped and viewed, it disappears.84. Viber
Viber is a software that allows for VoIP and instant messaging-based communications.
Users are verified by their cell phone. The app can also be used on desktops.
Viber gives users the opportunity to trade images, videos, and access to a paid international dedicated video and phone service called Viber Out.
As of 2023, Viber recorded having over a billion users.85. Vimeo
Vimeo is a video hosting platform.
Vimeo is ad-free and instead derives its income by providing hosting plans to content producers and tools for video creation, editing, etc.
Vimeo also helps professionals connect with one another.86. We Heart It
We Heart It is an image-based social network.
Users can collect or “heart” their favorite images, share images with friends, and organize images into collections.
As of 2023, We Heart It had over 40 million members.87. Dropmark
Dropmark is a collaborative sharing tool.
You collect files, drag them into your browser to upload, and then share that collection with a group or individual of your choosing.88. Droplr
Droplr allows you to take your screenshots or screen recordings, upload them to the cloud, and then share them with anyone.89. CloudApp
CloudApp allows you to share screenshots or screen recordings.
Using its Instant Video feature, users can broadcast screen recordings instantaneously.90. AixinDashi
AixinDashi is a social network used to promote content submitted by members.91. Patreon
Patreon is an American membership-based platform that provides creators with the means to maintain subscription-based content.
Creators include video makers, podcasters, artists, writers, adult content creators, and more.
As of January 2023, there were 3 million patrons supporting 100,000 creators on Patreon.92. OnlyFans
OnlyFan is a content subscription service akin to Pateron that is particularly popular in the adult entertainment industry as well as fitness experts.
Creators receive funding based on subscriptions, tips, and pay-per-view events.
As of May 2023, OnlyFan had around 450,000 content creators and 30 million registered users.93. Substack
Substack is a platform that allows creators to have paid email newsletters.
Substack provides a content management system to create email newsletters, a way of collecting payments using Stripe, and a website that can provide free or paid-for content.Don’t Forget the Music/Audio Social Sites 94. Datpiff
DatPiff is an online distribution platform focusing on hip-hop, rap, and R&B.
Basically, DatPiff is the modern-day equivalent of the sort of mixtapes or mix CDs fledgling artists would distribute with the hopes of having their music exposed to a larger audience.95. Last.FM
Last.FM is a social media platform that follows the listening habits of users to create custom playlists.
Last.FM can gather data from popular music streaming apps, internet radio stations, or the user’s own desktop or mobile devices.96. SoundCloud
SoundCloud is an audio distribution and music sharing platform.
The platform would go on to have over 175 million monthly users worldwide.
It has launched the careers of many professional and wildly successful musicians.97. ReverbNation
ReverbNation is a website where musicians, producers, and venues collaborate and communicate.98. Bandcamp
Bandcamp is an audio distribution platform.
Artists and labels upload their content to bandcamp, and then set how it’s sold, for how much, in what format, and can sell merch or physical media as well.Plus, 20 Even More Niche Social Sharing Sites 99. Dribble
If you like to explore with graphic and visual design, or you have someone on your team that does, Dribble is a great spot to get some SEO backlink action.100. Meetup
Meetup uses online groups to coordinate in-person meetings based on people’s shared interests.
In 2023, Meetup had 35 million users.101. Weed Life
Weed Life is a social network built for cannabis enthusiasts.102. Nextdoor
Nextdoor is a social media platform that allows you to connect with people in your neighborhood.
You have to submit your real name and address (your street name without your unit number).
It’s currently available in 11 countries.
Only other members of your neighborhood can see your posts.
As of 2023, Nextdoor has 236,000 neighborhood and 27 million active monthly users.103. DeviantArt
DeviantArt is an online community where people share artwork, videos, and photography.
As of 2023, the site had over 26 million members and 251 million submissions.
Art can be browsed by categories such as type, operating system customization utilities, skins for applications, and more.
Users also have the option of creating groups based on suggestions, surveys, polls, blogs, and discussions.105. CouchSurfing
CouchSurfing is a social networking platform that allows users to coordinate lodging, meetings, or join and create events.106. RunKeeper
Runkeeper is a fitness-tracking app that uses GPS to map your workouts.
Some activities include walking, running, and cycling.
As of July 2023, Runkeeper has over 50 million users. You can share your workouts with others and the Runkeeper community as well.107. Care2
Care2 is a social media platform that connects people based on the activist causes that they’re passionate about.
Care2 currently has over 56 million users, 2,750 nonprofit partners, has created nearly 450,000 petitions, and has accrued over 1 billion signatures.108. eToro
eToro is a social trading platform and multi-asset brokerage company that offers financial and copy trading services.
Users are able to follow, view, and even recreate the practices of top traders on the platform.
As of June 2023, eToro has roughly 10 million users.109. Gaia Online
Gaia Online is an anime-themed social network and forum based platform.110. Italki
Italki is a platform that connects language learners to teachers using video chat.
Teachers earn money as freelance tutors.111. Ravelry
Ravelry is a social networking service for people who are interested in knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, and other similar activities.
Users share projects, ideas, and their collections of yarns, fiber, and tools.
As of March 2023, Ravelry had almost 9 million registered users and roughly 1 million monthly active users.112. The Dots
The Dots is a social networking program for creative professionals (writers, illustrators, videographers, etc.).
Members get to network, connect, collaborate, and be inspired by the individuals, teams, and brands that themselves have profiles.113. Ello
Ello is a social networking platform that allows people to showcase art, photography, fashion, and web culture.
It also gives users the option to offer services and collaborations.114. Funny or Die
Funny or Die is a comedy video platform where celebrities and users alike submit their content.
Although overwhelmed with user-submitted content, Funny or Die still offers users the opportunity to submit their own content.115. MyHeritage
MyHeritage is a platform that allows users to create family trees, upload and browse photos, and search through over 9 billion historical records.116. Viadeo
Viadeo is a professional social networking platform that connects business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers.117. Yelp
Yelp is a crowdsourced review based website that provides ratings for businesses.
It is also partnered with a reservation service called Yelp Reservations.
As of June 2023, Yelp states that it has over 192 million reviews.118. Letterboxd
Letterboxd is a social networking service that focuses on sharing reviews and adoration for film.
Users can keep a diary to track their opinions, films watched, and make lists. Users can also interact with one another.Last But Not Least, 12 International Social Sharing Sites 119. FilmAffinity
Registered users can rate, find, and create lists of movies.
In the Spanish version of the site, it’s possible to write reviews.
In Spain, which is the platform’s country of origin, there are 3 million unique users.120. Kuaishou
Kuaishou is a Chinese video-sharing app.
It’s known as “Snack” video in China, and “Kwai” in other markets.
Kuaishou is used to create short videos that capture the everyday experiences of its users.
As of 2023, 200 million active users can be found on Kuaishou daily.121. Mixi
Mixi is a Japanese social networking service.
Its focus is on connecting with others based on shared interests.
Registration is confirmed using a valid Japanese cell phone number.122. Qzone
Qzone is a social networking platform centered in China.
It lets users keep blogs, send photos, listen to music, and watch videos.
As of July 2023, it has roughly 517 million monthly active users.123. Sina Weibo
Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging site akin to Tumblr. Users can upload videos and pictures for instant or extended sharing.
There’s also an instant messaging service.
In 2023, the platform reported it had over 290 million registered users.124. Skyrock
Skyrock is a French-based social networking platform that allows users to create blogs, profiles, and instant messages with other registered members.125. Tencent QQ
Tencent QQ, known as QQ, is an instant messaging program and web portal in China.
It provides online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, movies, and group and voice chat.126. VK
VK is a Russian social networking platform. VK facilitates both private and public messaging, groups, public pages, and events.
With VK, you can also share and tag images, audio, and video. There are browser-based games as well.
As of August 2023, CK had 500 million accounts.127. WeChat
WeChat is a Chinese developed platform that allows for messaging, social media, and mobile payment.
In China, the app has been called the “app for everything”. As of 2023, WeChat had roughly 1 billion active users.128. XING
Xing is a Hamburg-based social networking site for professionals primarily focused on the German-speaking market.
As of April 2023, Xing reported that it reached 16 million members.129. YY
YY is a Chinese based video social network with its very own virtual currency.
The currency is paid to people who create content ranging from karaoke videos to tutorials. The currency can later be exchanged for real money.
The platform also streams concerts, fashion, and sporting events. Users can chat as well. As of November 2023, YY had 157.8 million monthly active users.130. Douban
Douban is a Chinese social networking platform that allows users to document information and create content about movies, books, TV, activities in China, and more.
Douban has 60 million registered users and 150 million unregistered visitors.
Registered users get recommendations and add them to other social networking options; unregistered users get reviews and ratings of media.Start Driving Traffic with These Social Sharing Sites
We’ve taken a peek into the digital universe, and what we’ve discovered is that it’s immense.
Each business is one of the millions hoping to succeed online.
Digital marketing is a comprehensive strategy for success, but only if you know which tools will help you get there.
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