We all know that link building is hard. It takes time, effort and patience to get good quality links. So any minor tweaks or improvements to your process and the tools you use can have a big effect on your hit rate. Below I’ll talk about five small tips and tricks to help with your link building which will not take loads of time to execute and put into your existing process.
1. Broken link building – with a twist
There have been lots of broken link building posts written in the past so I’m not going to rehash all of that content. But there is a small Chrome plugin which I want to make more people aware of called Check my Links which makes broken link building so much easier. It sits in the background and you can get it to quickly check for broken links on any given page which it then highlights in red: So the standard approach is to approach the site in question and tell them they have broken links on their site, whilst nicely asking them to link to your awesome site too. But don’t let it stop there, when you find a broken link to a given page, go and run that page through Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO to find who else is linking to that broken page. Here is an example process for this, starting with the search query: Which led me to this resources page which had a few broken links on it: Let’s take the first one and run it through Open Site Explorer: Seven linking root domains to this page that we can now reach out to, this was just the first link we found!
2. BuzzStream RSS Feed button
If you’re not using BuzzStream, you should be. It improves link building efficiency massively. This is a neat little feature I’ve used very recently to filter out blogs which haven’t been updated for a while and therefore are probably not worth the effort reaching out to. Firstly, you need to configure columns on your BuzzStream interface to show the RSS button: This will add an additional column to your screen which will look something like this: One when you click on this, you will get a quick view of what their latest RSS feed looks like. Look at the dates and see if any new posts have been added recently. If nothing new has been added for a long time, such as the example below, then I’d probably take the site off my outreach list: This small step which takes about ten seconds will end up saving you a lot of time and also improve your link building conversion rate – making you a more efficient link builder.
3. Don’t ask for a link – ask for feedback
This one has worked very well for me on several client campaigns recently. It is focused around the content based link building process which I talked about a few weeks ago. The idea being that you get input from bloggers before you’ve even started creating your content. This has several benefits:
- The feedback can help shape your content and it is feedback from the very people you want a link from
- You don’t even need to use the word link in your email, so you’re asking for their expert opinion rather than a link – which is a much better way to start the relationship
Once you’ve got this feedback, you can integrate this feedback into your content creation and go back to the bloggers and show them what you have done. I’ve even gone as far as sending bloggers early designs and mockups and getting their feedback as the piece of content has evolved.Even if you’re working on a interactive piece of content, you can take a screenshot and explain how it works. This makes the blogger feel involved and that their contribution really matters – which it does. Again, this is a great way to start off the relationship and will make you stand out from the crowd.
4. Make photos freely available and use for link building
This is another tactic I used for a client recently and achieved the best link building conversion rate I’ve ever had. The idea is to make unique photos (which you own the rights to) freely available to users and other websites. You can even hire good photographers to take high quality photos for you. A few ways you can use photographers:
- Send them to industry events and conferences
- Take high quality photos of your products
- Take bloggers on event days and take photos
The end goal is to have a bunch of photos which can be used by other websites. You can then use Google Image reverse search to find when your photos have been used by another website. Once you’ve found them, check the page for a link to your website and if it isn’t there, reach out to the blog and ask them to credit you for the photo. When I was doing this for a client, I didn’t use the word link at all. Many bloggers are used to giving credit for the photos they use so it is pretty normal for them to link out.
5. Setup Google Alerts for guest posts in your niche
This is a passive link building technique which can unearth some nice easy win links for you. Go to Google Alerts and setup a bunch of advanced search queries such as the following: If you use Gmail, you can go a step further and setup a filter which puts these into a separate folder. This means you can just go check the folder when you’re ready to do some outreach. This stops the alerts clogging up your inbox and being too disruptive to your day. That’s about it! Hopefully these small tips will help you build more links, I’d love to hear your own tips and small hacks to improve link building so feel free to leave a comment below.