Link Building Strategies: What About Link Exchanges?
SEO link building is time-consuming, expensive, and the results might not come quickly (which could be demotivating). But if you want your website to rank higher, it’s something you need to learn.
In order to choose and execute the right one for your website, we’re going to reveal white hat link-building strategies that attract and build quality backlinks.
Link Building Outreach
Want to build quality backlinks faster and in a scalable way? You’ll need to outreach to websites that might be interested in linking back to you. There are a few different approaches to consider, depending on your industry, website content, and resources.
This is an “ancient” link-building strategy, and a very popular one (for good reason). Every website needs content that’s fresh, relevant to its audience, and SEO optimized.
Find websites related to your industry and produce a high-quality article that includes a relevant link pointing to your site. Pitch the piece to a few selected prospects. Once someone agrees to publish it, let the other prospects know you can produce similar posts for them (consider letting them pick a topic, too).
Consider the specifics of your prospect’s blogs. Some of them may have an author excerpt, so provide one! Not only will it make a good impression, but it also leaves space for future collaborations and referrals.
Once the collaboration is a ‘go’ and the content is published, be sure that your prospects publish do-follow links on their websites.
If you have a product or service that’s suitable to offer to other websites/blogs, why not get a backlink and product review article, too? These exchanges are great for promoting your brand to the right audience, as well as the link juice you’ll receive from the link. The travel industry, for example, provides endless opportunities for collaborations with bloggers.
With this approach, you offer a do-follow link in exchange for the same. It’s a great strategy if you’re on a budget and can’t produce a guest post (or offer a free product/service). The challenging part is the prospecting and finding the right spots for the links.
Think of websites that are appropriate for your niche. Ensure both have relevant content so that link placements look natural to search engines and readers alike.
Link Exchange Tips:
- Avoid exchanging links with suspicious websites – check their DR ( general best practice is >30 ) and their outbound/inbound link ratio. Check whether they link to high-risk niche websites such as casinos, CBD, related.
- Exchange links with websites that are topically related to yours.
- Exchange links indirectly – use a variety of pages, not just one on your side and one on the side of your partnering website.
Content Link Building
You’re probably aware that content marketing is crucial for your website to rank in Google. Take it to the next level and start attracting organic quality backlinks to your content.
Provide Unique Valuable Information
If you have unique or industry expert knowledge, become a source and share it on your website. Content writers doing research on related topics can benefit from your work and link back to your site when they publish their blog posts.
Create Outstanding Visual Content
Everyone loves visual content. It’s clickable, shareable, and people spend more time on pages with impressive design. No matter if it’s an infographic, slideshow, video, or just some illustrative graphics breaking up the text in your article ― put in the extra effort and watch qualified domains link back to you!
SEO Links in Podcast Transcripts
Podcast link building is very similar to guest blogging but instead of pitching an article, you outreach to podcasts and ask if they’d like you as a guest. If you have knowledge to share, this can be a great opportunity to build links.
Most podcasts have transcripts where they include do-follow links to their guests’ websites (and even social media accounts).
Unlinked Brand Mentions
If your brand isn’t new and you’ve built some great content over the years (or have done some digital PR at some point), chances are that your brand was mentioned but wasn’t linked to your website. Claiming do-follow links is something you can easily check and outreach.
Set Up Аlerts
If you have many unlinked brand mentions, you might want to make the process easier. A few tools can set up alerts that notify you each time your brand is mentioned without a link.
Google Alerts, for example, is free and easy to use. Simply include your brand name in the field, click on the advanced options below, and set it up as you wish. You’ll start getting notifications via email.
Reclaim Broken Backlinks
Broken backlinks are inevitable. Your site probably has 404 errors for old pages, or someone mistyped the URL when linking to your website. Whatever the reason, reclaim broken backlinks by reaching out to these websites and offering new, fresh content for replacement. Sometimes, you can simply point out the mistyped URL. A site owner will almost always be happy to improve their content.
Mirror Your Competitors’ Backlink Profiles
Discover which websites are linking to your competitors (but not to you) by using Link Intersect by Ahrefs. The chances of them accepting your offer are higher because they’ve already worked with sites in that specific niche. There’s no reason not to find those missed opportunities.
“Steal” Your Competitors’ Quality Backlinks
Crawling your competitors’ backlink profiles can create a great opportunity to steal some of their links. This is especially true if they have old domains with thousands of links – some might be broken or outdated.
Broken Link Building
Look at your competitors’ broken backlinks, export them, and prospect the qualified domains. If you have content that can replace a broken link, outreach to the website and suggest the replacement. In most cases, they’ll publish your link to improve their website’s user experience.
If you don’t have any SEO tools paid subscriptions, try the free Dead Link Checker tool to crawl a whole website (or specific pages) with just a click.
This is similar to the broken backlinks stealing strategy, but in this case, you need to look at the quality of your competitors’ links that have been published on other websites. If those links are outdated – or you have better content that can add more value and use to readers – reach out to those websites and suggest a replacement.
How to Nail the Right Link Building Approach
Choosing the right link building approach isn’t always easy. In fact, for some industries, it’s a real struggle. More often than not, you’ll find yourself trying one approach or another, mixing and matching different tactics until you figure out what works well for your website.
Still, if you invest more time in planning, researching, and testing out different ideas, you’ll find your way to success.
Start with the Lowest Hanging Fruit
If you haven’t done any link building by now, start with the easiest approaches: Crawl your website for broken backlinks, then do the same with your competitors’ sites. In most cases, these strategies will get results quickly.
These two tactics may not be a good fit for you if your website is new, your niche is too specific, or your competitors’ backlinks are bad-quality. In such cases, consider how websites from your industry build their backlinks.
Research successful websites from your niche – even if they’re not your competitors. If you have a similar audience and buyer personas, your backlink opportunities should be similar.
Allocate Adequate Resources
Deciding how much effort and resources you’re willing to dedicate to link building plays a big role in your strategy. Remember though: some approaches cost more than others. If you’re on a budget, consider how to successfully execute a link exchange strategy (or take advantage of your strong brand identity) with unlinked brand mentions.
Most link-building approaches, however, are heavily reliant on your website’s quality and quantity of content. If you’re lacking this right now, think about the product/service exchange approach.
Learn How to Audit Your Website’s Backlinks
While you’re focused on acquiring high-quality backlinks for your website, don’t forget to check for spammy links as well. Over time, websites often get low-quality links that can hurt performance and even result in a manual penalty. It is definitely worth your time to audit and clean up your link portfolio. Watch this video on how to do a link audit for your website: