In this blog post, I’m going to show you 19 link building techniques that will help you land tons of new high-quality backlinks so you can increase your rankings and traffic. In fact, I’ve used these exact techniques you’re about to learn to grow organic search traffic by 93%, 100%, and even 254%.
I’m Nathan Gotch the founder of Gotch SEO, which is where entrepreneurs come to learn how to get more free traffic from search engines. And today, I’m going to show you my go-to link building techniques that will help you land amazing backlinks in any niche.
Any make sure you watch until the end because we’ll be sharing some proven outreach templates you can swipe and use for yourself. Let’s jump in. (energetic instrumental music) So the first thing that you need to do is focus on trying to grow your website authority without getting any new backlinks.
Now, I know that this may sound counterintuitive, but there are many actions you can take to grow your website’s authority without needing any more backlinks. But before I show you what methods you can use, you need to first understand why we’re even putting in the effort to acquire backlinks in the first place.
So the main objectives of acquiring backlinks are to A, increase your individual keyword rankings, B, increase your organic search traffic, and C, to increase your overall website authority. And one other perk of acquiring quality backlinks is it can help you get relevant qualified referral traffic.
But point C, which is growing your overall website authority is the most important objective of link building in my opinion. Because when your website is more authoritative, it becomes easier to rank. That means you won’t need as many backlinks to rank.
And you can see proof of this when a website like Forbes, publishes a new article and ranks on the second or first page Google, without any backlinks at all. This is the power of website authority. And since you don’t need as many backlinks to rank, you will actually reduce your overall SEO cost overtime, because link building is one of the most capital and time-intensive parts of an SEO campaign.
So with that said, I want to show you some techniques you can use, to grow your website’s authority without needing any new backlinks. So the first method is to fix redirect chains. A redirect chain occurs when a redirect is redirecting to a redirect.
And the problem with this is that page B is acting as a buffer between page A and the final destination which is page C. This technical issue is robbing page C of its potential authority. So to fix this, you need to 301 redirect page A to page C.
And by fixing a redirect chain, you’ll send authority and link equity directly to the page that you want. And this is far more effective than making the link equity pass through a buffer. Now here’s how you can find redirect chains using Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
Open up Screaming Frog. Enter your domain and start the analysis. Then click on “Reports” in the navigation, and select “Redirect & Canonical Chains”. The second method to grow your website authority is to fix 302 redirects.
Now there is some debate on whether or not PageRank passes through 302 redirects. And for many years, SEO’s including myself have always stated that you should change 302’s to 301’s. This is still my stance.
However, here’s what Gary whose last name I won’t try to pronounce recently said, “30x redirects don’t lose PageRank anymore”. Now is Gary telling the truth? Probably, but I still don’t think it’s worth the risk.
Because out of the 100’s of SEO’s audits, my team and I have conducted. I’ve only seen a few websites using 302’s for their actual purpose, which is a temporary redirect. That means that in most cases, 302’s are nothing more than accidental.
So with that said, it’s my personal preference to change 302’s to 301’s if they aren’t being used for the actual purpose. Now to find 302 redirects, just open up Screaming Frog and click on the “Response Codes” tab.
Click on the “Filter Dropdown”. And select “Redirection 3XX”. The third method you should use to grow your website authority is to leverage pages that have existing authority. This is particularly effective when you publish a new page you want to rank in google.
That’s because these internal links will send equity to the new page. Which will give it a nice authority boost out of the gate. So here’s the process, I personally use. Open up Ahrefs. Enter your domain.
And click on “Best Buy links” under pages. Then start going down the list adding internal links to these pages where it makes sense. I also recommend tracking what anchor text you used and the day you added the internal link.
That way you can backtrack and quantify your actions. As far as anchor text, you should mainly use exact match or partial match for your internal links. And I also recommend auditing your existing internal link anchor text, because many websites do not use internal links effectively.
And my personal favourite way to audit internal anchors, to no surprise is to use Screaming Frog SEO Spider. All you need to do is click on “End links” at the bottom and you’ll be able to see all the internal linking information including the firn URLs and anchor text.
Go through and optimize these for better performance. Once again, track your changes. The fourth method to grow your website authority is to reclaim lost link equity by fixing 404 errors. You can either use Google search console or Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find 404 errors.
For Google search console, just go to the crawl section, click on “Crawl Errors” and select “Not found”. To find 404’s in Screaming Frog, just click on “Response Codes”.
Click the “Filter” dropdown and select “Climb Error 4XX”. Then what you need to do is copy all of the 404 errors, open up Ahrefs. Click “More” in the navigation. Click “Batch Analysis”.
Enter your URL’s and start the analysis. If you find 404 pages with existing backlinks, you should 301 redirect them to a relevant page on your site or the home page if a relevant page doesn’t exist.
The fifth method for growing your website authority is to consolidate similar pages. One of the biggest SEO content mistakes is creating multiple assets around very similar keyword phrases. This is what leads to keyword cannibalization and generally makes your SEO campaign harder than it needs to be.
And that’s when the Cake Technique comes into play. In short, the cake technique is the process of consolidating similar content assets into a single mother asset. Going through this process has a wide array of benefits.
Such as number 1, Increased word count. Consolidating assets will naturally increase your word count. Which is often correlated to better rankings in Google. Number two, deeper content. Spreading your knowledge across multiple posts usually produces thin content.
Consolidating assets will produce the opposite effect. Number three, it eliminates keyword cannibalization issues. Keyword cannibalization which is when two or more pages target very similar keywords.
Forces Google to choose, which one is best. So instead of taking a risk, you can just consolidate these assets to eliminate that possibility. Number four, it consolidates authority. You’ll be 301 redirecting your other assets, which means your mother asset will inherit all existing backlinks.
That will turn your mother asset into an authoritative powerhouse. Number five, it makes content promotion much easier. It’s easier to acquire backlinks to and to promote a single content asset. Plus people are more likely to link to a super valuable and in-depth resource than a fin content asset.
So here are the steps to execute in the Cake Technique. First, identify content assets that are targeting the same or closely related keywords. Second, decide what content asset is going to be your “Mother” asset.
Third, map out how you’re going to combine these content assets into a single piece of content. Fourth, consolidate the content. Fifth, 301 redirect the supporting assets to your “Mother” asset.
And sixth, annotate your actions in Google Analytics to measure the performance of your new asset. And I’ve personally used this exact technique with many clients, and even on Gotch SEO. When I consolidated a few different assets around the topic of backlinks.
I had individual blog posts on What is a High-Quality Backlink. How to Build Tier One Backlinks. How to Build Tier Two Backlinks. How to Build Tier Three Backlinks. And even how to earn backlinks. This is borderline keyword cannibalization, so I decided to consolidate them into a single asset which is now my backlinks guide.
As a result, Gotch SEO floats around number 1 for the term backlinks. And we’ve grown this pages organic search traffic by almost 300% since 2016. And now the final method I want to show you is to build an effective site architecture.
Developing an intelligent site architecture is the single best way to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to link building. And my personal favourite architecture strategy is to use a Reverse Silo.
Instead of trying to acquire backlinks to non-linkable pages, such as homepage, category pages, product pages etc. The Reverse Silo is built to acquire backlinks to content-rich pages. Now, these may be blog posts or individual information-driven pages.
This is a more effective approach to link acquisition because people are much more willing to link to a valuable piece of information than a sales-driven page. With that said, the ultimate goal of the Reverse Silo is to distribute link authority page rank from your content assets to your sales-driven pages via internal linking.
And I believe this content-centric approach is the safest way to grow your website authority. So now that you know what to do to grow your website’s authority, let me show you my favourite method for acquiring backlinks, which is to create linkable assets.
I use this simple three-step approach for creating these assets. Number one, I find linkable asset ideas from competitors. Number two, I create something better than what currently exists. Number three, I promote the linkable asset.
Let’s start with step one. So the first question is what is a Linkable Asset? A Linkable Asset is designed to attract backlinks. And the truth is some pages are simply not link-worthy. And some examples include home pages, category pages, and product pages.
Now sure, with some creativity it’s possible to attract links to these types of pages. But in most cases, you’ll need to create linkable assets if you really want to accelerate your SEO performance.
Ensured a linkable asset adds massive value to your industry. It helps you earn backlinks in the long run. So how do you actually create a linkable asset? I’m going to walk you through how I would create a linkable asset for a local business because I believe this concept can be most confusing for local situations.
So let’s pretend I’m working on a local SEO campaign for a St. Louis financial planner. And their primary objective is to rank for St. Louis financial planner. So the first step of this process is to create the absolute best page targeting the keyword phrase St.
Louis financial planner. In most cases, I would likely use their homepage, unless they have locations outside of the state. And after that page is developed. I would then begin the process of creating a linkable asset.
Now the trick to accomplishing this on the local level is to establish the idea, that the company is an authority in their niche. And from that perspective, we can create content that adds value to the financial planning industry on both the local and national level.
So my go-to approach is to analyze competitors and see what’s already worked. That way you don’t even have to reinvent the wheel. What you want to do is just go to Google, enter a broad phrase.
So in this case, I’ll just search for financial planning blogs. Let’s start with plannerssearch.org. Copy their URL. Open up Ahrefs and paste the URL in the site explorer. After the analysis is complete, click on “Top Pages” under organic search.
And the goal is to see what keywords have attracted the most backlinks because then we can reach out to these same sources with our linkable assets. And right away we see if there’s a page wrecking for the keyword phrase when to retire.
And the page has attracted, 12 linking root domains. Now, this is nothing super impressive. But that’s a good sign because it means there’s a lot of room for improvement. So just continue going through your competitors, and building your list of linkable asset ideas.
Then all you need to do is start creating your first linkable asset. Now the goal should be to create something totally different and 10 X better than what’s currently ranking. I recommend reading my SEO Content guide to learn more.
I’ll have a link below the video. After your linkable asset is created, it’s time to start reaching out and trying to get backlinks. Since most of the methods, I’m going to show you require outreach.
I’m now going to show you how to find email addresses and contact information. The first tool you should use is ViolaNorbert. Just enter the first and last name and the domain of the person you’re trying to reach.
In most cases, this tool will be more than enough. But if it doesn’t find the contact info you need, then I recommend using hunter.io. Which is also super straight forward. Just log in and enter the domain you’re targeting.
If you don’t find the right emails using both of these tools, you’ll need to do a manual check. Look for authors, go to the contact page, or even check the whois information. And if there isn’t a visible author on the page, you can check the source code.
Just right click on the target page and click “View Page Source” and search for the author. You should be able to find an author. Now that you know how to find emails, it’s also important to understand how to qualify and prioritize link opportunities.
You’ll need to go through this qualification process I’m about to show you, once you’ve gathered all your link opportunities. There are four qualifiers you should use for prioritizing link opportunities.
First, how much brand recognition do you have? How well known is your company or the person producing your content asset? If you’re relatively unknown, then you should focus on the lower hanging fruits.
That’s because super high-quality opportunities require more relationship development. And that takes time, and if you rush it, you could hurt your chances of scoring links from popular industry blogs in the future.
The second qualifier is relevance. You’re number one link building objective should be to get backlinks on websites that are relevant to yours. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what a formal member of Google’s search quality team Andre Weyher said back in 2010.
“Now only this but take PR for example, getting a link from a high PR page used to always be valuable. Today it’s more the relevance of the site’s theme in regards to yours, relevance is the new PR”.
Now, this quote is stating something very obvious. Your link acquisition efforts should begin with the most relevant opportunities. But there’s a problem with this approach. Getting 100% exact relevancy for every single link is unrealistic.
That’s why I developed the relevancy pyramid framework for prioritizing your link opportunities. And the idea is quite simple. There is a limited supply of 100% relevant link opportunities. However, as you broaden your research, there will be many more opportunities to go after.
So the key is to prioritize opportunities at the top of the pyramid since there the most relevant and then work your way down the pyramid towards the less relevant opportunities. All you need to do is just assign each opportunity a score of one to five.
With a score of one being the most relevant. The third qualifier is authority. The stronger the site, the better the results. And since Google doesn’t update PageRank anymore for the public, you have to rely on third-party metrics.
Now, none of these third-party tools is perfect, but they will do the job. I recommend you analyze opportunities using all available options. And those include Ahrefs, Majestic and Open Site Explorer.
Now the fourth qualifier is traffic. If you approach link acquisition intending to drive traffic to your website. It changes your entire mindset. Your goal should be to get backlinks on websites with real traffic.
Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll get loads of referral traffic, but it’s a good standard to have. And since you will never know the exact traffic data of a site without seeing their analytics, you’ll need to use SEMrush or Ahrefs.
Now, these are the four checks you can use to quickly qualify and prioritize opportunities. But if you want to take it up another notch, you can also vet opportunities based on the actual quality of their link profile and their editorial standards.
So now that you know how to find contact information and how to qualify link opportunities. Let me show you how to actually find these opportunities. So the first way to promote your linkable asset is to reach out to the websites that have linked to your competitor.
The best way to do this is to use Ahrefs. Open up Ahrefs. Click on the keyword “Explorer”. Enter your keyword and then scroll down to the competitor’s section. Then export the link opportunities and qualify and prioritize the list.
Then all you have to do is send a simple outreach email saying that you created something similar and explain the contents unique selling proposition. Just articulate why the content is important, different, or better than what they’re linking too.
I’ll have a sample outreach template in the description below the video. Then you can swipe. Just remember that the goal of this strategy isn’t to try to persuade the website to replace your competitor’s link.
The goal is to persuade them that your resource is a good supplement to the content and that it can add value to their audience. The next way to promote your linkable asset is to reach out to people you link to within the post.
All you need to do is open up you’re publishing a content asset, and then install the data miner browser plugin. After it’s installed, click it and under the public tab. There should be an option for the generic recipe, get all links.
If not, just search for it and then click “Run”. Download the CSV and delete all the unnecessary rows and then you’ll have a nice list of prospects to reach out too. Like I said, I’ll have a template in the description that you can use.
The next method is to pitch your content asset to link roundups. The key to landing links on roundups is to build a reputation for producing incredible content. That makes the process much easier. Once you’ve established that criteria.
All you need to do is the prospect for the link roundups in your industry. Just go to Google and enter link roundup plus your keyword. And I’ll share some different search strings below this video as well.
So in this case, I’ll use link roundup plus finance. Then just use the data miner browser plugin to export the Google results. And like the other methods, you’ll need to qualify the opportunities and find contact information.
I’ll have a template for reaching out to link roundup opportunities in the description. The next step that you should use to promote your linkable asset is to look for resource pages. Resource pages are great for two reasons.
First, if your resource is high quality, you can land a link pretty easily. And secondly, many resource pages are filled with broken links. Which means you can use that as leverage. So here’s what you need to do to find resource pages.
Go to Google and enter a keyword in the title’ and then resources. In this case, I’ll use finance intitle resources. I’ll give you some more search strings below this video as well. Open up each opportunity and then I highly recommend installing the check my links plugin, because this will allow you to find broken links on these pages.
And once you’ve installed the plugins, run it and see if these pages have any existing broken links. So in this case, there are no broken links. So you would just send a traditional outreach template, to get your content featured on this research page.
On the other hand, if this page had broken links, you would need to use a slightly different outreach template and I’ll have one below for you. So those are a few of the methods you can use to promote your linkable asset, but now I want to show you some of my favourite, non-content-dependent link building techniques.
The first method which is often overlooked is to fix backlinks with redirect chains. In short, you’re going to reach out to websites that have already linked to you and then ask if they can change the link to your preferred URL.
All you need to do is open Ahrefs. Enter your domain and click on “Backlinks”. And then under backlink profile, click on the “Link Type” dropdown and select “With Redirect Chain”.
Then all you need to do is reach out to these websites and ask if they can change the URL. The next method is guest posting. Which is an old school method, but it’s still super effective if you do it the right way.
The key is to place your links within the body of the content as opposed to the author bio. To find these opportunities, open up Google or any other search engines like Bing, Yahoo or Duck Duck Go. And enter some simple search strings like your niche plus write for us.
Or your niche plus guest post. You can also find where your competitors have guest posted, by searching by plus their name minus a reductive query, their website.com. After you’ve built a nice list of guest posting prospects.
You just need to qualify and prioritize them, find the contact information and then send them a pitch. I always recommend pitching three different topics and make sure you do your research to make sure the topics haven’t been written on before.
Or if they have been covered, make sure you’re bringing something new to the table. As I mentioned before, you should try to add links to your content assets within the guest post. Like I did in this @ SEMrush guest post I wrote a few years ago.
The next method is to help a reporter out or HARO which isn’t a new link acquisition tactic by any means. But it’s super effective if you have the right system in place. The key is to focus on quality over quantity.
Sending 100’s of thin responses won’t generate great results. That’s why you need to put a lot of thought into your responses and make sure you’re responding to relevant opportunities.
Here’s an example of a HARO contribution I submitted for customer think. Which has a domain rating of 78. Notice that my response isn’t long, but I did take the time to craft what I believe to be a valuable response.
The next link building strategy is relatively untapped and I call it the Merger Technique. But before I jump into the strategy, you first must understand what a merger actually is. Investopedia defines a merger as “The combining of two or more companies, generally by offering the stockholders of one company securities in the acquiring company in exchange for the surrender of their stock.
” Now from an SEO perspective, when a merger occurs, the old brand’s website will get 301 redirected to the acquiring companies website. In short, the merger technique is the process of 301 redirecting a relevant domain, with a relevant link profile, to your website.
The ultimate objective is to increase your website’s authority because the stronger website makes ranking much easier. This strategy simply imitates the process of a big brand acquiring another business.
And I came up with the name of this technique because we executed it with one of our clients who acquire data centres across the United States. So every time they acquire a new data centre, we would 301 redirect the acquire brand site, the most relevant page on their website.
So for example, if they acquired a Dallas data centre. We would redirect that website to their Dallas data centre page. And within a year, we increased their organic search traffic by 256%. Although these results are awesome, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t an isolated event.
And that’s why I implemented the same strategy, on GOTCH SEO and several other clients sites. For my site, I took an old marketing website and 301 redirected it to a landing page on my website.
That redirect pushed the target keyword, to the first page. I then did the same thing for a local website and grew its organic search traffic by 425%. If you want an example outside of my own experiences, then I highly recommend that you take a look at Neil Patel’s link profile.
He’s acquired a few different companies and merged them with neilpatel.com. This has absolutely exploded his organic search traffic. So you get it. 301 redirects work, but let’s wait for a second here.
Not all 301 redirects work. That’s why I didn’t call this 301 redirect strategy. The key is to find extremely relevant businesses to acquire. These can either be expired domains or existing businesses.
Let’s start with expired domains. You can use a tool like DomCop, Expired Domains.net or Fresh Drop to find and filter through thousands of expired domains. I have videos on my channel for all three of these tools so make sure you check those out.
Now finding expired domains is the easy part, but vetting them is where you need the most skill. This is incredibly important and not a step to take likely because you don’t want to redirect a toxic website to yours.
You want to make sure it’s of the highest quality imaginable. So here’s what you need to look for when vetting expired domains. Number one, the link profile. The domain should have high-quality links from relevant websites.
Number two, the anchor text. The domain shouldn’t have aggressive anchor text use. Meaning a high usage of keyword-rich anchor texts. The ideal situation is to find domains, that predominantly have branded anchor text.
Number three, the link stackability. Links are important, but making sure they actually stick is even more important. In general, links within the body of content, are more likely to stick, but links and footers such as those you see from web design companies or site-wide blog rollings have a low stackability potential.
Another way to ensure that your links stick, is how you go about actually redirecting the acquired website. If possible, you should try to redirect individual pages, to the most relevant page on your site.
This is far more effective than a full-on sitewide redirect to the home page. As far as to link stackability and even effectiveness. Number four, the domain usage history. Use archive.org to see how the domain has been used throughout its history.
In an ideal situation, the domain would’ve only had one owner and hasn’t been used since it’s expired. This simple process is what led me to acquire minternetmarketing.com which had many inbound marketing relevant links, such as this one from Hubspot.
Now the vetting process for an existing inactive business is nearly identical. The only difference is how you find these companies. For example, Brian Dean from backlinko just acquired John Cooper’s blog Point Blank SEO.
This is a perfect example of a proper merger because Point Blank SEO is hyper-relevant to backlinks and it has an incredible link profile. You need to dig through your industry and create a list of blogs or companies that aren’t updating their website or maybe seem to not be doing too well.
Just use simple search queries in Google-like list of topic blogs, or city niche companies. You’ll need to do a lot of manual analysis to see how active these blogs are. And one thing you can do is use the check my links plugin to see if any of the blogs are dead when you’re going through this list.
Once you’ve identified some targets and vetted their websites. All you need to do is reach out to engage their interest in the acquisition. The next link building method is a slight iteration of the merger technique and I call it the White Hat Alternative to PBNs.
PBNs are still a very popular great out link building method. But using them comes with substantial risk. That’s why I developed this technique. In short, you’re going to extract the links away from the expired domains and send them directly to your website, instead of having to build a risky PBN or even having to 301 redirect a website.
So with that said, here’s what you need to do to execute this strategy. Number one, find an expired domain with a relevant high-quality link profile. Number two, scrape its backlinks. Number three, qualify and prioritize the link opportunities.
Number four, reach out and let the linkers know they are linking to a dead resource and pitch a relevant content asset of yours that they can link to instead. Now to improve your success rate, you should suggest two to three quality resources including yours.
If you’re willing to put in more effort, you could also recreate the original content which would substantially increase your success rate. Now, this is obvious, but the content must be better than the original.
And it needs to be relevant to your website. Now if you take this route, all you need to do is reach out and let the linker know about the new revised piece of content. The next method is to leverage a list of top blogs.
I mentioned looking through a list of top blogs to find merger opportunities, but these lists are also generally great link building opportunities as well. You just need to reach out and see if you can get on this list.
It’s as simple as that. Now obviously the prerequisite you’ll need to have, is a quality blog. That means you need to be honest with yourself and compare your blog with those that are actually on that list.
If you feel that you’re producing similar or better calibre work, then you should reach out to these lists. Now to find them, you can just put your competitor into Ahrefs and click on “Backlinks”.
Then just search top blogs in the search bar. You can also prospect in Google using search strings such as top or best niche blogs. I’ll have a template you can use below this video. The next method is to land links on expert roundups.
Expert roundups are definitely overplayed at this point, but they’re still an easy way to score backlinks on relevant blogs. Now I’ve become a lot more selective about the ones I personally participate in, but if you’re just starting.
You should take every opportunity you can get to get a quality backlink. One method you can use which is something I learned from a friend and fellow SEO Garret Dane, is to reach out to expert roundups that have already been published.
This is a super-easy way to score backlinks because these types of content assets are always seeking more expert insights. Now the easiest way to find expert roundups is to run your competitor through Ahrefs, click on “Backlinks” and search expert roundup in the search bar.
You can also use Google to find more expert roundup opportunities by using simple search strings like niche plus expert roundup. The next link building technique requires your company to have a figurehead or a known expert.
That’s because you can score easy backlinks through interviews and podcasts. All you need to do is spend 30 to 60 minutes of your time to score a high-quality backlink and to get exposure for your brand.
It’s a win-win. Now you can find these opportunities using general search queries like niche plus interview width or you can find opportunities by searching for interviews that your competitors have done by doing interview plus competitor name minus their domain.
Just reach out and pitch yourself for the interview. Now one thing to keep in mind is that you can land interviews on marketing or business podcast, just by having unique result to share. The good news is you don’t have to be a guru.
For example, you can be an HVAC company with an awesome gross story and land some great backlinks from interviews. Alright guys, so I hope this helped you learn a thing or two about the various link building techniques that I used at this point and all you need to do now is just take action on what you’ve learned.
And if you got value, please like and share this content because it could help many others. Thank you so much for watching and leave a comment below if you have any questions whatsoever because I respond to every single one.