5 Tested Link Building Strategies That Actually Work

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Link Building Strategies

You’re doing link building at scale, but you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. What are good link building strategies to adopt?

Let’s assume that you’ve tried the standard broken link building. You have a brand that is smaller, so unlinked mentions isn’t really a thing.  You’re in a super competitive industry, so you have had very little success with the skyscraper technique.

You’re struggling to find something worthwhile and to do at scale.

What do we suggest in regards to link building strategies? Here are five tested strategies we’ve found to work well.

1. Revisit the skyscraper technique

You may have written this technique off because of very little success. But, the skyscraper technique works.

The process is simple.

1. Find an outdated piece of content. (Identify weaknesses)
2. Find everyone who is linking to the outdated piece of content. (Determine if the quality and quantity of referring domains is high enough to pursue)
3. Create a more up to date and valuable piece of content. (Emphasis on valuable)
4. Ask everyone linking to the old content to link to the new content. (Using a template)
5. And, message everyone in the new content that they been mentioned. (Again, using another template)

When the skyscraper technique works, it turns into one of our best SEO case studies. I’m continually amazed at the results that a well executed skyscraper campaign is able to do for a newly launched site.

Here’s more information about the skyscraper technique from our friends at Ahrefs.

2. Reverse engineer competitors

Link building is a challenge because when done well, it’s not a repeatable process.

Instead, link building that works is customized. The best way to customize a link building strategy is by reverse engineering competitors.

If I had one hour or one hundred backlink builders to direct, I would direct that time towards analyzing backlink profiles of leaders in the industry.

Why? Because each analysis leads to an uncommon insight on how others have built links – which you can sometimes replicate. It’s like taking the “best of” and putting your own spin on it.

A couple things to look for when reverse engineering competitor backlink profiles include:

  • High value, niche directories (there are not many of these)
  • Repeatable Patterns (which uncover new strategies for your company)
  • Successful Content (content that has gotten backlinks, which you can incorporate in your content strategy)
  • Anything That Stands Out (sorted by domain rating. The higher the domain rating, the closer we’ll analyze each opportunity)

Our agency uses Ahrefs to do backlink profile analysis. But, there are several other tools you can utilize as well.

The bottom line is that if you have a team (or a free hour) at your disposal, reverse engineer backlink profiles daily to take the ‘best of’ and apply it to your site.

3. Develop a free tool

The best link building strategies are hard to replicate. Link builders are generally looking for the low hanging fruit. The higher the barrier to entry to secure a backlink, the more secure your strategy is from competitors.

Developing a free, valuable tool is a link building strategy at the top of food chain. It’s time intensive and costly. Because of that, developing a free tool is also risky. But, when executed well, free tools can be a very hard to replicate strategy.

For example, our SEO audit page offers a free tool with the question, “What’s Your SEO Score?” Marketers are able to input their website, get a PDF with their score and several recommendations on how to improve. It’s valuable, and link worthy.

If you are focused on healthcare, maybe it’s a tool around “What’s Your HIPAA Compliance Score?” Or if you’re in recruiting, maybe it’s a free analysis of a resume.

It doesn’t always have to be software. Just needs to be valuable, and free so people are willing to share.

If you have a team of developers, consider developing a free tool that is made available on the web.

4. Guest Posts

Yep, guest posts still work. Just be cognizant of what makes a quality backlink.

5. Brand 

We believe the future of SEO is going to be in “linkless mentions.”

Essentially, the link building game is going to eventually come to a slow, grinding halt. It will be replaced, or at least supplemented with a measurement on where and how often is your company name mentioned online.

The reason? Links can be manipulated. Brand is much harder to manipulate.

Brand is how Google will eventually sort out the cesspool of click bait content, toxic backlinks, and internet garbage. By focusing on linkless mentions, there can be a reduction of reliance on “links” in an algorithm.

With that said, we believe that the more you build your brand today, the better you’re going to be positioned for SEO in the future.  Some of that will be around social media presence, but the majority of brand development will be in the space you occupy in consumer minds – and as a byproduct, the internet.


These link building strategies should be a good start to gradually diversify your SEO efforts.

Try again on the skyscraper. Reverse engineer everything. Develop a free tool. Guest post. Build brand.

You should see some good results.

Markitors is a digital marketing company specializing in SEO for a handful of industries. Google “digital marketing company” and you should see Markitors on the first page of search results nationwide. Contact us to learn more about how we work with small businesses and small teams.

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