Backlink Gap Analysis Tool screenshot from SEMrush

Gavin Hirst - Wednesday 21st November 2018


3 actionable tips for getting backlinks that you can implement today

We all know that writing content that attracts links is one of the most difficult tasks an SEO faces. Not only are people sceptical of linking to sites they don’t have a previous relationship with, you’re also competing with lots of other sites for those valuable links.

There are some tactics you can deploy that will certainly help you when it comes to getting more links. These are not quick fixes. Link acquisition, however you do it, takes time.

With the right tools, time spent researching and some high quality outreach, you can get links back to your site from relevant, high quality domains that will help to drive more clicks to your content and improve your domain authority.

Let’s take a look at how.

Tip #1 – Create a post that links out to other great resources

If you are based in a sector where there are plenty of other people writing about similar topics (who are not in direct competition), consider curating a post which showcases some of the other amazing resources out there.

This is a win-win situation.

You are not only providing your own readers will links to some awesome resources, but you are also forming relationships with other people who are writing about similar topics who are much more likely to link back to your content.

Take the travel sector as a prime example. There are so many travel bloggers out there that if you are a company based in the travel and tourism sector (hotels, car rentals, activities provider etc) it makes absolute sense to curate a post that showcases some of these awesome bloggers.

Link outreach is about more than just writing a post and emailing these bloggers though. It’s about creating relationships that benefit both parties. Make sure you are following them on their social platforms, engage with their posts and really pay attention to what they are writing about.

Blog Post Example for building backlinks

If like us, you are based in New Zealand, pulling together a post of the ’13 Best Travel Bloggers in New Zealand (and why you need to follow them)’ is a great way of creating 13 potential backlink opportunities.

It will take time. You need to build the relationship, make sure you engage with them and obviously give them a great write up on your own blog. I have had a lot of success with this tactic and it’s something you can easily start working on today.

Tip #2 – Link Intersect

This is a term I came across in a blog by Neil Patel and you can find more link building tactics in his excellent blog. Whilst I don’t typically call this link intersect, I have been carrying out this tactic for some years with great success.

The basic premise is that you find out where your major competitors are getting links and you identify those sites that could potentially link to you as well (or preferably instead of your competitors if you have something better to offer).

I typically use SEMrush’s Backlink Gap Analysis Tool to identify where competitors are getting their links from and identify the top sites by domain authority.

Backlink Gap Analysis Tool screenshot from SEMrush

Here you can see that we can include up to four competitors and our own site and see where opportunities exist on pages where our competitors are linked. If you sort by ‘Matches’ you will see how many of the competitor sites you added are linked on a page – the more sites that are linked to, the more likely it is that you will be able to outreach and get a link back to your own site.

If you use Ahrefs, Neil Patel highlighted an awesome functionality called ‘Link Intersect’. This offers the same functionality as SEMrush and is great for identifying pages that contain lists of companies within your sector where you don’t appear.

Once you drill down and start looking at the individual pages that are linking out, you will often find opportunities to outreach, giving some solid reasons why your site should be included on the list.

Tip #3 – Mentions to Links

Another tactic I have been using for some time now is turning brand mentions into links. It’s amazing how many times brands get mentioned online without that mention including a link back to the website.

The thing is, in most cases, it actually makes for a better user experience to include a link back to the brand’s website. If you are mentioning a brand in your news article or blog, the chances are, you want your readers to know about that company. Instead of your readers having to go to Google to search for that brand, adding a link is a much better UX.

Google Alerts Screenshot

I have been using Google Alerts to monitor brand mentions for years. It’s always been good practice to see who is talking about the brands I manage, but in more recent times, it has become super useful for acquiring valuable backlinks. Since we started using SEMrush, I have also set up Brand Mention alerts for all our clients so we’re covering all the bases.

In Neil Patel’s post, he gives a good example of how you can use Buzzsumo to do the same job.

I have found that it’s best to get in touch as soon as the email alert comes through. This is usually just after a post or news item has been published and gives you the best chance of getting a link added to your brand mention.

When you email, talk about the benefits to the end user of being able to click directly through to find out more about a brand from the news article and post. I have seen a lot of success with this tactic and it’s another one you can start working on immediately.

Summary

These are three of my own personal top tips for acquiring backlinks. The best thing about these tactics is that they don’t necessarily rely on creating amazing content. Great content always helps but in the case of Link Intersect and Mentions to Links, these tactics can work with existing content rather than creating fresh content.

All three of these tactics are ones you can get to work on immediately and ones that I have seen a lot of success with.

Good luck!

This blog was first posted as a guest post on Heroic Search on 22 November 2018.

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