You already know link building is important to Google and your SEO strategy. But now you’re probably wondering how to start building links and what kind of links to build.
It can be overwhelming to begin a link building project. It’s common to lean on resources like Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Link Building.
But as you commence with the more common link building approaches, you may find that adding less common strategies to your link building can add to your success rate.
A goal for any link building strategy is to eventually create what we call “perpetual link opportunities.”
In other words, you want link building to continue on and on, without end and without the heavy lifting from your team.
As you start collecting links, they start multiplying organically as more and more sources catch on to your site and link to your site naturally. This approach allows you to continue working on other projects while the links do their magic in the background.
We have outlined five ways that you can think out-of-the-box to diversify your backlink profile, which will give you a strong web of links that Google can explore.
Diversify Your Links
By simultaneously and strategically building several types of links, you will have link diversity that helps future proof yourself against algorithm shifts.
Google moves the needle constantly. By expanding your link types, you’ll be better protected when Google adjusts its link scoring algorithm.
If you add many types of links at once, you won’t be struggling to create any particular type if the algorithm begins to reward one type of link over another kind.
For example, Google used to give value to the kinds of links considered as over-optimized link building. An example is directories.
SEOs used to be able to simply send their info to a web directory and get a link in return. This method quickly became abused, and Google responded by changing its algorithm to recognize this practice and devalue it.
Google could adjust its priorities at any time. If you work on many types of link projects, you’re better off than if you invest a ton of time into just a few. Diversity in your link building projects also multiplies your available link opportunities.
Be open to all link opportunities at all times. When you inspect a site for link opportunities, it’s important to have a clear understanding of any and all possible link projects.
There may be choices that you’ve overlooked or rejected that actually hold a lot of potential. For example, a site might be a poor prospect for conducting an “Add a Link” type of outreach, but it might be perfect for generating a via an article, quote, or a newsletter.
Sites that only explore one link outreach project at a time waste opportunities and set themselves back without knowing it.
By comparison, an optimized link builder is considering all possibilities all of the time. Even if you find yourself in broken link mode, examine before you toss off a site just because it doesn’t fit the broken link paradigm. Keep your eyes open for options at all times.
Think Beyond Competitor Links
It’s a common technique to analyze competitor links, but you’re limiting yourself if that’s all you consider. Add grandfather links to your strategy. This process involves searching the backlinks of the backlinks. That may sound tedious, but it’s a great way to enhance your link diversity.
It works like this: Find all competitor backlinks. Then conduct a backlink search of each of those pages that link to your competitor. Explore these links as options to consider in your link strategy, not just your competitors’ backlinks.
This method reaches out further into the web of linking and gives you access to even more links, many with even more authority than your competitors’ backlinks.
The strategy of “going sideways” for links is another option in lieu of traditional competitor backlinks. Try searching non-competitor backlinks instead.
This concept got its name from an older method of using link directories to provide a taxonomy that you move up, then go sideways to find backlinks.
For example, let’s say you’re working on a link strategy for a company specializing in wood floors. Perhaps a directory lists home improvement sites or services. Within that section are subcategories like plumbing, roofing, and window repair. You could research the backlinks of these subcategories instead of your primary target, wood flooring competitors. This method gives you a wide range of links to explore that could open new doors for your strategy.
Don’t Just Stick with Dot Coms
Dot Org sites often get pushed aside when it comes to link building. There is the risk that Dot Org links are duplicates of certain Dot Com sites, and it’s critical to pay attention to that possibility as you examine Dot Org links.
However, many Dot Org sites are legitimate and link out to high-quality resources. Examples include associations, clubs, and charities. While you may not consider Dot Orgs in your everyday link building strategy, it’s smart to challenge that and take a look at reputable Dot Org sites that can provide rich linking opportunities.
Try It All
To really get going on the diversification of your links, start combining these out-of-the-box methods.
Search for grandfather links on Dot Org prospects. Then go sideways on them.
While you may have a strategy that focuses on particular links each day, like guest articles or broken links, it’s always wise to keep your radar up for any opportunities that roll your way.
As you begin to explore and combine these methods, you’ll find following old methods aren’t enough compared to the rich expanse of opportunity waiting for you when you break out of your habits.