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Written by: mangools  blog  SEO  50+ link building techniques checklist
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50+ link building techniques checklist

Category: SEO

Get the best of link building! We decided to put together all link building techniques we could think of.  We’re starting with more than 50!

Your feedback and ideas will be highly appreciated. Let’s work together and make this ultimate checklist useful for as many people as possible.

Content:

1. Skyscraper technique

This can be applied to every content type you produce. It’s time-consuming but you’ll get quality links, targeted traffic and many business connections. The case study by Brian Dean (backlinko.com) proves more 110% increase of traffic thanks to the technique.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○1 / 5StarStarStarStar


2. Content-based link building

The hardest, yet the most efficient technique. Create content that will naturally attract readers, social shares, and referral traffic. Get inspired in SEO Academy.

Pay attention to readability. Content has to be well-structured and without grammar errors. There are many tools to help out. ShoutMeLoud made a nice list. Watch out for flow, adverbs usage, passive voice index, unique words, or estimated reading time.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○1 / 5StarStarStarStar


3. Top lists

There are many but if you have unique and relevant data it should be a success. We published one in January and it was the most visited blog post for a long time. Think about timing and prepare to dig deep into data.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


4. Produce educational content

Google SERP is full of “How to” articles. Publishers think it’s easy to educate. Well, it is but the recycled content won’t attract readers anymore. However, you can always target a specific group of people with your own opinions, unique insights, and case studies.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


5. So-called “Green content”

Yes, it’s a content but very specific and beneficial when it comes to gaining high-quality links. If it’s good enough and deals with the most up-to-date issues, environmentally-friendly organizations will share it.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


6. Thought-provoking, irritating, annoying content

This can be tricky. It can ruin your reputation when done wrong. Don’t try to abuse people, their struggles, and opinions. Help them to solve their issues. Be careful on what you plan to profit. I recommend reading this article by Sean Hodge.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


7. White-papers

They’re widely used in the B2B world but you don’t need to be a corporation to conduct a deep research in the industry, add your thoughts, charts, and knowledge others can benefit from. White-papers are a great source of sharing opportunities and gaining valuable links.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


8. Reviews and comparisons

These two rank very high when done right. Your deep analysis, pros, cons and recommendations will solve decision paralysis of many readers. What’s more, if you’re good enough, businesses will be willing to pay for reviewing their products. And suddenly, you’re a thought leader.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


9. Create a dedicated blog section

There are many companies with useful content despite not having a blog. It’s time to use that potential! A dedicated blog is an engagement magnet.

Make sure to go through this very detailed guide on how to learn blogging if you aren’t sure how to start. This infographic on How to start a business blog is extremely useful as well.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○1 / 5StarStarStarStar


10. Make an interview

Try to partner with well-known authorities in the industry. It doesn’t need to a superstar. The person will share the interview with their audience and might link to it on their website too.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


11. Guest posts

They are productive sources of various backlinks. You can create content published on different sites.

Moreover, if you publish a guest content on your site and the same blogger publish another content on a different site linking to the original article on your site, you’ll have a backlink.

It’s a bit more time consuming but it definitely works. I haven’t read a better guide on this than the Brian Dean’s Definitive guide to guest blogging.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


Social:

12. Social media outreach

Share your content on social media, promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, comment relevant posts and create connections. I love these 4 powerful social media outreach tactics.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


13. On-site social sharing actions

Sharing buttons and widgets is something you can’t skip on your website. Besides sharing your content via social networks, people can place your widgets on their sites and link back to you.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


14. Share to download buttons

Give your users opportunity to access exclusive materials, bonuses or discounts by asking them to share your website. Nothing comes for free. Motivate people to share your stuff. We use Social Locker.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


15. Specialized discussion forums

Join Quora, Reddit, StackExchange, and others to ask and answer related questions. Be careful, these forums usually have strict spam rules and are full of professionals (and haters) so you can suddenly get banned. It happened to me. I should have read this guide before.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○1 / 5StarStarStarStar


16. Links from forums

Forums, Q&A sites, top lists, comments, content aggregators, etc. Keep in mind that majority are low-quality links so their benefits are questionable.

Benefit

1 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


17. Quizzes, surveys, tests

Yet another interactive way to gain not only social exposure. We did it one time so far and the response was fantastic. We added a certificate of completion to motivate people to share their success. Though we made it on our own, you can use for example SurveyMonkey.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


18. Link to others

And tag them in your social posts. It might not work for the first couple of times but sooner or later they will notice you. If your content is good enough and relevant, they should link to you.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


Marketing and branding:

19. Contests and giveaways

Besides gaining a relevant link you have a promo for free. We were a part of a couple of giveaways and they generated subscriptions, as well. Research on-going contests and giveaways and contact the organizers. Sometimes, these offers land in your inbox so you won’t spend any time.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


20. Discounts and coupons

Everyone loves discounts and discount codes! And it’s a great motivation to share your product, too! Moreover, discount coupons are great for additional affiliate program promotion.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


21. Traditional (off-line) marketing activities

Leaflets, stickers or even guerilla marketing. Don’t forget where it all began. Creative marketing attracts people. They will talk about you and might link to your site.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


22. PR articles

PR articles written by professionals and published on sites with high authority will give you high-quality links too. But prepare some budget for this.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


23. Testimonials sections

Think about products you use, get in touch with people behind them and write testimonials to be published on their websites in exchange for a link. You’ll need to write a couple of emails and reminders but it can be very beneficial.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


24. Ask the ones you know

Yes, why not? Reach out your family, friends or people you know for a link. They might be willing to link to your site if it’s relevant and fits the context. Don’t try to link to a marketing blog from a clothes e-shop.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


25. Buy backlinks via paid blog posts

It’s similar as the previous technique but this time you will have to pay for it. On the other hand, it won’t cost you almost any time. If you plan to be a writer and get paid, don’t forget to check these blogs that will pay you.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


26. Reciprocal links

It’s one of the techniques that do not work anymore and have a bad reputation.

Benefit

0 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


27. Launch an affiliate program

You’ll gain both links and revenue. Our affiliate program is one of the strongest sources of revenue, exposure and high-quality backlinks. There are many affiliates searching for a new source of income. Don’t forget to prepare attractive commission system and promote it.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


28. Join an affiliate program

We mentioned our affiliate program is beneficial for us but that’s because it’s attractive for our partners. As an affiliate marketer, you can earn a lot of money on commissions but your product reviews and comparisons will earn you a lot of links. Tung from cloudliving.com trains people to become successful in this field.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


29. Research and find out what works for others

Spy on your competitors to explore their backlinks. There are many tools for this such as ahrefs or monitorbacklinks.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


30. Brand mentions

Using search operator “brand name” -site:brandname.com will help you to find mentions of your brand. You need to check whether each mention is linked to your site. If not, contact these people to do so or to adjust the anchor correctly.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


31. Name mentions

I notice many times websites mentioned founders or CEO without a link instead of the company. Use this as an opportunity to thank them for mentioning you and for acquiring another link from a relevant source.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


32. Get interviewed

No, you don’t need to be Britney Spears. Things happen really fast in the digital world. Take the advantage of it. You can become successful in a short time so getting interviewed with a link is definitely a good idea.

However, nothing comes for free so don’t wait to be interviewed. Research publishers and get in touch with them. This is a detailed guide by Ann Smarty you should go through.

Benefit

5 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


33. Gifts

How about sending gifts to your most valuable customers and partners? Use special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays and include a call-to-action to share it and link to you.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


34. Exchange

Exchange your products for a review or other promo activities leading to a link. Bloggers writing a review will usually include a link so you don’t need to ask them.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


Submissions:

35. Beta lists and startup submissions

Links from these sites are usually no-follow but their overall influence helps a lot. There are highly focused people willing to test or support new products. Check Betalist, ProductHunt, or Erlibird.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


36. Business listings and catalogues

They used to work in the past. It’s really time-consuming and benefits are usually minimal. However, it’s ok to be there, at least on the most relevant ones.

Benefit

1 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


37. Submit creatives

Infographics, ebooks or leaflets can be submitted on Slideshare, Issuu, Pinterest, Scribd and other alternatives. Reserve some time as you would need various digital formats, descriptions, and links.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


38. Submit videos

Compared to video production, submission is nearly nothing when it comes to time. And it’s not only about YouTube. There are many sites where you can attract views. Check out this list of sites to submit your YouTube videos.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


39. Develop and share

Have you developed something that works and looks like a charm? Share it on highly-focused forums such as GitHub, Bitbucket, or CodePen. It doesn’t directly make a link but helps build your personal brand and that means audience, clicks, and links.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


40. Wikipedia link building

Link building on Wikipedia isn’t complicated but you should think tactical. The biggest con is that linking from Wikipedia will automatically generate new links because your site will be used as a reference. Jon Cooper wrote a Wikipedia for SEO guide you simply have to read.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


Email:

41. Email outreach

Another time-consuming technique. Check links of your competitors and contact relevant people behind these websites. Get ready for sending many reminders and receiving zero answers at the first attempt.
You’ll find many guides on this. I like these email outreach tips by SEMrush.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


42. Email signatures

How many emails do you send per month? Imagine only a few of the recipients click on the link under your name. You get a couple of clicks and it costs you nothing.

Benefit

1 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


Technical:

43. Generic internal links

It’s a must! Internal linking means you rule anchors and add links where you want to. If you do it regularly, it’s a matter of seconds. In case your website is full of content without internal links, you’ll spend a couple of days fixing it. Before doing so, I recommend reading the Essential guide to internal content link building by Julia McCoy.

My advice: Don’t add more than 2-3 links per article. Avoid using a plugin which automatically links particular words. It’s annoying and ruins UX.

One more tip: Identify your most-viewed pages so you know where to put specific links.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


44. Breadcrumbs

Another internal link building tip is to use breadcrumbs. The site navigation is transparent thanks to them and you can optimize the anchor text distribution as well.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


45. RSS feed

You probably have it but in case you don’t, create one. Sooner or later, somebody will scrape your content. But if you place internal links in the content, you’ll earn a link.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


46. Create a sitemap

This is one of the internal linking methods and it’s extremely useful. Search engines like sitemaps. Moreover, it’s a good navigation for visitors. You can use one of the many WordPress plugins.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○○5 / 5


47. Broken link building

Identifying links leading to non-existing sites and linking them to your content can be a time-consuming but effective method. You can use search operators or various tools for this. This Ahrefs guide will help you with broken link building.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○2 / 5StarStarStar


48. 404 errors

Check the Webmaster tools (formerly Google Search Console) if there are any. No one likes to land on 404 – Page not found.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


49. Do you have robots.txt?

Review it whether there are any linked pages. Either contact webmasters of sites linking to them or consider allowing crawlers to index these pages.

Benefit

3 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○○4 / 5Star


50. PBNs (Private Blog Network)

PBNs are a way as well but you have to be very careful. These links should look as natural as possible. PBNs are websites to implement links to other websites (ones that generate money). It’s an expensive technique. You need to pay for a domain, hosting and set of blog posts.

It can be risky because Google bans PBNs from time to time. Think wisely. The costs of PBNs can be higher than the income. That’s why I’d recommend reading the guide by Lion Zeal.

Benefit

4 / 5

Time efficiency

○1 / 5StarStarStarStar


51. Expired domains

Look for expired domains with working links. All you had to do in the past was to find them and redirect them via 301. Nowadays, it’s more complicated. Watch out for relevancy.

Benefit

2 / 5

Time efficiency

○○○3 / 5StarStar


Bonus: Get inspired in this link building tool list.

Contribute to this link building checklist

What other link building techniques come to your mind? Share them in the comments below and we’ll update the post.