SEO has changed enormously over the last couple of decades, and it continues to evolve every year.
Techniques and strategies change all the time, but one factor has remained incredibly important when it comes to ranking your website and that’s the need to generate high-quality backlinks.
Link building has long been the mainstay of any SEO strategy but methods have changed considerably, with many once acceptable link building practices now likely to see you drop from the search results instead of climb.
So how should you go about building backlinks in 2019 without getting on the wrong side of Google?
Well there are some solid methods out there but don’t expect it to be easy. Link building is about quality over quantity nowadays so taking your time to get the right kind of links from the right kind of websites will pay dividends in the long run.
Here are seven bulletproof techniques that still pack a punch.
1. Broken link building
Some link-building techniques have been around for years and still remain effective – like broken link building.
It works like this:
- You find a popular website in your niche and then use a tool like Ahrefs to search the URL for pages that no longer exist on the site (by filtering the results for ‘HTTP 404’ errors). Out of these pages, find the ones with lots of links (about 20 to 30) pointing back to them.
- Your aim is then to recreate the non-existent page and reach out to all those websites linking to it, trying to get them to replace their dead link with yours.
- You can recreate the original page by using the Wayback Machine to find out exactly what the page was about. Then create a page on the same topic so that it makes sense for the websites to link to it.
It’s an effective technique because you are actually providing value to the websites you reach out to, so some of them should be happy to provide you with a link in return.
2. Ego baiting
Creating valuable content is not enough to get you links. So add some power to your content by including positive mentions of experts in your niche. This is a great example of white hat SEO, and it can help you to get so much more from your content.
Whenever you create content, add quotes from experts, provide examples from influencers, ask multiple experts to contribute tips or even interview experts.
When you get people involved in your content and make them look good, they are more likely to share your content and link to it. If they have large audiences, this could generate more exposure for your content and generate even more links.
3. Blog round-ups
Some blogs will publish posts that link to the best blog posts in a particular niche every week or month, and these are great places to get links.
Start by searching for blogs in your niche that publish round-up posts. Then spend some time building relationships with the blog owners by adding comments and sharing their content.
When you next publish a blog post that you think would be a good fit, share it with the blog owner and they might link to it.
4. Generate links from brand mentions
This technique only really works if your company is reasonably large and well known because you need to be able to find mentions of your brand online for it to work.
The idea is that many websites will mention your brand or your products, but they will often not bother to link to your site. By finding mentions to your brand (by using a tool like Awario), you can reach out to the website owners and ask them to add a link to the mentions.
5. The skyscraper technique
Devised by Brian Dean at Backlinko, the idea of the skyscraper technique is relatively simple. Start by finding a piece of content relevant to your niche with a lot of backlinks (use Ahrefs again, or a tool like BuzzSumo).
Then create an even better version of the content by making it longer or packing in more tips and stats. Once you have published your content, simply reach out to all the websites linking to the original piece and recommend your piece instead.
6. Guest blogs
Guest blogging is still a legitimate way to get backlinks, but it has been overdone. If you want to use guest blogging in 2019, you should focus on authority websites and avoid trying to build mass links via guest blogging on every site you can.
The process involves finding authority blogs in your niche that publish guest posts and suggesting a title. If they agree to publish your blog, you will normally receive a link back to your website in the content or at the end of the post.
The added benefit of guest blogging is that it is a great way to build relationships with influencers, which can help with other types of link building.
7. Get links from directories
Finally, don’t miss the low-hanging fruit. Some backlinks are easier to get than others, and directory links can be some of the easiest of all.
You don’t want to go and submit your site to hundreds of directories, but there will be a few directories out there that it makes sense for you to be listed on. So find them and get some easy extra links.
Build more links in 2019
Even if you are aware of the need to build links in 2019 to rank your site, you need to go about it the right way to enjoy any kind of success.
Building hundreds of spammy links will only hurt your SEO efforts in the long-run. So stick to the link-building techniques that still work to see the best results over the coming months and years.
Derek Iwasiuk is a search engine optimisation and digital marketing expert based in Minnesota.