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How to Get More Backlinks: 12 Expert-Recommended Strategies from SEO Pros

It’s always a good time to get more backlinks

But it’s always the same old link building strategies isn’t it, and half the time they probably don’t even work for you.

Well, that’s all about to change.

In this post, I’ve rounded up 12 of the newest and most effective strategies used by real SEO experts and webmasters to get more links to their sites.

Let’s find out how to get more backlinks like the pros do!

How to Get More Backlinks: 12 Expert-Recommended Strategies from SEO Pros

1. Rectify Wrong or Misspelled Mentions

It’s always cool to get mentioned. But not as cool, however, when your business or website name is spelled wrong or contains a typo.

That’s hardly going to get you any results!

Ben Henderson, Technical SEO Manager for Agency 51, explains that getting wrong or misspelled mentions rectified resulted in an opportunity to get linked for one of his clients.

In his words:

“One of the more unusual ways we got a link for a client was by converting an existing mention through a domain misspelling.

The blogger had intended to link to the client but spelled the name wrong, resulting in a link to the wrong domain! They were happy to rectify it though.”

Ben recommends this tactic for “use at scale for larger brands, as they’re more likely to have these kinds of quick wins build up over time.”

How to approach the strategy

Make a list of possible ways that your name, brand name or company name is misspelled, then run a search for those misspellings on Google.

For example, my first name is often misspelled as “Launa” and my last name as “Spineti.”

 

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(I had to use Google Translate to understand the content of this post I was mentioned in—I can’t read Bosnian—but that was a flattering citation there!)

Leverage the free Google Alerts tool to get mentions of misspellings automatically sent to your email. It’s a big time saver!

2. Use #JournoRequest on Twitter

When Benjamin Houy, Founder of Grow With Less, told me about this strategy, I facepalmed and wondered why I hadn’t considered Twitter when seeking backlinks and PR myself.

After trying most of the popular techniques to get backlinks, Benjamin found the #journorequest Twitter hashtag to be the best option when it came to scoring dozens of quality backlinks for his language-learning blog.

 

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Benjamin explains:

“#JournoRequest works like HARO and SourceBottle, but I find that getting noticed by journalists using the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter is easier because there is a lot less concurrence.”

How to approach the strategy

The #journorequest hashtag collects the requests of many bloggers, journalists and PR agencies in different niches.

But there’s a trick to slim down the list to only the requests that matter to you:

Add your niche to the Twitter search (e.g. #journorequest marketing).

When you’ve found some good opportunities, reach out via Twitter DM or ask the requester for an email exchange.

3. Tap into Your Business Network

Tapping into your existing network is a super-underrated tactic when it comes to link opportunities. This is where you can uncover those hidden gems—relevant niche backlinks.

Seb Dean, Managing Director at Imaginaire Digital, has used this strategy to get more backlinks for his clients and shared a case with me:

“With one of our clients in the commercial interiors space, we outlined every supplier that they use and then contacted them offering either case studies or testimonials, and they naturally linked to us.

We make that one of our first ports of call for new clients now as it typically offers an easy-to-obtain link source, with the websites linking usually being both authoritative and relevant within the client’s industry.”

How to approach the strategy

Make a list of interesting clients and fellow professionals in your network using LinkedIn, XING or your address book. Then reach out to them, one by one, offering interesting content that you know they might like.

If you’re already in touch with these people, you might also want to consider a partnership or collaboration on a project (e.g. an industry e-book).

4. Productionize Your Existing Backlinks

Did you know that your existing backlinks may hide golden opportunities for even more backlinks?

This is the approach that Greg Moskovitch, Melbourne-based digital marketing consultant, takes with his link building.

He suggests that you find out how you’re already accruing backlinks naturally, and then “see if you can productionize and scale that process. If your site struggles to accrue organic backlinks, analyze a competitor.”

That makes sense. When you stumble upon a recurring “pattern” in your backlinks or in those of a competitor, it’s worth using it as a “prototype” and then scaling up from there.

Greg shared an example with this idea:

“Recently [I worked on] uncovering how many links wedding celebrant sites gain from the Special Thanks and Resources pages of personal wedding blogs operated by their clients.

This is very easy to productionize and scale, as all it involves is a simple and friendly request from your clients to give you a shout-out on their blog, if they have one.”

How to approach the strategy

Monitor Backlinks can lend a helping hand in this area.

Analyze your existing backlinks by signing in to your account (or grab a free trial here!) and navigating to your backlink profile under Your Links.

 

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As an example, let’s look for patterns in the recent backlinks to the Monitor Backlinks blog. I’m going to focus on the anchor texts of these links, in the “Anchor & Link To” column.

 

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These anchor texts clearly show that Monitor Backlinks blog posts are considered authoritative and worthy of being linked to as a resource about industry issues and strategies.

For example:

  • The anchor text “Google’s Penguin update” links to this post for more information about it.
  • The anchor text “1.2 trillion searches” links to this post as the source of the statistic.

So the pattern here is that our posts are deemed as trusted sources of information, and we could scale that up by writing more fact- and research-based content and offering that to other blogs in the industry as a relevant resource that they might find helpful.

5. Leverage Your Team

Why aren’t the people who work for (or with) you getting more honorable mentions in the link building world?

They can be quite an asset for your SEO!

The mind behind this idea is Monica Mizzi, Founder of Disruptive Digital Marketing:

“Ask your team members and also any freelancers or contractors you work with to link to your company website on their own websites.”

Monica recommends that you make it as natural as possible, for example, by asking them to write a short description about what they do at your company.

Where your web developer might write about how they built and optimized your website, your freelance writer may link to an article they wrote for your company blog and explain the strategy and process behind it.

It’s also a big portfolio opportunity for your team!

“It’s really a win-win situation. They get to highlight their achievements and work experience, and you get a backlink.

You may be surprised to find just how authoritative some of their websites are, especially if they are running their own online business.”

How to approach the strategy

Use friendly emails or a chill moment during a meeting to ask your team to show off your company on their sites.

Highlight the importance of doing this to help give both them and the company more visibility.

6. Take Part in Industry-related Conferences and Communities

You can never go wrong when you take part in a conference or community in your industry or niche.

For example, in the marketing world, that may be the SMX conference or the GrowthHackers community.

Sa El, Co-Founder of Simply Insurance, told me that a sure-fire way to get more quality backlinks is to buy tickets to industry-related conferences, join their Facebook group (they probably have one!) and engage in the comments to create relationships.

This is Sa’s go-to link building tactic:

“Show that you are an active member, and then start asking for guest posts and linking opportunities.”

Just by following this strategy, Sa has gained over 45 guest posts and countless backlinks this year already!

How to approach the strategy

Start local.

Look for industry conferences and seminars in your area that you can attend in person, or niche communities that meet both online and offline.

You can then expand to communities and conferences based in other regions, or even foreign countries (where relevant) for further reach and opportunities.

Interaction and engagement are key.

7. Create Local Resource Guides and Experiences

I already mentioned the importance of starting local to get more backlinks with conferences and communities.

But that’s not all the local you can go—there’s more to local SEO that you can leverage.

In particular, Joe Goldstein from Contractor Calls highlights the importance of local resource guides to score more backlinks:

“Local resource guides can make great linkable assets. As long as the focus shares some topical overlap with your industry, the sky is pretty much the limit.

This approach works best when your guide is visually polished, contains elements other than just text and photos, contains more facts or insights than the next best guide, and has a built-in incentive for other businesses to share it.”

As an example, Joe mentions an HVAC contractor that could publish a post on “the best locally-owned ice cream shops in Dallas:”

“The premise to that is that you’ll need some ice cream if you called the wrong HVAC contractor and have to wait for repairs.

Right before the guide goes live, contact all of the ice cream shops to let them know and encourage them to promote (and link to) your guide.”

Still on going local, Andrew Clark, Marketing Strategist at Duckpin, points the spotlight on pitching in-person experiences to local journalists and influencers, in the hope of scoring an interview.

He shared a story about this strategy:

“A concrete example of this happened with a sailboat dealer that I work with.

Faced with a limited budget for backlink building, but a number of demo boats and free weekends, we reached out to a list of people we identified as having relevant influence and a substantial digital presence.”

The ultimate goal is to create content from a memorable experience.

How to approach the strategy

Make a list of local businesses, organizations, associations and communities that may benefit from your resources.

Then reach out via email to offer the resource and kindly ask that they share it with their audience.

If you’re a company, consider organizing in-person experiences for interested media professionals and bloggers with influencing power, and ask for some feedback.

8. Guest Posting… in Reverse!

When you guest post for other websites, you build relevant backlinks and get some nice traffic.

But if you offer guest posting on your own website, you’ll definitely get more!

This idea comes from Sarah Blocksidge, Web Producer at Sixth City Marketing:

“When you become the source instead of the writer, you can get links back from the writers you feature and potentially even from those they share it with.

It’s pretty much reverse guest posting, but even better because you are in control of the content!”

How to approach the strategy

Create a page on your site for guest posting guidelines that anyone interested in writing for you can follow.

A good idea is to name this page “Write for Us” so that you get more pitches from people searching for the common search string “write for us” [niche] in Google or other search engines.

You can use our Write for Monitor Backlinks page as a live example:

 

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9. Use Journalistic Platforms like HARO, SourceBottle and PitchRate

Responding to relevant media queries on services like HARO, SourceBottle and PitchRate is one of the (still) little-known ways to get more backlinks.

Pulkit Gera, Founder of Blogging Done Better, has been using this strategy extensively because responding to emails requires a lot less work than creating a unique guest post and pitching it to relevant blogs:

“In the last four months that I’ve been contributing to HARO and SourceBottle, I’ve sent out approximately 40 pitches and have received eight dofollow and four nofollow links from high authority websites.

It takes me less than 20 minutes to compose a pitch and send it across to journalists. The result: My new website has seen a sharp rise in rankings in the last few months with relatively few backlinks.”

But responding to queries isn’t enough if you aim really high with your link building efforts.

Kimberley Maunder, SEO Specialist at Klyp, suggests that you try to stay on top of current events and be the first to write about something new:

“I’m currently reaching out to sources about the new ACCC proposal that will shake the Australian SEO world. Only Search Engine Land has written about this topic so far, so getting on top of the wave will help us to get a placement and should attract some organic links as well.”

And according to Kimberley, journalistic platforms aren’t only for interview-style opportunities either:

“There can also be giveaways or events that my clients can sponsor in exchange for placement on an external website.”

How to approach the strategy

Sign up for one or more journalistic platforms of your preference and check the option to receive daily emails.

Scan through the queries and respond to the ones that are most relevant to your niche or industry and the unique selling propositions (USPs) of your website. And keep an eye out for non-article opportunities coming in as a query (contests, giveaways, events, podcasts, e-books).

This strategy will work best if you can devote enough time to responding to queries regularly.

10. “Steal” from Your Competitors

Previously-mentioned SEO specialist Kimberley Maunder told me something that sounds so obvious and yet it often gets overlooked (I do it, too):

“Ranking number one is just hiding in plain sight. Whoever is ranking extremely well has obviously done something good to get there.”

It’s easy to forget about competitors when you’re trying to build visibility for your unique website with a unique selling proposition.

However, studying the competition and “stealing” their smart moves is critical to pushing your SEO efforts forward.

How to approach the strategy

Pick your competitors among the websites that outrank you in the SERPs (plus any direct competitors that you’re already “battling” with).

Add these competitor websites to Monitor Backlinks. After about 24 hours, you’ll be able to see all their backlinks under the Competitor Links section.

 

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Regularly look over the backlinks for each competitor. Can you see any interesting linking sites that you could also get a nice backlink from?

Make sure you check out my other guide on how to “steal” competitor backlinks for more ideas!

11. Offer Scholarships

Partnering with schools is nothing new in the world of SEO, but scholarships are a whole other story.

The SEO expert who shared this little-known link building strategy with me is Phil Mackie, owner of TopSailDigital. He’s used what he calls “scholarship link development” to get great EDU backlinks to his client sites.

He even shared his process with me:

“We start by creating killer scholarship pages with the rules, prizes and deadlines on our domain. Don’t forget to put links with appropriate anchor text to your top performing pages here.

Create a scholarship of around $500 with the winner announced once a semester. Asking for an essay related to your company would also be appropriate.

Email the financial aid offices of a number of universities to get you in touch with the right people. If the financial aid office adds your scholarship to the university’s site, that’s your backlink!”

How to approach the strategy

Phil already laid that out in detail, so I’ll only add a few points here:

  • Choose universities that you can visit in person should the necessity arise. The people at the financial aid office, or anyone they refer you to, might want a face to face.
  • Consider choosing universities that are most frequented by low to medium income people, who might be more interested in scholarships in general.
  • Make your scholarship very appealing to apply for.

12. Appear on Podcasts as a Guest

Often, when SEO blogs mention podcasts as a link building strategy, it’s to suggest that you start one and syndicate it across multiple podcasting or audio hosting platforms.

But running your own podcast is not your only option! Participating as a guest attracts just as many—if not more—backlinks.

This is the strategy that Quentin Aisbett, Digital Strategist at OnQ Marketing, has gone with because it takes less time than traditional link building strategies like guest posting on blogs and, importantly, still gets you a backlink in the show notes.

He finds this strategy more incisive than guest posting too:

“It’s been our experience that these links move the needle more than traditional guest posting, as we suspect they’re judged of being higher value.

The time and effort may also prove to provide more reward as Google continues to work on indexing audio.”

How to approach the strategy

Many podcast platforms welcome guest proposals. Simply search Google for podcasts in your niche and make a list of those you could appear on as a guest.

Then, use these email outreach ideas to reach out to podcasters and ask them to consider you for their show. Sometimes they might even have a form on their site for you to fill in, like this example from Safety FM:

 

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Also, add a note that you’re open to receiving invitations to podcasts, roundups and interviews in the future.

How to Get More Backlinks: The Takeaway

It’s time to get creative and get more backlinks!

Any interaction in your niche and any platform you use could turn into a great link opportunity.

Ultimately, getting more backlinks is about exploring new venues and experimenting with new strategies.

To boldly go where no one has been linked before truly does pay off!

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