20 Inbound Link-Building Strategies to Help Your Site Rank Higher

20 Inbound Link-Building Strategies to Help Your Site Rank Higher

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The essence of elevating your site’s rank lies in the volume and the quality of links directing to your digital doorstep. This guide ventures deep into the heart of 20 sophisticated inbound link-building strategies.

An expert’s cheat sheet with 20 tips for ranking for SERP

1. High-Quality Content Creation and Promotion

Before you can set sail into the waters of link-building, you’ll need a ship sturdy enough to navigate the unpredictable digital currents. In this analogy, your content is your vessel, and it needs to be robust and valuable enough to entice others to share it.

Crafting Anchor Content

Start by creating ‘anchor content,’ the cornerstone articles or guides upon which your website is built. These pieces should be comprehensive, offering original insights or in-depth resources that others may wish to reference.

Content Partnerships

Establish relationships with other content creators who can give your articles a boost through sharing, linking, or co-authorship. Cross-promotion can lead to inbound links from multiple high-traffic sources.

2. Ego Bait Link Building

A classic but effective strategy, ego bait involves creating content (like listicles or round-ups) that features influential individuals or companies in your field. It is a subtle way to appeal to the ego and network with potential linkers.

Expert Round-Ups

Engage with thought leaders through interviews or insights which can then be compiled into an expert’s round-up. When featured alongside industry heavyweights, they are inclined to share the piece, thereby providing you with valuable backlinks.

Award Badges and Certifications

If you run an award program or recognize excellence in your field, provide badges or certifications to winners. In return, many will proudly display these on their site with a link back to your domain.

3. Leverage Unlinked Brand Mentions

Tracking mentions of your brand or content that are not already linked can be a gold mine for organic link-building.

Monitoring Tools

Use monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, Mention, or Ahrefs Content Explorer to identify instances where others are discussing or featuring your content without linking back.

Reclaiming Mentions

For every instance of an unlinked mention, reach out to the site owner or content creator, asking them to add a link to your cited material. Many will oblige, especially if your content adds credibility to their own.

4. Broken Link Building

Identify broken links on external websites, and offer your content as a replacement. This mutually beneficial strategy helps you secure a new link while helping another site maintain its resourceful content.

Finding Broken Links

Use tools like Check My Links to scan web pages for broken hyperlinks. Look for pages with high domain authority and content related to your own.

Crafting the Pitch

After identifying a relevant broken link, reach out to the site owner suggesting your content as a valuable replacement. Be sure to highlight the benefits your link can offer to their readers.

5. Guest Blogging

The practice of writing content for external sites can be one of the most influential strategies in your link-building arsenal.

Identifying Opportunities

Research high-quality, industry-relevant blogs that accept guest posts. Ensure these blogs have a strong audience and a good reputation for posting valuable content.

Writing the Perfect Pitch

When reaching out to these blogs, your pitch should be tailor-made for their audience, and potentially, align with a current topic they’re looking to cover.

Maximizing Author Bio Links

While most guest posts allow a link back to your website or content, some may impose restrictions. Negotiate for author biographies that maximize SEO potential, as these links are often the most valuable.

6. Infographic Outreach

The visual appeal of infographics can make them highly shareable, leading to natural and abundant link-building.

Infographic Creation

Craft compelling infographics that distill complex information or data into easy-to-digest visual format.

Targeting the Right Audience

Research and target blogs, news sites, or educational platforms where your infographic can add value to the conversation or topic.

Making It Shareable

Ensure your infographic is easy to share on various platforms. Provide an embed code with the correct URL to facilitate link-building for anyone who wishes to share your infographic on their website.

7. Link Reclamation

Over time, links to your website may become broken. Regularly monitor the status of your existing backlinks, and when you find one is no longer active, reach out to the linking site and request a fix.

Using Backlink Analysis Tools

Employ tools like Moz’s Link Explorer or Ahrefs to periodically scan for the presence and status of your backlinks.

Crafting a Polite Message

When you find a broken link, politely notify the site owner, providing the correct URL. Thank them for their previous link, expressing the value you hope to continue providing to their readers.

8. Testimonials and Reviews

Providing testimonials or reviews for products and services can lead to valuable backlinks, especially if you’re referring to a well-established brand in your industry.

Identifying Opportunities

Look for products or services related to your industry and reach out to the company offering your thoughts and support. MarketThis can offer a valuable link-building opportunity while also nurturing potential B2B relationships.

Writing High-Quality Reviews

Ensure your testimonials or reviews are genuine, comprehensive, and high value. Site owners are more likely to use and link to your content if it provides depth and insight to their readers.

9. Participate in Communities and Forums

Engaging in conversations on industry forums, social platforms, and community sites is an excellent way to build natural and relevant links.

Providing Value

Instead of overt self-promotion, offer helpful advice or insights. When relevant, link to your own content, but always in a context that provides additional value to the conversation.

Establishing Credibility

Regular and thoughtful contributions to these forums can lead to the establishment of thought leadership and a network of contributors who are more likely to visit your site and, potentially, link back to it.

10. Original Research and Data

Cultivating your own data or conducting original research can be a powerful hook for backlinks.

Publishing Your Findings

Present your findings in an authoritative, well-designed format that is easy for others to reference. Include visualizations and breakdowns to make your content more shareable.

Outreach and Promotion

After the release, actively promote your research to thought leaders, journalists, and bloggers in your field. A unique angle or new perspective gained from your research can make them valuable resources for others and thus, valuable sources of backlinks.

11. Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique involves finding link-worthy content, improving upon it, and then reaching out to the appropriate audience to secure links.

Researching Competing Content

Use tools to find content with a high number of backlinks and social shares. Analyze this content to understand why it performs well.

Creating Better Content

Develop a comprehensive and improved version of the content you’ve researched. This new content should not only cover the same topics but should be more thorough, more current, or provide a new angle.

Reaching Out to the Right People

Once your content is live, reach out to those who linked to the original content. Offer your improved content as a valuable alternative.

12. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO is a platform where journalists and bloggers can request input from a broad range of sources. By monitoring queries in your niche and providing helpful input, you can earn new, high-quality backlinks.

Crafting Newsworthy Pitches

When responding to a HARO query, ensure your pitch is relevant, well-researched, and adds genuine value to the journalist’s story or article.

Positioning Yourself as a Subject Matter Expert

Establish yourself as a reliable and insightful source by consistently contributing high-quality input. Over time, journalists may reach out to you directly for our quotes or expertise, further cementing your link-building opportunities.

13. Internal Linking

While the focus here is on inbound links, the role of internal linking cannot be overstated. For SEO purposes, linking related content within your site can pass ‘link juice’ to important pages, enhancing your overall site ranking.

Anchor Text Optimization

Use appropriate and descriptive anchor text when linking internally. This helps search engines understand the relevance of the linked page.

Linking Content Thematically

Rather than linking aimlessly, ensure that the pages you link have a thematic correlation. This helps users navigate your site and demonstrates to search engines the coherence of your content.

14. Resource Pages

Getting your content listed on a resource page can lead to a valuable inbound link and help to establish your brand as a credible authority.

Identifying Resource Pages

Search for resource pages in your niche that offer lists of tools, articles, or assets that can provide value to their visitors.

Reaching Out for Inclusion

Once you’ve identified a relevant resource page, reach out to the site owner or manager with a polite and concise pitch for why your content should be included. Emphasize the value your content would add to their users.

15. Create Link-Worthy Tools and Resources

Developing tools, calculators, or other resources that are genuinely useful for your audience can lead to organic linking as a result of utility.

The Tool’s Value Proposition

Be clear about the problem your tool solves or the utility it provides. Your audience must see the value in using it, and potential linkers must see the value in recommending it.

Promotion and Outreach

After launching your tool or resource, actively promote it within your industry. Showcase it in relevant forums, communities, and outreach campaigns to drive awareness and encourage linking.

16. Skim for Unlinked Mentions

Use tools to find mentions of your brand that don’t include backlinks. Then, reach out to those who’ve mentioned you to request link inclusion.

Monitoring Brand Mentions

Set up alerts or use monitoring tools to stay informed about every instance of your brand being mentioned online.

Friendly Outreach

When you identify an unlinked mention, contact the site owner or content creator in a friendly, non-intrusive manner. Express your gratitude for the mention and kindly ask for a link back to your site for additional context or resources.

17. Syndicate your Content

Syndicating your content on reputable platforms can broaden your reach and potentially lead to quality inbound links.

Selecting the Right Syndication Channels

Choose syndication channels that cater to your target audience and have a strong reputation. Avoid low-quality or spammy sites, as these can negatively impact your SEO.

Implementing Canonical Tags

When syndicating content, use a canonical tag on your original post. This tag signals to search engines that your website is the primary source of the content, mitigating the risk of duplicate content implications.

18. Outreach to Linkerati

The ‘linkerati’ refers to influential people within your industry with the power to distribute links. Actively reach out to these individuals to cultivate link partnerships.

Building a Network

Engage with the linkerati through social media, their own content, and direct interactions. Provide feedback, contribute insights, and establish a presence to build a relationship.

Crafting Personalized Outreach

When you reach out, your message should be personalized and provide a compelling reason for why they would want to link to your content.

19. Conduct Content Gap Analysis

Evaluate what content your competitors have that you do not and what backlinks they’ve accumulated as a result.

Identifying Competitor Content

Use SEO tools to identify the top-performing content on your competitors’ websites and analyze the backlink profiles of those pages.

Filling the Content Gap

Develop and publish content that addresses the same topics but provides a new perspective, is more comprehensive, or offers a different type of value.

20. The Power of Social Bookmarking

While nofollow links from social bookmarking sites may not have a direct SEO impact, they can contribute to content visibility and, consequently, to natural link-building.

Choosing the Right Platforms

Select high-quality social bookmarking sites that are known to attract your target audience. Avoid spammy platforms.

Encouraging Engagement

On these platforms, encourage sharing, bookmarking, and discussions about your content. The more people who see and interact with your content, the more likely it is to attract natural backlinks.

Choosing the Right Platforms

Select high-quality social bookmarking sites that are known to attract your target audience. Avoid spammy platforms.

Encouraging Engagement

On these platforms, encourage sharing, bookmarking, and discussions about your content. The more people who see and interact with your content, the more likely it is to attract natural backlinks.


As we conclude our exploration of advanced link-building strategies and SEO innovations, it’s clear that link-building is a continuous journey and the landscape of digital marketing and search engine optimization is vast and dynamic. From the foundational importance of high-quality content and the strategic use of social media to the cutting-edge applications of each strategy we’ve discussed, it offers unique advantages and challenges.

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