27 Experts Share Their Top Link Building Strategies for 2014

As 2013 draws to a close, I decided it would be a great idea to reach out to some fantastic SEOs in the industry who are link building on a daily basis. I sent out  a few emails and made some posts on 2 or 3 social networks and was able to draw up a list of over 27 real world expert link builders to ask them the question: “What link building strategies will you be using in 2014?”  To make things interesting I offered the best 5 answers from this post prizes as an additional bit of fun. I have included a poll at the end of the post so please vote for your favorite tip and at the end of 2013 (Tuesday December 31st) I will tally up the results and send out the prizes. 

barby

 Tip 1: Matthew Barby
 Website: matthewbarby.com
 Twitter: @matthewbarby

This method may be classed as a grey-hat SEO technique, so if this is Matt Cutts reading, look away now…

I thought I’d share a link building method that I’ve been using a lot to build links to websites that aren’t typically full of the most linkable content (i.e. what we would call a ‘boring’ industry).

This method involves utilising images within articles to build high quality, contextual links from a wide range of different sites. The way I do this is with image attribution.

Now, you may be thinking, “great, but what if I don’t have any good imagery?”

Well, the answer to that is that it is less about good imagery and more about relevant imagery. This doesn’t involve people organically picking up your images; it involves you placing them strategically within articles to gain backlinks to your website.

For example, if I have a client that has a ‘metal stamping’ business, I may find that guest posting about topics related to metal stamping could get a little dry after a while. Instead, I could place an image from the site within an article that may not even be that related to metal stamping, but the image can be attributed back to the client’s website (in some cases, you can get an exact match anchor link here).
matt-b-seo

Image source: FindMyBlogWay

In some cases, I will strategically place imagery within my client’s website so that we can gain an attribution link within a guest post.

Also, if you’re running SEO campaigns for multiple clients, this is a great way to scale link building across multiple clients. You can easily drive links through to more than one client via the same piece of content.


steve
 Tip 2: Steve Morgan
 Website: SEOno.co.uk
 Twitter: @steviephil
Taking Guest Blogging Further

I still love guest blogging, even with all the recent panic about it as a worthwhile tactic. If you’re doing it properly, you’re doing it right – that’s my stance.

Even so, I think that some people look too narrowly…

An insurance company that provides car insurance may only be looking at other finance/insurance sites. But why not contribute to things that are one step away? Ian Lurie did a great job explaining this, calling it Random Affinities: what is more loosely based (but still relevant to) your customer-base? What about guest blogging on sites about car maintenance, learning to drive and the legal side of things? They may have guest blog posts from other people in their circles, so they may appreciate an insurer’s perspective on how car insurance affect these things.
Other examples:

  •  IT support company: A client of mine specialises in IT support for Apple products – there are countless Apple fan-blogs out there who’d probably appreciate a post about Apple maintenance and repair.
  • IT recruitment agency: Another client of mine – they have a post coming up about how low broadband speeds may be negatively affecting candidate attraction to the area. It’ll probably be more suitable for a broadband blog.

I’m sure many people are already doing this, so why am I suggesting it as a 2014 tactic? Well, I think that Google is getting better at understanding semantics – something doesn’t have to be 100% on-topic to be relevant, so if you do things that are 80% or 90% relevant and still high-quality then it’s going to be beneficial. I think Hummingbird is a sign that Google is getting much better at understanding semantics and the relationship between words and keywords – so take advantage of it!

backlinko Tip 3: Brian Dean
Website: 
backlinko.com
 Twitter: @backlinko

My best link building tip for 2014 is to get links to content before you’ve even published it.

Yes, you read that right.

I’ve noticed that since outreach has become the next big thing in SEO, people are becoming less receptive to email pitches.

What I’ve been doing lately is reaching out to people that I think would like my content before I publish it.

I use pretty much the same email outreach script that I do when showing people my content. The only difference is that instead of saying “I just published something you like” you say “I’m about to publish something you’d like. Want a heads up when I publish it?”. Then you obviously follow up with them when you publish your content.

You can apply this to any content you publish, like infographics, videos, guides and ebooks.

I’m not 100% sure about the psychology behind it, but I’ve gotten a significantly higher response rate using this approach than when I reaching out after the content has been published.

adam  Tip 4: Adam Connell
  Website: bloggingwizard.com
  Twitter: @adamjayc

Create valuable resources through crowd sourced content

Ego bait is a powerful tactic for gaining traction for a piece of content but what if you didn’t have to write the content?

What if you could get influencers within your market to write the content for you and at the same time immediately make them more invested in sharing and link toy our content?

That would be pretty awesome and it really works.

I recently published a group interview where I asked a straight forward question to 46 experts within the social media and marketing sectors and the results were incredible:

You can find the post here: http://bloggingwizard.com/experts-top-social-media-tools/

In addition to the screenshots below I also acquired a link from the Hootsuite blog, which is PageRank 7. Hootsuite were voted the #1 social media tool by experts that took part. The incorporation of tools added an extra layer to the existing influencers that were already involved.

Here is the traffic that the individual blog post received on my site:

img1

Here are the social shares it received as of November 25th:

img2

This blog post has also produced other opportunities such as:

  • 6 Influencers that are prepared to write content for my blog
  • Opportunity to write for 4+ influencers on their personal blogs, blogs that are rarely opened up to contributors

Earned links

img3

Another great example is a group interview published by Richard Marriott:

img4

By publishing a detailed post that included all of the right people and all of the right tools along with a large number of experts sharing the blog post, it was able to rank #1 for link building tools in organic search.

Brian Dean wrote a detailed case study of exactly how this worked, which you can find here.

tad

 Tip 5: Tad Chef
 Website: seo2.us
 Twitter: @onreact_com

It seems to me that 2014 is about becoming real.

  •  Offer real value
  •  attract real people
  •  engage in real life.

Applied to link building it means: in case you do manual link building use your hands. After all Google loves manual action! No joke here, just a pun.

Use your hands to shake hands. Meet people for example.

Personally I met Brian Dean of Backlinko.com a couple of weeks ago because he happens to live nearby. So we hung out and chatted in a cafe one day. I made a real life link with a really cool guy. I’m not even sure he did link to me in hypertext as well but we have engaged a lot online ever since. He’s a really inspiring person and his writing style reminds me of my early days with SEO 2.0 when I was bursting with enthusiasm and conquering the world. For Brian it worked out for sure because I shared his work several times ever since.

jason

  Tip 6: Jason Acidre
  Website: kaiserthesage.com
  Twitter: @jasonacidre

Aside from creating linkable content assets and promoting them, my other favorite link building tactic would be regular content contribution/columns on high traffic industry-specific sites.

There’s just so much value to get when this method is done right, such as:

  • Reaching to a wider and targeted audience (for brand impressions and to demonstrate topic expertise).
  • In continuously getting quality traffic and in absorbing readership (referred traffic).
  • Stronger link signal, based on the multiple links coming from the same domain (relationship).
  • In building better relationships (which actually can scale and automate your link building).

I’d definitely choose this method over guest blogging (particularly the one-time guest post/ link drop approach).

Like what I’ve mentioned many times before – getting read by your target readers on 3 – 5 authority publications regularly is way better than submitting content to hundreds of blogs that you have no certainty if your content will be consumed.

Bonus: For more actionable tips on link building, check out the slides here.

Dennis Tip 7: Dennis Graham
 Website: dennisgraham.com.au
 Twitter: @dennisgraham7

Sponsor relevant offline industry events. You can easily find these offline events on meetup.com and EventBrite.com.
When you sponsor relevant offline events, the back links are:
a) highly relevant
b) long lasting
c) build your brand
d) drive leads to your website

But these events don’t stop giving just there. These events are typically organized by businesses and organizations from a related industry. The businesses and organizations have websites on which they’ll promote the event, an email newsletter, a blog, etc. As a sponsor, ask to be featured across all the different mediums (meetup.com / eventbrite.com / company website / blog / eDM / social media).

If you have the opportunity to attend the event (highly recommended – to get the kudos from the audience), even more back link building opportunities present themselves. You can do a write-up/video/slide share/etc about the event on your blog, pass it on to all the attendees… and they’ll share it across their own networks. Win?

How much do the sponsorship’s cost? This depends on the event, where it’s held and what the event actually needs (i.e. alcohol, food, audio/visuals, presenters, etc). You can get everything mentioned above from as little as $100 (for beer + pizza) and some of your spare time.

jock-pictureTip  8: Jock Purtle
Website: digitalexits.com
Twitter: @jockpurtle

Guest posts are still working quite well for us. We are getting a 7% response rate on our email outreach. We are no longer using author bio’s but rather in content text links with broad anchor text trying to make it look as natural as possible. These have been working quite well for us.

peter mead

 Tip 9: Peter Mead
 Website: petermeadit.com
 Twitter: @petermeadit

Premium software reviews for link building

Premium software reviews are fun to do and can be a great link building opportunity to get quality links to your site. It can be a good chance for you to get familiar with a new piece of software and also put your writing skills to the test. Producing an honest appraisal of a premium software, can be a good boost for you in more ways than one, including social profile building and networking. However, the main prize is a nice juicy link to your site within the context of the review you give.

This opportunity can come about when software vendors are on the lookout for people review their products. They may offer a free premium account and in return ask you to to write a review. They may ask you to write about how you found it useful, and how it improved your business in some way. The review will probably be placed on their blog, and may even be labeled as a guest post. Be open to and on the lookout for premium software reviews for link building.

Giuseppe Pastore

 Tip 10: Giuseppe Pastore
 Website: en.posizionamentozen.com
 Twitter: @zen2seo

I think my answer has been a little influenced by my recent readings, but for 2014 my idea is choosing your causes. One of the concept Marketing 3.0 theory stresses the most is that people care about your efforts to better the world somehow. Brands should have their values and if not they’ve to decide which they are in order to be loved by people. The same should be on the web, but you’ve not to go in Alaska and rescue polar bears to get attention from an online community. Just look at which themes people are sensible to, choose the ones you want to support, create landing/minisites, express what you’re going to do and let people (sites) know about it asking for some help (links) to spread the news. Caring is… a linkable asset.

joel-link

 Tip 11: Joel Chudleigh
 Website: deepfootprints.co.uk
 Twitter: @deepfootprints

The toughest part of link building is making the right connections. The first email or telephone call is incredibly important. With one of our clients in a very competitive niche we wanted coverage from well known bloggers. We knew that they would be getting inundated with requests from brands so we needed to do something differently. We therefore contacted them with a survey and explained that we are keen to work with bloggers like them but wanted to hear form them about how we should go about it so that we do not waste their time. We offered a £20 Amazon voucher in return for completing the 10 question survey.

We emailed 100 bloggers and 30 of them completed the survey. Many of them thanked us for our approach and told us it was very refreshing and asked how they could work with us. Yes – each new relationship cost £20 to broker but now we are off to a good start and they are very passionate about working with our client so we have found that typical costs of sponsored posts have fallen and in some cases are being waivered.

The key things that we learned were to be respectful of other peoples time, ensure that you spend time on their site before contacting them so that you know what the likely win-win scenarios are, support bloggers with things that save them time – i.e. good image libraries and ideas for posts, bloggers like to collaborate so ask them for ideas and also present your own.
30% success rate is the best we have ever had for an outreach campaign with influential bloggers. We do not have links from all of them yet but things are falling into place nicely with all except 2 who felt that the brand was not a good match for them (lack of research on our part!).

iain-networx Tip 12: Iain Calvert
 Website: reloadmedia.com.au
 Twitter: @iaincalvert

With branding and natural backlink profiles being important ranking factors, one of my favorite link building techniques is to claim what is already yours. Search for your brand and contact every site that mentions you, but doesn’t link. Not only will you get a high conversion rate from the emails you send, but you’ll also get great branded natural anchor text.

If you don’t have much brand presence, do a reverse image search for original images on your site and ask for a link. For example if you’re working on a home builder web site, I can almost guarantee someone will have “borrowed” an image from your site. Contact them and ask for a “credit” for the image.

Jacek Wieczorek Tip 13: Jacek Wieczorek
 Website: seokitten.com
 Twitter: @PPozycjonowanie

This is a link building citation building tip. Most of the tutorials dealing with citation building are only valid for the USA, outside they’re pretty worthless. You might be the best content optimizer in the world but unless you get at least some citations with a NAP (Name, Address, Phone), you will be struggling. Here’s a simple yet very effective tip that could help you with that:

First thing you should do, is pay attention to your competition. Google the desired keyword + city and compile a “7-pack” of sorts:
jacek

Copy all the phone numbers to Scrapebox:

jacek2Don’t stop there, add numbers of lawyers from other cities, other specialists from Brisbane and other cities and soon you’ll have a decent and workable list of places to place your NAP, which is crucial in SEO.

P.S. Don’t stop there, add numbers of lawyers from other cities, other specialists from Brisbane and other cities and soon you’ll have a decent and workable list of places to place your NAP, which is crucial in SEO.

Richard Marriott Tip 14:  Richard Marriott
Website:
 clambr.com
Twitter: 
@clambr

 My link building tactic for 2014 is to make broken link building 3x more efficient.

I usually land 15-30% of the links I want from a simple cold approach email like this:

Hey [Blogger Name],
Are you still updating [Website Name]? I noticed a broken link on your site.
Cheers,
Richard

Sure, a 30% conversion rate is pretty sweet, but what if you could get your link on 100% of the pages you want?!

To achieve this, rather than kicking off the link building process after publishing a new blog post, set things in motion before you even begin writing.

Hell, do it as soon as you decide on the target keywords(s) you’ll be crafting your new post around!
With your target keyword in hand, make a list of everyone linking to the top 10 results on Google with broken links on their page.
Once you have got a decent list, make it your new year’s resolution to build relationships with everyone on it ;)

You need not compete for friend (or stalker) of the year, just make sure to get on their radar by exchanging a few emails, blog comments and social shares.

Hopefully by the time your new blog post is published you’ll have built some rapport with them.

Then you can hit them up with a natural sounding email that appears like it was a complete coincidence you found a broken link on their site when combing through a competitor’s backlinks.

They’ll be far more likely to help out and give you a link because unlike the cold approach email you’re already in conversation, plus you’ve been avidly sharing their content the last few weeks :)

anthonyTip 15: Anthony D. Nelson
 Website: northsideseo.com
 Twitter: @anthonydnelson

I certainly don’t know what’s going to happen in 2014, but I’m pretty sure that safe, long-term link building for brands will be the same as it always was. Link builders should continue to focus on topic relevancy and getting links that are placed on pages read by real people and get some social signals pointing at it. I don’t expect Google to attempt to devalue links the way Yandex is, but I do think they will continue to get smarter about which links to give real weight to and don’t think it would be a wise strategy to focus on links on non-trafficked pages. Push yourself to focus on a good marketing of your brand and get as many links as you can in the process. If you focus on the links before marketing, your job will actually end up being a lot harder and the resulting links will be less impressive.

oliver Tip 16: Oliver Mason
 Website: ohgm.co.uk
 Twitter: @ohgm

This tip covers prospecting. The nice thing here is that most of the leads you get are both authoritative and warm.

First, have an idea for some content you think would do well. Then, take Google news and set it to an appropriate time-frame (ordinarily, one month). Search for terms related to your topic and get back a list of writers on good websites who already care about your topic enough to write about it. You now have the right author to contact at each publication, and you even have the URL of a recent, relevant article that they’ve written. Pitch them your idea.

If you’re looking for expert input, or places that might be interested in publication of your idea, this is a great place to start. Don’t limit yourself to pitching for content that exists, either:

“Hi, I’m working on {content form}on {topic}, thought you might be interested {because}. Would you like to take a look when it’s done?”

Also, use Scrapebox.

grant Tip 17: Grant Davies
 Website: eclicks.co.nz
Twitter: @GrantREDavies

This is more of a technical link reclamation tactic than a link building tactic and can have a good impact on your link profile. It has worked wonders for clients of mine in the past and is a future proofed tactic. For one client in particular we managed to reclaim over 20k links, including many .edu and .gov links, this resulted in a dramatic boost to their rankings in the SERPs.

This is more of a technical link reclamation tactic than a link building tactic and can have a good impact on your link profile. It has worked wonders for clients of mine in the past and is a future proofed tactic. For one client in particular we managed to reclaim over 20k links, including many .edu and .gov links, this resulted in a dramatic boost to their rankings in the SERPs.

Firstly I should mention that it is best practice to keep your 404 errors down to a minimum wherever possible, however many sites seem to overlook this.

In WMT check your crawl errors and find all the pages that have 404 errors. Click on the URL of those error pages and you will see the ‘linked from’ tab, you may find links from external sites within this tab. These 404 pages should then have 301 redirects put in place, make sure that you that you 301 the pages to the next most relevant page, if there is no page that is relevant then just redirect to the homepage or category page. This should then transfer the majority of your link authority from the old page to the new page resulting in a boost to your rankings. The beauty of this tactic is that it is low effort and high gain. The older the site the more links you will be likely to reclaim.

If you want to take this tactic one step further, you could even contact those who are linking to the 404 pages and ask them to change the link to a new destination. This can be very time consuming but in some cases may be worth it in order to squeeze the extra little bit of authority out of those links.

cory Tip 18: Cory Collins
 Website: pageonepower.com
 Twitter: @Coryrcollins

Google is making it harder and harder to build links simply by cutting out the ‘easy options’. In my opinion great links have always been difficult to build, but totally worth the time.

My #1 link building tip for 2014 is to always concentrate on links you wouldn’t mind showing your SEO friends – always work to build links you’re proud of. You should be excited to show your clients the links you’ve built.

As far as tactics, I recommend an 80/20 split.

80% of the time replicate successful strategies in whatever niche you’re pursuing. If ego bait seems particularly successful (hello SEO), lean on that. Same goes for guest posting, broken link building, infographics, resource building, etc. Try and go above and beyond what you’re seeing competitors do, if possible. And use a variety of strategies – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

20% of the time should be left to creative – this is the time you’ll invest to find a new/winning strategy. This could mean slowly creating a piece of big content, experimenting with new ideas, or even doing what Rand calls ‘non-measurable serendipitous marketing’ (playing the long game). Regardless, give yourself time to experiment, learn, and grow as a link builder.

_BPS2444_8x12 Tip 19: Nishanth Stephen
 Website: linkedin.com/in/nishanthstephen
 Twitter: @nishanthstephen
 Guest Blogging

I consider guest blogging to be one of the most powerful link building tactics today. Guest blogging will not only get traffic towards your site from relevant websites but it is also a great way to get links and build relationships with your audience. It paves a way, for you to be seen as an expert in your field by your target audience. The key to guest blogging is that, high quality links can only be acquired by regularly submitting meaningful and engaging content to the best blogs in a particular niche.

I recommend checking out a tool called Zementa that recognises the main theme of your blog posts and places it in front of an audience who are reading similar posts on other sites. This is a contextual form of link building and acts to drive visits to your published content, and also increases the amount of links to your published content, thus improving the value of the tier 1 link back to your site.

Acquire Competitor Links

One of my favourite link building tricks is to acquire your competitor’s backlinks. Perform a backlink audit of competing sites and compare that with your own profile. Tools like clique hunter within Majestic, and the neighbourhood tool within Linkdex identify linking patterns between competitors and highlights sites where you have a valid reason to grab a link.

Look out for domains that link to more than one of your competitors as there is a good chance of them linking back to you as well. I recommend checking out an in depth tutorial by Mathew Woodward on how to steal your competitor’s links.

Turn Brand Mentions into Links

One of the link building tricks I love is turning unlinked brand mentions into links. This is because it’s the most immediate and actionable tactic out there. This method requires you to use advance search operators to find brand mentions without links however I like using Fresh Web Explorer to export a list of pages that have mentioned by client’s brand but have failed to link back.

Do check out Rand’s Whiteboard Friday “3 Methods Fueled by Data and Tools to Earn More (and Better) Links” and how to use Fresh Web Explorer & Open Site Explorer to find these awesome opportunities.

I sometimes use Google image reverse search to look for websites that have used my client’s images, logo or pictures on their websites but haven’t linked back to them.

Produce Evergreen Content and Link Baits

Focus on regularly creating content that never relies on current trends or topics, and can be used as a great informational or reference material that never goes stale. It’s one of the best scalable link building tactics as evergreen content topics are always searched, and most likely to be linked by people looking for that piece of content.  Good solid content that lasts a lifetime always has better chance of getting good rankings on SERPs.

Good examples of link baits are:

  • IGs
  • Whitepapers
  • How to Guides
  • Interviews with SMEs within your industry

Local Link Building

If you are a small business targeting local audience the hosting local events in your community is a great way to build your brand, both offline and online. If you host a large number of events every year, then have a dedicated events page on your site that lists all upcoming and past events with a short description and then link to unique pages for each event.

Once setup, start out reaching to websites that would care about your event. Gather contact information and email the website owner with a request to see if your event is something their readers would be interested in.

Gisele Navarro Tip 20:  Gisele Navarro
 Website: insocialwetrust.wordpress.com/
 Twitter: @GiseleNMendez

Finding a link prospect is easy. Contacting them and receiving a positive response on their side is not. Outreach has been discussed over and over again lately, especially now that the borders between link building and digital PR are getting blurry. That is the reason why today I will be sharing three tips for reaching out to busy people (a.k.a. big dogs.)

One of my main focuses over 2013 was connecting with journalists and big publications, so after many trial/error experiments I’ve come up with the following quick tips:

1) Contact a person and not a publication
Find the right person inside the publication you should connect to based on the affinity they have with the content you’re promoting (E.g. Have they published anything on the same topic before? Would it be organic for them to mention your site/client and share your content? If you’re working with an infographic, have you seen them sharing or posting infographics in the past?)
If you truly recognise the value your content provides and find how it connects with the journalist/publication you’re contacting, you’ll be able to exploit the affinity between the two.

2) One email, one desired outcome

Do you want their feedback? Do you want them to check your content out? Do you want them to share it on social media? Do you want them to publish it on their site? Make up your mind, set one goal and aim at it. You can always move from one possible outcome to another once you’ve gotten a reply.

Play your cards wisely; it’s always better not to ask for anything in particular on your first email. Hint and ask for permission whenever possible: a simple “let me know if you’d like to check it out and I’ll send it over to you” is non-intrusive and more polite than sending a link within the first email.
3) Use your follow-up email for testing + improving your outreach
Don’t forward your unanswered email adding a short “Have you had the chance to read the email below?”
Do include your original email but change everything else. Write a new subject, rewrite the body, experiment with persuasive hooks and make sure you are tapping into the affinity between your content and their work.

portrait Tip 21:  Robert Duckers
 Website: bg-seo.com
 Twitter: @magicrob

My tip for 2014 comes from the best thing I saw in 2013. Site owners have been told to “build a brand” for years now. Whilst there are interesting ways to fake being a brand, taking the first steps to becoming a name people recognise come with crafting a story.

A Corporate Social Responsibility Policy can a simple thing to setup. This company gives away free wood for schools, and as they outlined in this Moz post the initiative earned them some good press coverage and links from high-DA sites.

The company found a way to put their waste wood to good use – there’s no reason other small businesses can’t repurpose their own waste or donate their time, products and expertise to someone who will appreciate it.

Links beget links. If you want to pursue other link building including high-quality Guest Posting, roundup participation, interviews etc then having a genuine story about your business can make you stand out and make others want to hear what you have to say.

barriemoran Tip 22: Barrie Moran
 Website: barriemoran.com
 Twitter: @barriemoran

Research the hell out of your vertical your niche.

Too many think, let’s go build links and on a whim try to target some sites, or run a scrapebox blast to find some “in url” footprint.  Footprints are bad people!

Take your time, research all the potentials, categorise and prioritise them, prepare a “unique” offer for each then work out the engagement strategy, a moderated plan with a 60-80% conversion ratio is streets ahead of a 000’s blast with a 5% conversion.

Know what works, what has worked, who the audience is and what they have shared, liked and linked to in the past, then you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

One thing I would avoid is guest posting, where it is solely for link value and there is again a footprint, the author bio tying everything together, look out for a Google update early 2014 and guest posting like the link networks will be high on the agenda, in fact I would say next.

Use your fresh to fuel your evergreen. Get an editorial plan in place, work it and produce fresh content and learn from it to add value to your evergreen content, and pay more attention to your evergreen the design and other attribute to make it more likable, readable, share-able. Then promote it!

If you subscribe to the “build it and they will come” school of thought, you are going to fail, you need to push it and promote it in the right places to the right people and give them a reason to link to you.

More care and attention to detail with your link building efforts where quality outstrips quantity in most verticals.

venchito Tip 23: Venchito Tampon
 Website: digitalphilippines.net
 Twitter: @venchito14

One of the biggest hardships SEOs are facing in the link building outreach is finding the right emails of their link targets. If they can’t find the proper email, things will go wrong (finding that link prospect will all come to waste since people are the ones who build links and not the pages).

Using contact finder tools will only give you a list of emails found on the website/page but not exactly gives you the right email you should contact to. Oftentimes, tools will give you: info@domain.com or support@domain.com. You can send messages to these emails but usually, they will just direct you to the support system manager and the like company positions (who are not your direct link targets).

I discovered that adding the first name of your link prospect to his/her domain and checking if it is the proper email he/she uses (using Rapportive) is more effective than using contact finder tools.

I got the right emails of my link targets (50%-70%) using only this tactic (First Name + domain.com = name@domain.com). I sent them emails and almost half of them responded since the emails where I pitched are really their personal emails.

Simple things matter in link building. Don’t use paid tools only to find the email of your link target. Use a few tools plus your common sense to determine the right contacts.

cheesh Tip 24: Cheech Foo
 Website: whitechalkroad.com.au
 Twitter: @cheechy

Social-Trending Content Marketing

The follow strategy focusses on utilising the power of social media with content marketing to discover topic ideas that are highly relevant and trendy and therefore more likely to be picked up by authority sites. This strategy is suitable for all clients but is particularly helpful for small businesses with a small budget or for businesses with niche site.

Essentially, you should look for topics from authority sites within your industry that are currently trending in social media channels and create an onsite content piece (http://blog.kissmetrics.com/ingredients-of-great-content/ is a start).

Once the piece is placed within your blog or the relevant section of the site, go through your usual syndication routine and then also re-promote it back to those same channels where you got your topic ideas from.

Topic ideas can come from a variety of social media channels but the three that has proved fruitful include:

Blogs

The Google Blog search feature, http://www.google.com.au/blogsearch is a free and effective way to start your hunt for blogs. Blogger outreach software such as http://www.grouphigh.com (my favourite) are particularly helpful as they allow you to filter by authority, frequency of posting etc. but are usually not free.

Twitter feeds

http://topsy.com/ is quite helpful in discovering topics on Twitter. In addition to looking for tweet streams you should also follow Twitter influencers e.g. compile a list of experts in your industry and follow their tweets and what they are talking about. GroupHigh, in addition to helping find trending topics on blogs, also helps with building a list of Twitter Influencers very quickly.

Forums

Conduct a Google Search for ‘[keyword] forums’ such as ‘[industry] forums’ and search through selected forums for topic ideas.

andre

 Tip 25: Andre Weyher
 Website: Netcomber.com
 Twitter: @AndreWeyher

From what I’ve seen so far the trend that was started by Google in 2012 is steadily progressing. The search quality team continues to focus on measuring authenticity of your backlinks, in some cases going very far in their investigations into what the source of a link is and what the process was to get it placed. My advice going forward would be to stop seeing SEO as a stand alone marketing activity and to integrate is as a sub category of PR effort. One other very interesting thing that can be mentioned is that Google’s main competitor in Russia, Yandex, has announced that it’s completely moving away from links as a ranking factor. I’m sure that Google is not at this stage yet but it’s food for thought. Could this be in store for us as well? And of so, what what will replace them? I am very sure that the elements that could potentially replace links as a ranking factor are already very important in Google’s algo, so you might as well start focusing on these more. Pay particular attention to establishing yourself as an authority in your field and make sure you invest time in a natural and helpful social media presence. Also, from a content perspective, focus on stating a problem in your articles and answering the problem on the same page in your text. In my opinion Google is heading in a direction where paid search will dominate the classic, short, commercial keywords and organic will become an answer engine, so marketers need to be prepared for this change.

krystian Tip 26: Krystian Szastok
 Website: krystianszastok.co.uk & jellyfish.co.uk
 Twitter: @krystianszastok

I envisage two biggest trends which I think will grow stronger in 2014.

 Paid content distribution – if you’re putting content out there as link bait or trying to earn links in any way with your content, it’s harder and harder to surface it in the noise.

Attracting visitors to this content via paid medium such as Outbrain, Taboola, nRelate, Twitter and Facebook advertising will I believe become really big in 2014.

Personalised outreach – after a few years now of guest posting and Matt Cutts recently ‘cracking down’ on it (as any overused SEO technique) we will see journalists and bloggers more trigger happy with pressing delete on outreach emails.

Nurturing those leads in various new ways – like offline (mailing them a material gift when it’s their birthday, or remembering about their mothers birthday – maybe not the latter!) will become crucial in engaging with them and forming a relationship.

 

James-NorquayTip 27 : James Norquay
Website: prosperitymedia.com.au & Backlinks.com.au
Twitter: @connections8

In 2014 link builders are going to need to pick up their game when it comes to building a natural link profile. They’ll need to think about ways in which they can scale their link building process and aim for long term results.

Some tactics which we are currently using at Prosperity Media and seeing great results with include the following:

- Building high quality content assets, which are going to attract natural links in your niche. Strive to build something great that people are going to want to share and link too. For example, I have a jobs related client we built an “Ultimate jobs list in 2014″ for, and it attracted 100s of social shares and many links in the last few weeks. Also, if build content assets like this one you are reading right now you can adapt “resource/expert” lists to all different types of niches.

- Guest posts are still working but aim to find potential prospects on analysis of your competitor’s link profiles. Simply search for keywords like “/blog” – it cuts out much of the research. I would also advise using Ahrefs to perform the search.

- Broken link building using niche specific resource pages is another strategy you could use. Jump on Google and search for queries such as [main industry keyword] + [resource list]. Once you find the list simply use http://domainhunterplus.com/ to crawl all the on page links. If you find broken links it will mean an easy out reach email. You can also use the same process using Screaming Frog “External” tab – just crawl numerous websites and then send the broken links to the website owner and in the same email ask if they will link to your related piece of content.

- My final point is doing off line work to gain links. I recently ran a direct mail campaign to gain a bunch of links here – http://backlinks.com.au/using-direct-mail-outreach-to-gain-links-mentions-and-more/.  You can adapt the same process to any type of gifts for offline out reach. Further to this, I would advise all SEOs and link builders to attend monthly events. I personally run a meetup called Online Marketing Sydney. It is a great way to build links and RELATIONSHIPS. You meet bloggers and real world businesses at these types of events who you can develop on going relationships with.

Bonus 2 Tips : We had two additional entries come in after the post went live, so they will be included below:

image1 Tip 28: Matej Bester
Website: rankmondo.com
Twitter: @matejbester

My biggest link building advice for 2014 (and this really applies after the latest Google Penguin update) would include three things.

Always focus on quality over quantity…
A good source of quality backlinks would be guests posting on authority websites in your niche.

(Quick tip when buying expired domains: don’t worry too much about actual Page Rank. However, keep your eye on DA/PA (OpenSiteExplorer.org) and CF/TF (MajesticSEO.com) of the domain. This allows me to grab domains 10x cheaper than my competition).

Diversify your link building efforts
Quality backlinks should be your building block, although diversifying your linkbuilding will look much more natural to Google. So don’t forget to add backlinks from social media, social bookmarks, video/YouTube, PR, blog comments, web 2.0, etc. into the mix.

Also, what is really important after recent Google updates is diversifying your anchor texts. Nothing caused more over-optimization penalties than over-optimized anchor texts which obviously look unnatural to Google.

So, always focus on building anchors that include your brand keywords, URL, main (target) keyword, longtail (partial) keywords and generic keywords. Stay with 20% of each anchor and you will be safe.

Spy on your competition
ahrefs.com & majesticseo.com are the best tools out there to spy on your competitors’ backlinks. Use them to see where your competitors are getting backlinks from and mimic what they are doing.

I could go on and on about what are we doing in our business, but if I had to pick the 20% that brings 80% of the results these three points sum it up.

david-2010 Tip 29: David Iwanow
Website: lostpr.es
Twitter:@DavidIwanow

Quote: Relationships matter more than ever in 2014

Ah I think the big change will be relationships matter more than ever in 2014 when it comes to link building and content marketing. There has been so much push by low quality and aggressive link builders over the last 2 years that people have become blind to traditional reach out and email pitches.

The overuse of PR syndication caught more than a few agencies and clients out in 2013 due to Google manual penalties, over optimisation and low quality links built due to the number of scraping sites that steal PR content.

The days of writing any of crap and publishing it has gone, this is something that link builders are still struggling to accept. The stupid attitude of but we are the biggest company in X vertical why wouldn’t they want to publish our content needs to stop. The sites are doing your a favour by publishing your content no matter if you paid or its free, there are plenty of others trying the same tactic including your competitors.

If you are serious about doing content marketing and link building seriously you need to be focusing your efforts on nurturing relationships and having such a good relationship they naturally add your links without you needing to beg.

So in 2014 work hard, play nice with others and win!

So overall thank you for taking the time to read this round up it was  over 7,273 words long, thanks to every one who submitted a tip. Now the fun part please make a vote below of your favorite tip and we will send prizes to the top 5.

Prize 1 – Google Note Pad
Prize 2 – 15 GB USB Bottle opener.
Prize 3 – 15 GB USB Bottle opener.
Prize 4 – Red Google pen
Prize 5 – Two x MOZ Stickers

Christmas Special Bonus  – If you would like to win a ONE of FOUR x 15 GB USB Bottle Opener just like the photo here on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=619340391447611

- James Norquay will not be in the running for the prize =)
– Poll to close 10pm EST Tuesday December 31st

19 Comments

  1. Link Building Strategies for 2014. - SEO & SEM Discussions
    December 18, 2013

    […] Link Building Strategies for 2014. – Today, 10:24 PM New post is live now, A few people from DN Trade are featured been Peater Mead and Jock P. Jump on and share it if you like it and please remember to vote. http://backlinks.com.au/link-building-strategies-2014/ […]

    Reply
  2. Conor
    December 19, 2013

    I share the same opinion as Cory, however it’s great to hear someone else say it.

    Much of the time I feel like I’m learning and preparing future links/content/bait/architecture/networks too much without seeing the benefits any time soon. I know what I’m doing is right, just hoping the the bosses do too :)

    Reply
    • Cory
      December 20, 2013

      Hey Conor,

      Glad to hear we share the same opinions. As far as hoping your bosses are understanding the work you do, I’ve always been a huge believer in over-communication.

      Generally speaking I operate on the basis that no one has any idea what I’m doing, and that I better explain it well and thoroughly. That way there’s hopefully less surprises down the road :)

      Best of luck in 2014!

      Reply
      • Conor
        January 6, 2014

        sound advice Cory. happy new year.

        Reply
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    December 19, 2013

    […] Link Building Services Australia 27 Experts Share Their Top Link Building Strategies for 2014, backlinks.com.au […]

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    December 19, 2013

    […] Link Building Services Australia 27 Experts Share Their Top Link Building Strategies for 2014, backlinks.com.au […]

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    […] Link Building Services Australia 27 Experts Share Their Top Link Building Strategies for 2014, backlinks.com.au […]

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  8. Kaila @ Vertical Measures
    December 21, 2013

    Where are all the female link builders at? Forgot to ask some big names including Julie Joyce, Rhea Drysdale and Casie Gillette! Guess I could add myself to the list too ;).

    Some great responses here, things we know work and others that are new and worthwhile to try in the coming year. Unlinked brand mentions for years have worked well for me. Additionally resource lists! Finding a resource list, links list, anything that makes sense, is relevant, authoritative, will get clicks and is useful. These lists are all over the place and especially on .edu and .gov sites. Get really good at advanced search commands and trust me you’ll find the epic PR 9 DA 90’s types of links!

    Reply
  9. admin
    December 21, 2013

    Thanks for the message, I just put a call out on Twitter for link builders I didn’t really ask specific users. More than happy to do a follow up in the near future to include additional female link builders.

    Reply
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