The same question in search engine optimization (SEO) has existed for decades.
In 2021, the same question remains:
“How can my website receive more backlinks?”
“Is there some special strategy for driving more links to my website?”
“Is there a way I can automate the link-building process?”
To be entirely truthful with you, link-building is manual (not automatic), aggressive, labor intensive, stressful, and time-consuming process that can take several years to master.
You were expecting a different answer.
Fortunately, there is a strategic way to drive more backlinks to your website in 2021.
Are you ready to learn?
This very long and in-depth guide will show you how you can identify ideal backlinking opportunities, create the right type of content for backlinks, and reach out to influencers who aren’t going to request a lot in return.
Are you ready to get started?
Let’s dive on in.
Chapter 1: Explore
This is arguably the most important part of the link-building process.
Most people know what backlinks are…
However, a lot of people don’t properly plan to receive backlinks to their site.
They simply think:
“I want some backlinks.”
“Let’s get some backlinks”
Before you get started with anything, you need to explore your possibilities first and find out if it’s even feasible for you to begin in the first place.
In this chapter, we’re going to show you how to:
- Judge your own website
- Find your niche
- Identify content types you can create
Trust us - you’re going to learn a lot of valuable preparation steps for receiving more backlinks to your website in 2021.
Let’s get moving!
Judge Your Own Website
Before you begin, ask yourself:
“Why would anyone want to link back to my website?”
“What’s so special about my business and website that others will give me a shout out?”
Linking back to a website is effortless but it’s still a thoughtful process.
Someone has to be really impressed with your website if they’re going to give you a link.
With that said, how does your website look?
Does your website look like it’s stuck back in 1999?
If so, no one in their right mind is going to link back to your website.
Why would they?
A backlink is considered to be a vote of confidence from one reputable website to another.
For example, if I was writing a blog on the top causes for a headache, which website would I link back to?
Or, this one:
The answer is very simple.
We’re going to link back to the best-looking, informative website on the internet.
And, that’s not just our opinion…
That’s the opinion of almost everyone who uses the internet.
Just check out these important statistics on website quality and first impressions:
As you can see, the design of your website will play an integral role in not only how potential customers interact with your brand, but also how like-minded professionals will link back to your website.
If your website is a hot mess, then you need to take care of it before starting any link-building campaign.
The moment you send an outreach email, the person or organization you want a link from will check out your website.
If they think it’s suspect, they’re going to leave and ignore your website.
The major takeaway here is to judge your website and make any necessary improvements before moving on.
That brings us to the next point…
Find Your Niche
Listen, SEO is nothing new in 2021.
Most businesses are already implementing a sound SEO strategy, fighting for links, and online positioning.
Also, they’re already creating great content.
To stand out, you’ll need to find your niche and create content that’s different from what’s out there.
Let’s take a look at one of the most popular digital marketing blogs on the internet: Backlinko.
Brian Dean, the author of Backlinko, is well respected in the SEO community because he has received hundreds of thousands of backlinks for his blog.
Why is he so successful?
Brian has found his niche and regularly creates really informative and data-driven blogs you won’t find anywhere else:
Brian’s blogs are so different from the other blogs you see online about content marketing:
Brian’s blogs are more informative and actionable, meaning:
Any competent marketer can read them and implement his advice.
To achieve the same success, find your niche and create content for others in it.
Here’s some steps for doing this:
- Determine what you’re good at. What value can you provide to your audience? Do you know something your competitors don’t?
- Define your niche. Put your expertise into words. What is the information you can clearly communicate to your target audience.
- Document everything. Now, it’s time to build a content marketing strategy. Write down all of your notes to keep all of your team organized and on track.
When you’re finished following these steps, you can move on to the final point in this section…
Identify Content Types You Can Create
Now that your website has been modified and you know your niche, it’s time to discover content types you can create for your audience.
Are you going to create in-depth blogs?
Are you instead going to focus on producing data-driven case studies?
Or, will you research and compile original statistics and survey data?
There is no principle to selecting the right content type.
You should use your discretion to decide if you have the time, commitment, and expertise to produce a specific type of content.
And, if you don’t, you can always hire a freelancer to do the work.
After making your decision, you can move on to the next chapter to continue the prep work.
Chapter 2: Identify the Right Opportunities
Don’t believe the promises of a SEO company telling you:
“You can rank for anything!”
This is simply not true.
Savvy SEOs and marketers know how to creatively rank for popular keywords and the so-called “low-hanging fruit” on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In the same sense, you’re not going to get many backlinks if you create content on an already-covered topic.
For example, if I wanted to write a case study on how to get the #1 spot on Google in just five days, I’m going to face a lot of competition.
Let’s just take a look at the websites already ranking for this type of content:
Backlinko, Ahrefs, and Neil Patel already have posts on this subject matter.
Knowing them, they probably already have thousands of backlinks for these articles.
If you’re just starting out, you’re not going to catch them anytime soon.
It’s just going to take a lot of effort, time, and money.
For this reason, you’re going to need to explore new and hot topics people haven’t started right about.
Here is an easy and effective way to explore new topics: Use Google Trends
Backlink Generation Method #1: Use Google Trends
By using Google Trends, you can explore new content ideas based on upcoming trends from search engine data.
For example, we’re curious and wanted to find out if voice search is a trending topic in 2021.
Here’s what we found by typing voice search into the search bar:
Alright, let’s make some sense of this data.
The “interest over time” is simply the wave in which the topic is trending based on the date.
As you can see, voice search is a fluctuating topic.
It’s still above the 50 mark, which means it’s a very popular topic.
With this data, let’s conduct an exploratory search to see what kinds of content appear for the keyword: “how to rank fast for voice search”.
This SERP is compiled of guides and tips.
There isn’t any original research and data yet for this topic.
That smells like the perfect opportunity to create custom research for voice search.
When you create custom research on a topic, you’re more likely to receive a backlink.
Bloggers and journalists are more interested in data, tips, and strategies that have just been unearthed.
They’re not going to link to the same old regurgitated information.
There are more ways you can find backlink opportunities.
Another method is simply finding popular questions that need answers.
Backlink Generation Method #2: Use Online Forums
You can find these questions on popular industry forums, or commercial ones like Quora.
These are general SEO questions, but there is a chance you will find specific ones that don’t have any content answers online.
This is the type of “low-hanging fruit” we were talking about…
Backlink Generation Method #3: Target Low-Difficulty Keywords
The last method of identifying a backlink opportunity is performing highly-specific keyword research.
Remember, it’s not wise to write content on popular and general topics.
The key to discovering an ideal backlink opportunity is finding a specific keyword with a low search volume and keyword difficulty.
Yes, we’re going after the “low-hanging fruit” again…
We’re going to use Ahrefs for this simple exercise.
Once you’re logged on, drag a specific list of keywords into the search bar:
Next, filter your results using a low keyword difficulty of 20.
What you’ll find is a bunch of secondary keywords that will be easy to rank for.
And, check out what happens when we click on one of these keywords:
A basic keyword and article like this got 114 backlinks!!!
And, this was based on 581 web visitors.
Although a lot of people didn’t search for this keyword, it sure did get a lot of attention.
With a very low keyword difficulty of 9, ranking for this keyword will be simple.
This enormously-successful link-building technique involves creating a better piece of content than the #1 search result on Google and stealing their backlinks through outreach.
We’ll get to outreach later in Chapter 4…
But, for now, we’ve gone over some creative ways to find backlink opportunities.
Now, let’s discuss how you can create suitable content that will drive interest in the next chapter.
Chapter 3: Create Worthy Content
Again, you have to create a reason for others to link back to your content.
This means creating worthy content that hasn’t been seen yet on the internet.
For a moment, put yourself in the mold of a typical person who links back to another website: a content writer or blogger.
Let’s say you’re tasked with writing an article about “migraines”.
You need professional sources and look online for help:
Apparently, Google loves Healthline’s blog so much that it rewarded them with a featured snippet.
Obviously, we and everyone else will click on this…
The first thing we notice is that this blog was written by a medical professional and peer-reviewed by other doctors.
This means we can trust the information provided in this blog.
There’s also no sources at the bottom of the article:
This means that all of the information in this blog is unique and practical.
We’re not going to find this information anywhere else.
Therefore, any content writer or blogger is going to link back to this source.
So, what does this mean for you?
In this chapter, we’re going to go over some helpful steps in creating worthy content for your website, which include:
- Using custom data
- Answering as many questions as you can
- Making your content a timeless resource
Let’s get started.
Using Custom Data
A lot of people believe that it costs a lot of money to curate custom data like the information in this blog:
Brian has to perform labor-intensive data compiling tasks like this because he naturally won’t have access to case studies.
After all, the only blog he works on is his own.
Now, if you have a history of delivering remarkable products, services, and results for your customers, then you have a story to tell.
This means that you can compile your own data without having to rely on surveying people.
For example, take a look at how this marketer created an amazing piece of content by just telling a story of how they boosted the revenue of their client:
Content like this will always get backlinks because content writers and bloggers can use the custom data found inside.
This blog is full of so much specific and original content, a person will have no choice but to link to them if they want to quote the same information:
Using custom data helps your content stand out.
It also presents new findings other professionals in your industry might be interested in.
If they’re impressed with your data, it’s more likely that they’ll leave a link.
Answering as Many Questions as You Can
The purpose of content is to answer a question.
The content that ranks well online and secures the most backlinks answers the most questions.
Anyway, by answering the questions your audience wants to know, it’ll increase your chance of receiving a featured snippet:
And, guess what?
If you take a look at the snapshot, we actually linked to Ahrefs because they had a featured snippet for the data we needed.
If your content answers a lot of different questions, then it’ll naturally receive a snippet and backlinks from other professionals in your industry.
Remember, you can find questions from online forums like we discussed in Chapter 2:
Let’s move on to the next point.
Making Your Content a Timeless Resource
If you’re going through the trouble of compiling original data, you need to make sure it will stand the test of time.
For example, remember the Skyscraper Technique we talked about Chapter 2?
Well, that concept came out in 2016.
It’s a timeless, evergreen resource that is still relevant today, despite the constant changes to Google search algorithms:
Check it out: Ahrefs discussed the strategy back in 2019.
This is because Brian put his blood, sweat, and tears into performing experiments and compiling data that would be relevant to all of his audience.
If you follow the same format, you’ll be just as successful.
Chapter 4: Perform Outreach
Once your content is ready, now comes the time-consuming part in outreaching to influencers to present your findings.
You’re not going to do this by sending the same robotic email to a person’s company email.
Instead, this process is manual and should be personalized.
An outreach email should look nothing like this:
This email is too long, takes too long to get to the point, and the amount of flattery here is toxic.
Instead, here’s a great example of what outreach emails should look like:
As you can see, these emails are personal, brief, and look like they were written by a real human.
Also, the subject line clearly communicates what the email will be about rather than using a click-bait and misleading subject.
Do you need help with your link-building outreach?
This chapter will delve into some effective strategies, such as:
- Using an email lookup tool
- Crafting a personalized email
- Avoiding costly mistakes
Using an Email Lookup Tool
To get started with your outreaching campaign, you should use an email address lookup tool like Hunter.io
to find the emails of the people you want to reach out to:
As you can see, Hunter pulls up the direct email address of the main person you want to contact instead of a generic, blackhole company email address.
This is the fastest and most convenient method of finding almost any email address, no matter how famous your recipient is.
Crafting a Personalized Email
Just in case you didn’t read the beginning of this blog, link-building is not an automated process.
Sadly, everything is manual…
Including the outreach.
This means you need to create personalized emails that are relevant to each recipient.
Don’t just copy and paste the same email template from one recipient to the other.
People naturally receive hundreds of emails every day.
There’s a great chance your email will be flagged as spam or ignored because you didn’t spend a few extra minutes working on its delivery.
Remember, you’re the one that needs the backlink.
Put in the extra effort into your email.
Your recipient deserves that respect.
Here are some timeless tips to create a personalized email that will properly reach your audience:
After your email is finished, you can move on to the final point of this chapter…
Avoiding Costly Mistakes
The main mistake people make when sending outreach is giving in to the demands of some disingenuous person.
For example, some people will demand that you pay them a fee or post numerous links to their website in exchange for a single backlink.
This actually does happen quite a lot, and you definitely don’t want to be in the business of giving into these demands.
Especially if you’re trying to scale the receipt of your backlinks.
Only deal with true professionals that want to link back to your work because it’s great.
Now, you can still do them a favor by linking back to their website.
But, don’t make a habit of caving in to unreasonable demands for the sake of a backlink.
It’s just not worth it.
Chapter 5: Rinse and Repeat
And, there you have it.
This is the full process of getting more backlinks in 2021.
If you execute this entire guide, you may get a few backlinks after a few tries.
That’s just how SEO works, unfortunately.
This is why it’s important to partner with an SEO agency or at least hire a team that will spearhead an aggressive link-building campaign for your business to take the load away from your hands.
After following these tips, simply rinse and repeat.
Then, you’ll gradually begin to drive more backlinks to your website…
And, capitalize on massive sales and revenue opportunities quality backlinks can bring.