At Ghost Marketing we use 17 strategies on a daily basis to build links for clients. These 17 strategies are what we refer to as our core link building techniques. They are highly reliable and enable us to build links for clients that move the organic ranking needle.
Occasionally we’ll build out more advanced link building strategies and techniques, from here we expand on our extended methodologies and build out campaigns that drive a massive amount of links in a very short period of time, usually between 25-50 links a month for larger clients.
Below is a screenshot of our most recent results, the client itself has chosen not to make their information public but the results show a 30% increase in organic traffic since the start of our link building campaign.
A client experiencing a decrease over time due to massive competition increases and no active link building. This client came on-board at the start of June 2018. Now the same client has had a 30% increase in organic traffic as a direct result of the 48 links that have been built in just over 7 weeks.
These results are not uncommon on larger campaigns and when we integrate an advanced link building service and techniques there are multiple synergy elements, including; traffic from the referring sites, organic visibility increase, placements in editorial features (which can be used as social proof in other marketing materials), natural social traction and multiple other marketing benefits to the company in question.
Content that’s attracted links is usually extremely good, high quality and relevant to that specific niche. If you’re in a niche you’ll likely be aware of larger and smaller competitors that are creating content and looking to acquire links. But something you might not be aware of is the smaller websites, bloggers, influencers that build content that’s really good and attracts links naturally. This is something that’s very common and something most people try to do the “skyscraper technique” around.
I’m actually not a fan of that for a number of reasons 1.) It’s over-used. 2.) It’s very time and resource intensive, you can spend hundreds if not thousands on building out an incredible piece of content. As well as multiple other reasons that I don’t have time to get into (but message me on twitter if you want the rest.)
Instead. Work smart, not hard.
Offer to buy the original piece of content. Straight up.
The requirements inside the deal would be:
Very easy to implement and in many cases you’ll buy a piece of content that can have dozens if not hundreds of high quality links for under £1,000. If you look at the specific cost-per-link set-up it’s an incredible ROI.
Pro tip: Add to this content and build it out even further to maximum organic rankings. This works even better if this piece of content is a lead gen element for your business! Then this becomes a win-win-win technique.
This is probably (when mixed with a visual marketing strategy) the single most effective way to generate a link in any given market.
One of the issues we run into is clients & prospects thinking they have to much of a boring niche to build links or creative content in. The good news is that when you think you have a boring niche, chances are your competitors aren’t taking steps with content marketing either. This in fact gives you an advantage, and one advanced link building strategy that’s the cornerstone of the majority of “boring businesses” is data.
Creating a unique data piece doesn’t have to be extremely in-depth or difficult. You can even just use data aggregation sites or re-phrase existing data to create something more appealing. In-house we call this technique a bridge.
There are hundreds of examples of unique data pieces in all kinds of industries from Ahrefs using their big data information to build out a unique and controversial piece, to smaller simple infographics (such as the below) generating 1,000s of links within weeks.
Building a content piece based on unique data and then reaching out to relevant prospects will always be a very effective advanced link building strategy as it’s simply creating something interesting and visual and showing people who would find it interesting. Simple.
Bribing a site owner is something that’s done with multiple offerings whether that’s free content, products, services or straight up cold hard cash. But something that’s not implemented much is sending site owners/bloggers/influencers physical gifts. This has to come across personalised and unique otherwise this whole strategy breaks down, but if you make something of value or have connections, such as a client that could potentially arrange something, then consider the free physical gift link building technique. Remember to follow up with an email and build rapport, as having a link now is great but having someone who promotes your brand at every opportunity is (as much as it pains a link builder to say it) more important from an ROI point of view.
Not one we implement on a regular basis (because outside is scary for us digital folk), but offline link building actually works incredibly well, especially on the local level. Simply going out to businesses (with websites obviously) and offering to help them improve something about it (for free). There’s multiple angles to go at this with, but for example one that we’re integrating currently is to offer an SSL for businesses in return for a link. Of course SSL is free, but a bit of a pain to integrate if you are not familiar with it. You can then of course upsell them content marketing, technical SEO, link building, design or even just hosting.
Interactive content is a great way to garner links & social attention. Although more difficult to create and develop from a general creative point of view, these mini-games or interactive content style pieces always gain attention and even media attention in some select cases.
To build this link building technique out, all you need to do is built out a piece of interactive content, some good example of these can be seen here and here. Their Ahrefs stats for that specific URLs are below…. As you can see these are extremely powerful link generation pieces. There’s a good piece on SEJ about interactive content as well. Another example of good interaction content that actually improves conversion is the Empire Flipper’s sell your site gamification of their estimations.
A strategy I love for larger manufacturers or a company that has multiple larger clients/customers and suppliers. A very easy strategy that simply involves reaching out to your suppliers and larger retail contacts and simply requesting a link. You can see the “we sell our product in” options or “our suppliers” style pages. Even vendors or any one who’s purchased your product can be a potential link prospect. You’re generally looking for pages already established and linking such as the below screenshot, but remember there are ways around this, such as asking to post on a suppliers blog/news – If you come at this strategy in the right way, the outreach to live link ratio is very high.
To complete this strategy simply reach out to your suppliers as well as anyone you do business with “as a supplier”. This of course works better in the B2B space than it does in the business to consumer world, but even then you can make this work if you are approached by influencers, bloggers or vloggers remember to always build the relationship first. Links can be worth giving away a few free products.
Newsjacking is a technique that involves providing information slightly before a story breaks to the wider audience. As the image above shows the process of a news story. These stories of course have life cycles and once the story dies down the life cycle the news-jacking opportunity is done. The key then is to get on the breaking news as quickly as possible and add your company’s specific angle or value-add.
This tends to be pretty easy around events, conferences, celebrities or relevant news. This was initially how Ghost Marketing itself generated it’s first few links. It also leads to great traffic spikes & hugely authoritative links. Such as a link for one of our smaller local clients when Ed Sheeran & Lionel Richie had dinner. The traffic spikes speak for themselves.
Scholarship or intern link building techniques are relatively simple to understand. The basic technique involves creating a scholarship programme in your company and then simply telling universities about this. These Universities then (in many cases) link to your page describing your scholarship information. This is incredibly effective but shouldn’t be mis-used. If you never have the intention to actually take anyone on then Google can look down on this strategy.
Internships work in much of the same way but the link-net can be cast further and wider as many other companies and institutions can link to an internship page.
An extremely effective long term link building strategy. This utilised correctly will lead to multiple links on a recurring and ongoing basis. A great example I like to use is screaming frog. Screaming frog build their SEO Spider tool years ago, this is a desktop based scraper that provides on-page data on the URL’s of a website. This is an incredibly effective piece of software and has been used by thousands of SEO’s worldwide.
As well as being used by thousands of SEO’s, whenever they are mentioned in a post, of course they generate a link. This single link building strategy has helped screaming frog generate over 4,000 referring domain backlinks to that single page alone. Assuming others are linking to the homepage when talking about the tool we can safely assume this single link building strategy has acquired over 5,000 links…. Not bad.
These are just 9 of the additional 57 advanced link building strategies we use for larger clients. If you’re looking for a full ongoing white hat link building solution feel free to get in touch with a member of the team today.