Gaining ‘links’ is crucial for SEO, the way Google sees it if no one is linking to your website it might not be important to people searching. The issue is that getting links is not exactly a quantifiable process and results can take time depending on the topic you’re trying to rank for.

Regardless building links is a main component of getting websites to rank well and understanding so is enough information to know it should be a part of your websites development. Simple takeaways to start formulating your plan:

  • Outreach, Outreach, Outreach & Outreach
  • The more authority the site that’s linking to you the better the link.
  • It’s not all about your website relationships are key.
  • Tackling it one angle or technique at a time helps to keep things organized.
  • Stay organized – get your spreadsheet game up or use software like SEMrush link building management tool.

Getting Started

There are a couple of different ways to create a process out of this and my personal preference is to have some linear process when it comes to link building or you might find a rabbit hole. Then 3 hours have gone by and you’ve just been searching the web like a bot. Ok, on to the processes, the type of link your going after is a good starting point:

  • Web Directory
  • Blogs & Websites
  • .Edu
  • .Gov

Then for each one find an angle or multiple, you can come up with your own or use SEMrush to research your competitors backlinks and see what strategies they used.

Web Directories

Lets start with web directories, do they still work? all I know is if you do it and traffic goes up, it worked. Using your own strategy would be site specific but samples below: (assuming you have a local sushi business you want to get links for)

Search on Google strategy use “topic” plus “directory”:

  • sushi + directory

If you want to find local directories, possibly even one only dedicated to sushi spots(super relevant):

  • “Los Angeles” + directory
  • “Los Angeles” + sushi directory

The first page you see is the most autoritative for the search and you want to go after thoes first. Keep in mind you want to keep it relevent dont just get on any directory as it could cause trouble.

Blogs & Websites

Moving on to blog & website link building techniques, there are many other opportunities here(creativity is your limitation). Here are some angles:

  • Guest posting
  • Co-authoring
  • Link relationships

Using guest posting as an angle a variety of search terms can be made using “topic” + “guest post”, use the search modifiers for a more specific search or dont and go after what Google determines is best for the search.

  • “topic” + “guest post guidelines”
  • “topic” + “guest writer”
  • “topic” + “contributors”
  • “topic” + “write for us”
  • “topic” + “contribute to”

If you want to find local relevant websites, once more well stick with the sushi shop – sample searches below:

  • “Los Angeles” + sushi + “contribute to”
  • “Los Angeles” + sushi + “guest post”

Again the top-ranking pages are usually where you want your link, not always possible but you have to keep on trucking. Once you find a site and decided to submit for guest posting, sending a more human /personal messages that can get more attention is important. Hundreds of bots fill out forms and contact websites with junk, try you best to stand out.

.Edu and .Gov (Creativity is a must)

Understanding that the angle cannot be the same for each type of link is the best thing I have taken away from building links and then creative aspect of it takes a back seat for the sake of efficiency and production. The last thing you want is to be working all day on trying to build links and have nothing to show for it.

Now the creative aspect cannot be ignored especially when it comes to .edu and .gov links because you can have a go to strategy but in this case they might be inapplicable. For .edu and .gov its almost like an individual stratetegy per link and grouping them together is much harder. I will list a few strategies that can be applied as a collective for .edu and .gov links.

Find local resource pages and scan to see if there’s a chance you can be included, here are some search ideas:

  • “topic” + inurl:resources
  • “topic” + inurl:links

Find staff discount pages, here are some search ideas:

  • “staff discounts”
  • “employee discount program”
  • “student discounts”

Create tailored approach for an opportunity:

  • I’ve seen websites make scholarship programs for a .edu link
  • Internship programs
  • The list goes on..

It’s not just about the number of links to your site or whether they are dofollow or nofollow, although some people would say otherwise. In reality no one really knows besides Google, that is what makes this process a bit mysterious in the sense that all you do is search for links and if you get them that might lead to more traffic.