One of the most important ways to ensure that you rank on Google, and people find you is through link building.
Unfortunately, most link building strategies and guest posting tips shared across the web do not work.
They are mere regurgitation of tactics that quit working years ago. Not very helpful at all.
For link building to work and help you grow your business, you need to have several key things in place:
Your website needs to be in order
Your team needs to create one or more high-value link asset
You must target prospects in your industry who can most help your business
You need to work to get those prospects to value linking to you
In this link building strategy guide, you’ll learn to overcome all these obstacles. You are going to learn tips that are working TODAY (not eight years ago).
Divorce Google and Get More Revenue
As with most things in life, link building success depends in part on you having a proper mindset.
If you’re having a tough time earning links, you may need to rethink why you want to build them. To earn links that improve your traffic and sales, pretend that Google doesn’t exist.
For many people, this may be hard to do.
In fact, for some people, this is even out of their scope of experience. Anyone under the age of 20 or thereabouts has never actually experienced such a world.
Contrary to Popular Opinion, Link Building Is Not SEO
What most people don’t realize is that link building is a subset of business development, not SEO.
If you have any mentality other than that, you may end up wasting tons and tons of your effort and money.
Even if we all live to 100, we have a short, finite amount of time to spend on this planet. So, it is imperative that we make that time count. One of the best ways to do that in business is to make sure that you have a clear, defined goal of generating revenue from your efforts right from the outset.
Quit building links in the hopes it will improve your search rankings.
There’s a better way.
A World Without Google
Imagine this unimaginable world – a world without Google.
What would you do to find potential customers if Google did not exist?
You would find out what sites your prospects frequent the most. That would be your first step. From there, you would want to approach the owners of those sites to build a relationship with them.
It is time to become the master of your fate and quit relying on Google.
If you have been in the online business game for any amount of time, you know how fickle Google can be.
The kind of link building you are going to learn today will put you back in the driver’s seat. That way, it is you in control of your business, and not a search engine that can change its mechanical mind on a whim.
Keep reading to jump right into it.
In a Google-less World, You Would Focus on Generating Referral Traffic
The majority of link builders and guest post tips writers tend to focus on the top of funnel metrics.
They obsess over getting traffic to a web page without realizing that it is not converting. They may have fantastic numbers. But, the top of funnel numbers does not always equal paying customers. And at the end of the day, your number of paying customers is what matters, not your top of funnel metrics.
The kind of link building we are talking about here gets you away from depending on Google.
Instead, you will be able to go straight to your potential fans in new and exciting ways. The late great link building training expert, Eric Ward, AKA Link Moses called these kinds of links “stealth links.” Your competition cannot track them back to you by doing a simple backlink analysis. That gives you an edge over them.
It’s kind of like that crush you had in middle school. The person you had a crush on tended to be the one that ignored you. Ok, it’s not much like that at all, but you get the point.
Google Will Start to Like the Backlinks That You Build!
Many people try and cheat the system with unproven on page SEO services and junk links. They attempt to trick Google into ranking their site using black hat strategies.
Black hat practitioners often have their campaigns backfire right in their faces.
And besides, no matter what industry you are in, there are tons of websites run by the influencers in your niche. Each one is a potential goldmine of high-quality links for your site. Take the time to build real relationships with the people you meet in your outreach efforts.
Genuine effort expenditures pay off. We all know from experience that cheating rarely does.
Turn Link Prospects into New Customers
Getting sales is vital to any business.
One of the fastest ways for you to generate sales is to target a segment of your buyer audience as link prospects. It’s also a great way to differentiate what other agencies are doing if you happen to run an SEO agency as we do.
Targeting a segment of your buyer prospects as link prospects double your efficiency. Instead of a link prospect being a link prospect, now they are more than that. As you or your guest post outreach team reaches out for links, it also gives your brand a “soft touch” with your buyer prospects.
The idea to keep in mind here is to consider link building as a subset of business development, and not SEO.
That means you get to do less work than the way you currently are building links and make more money in the process!
One Link Building Strategy, Double the Benefits
With this link building strategy, you are killing two birds with one stone. For one, you will be increasing brand awareness for your new potential buyers.
People do not buy from brands they do not know, like, and trust, and this is the first step to getting them there. And for another, you will be earning relevant links that Google loves. Instead of the fake, or meaningless backlinks that can get your website penalized.
Having Google adore you and your website means that it will reward you with even more traffic. And that is a beautiful thing.
ROI That Funds the Next Steps
You will start generating a return on investment that helps fund your link building.
As you get to know your buyer prospects, they will begin to share their needs with you. They will start to tell you about their pain points. If you cannot fulfill those needs, you will have the opportunity to find people that will. As you pass the leads to your buyer prospects, they will reciprocate with referrals to you.
Yes, Elton John was right, the Circle of Life moves us all.
Networking is a great thing and vital for your business. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t always have to be the one looking for the chamber of commerce networking events? Instead, have people coming to you for new connections.
Receive Referrals Without Having to Ask for Them
You already know that good, reliable referrals are worth their weight in gold. But are they the lifeblood of your business yet?
What is surprising is that most business owners have a tough time when it comes to asking for referrals. One of the easiest ways to get referrals is to target people in your industry who can send them to you in droves.
If we are looking at link building as a part of business development, then this makes sense.
The First Step
If you don’t currently get enough referrals here is the first step to getting them:
Create a list.
On it include all the influencers in your industry that are not your direct competitors. We are talking about anyone who has pull with your potential customers.
Influencers already have established relationships with the customers you are targeting. It makes sense that they can provide you with a new avenue of contacting those customers.
When you are reaching out to others for links, it might as well be to the top influencers in your industry.
Going straight to the top makes sense.
A Quick Warning for You
Many link building strategy “experts” will caution you against targeting premium link prospects.
They feel it is better for you to get your “sea legs” underneath you before you start swinging for the fences. They would have you believe that it is better to start slow and relaxed instead.
But I’m calling baloney on that kind of “logic”!
Most of the content you run across online when trying to learn SEO is worthless and COSTLY!
If you aren’t ready to take things to the next level, that link building strategy might be fine and dandy. If you’re ready to start winning big in link building, you need to shoot for the moon.
After all, time is precious. You only have so much of it. So why waste the little time you have doing anything else?
Setting your sights on the biggest link targets in your industry has some hidden benefits. It will also force you to up your content game.
If you target less than the best, you can about count on the fact that you will not bring your “A” game. If you have high objectives and big goals, your content creation MUST rise to that same level. And when it does, you are going to be turning some heads, guaranteed.
Let’s Call Your Top Prospect, Your Golden Prospect
At the top of the list, you create, should be your Golden Prospect. He or she should be the top influencer of influencers in your niche and recognized by your prospects.
Your Golden Prospect will cause you to do backflips when they link to your site. We are talking a game-changer, the kind of thing that you have dreamed of over the years about owning a business.
No matter what arena your business is in, there is a Golden Prospect that you need to pursue. In the SEO realm, we are talking about people like Garrett French, Rand Fishkin, or Brian Dean. In the health business, you are going to be looking for people like Dr. Mercola, or even a name as big as Dr. Oz.
The Ultimate Link Building Strategy of Them All
1. You will get referral traffic from your Golden Prospects website. You’re going to get visitors from their link when his or her readers click it. These will be prospects looking for what you have to offer. Since you came by way of referral from someone they already trust.
2. Your search engine rankings will improve. Google will love finding backlinks to your website from high trust traffic sources. The fact they also come from people within your industry is going to work out BIG for you. Such links are not easy to fake, so when Google finds them, your rankings will improve.
3. The most considerable authority in your niche will get to know who you are. You will gain the ability to network with this authority. Instead of being another business in a sea of companies, you will be the one who has influencers.
4. You will become much more proficient at earning links from non-influencers too. You’ll also get better at winning links from average link prospects. Why wouldn’t you? The link prospects you’re currently targeting are people too. This system will work for earning those types of links also.
Effective Networking Plays a Big Part in Link Building Success
The strategies you learn in this guide will help you get links from Golden Prospects. It will also help you build a long-term relationship with them at the same time.
Those relationships may very well end up generating a lot of revenue for your business.
What if you were able to create a real, stable relationship with that influencer? How might that transform your business?
And remember, this will most likely not stop at one relationship. You may earn introductions to even more influencers in your niche. The sky’s the limit!
That one backlink from your Golden Prospect could be the gift that keeps on giving and GIVING to you.
But, Is This Link Building Strategy Worth It?
Are you wondering if earning a backlink from your Golden Prospect be worth all the effort it will take? After all, time is money, and you want to be sure that you are not pouring time and effort down the drain, right?
So, is it worth it?
Imagine for a moment, two vendors. These vendors have identical products, pricing, and web designs. They are the same in every way except for one thing. The only difference is that one of them has a link from that coveted Golden Prospect, while the other does not.
In the fight for customers and revenue, who do you think will win in this scenario?
If I were a betting man, I would say it would be the vendor with the link from the Golden Prospect. That “tiny” little difference can mean the world in a tight race.
The vendor with the link from the Golden Prospect will receive more web traffic. Not only that, but his conversions will also be higher.
Why? Because he took the time to rock out his content to earn the link.
That is why this strategy is so vital for your business. It can mean the difference between failure and victory for your business.
More traffic and more conversions – now that sounds like a recipe for success! And what made the difference? The vendor who puts in the effort up front will get more traffic and more conversions.
Subpar Backlinks Will Only Get You Subpar Results
I hope by now, you can see why it is vital for you to earn links from the foremost authorities in your industry. Subpar backlinks will only get you sub-par results.
If you want to move your business forward, then it is time to make that happen.
Now it is time – grab that notepad and jot down the “Numero Uno” person rocking your industry right now.
Start your list with that Golden Prospect.
It doesn’t matter if they seem unreachable, we will address that in a bit. The important thing now is for you to set your sights on the biggest name in your niche. That starts with writing them down on your list.
Start Your Link Campaign BIG
Getting that top person in your industry may be a challenge. But if you are up to it, the results are going to rock your world. It is time to swing hard for the fences. If you want to get to the next level, this is the stuff that will take you there.
I’m not going to sugar coat things here – doing link building right is a lot of work. And I know that you will be looking for the effort you are about to spend. But those results will only come from targeting the biggest name in your industry.
You do not have time to work your way up even if you work another 75 years. The first name on your list, that Golden Prospect, should be your primary target.
So how do you do this impossible task?
First, realize that this link building strategy is not impossible. This goal is within your reach! I’m about to give you the steps. If you follow these to the letter, you can get that link from your Golden Prospect.
Step 1 – Know Them Better Than You Know Your Neighbors
Whoever is at the top of your list is now your research project. Read everything about them that you can find. Check their blogs, paid content, books, interviews, webinars, and newsletters.
Anyone who is an authentic influencer is going to have a lot of material out there. Ingest it all. Know it forward and backward.
And don’t forget to read the content they are already linking to from their website.
They have already decided this material was worth the time and effort to mention. Doing this will give you a sneak peek of exactly what type of content you will need to create.
If you think about it, your prospects are giving you a template for you to use to earn a link from them. That’s a crazy excellent gift, so don’t let it go to waste!
Another thing you need to know is that other people are barking up this same tree. Your competitors want a link from this person too. But they don’t want it as much as you do. Doing your research beforehand will differentiate you from your competitors. They are not going to take the time to complete the necessary research. Your competitor’s laziness gives you a huge advantage!
Step 2 – Help them in Whatever Way You Can
Realize that your Golden Prospect is a mere human. They have needs. And these needs might be something that you can meet (or if you can’t, you can introduce them to someone who can).
Self-promotion is difficult and often not very useful; you are promoting for them a bit can go a long way. For example, they have a Kindle book on the market. Why not read it and give them an honest, sincere review? You should be reading it anyway during the research step above, so give them a helpful review!
Again, this step is going to take some time and effort on your part. If you put in the work, you will be set apart from the competition in a very tangible, meaningful way.
Step 3 – Never Ask for Anything
Nobody likes a taker. Being an energy vampire is the surest way to repel prospects. Don’t do it! Always keep your needs to yourself. Giving with a clear desire to get will only derail your efforts with the Golden Prospect.
Step 4 – Give, Then Give Some More, Then Give Some More Again
Once you have gotten to this step, you may be thinking, “Ok, when is the payoff?” know, you are not there yet. Remember, generosity never goes out of style. And if you are trying to help, there will always be more to do. Make this “giving you” your new identity in the marketplace.
Step 5 – Remember – Patience is a Virtue and a Key Link Building Strategy
Your mom told you this over and over, and it is still valid, even in the online business space. Do not let yourself get impatient. Do not allow yourself to consider giving up! The law of reciprocity is working in your favor.
Make Your Prospects Welcome You as Their Guest
The online presence of your Golden Prospect is very much like their home. It is, after all, where they live online. So, it is a guarded place, like someone’s house might be.
Most of the link outreach messages sent out every day do not result in placements.
The link builders sending them are making a huge mistake.
They are attempting to get married to their prospects on their very first date with them. The easiest way to differentiate yourself in outreach messages is NOT to do this.
There is a simple way for you to transform yourself from an unwelcomed pest, into a welcomed guest.
What is that simple way? So glad you ask.
Begging might work for your labradoodle trying to get a treat off the dinner table. But it does not work when it comes to effective link building.
Remember, to win at this; you need to put yourself in the shoes of your Golden Prospect. You know for a fact that they get a river of link requests in their inbox every day.
Most link requests come from beggars. And these requests get deleted, or more likely, completely ignored. Begging turns on a filter in your Golden Prospect’s brain. Once that filter is on, they will not see your request. The simplest way to reach the stars in SEO is not to beg. It’s that simple.
Equalize the Value
You should never ask for anything without giving something of equal value first. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you given that this is basic psychology and how the human brain works.
To receive value, you must first be willing to give it. If you approach this with a selfish attitude, things won’t turn out the way you hope. But, if you have a “pay it forward” kind of mentality, things will be a lot different.
Establish Your Authority with Link Prospects
You should not attempt to earn backlinks without first establishing your authority.
Most website owners make the mistake of hiding their expertise behind price tags. Most of the influencers they reach out to will never know that they are experts worthy of getting a link. Because they hide their expertise, their authority also remains hidden.
The Class is in Session
You want your Golden Prospects to see that you are a fellow authority within your industry. The way you do this is by taking on the role of teacher on your website.
Superman has phone booths (or at least he used to!), you have your site as an instant authority builder. You go in as a mild-mannered online businessperson, and you come out a respected authority!
A significant thing to remember here in the link building strategy guide is that you should not brag. Let your expertise speak for itself. Real experts don’t have to proclaim that they are experts.
This concept of teaching extends to each one of your social and blog posts. Instead of trumpeting your successes, help others to succeed. Doing this will establish credibility and draw a crowd around your brand.
If this has not been your practice in the past, now is the time to go back through and doing some spring cleaning.
And finally, do not self-promote. Like we mentioned earlier, real experts gain their recognition from others. They do not have to go around proclaiming their amazingness.
How to Get Your Prospects to Value Linking to Your Website
Getting link prospects to value giving you the backlink is crucial.
If you can get them to appreciate giving you the backlink even more than you get from receiving, that’s even better.
When you learn to do that, you’ll be well on your way to earning a lot more money from your link building efforts.
Consider the Value
First, you need to recognize that immense value that each prospect has to your company. If you respect people, you will treat them as such, and they will pick up on it. The inverse is also true.
It DOES Hurt to Ask
People throw the saying around, “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” But, when it comes to link building, this could not be farther from the truth. If you ask at the wrong time or in the wrong way, you can injure your chances of getting a link from your Golden Prospect.
Become Their Promoter
Like I mentioned several times already, self-promotion rarely works. Since your Golden Prospect knows this, they will value you doing it for them. Sing their praises every chance you get.
If he or she isn’t someone whom you cannot sing praises, then it is time to choose one for whom you can.
Be careful not to make a nuisance of yourself, and pushing people away from them is all.
Become Their Champion
The online world is a dog-eat-dog sort of place. Each of us put a significant value on having someone who we know has our back no matter what. You can be that person for your Golden Prospect.
That is a link building strategy you can take straight to the bank.
Don’t Hit and Run Link Prospects
It’s crucial after earning a link that you do not make the mistake of forgetting about the prospect.
Believe me; this will kill your business development.
Once you earn a link from a candidate, do not send a quick thank you email, and then bolt for the door.
That’s straight up rude and not going to help you earn any extra links from the prospect.
“Hit and run” prospecting is a short-sighted behavior and it will end up costing you big time in the long run.
The links you receive later in your relationship will be the ones that gain you the most traction.
Establish a Human Relationship
Things online can get so impersonal. Do everything you can to make your Golden Prospect feel human.
Everyone values genuine relationships. Show prospects that what you are building with them is worth appreciating. After all, most people already have had enough of shallow, meaningless relationships. On a human level, we all have worth. If someone does not respect that, we get turned off from that person.
Even after you have reached the link you sought for so long, remember that the relationship is not over. Continue to give and give and give. Maintain the relationship with soft touches here and there. This simple thing can earn you more links and even more referrals!
Link Building Strategy Guide – Conclusion
The type of link building we shared with you through this guide is not for the faint of heart. It is not for those who want to take the short-cuts and rocket ship their way to success.
Instead, it is for those who believe in what they are doing.
It’s people like this who will be successful.
You are this sort of person.
You made it here in their search for how to build links with an eye toward long-term business development.
And you didn’t come looking for a one-off link building strategy that you’ll try today and forget about tomorrow.