My Go-to Link Building Strategy That Skyrockets Websites to the Moon

by Dennis Seymour March 31, 2015
link building strategy seo best

link building strategy seo best
 

Well, not entirely, but it does get the job done.

Anyway, let’s get started with this article.

There are a TON of ways to get backlinks. We all know that it’s true. We just tend to limit ourselves into thinking that there are only a couple ways to get links.

I could name at least 30 ways right off the bat to acquire good and natural links. I used to make 2 million links per day back then. I learned about the different things that work and don’t work like that.

I guess that I learned things the hard way over the years. Let’s just say that I failed more often than I succeeded, which isn’t really something to be proud of.  But the cool thing about going through all those aches and pains is that you end up a bit wiser in the end.

One of the things I learned during the journey is that link building is not just a strategy to increase rankings, it’s also a result and looking at it like that will open your eyes to more efficient ways to build backlinks.

That leads me to today’s topic, which is my favorite link building strategy.

It’s a “strategy” that brings in results and can be executed in different ways.

What I’m talking about is taking existing content and coming up with something better, totally new or totally useful.

Yeah, Carrey’s feelin’ your reaction right now.

Yup, that’s it. Totally original and groundbreaking…woot!

Oh no (sarcasm) — before you freak out, go crazy and call Brian Dean’s home phone number, let me explain.

As SEO’s, we’ve all been doing something similar for years and Brian’s Skyscraper Technique took it to the mainstream because it’s just really damn good. I’m a big fan/advocate of his!

What I’m talking about today is actually doing other variations of that technique.

Techniques that will lead to us getting links as a result…because that’s what we do and what we need!

 

Let’s get started:

Skyscraper Technique

Here you go! I have to start this list off with Brian’s article.

Basically, you collect ranking pages for your keywords, find the best performing ones, create something tons better and ask the people that linked to the so-so posts to link to you.

For example:
This is a weak example so I apologize, but I really wanted a link from the AHrefs blog.

I didn’t really care how I got it nor what kind of link it would be, so I wrote about a topic that I knew that they would like and something that I know would be better than many of the pieces they linked to. So I created my “7 Actionable Search Engine Optimization Strategies You Can Do Today” post.

We reached out and bam! A backlink!

It’s not totally, ultra-awesome like how Brian did it, but that’s essentially it.

You definitely have to check out his post to better understand and learn. I won’t be messing with his technique here.

Go to his post and learn from him! His process is way better.

Read everything about the Skyscraper Technique here.


Comment Scouting

I’d like to patent this term LOL.

Basically, I would look at my own comments area or the other popular articles in my niche or those ranking for my target keywords and build content around the suggestions or “pains” of the people commenting there.

I would also look specifically at comments areas of big bloggers that have over 50 comments. Those with 200+ comments are practically goldmines. You’ll get a ton of content ideas from them. Blogs like Pat’s or Neil Patel’s are great examples.

For example:
Looking at the comments area alone in Brian’s Skycraper Technique post, I could come up with a couple topics that I could surely do.

One of them is that I could create a tutorial of the Skyscraper Technique (fanboys, please don’t hate, it’s just an example) but apply it to a smaller scale, maybe to a niche that I’m working on that is not in the marketing space where there are fewer bloggers.

At the end, since these commenters have blogs, they will probably be willing to link to me 95% of the time. Plus, they would share it and continue to be subscribers. I could also reach out to other commenters there as they were already interested in Brian’s content.

I could also beg Brian to send out the post as supplementary content to his email list. Won’t hurt to try, right?

I’ll be coming out with a complete step-by-step post about this technique, so if you want it, please subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t yet.


Create Usable Tools, Content or Products Based on a Process

You will have influencers in your niche. This is especially good in more technical niches where influencers like sharing processes on their blogs.

You can do a lot of things that can be useful… from Chrome extensions, to Excel plugins, to Google Docs, to Photoshop Scripts, Adobe Lightroom pre-sets and more!

For more niche topics, you might want to search for “common” phrases that people love to say, which will show you a lot of weird things, but there are some gold there if you look hard enough.

For example:

Quick example, when I think of things or features I want, I always say “How I wish” so why not use that in a search query to find people that might have the same habit?

Let’s say I’m blogging about blogging and one of the things people wish for are plugins. I just enter this in Google:

“How I Wish” plugin blogging

I automatically look at the bolded words and they led me to this one.

How I Wish for Link Building Strategy

I didn’t look into that link, but let’s just assume that I could create a blog post about all those iThemes books linking to their resources. Contact iThemes and the guy asking for that (and other on the comments area) and I’ll probably get some good links. If I optimized that, I could even get some long tail variations for iThemes-related keywords.

Sometimes, you might get forums, Q&A websites and other UGC sites. It’s pretty neat.

You’d be amazed by the gold you can find.

I’ve gotten some of the best links ever by doing this, even got .gov and .edu links without resorting to hacking or begging. *wink

Try your own take on this and let me know how it goes in the comments area below! I’d love to hear your own ideas!


Extended Content Upgrades

Do not limit your imagination when it comes to content upgrades.

They don’t have to be just “opt-in” lead magnets to build your list.

A content upgrade can be anything, much like plugins or tools but it can also be slideshare decks, an FAQ board on Pinterest, heck, maybe even a PDF or checklist version of the blog post.

Instead of just creating it for your own content, create the content upgrade for someone else.

This sounds freaking stupid at first… but outside our marketing space, you’ll rarely meet people that know what a content upgrade is.

For example:

Say I run a local training business or maybe I have a personal brand that does speaking gigs aimed at entrepreneurs with a blog about that.

The E-Myth, is a book that I’ve loved since the end of my high school life. I’m not the only one that likes this in the world. In fact, there are a ton of people that love it and even created their blogs around it.

Since you’ve been in the Internet marketing space for a while, you probably know techniques that these bloggers aren’t applying.

I could basically create a PDF check list, maybe a detailed Google Spreadsheet they can copy and use, I could do a video testimonial to tell people how I applied this, I could create a video course (if the target site is big enough) or even just a book summary in-order to “bait” their reader to buy from their Amazon affiliate link.

The blogger you reach out to (in a creative way) can use this as their lead magnet. They can use this as a complete giveaway, run contests, whatever. Then you get a credit somewhere on the page.

This can be a WIN in a lot of ways because you get to start building a relationship. A lot of new doors open with that bridge being built.


Find Places to Guest Post On (with a Twist)

This is actually pretty easy. For a lot of blogs that already accept guest posts, you should check their archives and suggest an update to their old content.

In this day and age of SEO, you do not want to be housing thin content.  Outdated content too is bad since it’s not useful or relevant to users. So with someone offering free content to improve their old content, then it’s hard to get turned down.

For example:

We all know that ProBlogger is publishing a lot of guest posts. You could start by looking at their archives or searching for something directly on Google. Something that has undergone changes recently, maybe using something like “problogger.net google+” because Google+ has gone through some changes over the years.

I could create an updated Google+ guide that connects all the older posts to the new one and pitch that to them. Obviously, you still have to write something that will fit their audience so don’t forget the basics.


Follow the Author’s Bread Crumbs

This isn’t really a standalone technique like the ones above are.

You should use this as a starting point to apply the techniques mentioned above.

Just look for authors. You can screen the people you follow on Twitter or list your personal favorites, then do the following.

  • Use inpostauthor:“his/her name” in Google
  • Use BuzzSumo and enter their name
  • Enter their social media profile into your chosen backlink checker

Once you have a list of URLs with their content, see if you can apply any of the techniques above or do something more creative.

Just keep to the core principle of this strategy, which is to be an add-on, be helpful or create something better.


That’s it! It’s a bit shorter than my past posts but I think I shared enough here that can help even the newest of sites in the smallest of niches.

I’ve done and applied all of these myself on different niches so they are all definitely possible. I even got a link from an NBA player’s blog right besides the biggest sports websites with a slight modification in the technique.

Hope you guys learned a thing or two today to help your SEO improve further.

If you liked it, please share this out and if you still haven’t, take a minute to sign up for my newsletter.

Oh, one last thing. I’d love to hear your ideas on variations about these techniques. I’m always open to learning more ways to get THAT link. Let me know in the comments area below!

 
 
 

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64 Comments

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  • Good article Dennis – very Brian Dean-esk! : )

    Reply
    • I hope Brian doesn’t get offended LOL!

      Thanks Brent! That’s a very big compliment.

  • How to follow the VIP blogger’s bread crumbs 🙂 ? infact the comment sprout is really amazing .200 + comments !! its is like a dream for me Dennis .
    Overall very useful article you posted .Thankyou 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Zain, you have a lot of options some of which were already mentioned above. You can get some more by clicking the image at the last part of the post

      Thanks for checking it out!

  • Hi Dennis

    This is a great post and one I have read and must read again. So I am bookmarking this to read it again. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hey Ikechi!

      Thanks! You can make use of it in your space. It’ll work great as there are a lot of great bloggers like you in that niche 🙂

  • Hi Dennis
    Thanks for providing the wonderful post. I am definitely going to read your search engine optimization post . I really love your term “Comment Scouting”. Ya, it is a nice way to get the juice of future blog post

    Reply
    • Thanks Yatin. Be sure to make use of it!

  • Hi Dennis

    I fully agree with you link building first requires a strategy and then massive efforts but focused and smart ones.

    I do remember the era when numbers were the big achievement and people didn’t care where from a link was coming. But now the main concern is the source of link if it is of high quality it is fine otherwise it may prove counterproductive.

    The idea of comment scouting is amazing and one needs to follow it with its proper understanding to get the maximum results.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very useful post.

    Reply
    • Yeah, back then, we wouldn’t care where the link came from, a link IS a link and I’ll take it!

      Today, we’re more into knowing where it came from.

      Thanks Mi! I’ll do a follow up post on that topic soon! 🙂

  • Hi Dennis, I love the post and must confess my visit here today add more knowledge to what I have upstairs.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply
    • Thanks Hadharm. Appreciate it! Be back for more! 🙂

  • Hi Dennis,

    Very interesting post. I like how you enhance the methods you learn from others and weave them into working variations.

    These are all great methods to employ. I especially like using “extended content upgrades” to build on what has already been proven, in the live marketplace, to work. It’s only natural that anything that adds value to that will be well received, not only by consumers, but the original product/concept creators too. Why not join their parade instead of going to all the trouble to organize your own? You can always do that another time, another place.

    You’ve got them creative juices flowing here, Dennis. Let ’em roll!

    -Donna

    Reply
    • Hi Donna!

      That’s right! Plus it’s all natural so these are great techniques to apply and get links from.

      Glad you liked it! I have some more stored somewhere in my mind that I’ll probably dish out soon.

      Always great to see you and hearing from you!

  • Dennis!

    You’re absolutely right – The Skyscraper Technique is awesome, but variations on it can work even better. It’s good to always have a few tricks up your sleeve (as you clearly do!).

    I love the idea of comment scouting (Copyright Dennis Seymour 2015) and I’m definitely going to have to try that one out.

    Already shared this post out on social media the other day, but as we get a few days off in the UK now I thought I’d use my free time to remind you to keep being a boss!

    Enjoy the rest of your week mate.

    All the best,

    Luke Jordan
    Intergeek

    Reply
    • Hey Luke!

      Just got back myself and sifting through a ton of mail and crap I missed during the break.

      Thanks for processing my papers, it’s now official, no copying! LOL

      I appreciate the share by the way, will check your site as soon as I get finished catching up!

  • Hi Dennis,
    Very practical techniques you have outlined in this post. Using them to build links can result in quality links acceptable by Google. I am going to test out some of them and see what the reality would be like 😉 I agree with you, just patent the term “comment scouting”. This is my first time of learning about it!
    I have shared the above comment in kingged.com where this post was found!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sunday! You should definitely test them out! Always a pleasure seeing you and hearing your thoughts!

  • Hey, Dennis!

    Cool article, and I really like your graphic. 🙂

    Failing more often than succeeding IS something to be proud of in my opinion… as it shows just how much diligence you have had and how much perseverance as well. You’ve trudged forward even through the bad times and gained a lot of knowledge and experience which you’re using today. Failure is a huge positive component for any successful business I think.

    I love using this technique and use a variation of it on Amazon reviews (as well as many other sources) – checking out conversations and highlighting pain points and also peaks and troughs of them using the product. I can see the difference this product made in their life, so I know what they’re wanting the most.

    It really helps us be able to hone in what our target audience is really needing/desiring and be able to address their pain points in THEIR language.

    Totally on board with this and use many resources; comments, reviews, social media, search, etc., in order to create collage of conversations for my target audience. The better I know them, the more I can speak to their needs directly.

    Gold indeed! I completely agree with you, Dennis, and you’re absolutely spot on. Glad you’re writing about this, as it’s not shared much, and should be.

    Am working on a product right now and have utilized this method and thoroughly enjoying it. It’s definitely work, but oh so wonderful because I’ll know for sure it’s a winner before I even launch.

    Glad you’ve shared, thanks much!

    ˜Carol Amato

    Reply
    • Awesome point about researching on Amazon!

      Researching using the suggestions from the search bar much like with Google Instant, can also give some good ideas. It does add a lot more since you are laser targeting specific needs 🙂

      That’s great to hear you are coming out with a product! I hope that I’ll be able to create one around the middle of the year 🙂

      I appreciate you taking time to come over here as always Carol!

  • Hey Dennis,

    Great article. I, especially, like the “follow the author’s breadcrumbs” part. Simple idea of success leaves clues so follow them. Got to add this to my kifi for future referencing.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Mark

    Reply
    • Thanks Mark!

      Put them to good use!

      Enjoy the rest of your week! 🙂

  • Some great idea’s Dennis. Seems I’ve read some of them, but did not follow through, so it is a good reminder. Plus some that I had not thought of. I’ve been to Brian’s blog, but have not kept up on his content. Think I need to fix that. 🙂

    I would echo what Mi said, it use to be any link was good. I remember buying up the backlink packs and going to town. Hey they got me to top spots and stayed for a good 4-5 years, so wasn’t “bad” back then. But I think some of it has come back to haunt me and do more damage then good.

    My only thought, was how difficult it was to get others to take you up and link to your stuff. Just thinking you could spend all kinds of time putting something together and they say no or don’t even reply back. Not trying to be negative, just thinking out loud. Sounds like you have a pretty good success rate.

    Although, I went through your 10 creative outreach idea’s and they sure make alot of sense. Some fantastic ways to make a real connection when your trying to get your foot in the door.

    Really enjoyed reading BOTH posts. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Actually, the thinking part is the one that holds us back. I used to think that people are mostly selfish and wont link to you.

      Well, it’s true BUT people are actually quite receptive to outreach emails, especially creative ones or those that have built relationships before the outreach happens.

      If you think about it, we assume all bloggers know about SEO but in reality, probably 10% of bloggers out there know about it.

      Why wouldn’t the 90% link to you? So that’s my mentality now 🙂

      Thanks for reading them Ron! I appreciate it!

  • Hi Dennis,

    these are some great strategies to build links back to one’s content.

    I like the Comment Scouting and the Extended Content Upgrade strategy the most, but I’ll try the others out as well. One at a time and I will see what suits me best and what will give the better results.

    Thanks for sharing them,
    Torsten

    Reply
    • Great to see you again! You should try them out. They’ve been giving me some good results over the years.

      Thanks Torsten!

  • Dennis, really impressive work on this post. I really like “comment scouting” 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Brian! I’ll try my best to create a good post about that soon 🙂
      Appreciate you stopping by!

  • Hi Dennis,

    Excellent post!!!! There is so much to learn and do; isn’t there?

    I’m going to investigate the Skyscraper method more. It sounds a bit interesting.

    The one technique I followed in the beginning and still use to this day is to listen to what my audience says on both my blog comments and social media for ideas; as well as on other sites as you mentioned. People will share a lot and the one thing that holds true is if one person has a problem the odds are a number of them do.

    I appreciate the work you do and thank you for sharing your ideas!

    ~ Don Purdum

    Reply
    • Thanks Don!!!

      That’s right! There’s just so many possibilities! 🙂

      Appreciate you coming over and letting me know about the cache problem. I upgraded my plugin so that might have caused it. Sorry about that!

  • Hi,
    It is really very effective and helpful strategies.A big thanks to you for sharing such a valuable post with us.It is really informative and magical tips.It is useful for all of us.Thanks for your hard work and make it easy to understand for all of us
    THANKS
    Catrina

    Reply
    • Hi Catrina! Welcome to the blog! 🙂

      Glad you liked it! Hope you can make good use of them! Appreciate you dropping by!

  • Hi Dennis,

    Excellent post. The tips are great. Comment scouting and creating bread crumbs is something almost all the bloggers do. If used properly they can be really useful to create back-links. the other points are also great for generating traffic.

    A really useful post for all bloggers out there. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

    Reply
    • Hi Nisha!

      They are pretty useful. I just do them for all the niches I work on. Always works.

      Thanks for coming over! 🙂

  • Hi Dennis.

    You’ve pulled it out the bag again. Another quality post about SEO. Not only quality, but actionable.

    You said to me recently you are a ‘nobody’. Not true at all my friend, and even if it is, carry on like this and you will be right up there at the top very soon.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Thanks Richard! Tried to make this a really useful one.

      I am still a fairly new player in this space and my blogging time is really, really small each month so I can’t produce content weekly as I would prefer it, hence the growth of the blog is still slow for me. Still a nobody at this point, but hopefully, not for long. LOL! 😀

      I guess it’s useful to have that chip on your shoulder to further motivate you 🙂

  • Hey Dennis,

    You know whenever I see blog with 100’s of comment, i would just go to the commenter, check their alexa and PR to see if their site is a great site to go to. But now you brought to our attention of how we can also create our next topics by what they say! Hmmm… I may also need to incorporate this into my routine as well!

    Great list of tips Dennis! Have a good one!

    Reply
    • Thanks for coming over and sharing Sherman! You can definitely make use of this, especially with your expertise in your topic 🙂

  • Hi Dennis,

    Great, informative stuff as always.

    I love learning about new link building strategies!

    All super actionable too – which is my favourite!

    Thanks

    Naomi

    Reply
    • Thanks Naomi!

      Hope you can put them to good use!

  • Hey dennis,
    Glad to read it, its an awesome strategy ! I am gonna try it !!! thanks for sharing 😉

    Warm regards,
    Issac paul

    Reply
    • Hi Isaac!

      Thanks! Try it out and let me know if you have other questions.

  • Hello,

    After a long time I’ve got something unique to read in link building category. Well I guess link building was my favorite subject last year but due to several google algo updates I have to pause them all.

    However the tips you’ve shared are really helpful!

    Reply
    • Thanks Gordan!

      Glad that you liked it! Let me know if you have questions. 🙂

  • Hi Dennis,

    Great article and some awesome tips. I haven’t focused on link building at all, even though I know that it’s very important. Your techniques seems to work and it makes sense that they do. At first, when I started blogging, I thought that it was enough to write a good blog post and people would start linking to it. But, I know that it’s not that easy at all 🙂

    I’ve written a few guest posts, that’s how I have been receiving links. That’s about it.

    -Jens

    Reply
    • Hey Jens!

      It’s been a while! Had pizza yet?? 🙂

      You should take some time to build some links on some of your more important pages or those that are ranking in the top 20 and just need that extra push to get to the top 3.

      Thanks for coming over! Let me know if you need anything.

  • You nailed it, these link building strategies are very useful as its been a long time to start a new link building campaign.

    Recently one of my blog was penalized which was getting awesome traffic but suddenly its like getting few hits. So it’ll have to work on that.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks Christy!

      I think it’s time for me to do a penalty post next month 🙂 Watch out for that!

  • Thanks for the article.

    I really like the idea of doing content upgrades for others.
    Dale.

    Reply
    • Thanks Dale! Appreciate it. It has given me some really good links over the years 🙂

  • Dennis, what an awesome post with great ideas and tips. The one tip I can take away is not to be afraid to write about something someone else has. I tend to shy away from things that have been written on before by othes. I try to be the first to post about a new Twitter change or SEO algorithm change and if I’m not I may shy away from it. Just because it’s been written about doesn’t mean the whole topic has been written about or maybe they forgot a few points on a subject.
    Thanks for sharing these with us and have a great week ahead!

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa!

      That’s right. Everybody has their own take on things, their own experiences and a different community/reader-base.

      Let me know if you need anything 🙂

  • Hi,
    It is the best link building strategy.I like the way you have expressed your words.The content is well written and easy to understand .I really enjoyed it .I found this article interesting and knowledgeable to read.Keep posting:)

    Reply
    • Hi Catrina!

      Thanks! You’ll love my next one, which is coming up this week. Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂

  • Hi Dennis,

    I do read all the articles of Brian. These link building strategies are the modern ones. Tradition link building ways are not working so this is useful for all. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
    • Thanks Atish. There are still a lot of traditional ones that I love. Especially those that dont need content. 😀

  • Hey Dennis,

    Thanks for the post. Every single idea is new to me. Obviously I am not using links to my advantage at all. And when I do use a link I really should reach out and let that person know. It appears rude not to now when I think about it, but it would benefit me also.

    I am preparing guest posts as we speak but not only for the back links because guest posts are so new to me, they give me a stress that pushes me to make sure I have done everything I possibly can for the post.

    I smiled when I read your suggestion on offer to add content to another blog. I wonder if you were scared the first time you did it, that sounds way outside of my comfort zone but something I will have to give a go somewhere down the track. Dennis thanks for this post. I really do need to get to understand what these links are all about.

    Rachel.

    Reply
    • Hi Rachel!

      Sorry for the late reply, got caught with a mountain of work!

      Yeah you definitely have to push outside of your comfort zone. I do remember my first time. I knew that I would get backlash. I accepted it and just told myself, “Screw it, just do it.”

      Turned out great! 🙂

      I’d love to hear from your experiences in the future! That would be awesome!

  • Interesting article to red about link building strategy! I am doing a link building for three months, I also tried adding comments on blog but it didn’t work! Is it normal? I’ve tried to check if there is any traffic in my website but there is none, I think I am just wasting my time and effort. I am still a beginner for link building, and don’t know what to do. Please help me.

    Reply
  • Thanks for sharing your secret seo tips with us, but how to build quality links via blog commenting, Finding right blog is bit challenging.

    Reply
  • What a great and details explanation about link building. I really like it and now i have crafted a method that how to get some good links. Thanks for this amazing post man.

    Keep sharing good things.
    Best Regards
    Adam Barton

    Reply
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