In the old days, a typical blog theme in WordPress would be an article on the left-hand side and a box of the most popular blogs on the right. However, those types of themes are rare to be found now.
But what if there was a way to find out and sort the blogs on the basis of popularity, and comments. What if we could analyze the top-linked content on a major blog and extract their basic info. Then what you have is a direct blueprint for success for any content marketing campaign.
It was way back when Backlinko released the list of 200 Google ranking factors. And from the list, it was pretty clear that Content and Backlinks are the top two ranking factors. But the catch here is great content attracts great backlinks.
So, how do you find link-worthy content? That’s exactly our first point of discussion in this guide to advanced link-building strategy.
Secret to Finding Link Worthy Content
When you are looking for link-worthy content normally people are looking for posts with the most social shares. While that may be a good way to find the most popular content, however, may not be attracting as many links as it should.
There’s a fundamental difference between what content is popular on social media and what content attracts links.
In order to understand these let’s think about why do people link to a piece of content. They do it if they are posting similar or related topics about it, or if it contains some important stats they want to highlight. If people are posting about the related topics then that topic must be demanding, something that people are talking about.
Hence, What does correspond to links? Getting people talking.
Hence, it is clear we are looking for blogs which get a lot of comments, either On-Page or Off-Page and it is really easy to do that with screaming frog. Here’s the secret method to finding more Link Worthy Content.
- Go to a certain blog on a niche blog website (Here I went to copyblogger.com and picked an article.
- Select the Data you want to copy. (Here we want to extract the comments each blog is getting).
- Right-click > Inspect > Copy the Xpath. Keep it saved somewhere.
- Go to the Screaming Frog and keep the following configuration by going to Configuration > Spider > Crawl
Now Screaming is all set to crawl the major HTML pages on the target website and extract all useful information like Titles, meta description, word count, etc.
Now in order to include the Comments data field we have to set a custom extraction
- Go to Configuration > Custom > Extraction > Add a new entry.
Give the field name as Comments and paste the Xpath in the relevant field as shown above. Also select “Extract inner html” in the last picklist.
Now you can hit start and let Screaming Frog crawl the entire website. If you have a free license of Screaming Frog your crawl will be limited to 500 URLs. However, the settings as applied above will ensure you get the most relevant URLs crawled.
- After the crawl, export the urls from the Internal Tab. You can also apply the HTML filter.
- After some cleaning, you should end up with the following data set. You can sort out those blogs as per the number of comments.
This data is an absolute gold mine for any Content marketer. As this not only gives all the link-worthy content details but gives you the exact blueprint to earn links from great content.
Point to Note
Such type of data extraction is however not supported by the terms of service of any website or Screaming frog itself. However, I have done it for thousands of websites and faced no backlash. If you are the type of guy who doesn’t care about software and terms and conditions, perhaps this is for you.
Also maybe this is why I mentioned these tactics as advanced.
Analyze Links of Successful Flippa Listing
We all know about the age-old SEO Tactic of Competitor Backlink Analysis. Although we can analyze several competitor backlinks using backlink tools, we often forget to notice whether those competitors receive most of their traffic from search or other platforms, or whether they have grown their website primarily through SEO or not.
This is where Flippa comes to the rescue. Flippa is a Website selling and buying site, which also provides Traffic and important SEO stats like authority, links for all the websites listed on it.
From the above listing on Flippa.com, you can quickly make an idea about the SEO stats of the listed websites and how they have been growing.
This gives an idea about how those websites are growing in search and can be an analyzing their backlink might be useful in getting more backlink opportunities.
You can find websites in any niche by simply using Flippa’s filtering system.
Establish A Private List of Self-Proven Promoters
This is a very effective strategy to promote user-generated content and probably get some mini-influencer marketing as well for free.
Essentially it involves reaching out to and studying people who consistently have shared your content in the past.
This works if you already have good content and share it enough in Social updates and other communities. It involves checking the profiles of people who have shared your post. Also, you may search for your own brand name on Social Media to find people who are mentioning your hashtags.
If you do get some profiles with a large enough following it’s a good practice to reach out to them, and have a conversation about how they like your post.
Once done, you might save their Emails or get their Private DMs. This way whenever you post any new blog post, you can simply share those relevant articles with these people.
What happens is often these people may like your post enough to share it with their social updates and depending upon their popularity it might earn you more additional shares.
This is what happened when I shared one of my personal older posts “16 Companies Dominating Google” before with a person with whom I made a personal connection through social media.
This guy spontaneously tweeted the blog and it earned an additional 98 retweets. Not bad since its free.
Analyze Backlinks of Scholarship and Coupon Sites
This is one of the lesser-known link-building secrets in the SEO world and perhaps I feel a little afraid to share this, however, there is no doubt that it is an efficient link-building strategy.
You might have seen several coupon sites on the web promoting different offers along with scholarship offers.
These kinds of offers tend to attract a huge amount of links from several review websites and blogs, and also some .edu links as well.
Although I don’t recommend this approach if you are not promoting any real offers, the real strategy lies in analyzing the backlinks of these coupon sites.
Here’s what I got by analyzing one of these sites:
Instantly I was able to uncover a treasure of SEO knowledge that even Google Webmasters couldn’t teach me.
As you can see 2 of the 5 links above are scholarship links, 2 being a directory link and one being donation links. I can instantly get 3 backlinks, 2 from the directories and 1 one by donating to these donation sites(Trust me they are cheap).
By analyzing this single website I was able to uncover their whole link-building strategy which I can replicate at scale.
While I do not wholeheartedly endorse the practices of these coupon sites, however, it is really hard to ignore that they are often in the habit of pursuing what works.
To summarise, here are the types of links that these sites often pursue:
- Use donation links
- Guest post
- Participate in PINs
- Buy links on websites
- ‘Sponsor’ software in return for a link
How to Find Useful SubReddits that Your Competitors Are Building Links From
There is a feature on Reddit that most people don’t know of. That is you can easily check where your domain gets shared on Reddit.
This feature can be exploited not only to analyze Reddit shares for your domain but also competitors too.
Since we are an SEO company I used to search the Reddit listings of one of our competitors highervisibility.com using the following query: https://www.reddit.com/domain/highervisibility.com/
Here’s the result:
Instantly we find a list of Subreddits we can utilize to promote our content for free.
One of these subreddits actually has a decent following and people are actively promoting links on them.
Pretty useful tactic if you ask me, especially if you are struggling with creating Reddit links.
Rank for Terms Link Builders Search For
This tactic is pretty awesome if you tell me. Because it does not target websites with link-building opportunities but the link builders themselves are often referred to as linkeratti, a term coined by the famous SEO influencer Rand Fishkin from Moz.
Before going into the details let’s look into what Ken Lyons from PointBlankSEO had to say:
“We optimize and link to the “become an author” pages on each site we run this on so the doc will rank for search operators in specific keyword verticals. This gets us a steady flow of guest posting inquiries. We offer to “swap content” with bloggers that want to guest post on our sites. If you’re unwilling to or can’t swap, we won’t publish your article.
With the number of sites we run, we swap an average of about 100 articles per month. What I love about this tactic is the efficiency: link opportunities come to us versus us having to prospect for them. This really puts us in the driver’s seat and means:
– We can insist on only swapping with sites that meet or exceed specific quality thresholds.
– We have total control over link placement within the article and aren’t restricted to a single author bio link.
– We’ve been able to build ongoing relationships with others who run portfolios of sites and swap with them on a pretty regular basis.”
So the strategy is simple: Create a “submit a post” or “Become an author page” and strategically create links to that page. In time you will get a lot of guest post inquiries from which you can easily create links.
This is an efficient strategy as not only you can swap links with them but also you are in control of who you want to partner with, which is far more powerful and long-lasting than any link-building strategy.
This can also be taken to a next level. Say you are in the real estate niche, you can create a real estate blogging site, gather some level of authority, and then make the website open to guest posts. This will hence act as a gateway wherein you can get potential link-building partners who can add value to your original website for a long time.
Analyze Link Builders who managed to get a Wikihow Link
WikiHow is a website which shares informational content on various topics and gets about 86% of its traffic from organic search.
Although most of its external links to sources are no-followed it is a pretty good site to find active link builders in your niche.
Whenever Wikihow links out to any external source, they use the heading text “Sources and Citations”. Hence using an advanced Google search we can find such websites as below:
If we alter the search query a bit we can find specific articles on our niche. Then you can find the relevant sources they have linked out to in the references section:
Now you can analyze the backlinks acquired by these domains to find more link-building opportunities.
Just Ask Websites if they Sell Links
It is perhaps my last suggestion in this advanced link-building guide, probably because of its almost simplistic nature of it. It is almost purely a transaction. A lot of high authority websites do sell links if you ask the right way.
It is a simple process, just look for major blogs or review sites in your niche, do a google search and come up with a list of websites.
Then deep dive and analyze if these sites have a “become an author page” and if they have accepted sponsored links in the past. You can do this by Google, intitle and intext operators.
Once you narrow down your selection of websites, reach out to them or email them for a sponsored post with backlinks.
It has worked marvelously for many brands and although Google does not recommend paid backlinking, that recommendation is only against spammy practices.
There is nothing wrong with a paid partnership.
You can simply set up a list of such domains and give it to a link builder who can simply approach these websites and make meaningful connections with them.
This comprehensive guide to advanced link building is created from years of experience in SEO and particularly linking building. This is ideally for those who find it hard to start their link-building journey in 2022 and those who want to take their existing SEO campaigns to the next level.
If you are interested how in getting high-quality links for your business too you can check out our Page on our Advanced Link Building Services.