How To Build Links Like a True "White Hat SEO"
So how are you actually supposed to do real White Hat SEO link building these days? This is a question I probably get asked more than anything else.
And to be honest, there is A LOT of misinformation on the internet showing you how to do link building that is not "WHITE HAT."
I want to get one thing straight, purposely asking for links is against Google Webmaster Guidelines and is therefore not "white hat."
The good news is that these days, you can generate massive Return of Investment (RoI) without manually building links. Today I'm going to share with you how I've been able to naturally build links and produce revenue without writing a single email, guest post, buying a Private Blog Network (PBN), and whatever else link builders do to build links and how you can too.
Sound good? Sweet, let's dive in.
Build Authority Based On The Vulnerabilities in Your Market
I've said this before and I'll say it again, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is marketing, it's not magic. Keyword rankings and links are just a small part of marketing which will hopefully lead to dollar signs. So, if you could figure out other ways to bring in Return of Investment (RoI) besides ranking a webpage alone, wouldn't you want to do that?
Competitor Research is Key
Here's how you can identify vulnerabilities in your niche and how those vulnerabilities can lead to natural links and long-term assets. Take your top 3-5 competitors and see what platforms they are performing worst/best on. Figure out what is and isn't working for them.
Are they targeting skyscraper (long form) content? Perhaps 10 minute YouTube videos with specific layouts? Are they doing Twitter outreach successfully? etc. The point is, if you're starting out and you want links, don't reinvent the wheel, focus on building authority. In other words, try to first replicate what your competitions doing and then innovate, not vise versa.
Here's an example: When I began my SEO agency, I started creating massive content on YouTube because the market on YouTube was super undersaturated in comparison to Google. Now I have 25k subscribers and over 1 million views on my channel and I generate clients, backlinks, reviews, etc. on a regular basis from just that asset alone. But that's not all.
Because of the authority that I've generated on YouTube, I'm able to siphon traffic to new assets that I want to promote and make money off of such as Facebook groups, blog posts, courses, etc. And, I'm also able to use the authority and viewership I've created on YouTube to build links if I choose to simply by talking about the new assets I'm creating.
More on this in a second.
Value Value Value
If you're struggling to get links, chances are you're having a hard time showing your audience enough value for them to link back or share the content you're creating. Or you don't have an audience at all. That is why you need to set a solid foundation.
Look, it may sound basic but it's extremely important for you to figure out who you're marketing to and what they actually want in the first place if you haven't done so already. At the end of the day, you need to realize this: You have two types of people who are going to see your content
• People who are going to buy from you
• People who are going to link to you Obviously there are a few overlaps here but for the most part, the people who are buying from you are generally not going to be linking back to you. So your content and authority building at first should ideally be targeting the people who are going to link to you.
One awesome way to get links from these people is to do a roundup or an interview. I absolutely love the tool Pitchbox for this because I can get connected with some of the top experts in any niche around the world with just a few clicks. Take for instance the recent post I made "on the top SEO tools recommended by experts." All of this outreach was done with automation and required very little effort to get the post published. Every single one of these tips came from people with websites and sometimes even big social followings. Not only do I get virtually free content from people who know a decent amount about the subject I'm getting them to write about but I also get the opportunity to potentially receive a link from them in the future since they were featured in the post.
Let's take it a step further.
I also now have a direct line of communication to these people so if any of them have abnormally high authority in the industry I could even ask them to come onto my YouTube channel for an interview and then give them the video and the transcription afterward to put on their site with a link back to me. Again, this is a WAY better marketing strategy by creating connections and content rather than just focusing on reaching out to random website owners and asking for a link.
Create Something That People Actually Want To Recommend
If you really want to build links, figure out what your industry is actually lacking. It seems that some SEO users just want to do the following:
• Do keyword research
• Find a high search rate keyword that looks profitable
• Build content based on some sort of guess for word count.
• Ask for links
• Hope that the page ranks.
This is a terrible strategy for a couple of reasons.
• If you want to rank for something you should really look and see what is already currently ranking well for that subject. It could be that the content is already formatted extremely well, includes thousands of words, video, images, comments, etc. and in that case, if you're just throwing words on a page, that's generally not going to cut it.
• You want to figure out why Google is ranking that page in the first place. Generally, it's because the post is something that people actually really want.
Once you've determined these two things, you're going to want to try and beat the average user intent and go above the average in regards to not just word count, images, video, etc. but by beating whatever the average expectation is for that post.
A good example is if somebody is looking for top gaming tips for "insert new game" and the best article on the market in some flimsy post about 3 ways to win, which isn't even directly targeting what people are looking for, you could easily create an article talking about the top 5 gaming tips and probably rank that article without a single link.
However, if you want to build links, you would want to try to go above and beyond the normal expectation and create the top 50-100 gaming tips and BOOM now you have something extraordinary worth linking to. In terms of naturally generating links, obviously you're not just going to want to create your content and hope somebody sees it, you will want to take the tips I mentioned, in the beginning, to bring in additional traffic. Here's how I will end up promoting the post you're currently reading.
First, I will request to get it indexed by Search Console on Google so that Google knows the content I'm writing appeared here first.
Next, I will create a video in which I will be reading this post and adding my own opinions and insights. Once the video is published, I will also add it back to this post to hopefully get the post to rank as a video as well in Google Search (making sure I add JSON-LD video markup to the post with a plugin I acquired).
Then I will take the video and publish it natively to my Facebook group, Facebook page, and personal profile. After I see if the video performs well, I will post the video to related other SEO groups.
Next, I will take this post and repost it natively to Reddit. Next, I will start a remarketing campaign on Facebook ads to target recent visitors.
Next, I will email my email list of 4k subscribers telling them to read the post and watch the video. Next, I will publish this post on LinkedIn.
You get the point. At the end of the day, my YouTube video or blog post may only get a few hundred views and rank on the fourth page of Google or YouTube at first.
But altogether my post on different assets is going to bring in THOUSANDS of views before it even ranks, which is going to GREATLY increase the chances that I receive a link or a share.
So there you have it, that's how I do link building without actually going out and directly building links and how you can too. If any of this was unclear, let me know by leaving a comment and I will respond as soon as I can.
Until I see you next time, Happy SEO'ing!
Thanks this is great content. Do you batch this work? If so, how and with how many people doing what?
The only thing I really have people helping me with is writing content and doing outreach.
I have about 3 people helping with this and I spend under $1k per month on this.
Thank you for your helpful advice.
However, I'm helping a tiny charity rank against some deep-pocket competitors (in the car donation space), and the competitors are totally dominating the ranking, with 1000s of backlinks.
Any thoughts on how to help the above charity gain some traction?
I'm gathering all the (authority) backlinks I can, have a number of YouTube videos up… optimized the on page SEO, have a blog, and most / all of the other basic SEO stuff.
There's only so much content that can be written for car donations…
Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
Start by doing competitor research through Ahrefs to find less difficult keywords measured by Keyword Difficulty (KD) score.
Yes, have been in the process of doing that — thank you.
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