31 Potential Link Sources – Tips Compiled by Jon Cooper

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On 24th November 2014 Jon Cooper is visiting London to share his knowledge about link building. Most of you who rub shoulders with link building every day are probably perfectly familiar with Jon and his methods, which are presented on his blog at pointblankseo.com. However, if you’re not up to date with his publications, we’ve prepared for you a sample of what might be expected of the training. Get familiar with the 31 potential link sources compiled by Jon Cooper!

Link Building Expert Jon Cooper

While preparing the following list, we aimed at presenting efficient methods for building links. Some of them might seem a bit controversial, sparking a question of whether it’s still link building. Some methods require a lot of preparation, while others are a quick way of building links…

  1. Start a blog
  2. The benefits of running a blog integrated with your website are twofold. Not only the new content enables you to add more links to crucial business-related websites but also lets you seize the opportunity to gain new external links.

    To burst the bubble, the content on its own won’t magic the links up. However, if your content is interesting to the users and consumers, it will be easier to promote your website than a “dry” company website/online store.

    You can find more information about starting and running a blog at problogger.net and First Site Guide.

  3. Create an infographic
  4. A well-planned infographic will engage and attract users – along with links. Every infographic can be added to one of the infographic directories. Jon recommends this list of hosting services for infographics that has been compiled by another link building guru – Paddy Moogan.

  5. Prepare a video
  6. Videos constitute the most popular type of content. Similar to infographics, videos have an enormous potential for going viral in the social media environment. Though, it’s not a good idea to wait for your video to step into the spotlight itself. Post it on your website and then promote it in the social media and relevant message boards. Prepare an embed code and encourage other bloggers to post it on their websites.

  7. Educate students
  8. Prepare the content that will be useful to students from your field of expertise. You must know something they won’t learn during lectures and might come in handy to them. This way, you will arrest their attention and it will be easier to gain links from the university websites.

  9. Create the “ecological” content
  10. Prepare the content aimed at a specific group of users, e.g. those who value the natural environment and make efforts to protect it. Usually, it’s sufficient to prompt them with an interesting content – if it’s good enough, they might devote to it an entire post on their blogs.

  11. Create an e-book
  12. Prepare a comprehensive publication within your field of expertise (e.g. an edited compilation of your blog posts) and turn it into an e-book.

    There are plenty of places where you can exchange your e-book for backlinks, e.g. e-booksdirectory.com. You can also choose some place from the list at ebookfreeway.com or add your e-book to a digital library.

  13. Fish with an “ego bait”
  14. Who doesn’t like to be appreciated and praised – appeal to your readers’ ego and they will help your content reach the right target group.

    If you decide to give this method a try, make sure you read this guide and this post to see what the experts have to say on this issue.

  15. Prepare guides
  16. Regardless of what you write about – software, DIYs, or anything else – it is extremely helpful to show people how to make this and that.

    This RSS guide has gained more than 6000 links from over 800 domains!

  17. Present a case study
  18. Each of us likes to see positive examples. Authentic results backed with concrete numbers immediately attract attention. If you offer a product or a service, this type of content is one of the easiest ones to prepare. Do you give advice to people? Ask them whether your advices proved useful.

  19. Create the interactive content
  20. The interactive content has been on the wave of popularity over the last months. Reason: such content is quite sensational and not many produce it. Many marketers are discouraged by a high entry barrier, thus each creation of this type is more likely to come up than another infographic.

    A great example may be found here – a chart comparing the vocal ranges of singers. It has over 500 linking domains, 21 000 publications on Facebook, and 47 000 likes.

  21. Prepare a ranking and/or a list
  22. People love lists and rankings. By preparing rankings of best tools, sources of information, or any similar resources, you may be quite certain to gain new links. The more complex and valuable a ranking is, the more popular it becomes.

    Think about the doors that open once you combine this method with the “ego bait”!

  23. Debunk myths
  24. If there are myths and false information circulating within your field of expertise, present your point of view on these issues. Explain the reason for such a mistake being duplicated and state the truth. Be expressive and you will gain not only links but also prestige.

  25. Organise a contest
  26. It’s one of the simplest forms of attracting attention. While organising a contest, commit the competitors to write about it and link back to your website. This way, you will reach a wide group of consumers and increase the number of competitors. If you’re interested in further information about organising contests, make sure you get familiar with this post.

    Pro Tip: While raking your brains over the contest to be organised, remember to listen to what is being said about your products in the social media.

  27. Offer a discount
  28. Information about discounts quickly sweeps the Internet. People willingly share this kind of information with their friends (provided they are currently looking for such a product). If you decide to offer a discount, it’s a good idea to contact bloggers who inform their readers of such actions.

  29. Update the old content
  30. Help the webmasters of other websites update their content. Look for the articles that were written a few years ago but still generate traffic (e.g. occupy high positions for competitive phrases in search engines), then update them and contact the webmaster of such a website in order to offer your update of the article. Don’t forget to include a link to your website in the updated content.

  31. Use the social media for contact
  32. Sometimes an e-mail is not enough to contact a person for the purpose of gaining a link. By using Facebook, Twitter, GoldenLine, or LinkedIn, you will be able to reach a wider group of people, while the contact itself will be more personal.

  33. Create company profiles
  34. Creating a company profile is one of the easiest methods for link building. Apart from the links, a profile on Google+ (as an example) may become an additional means of contacting your customers. Well-groomed company profiles also serve the purpose of polishing the company’s image in the search results.

    Examples of such services: plus.google.com, facebook.com, instagram.com, linkedin.com. Look for other services in your field of expertise to the directory of which you can add your company.

  35. Business directories
  36. Easy-to-build links. Simply add the information about your website along with contact details to a business directory and in exchange you get a backlink. Such entries sometimes tend to come up on high positions in brand inquiries. Filling in the NAP fields (name, address, phone number) will support your Google Local entry (provided the given information corresponds with the website).

  37. Change links to your profiles
  38. Sometimes one of your social media profiles or business directory entries become linked. In such case, ask the webmaster to change the link so that it links to your domain.

  39. Check the links of your competition
  40. By running such tools as linkbird, ahrefs or majestic, you can quickly find websites that have decided to link the websites of your rival companies. Some links will turn out to be uncopiable, e.g. a mention in a news story, while others will be easy to duplicate, e.g. a business directory you didn’t know about.

    Don’t confine yourself to analysing only your direct competition – observe your business field in a wider manner and check the links on websites of your suppliers, customers, and services/products that are complementary to your offer. Export all the links you manage to find, merge them in Excel and sort according to the registers available in various tools (e.g. Domain Rank at ahrefs.com).

    Brand Monitoring with linkbird

    With linkbird you can monitor your brand / competitors / topics in various countries and get an e-mail notification about new mentions found.

  41. Broken Link Building
  42. Building links by searching other websites for broken links requires having relevant content on your website that could replace the expired resource. Simply put, you need to:

    • Find the websites that could possibly add the link to your website
    • Search them for broken links
    • Ask their webmasters to exchange those broken links for your link

    Here you can find a guide to broken link building. Some ideas on the organisation of BLB can be found in the 5 Creative Broken Link Building Strategies post.

  43. Write on other people’s blogs
  44. Many bloggers find it difficult to produce new content on a regular basis. It’s an opportunity – offer them your help and write an article to be posted on their website. If a blog is popular enough, such an article not only builds a link but also generates traffic on your website.

    However, you need to remember that popular bloggers probably receive a lot of similar offers and that Google has declared war on guest posts. Therefore, it is necessary to stand out above others in order to have your article posted. Don’t forget to:

    • Make effort to prepare your content (e.g. only posts of more than 1000 words)
    • Enrich the article by links to other domains as well
    • Add external links to other articles on the blog
    • Add some photographs or a video

    You can also pick Jon’s brains on this issue by getting familiar with his guide – Guest Blogging Guidelines.

  45. Recover the links to non-existent pages
  46. While making changes on a website, it happens one simply forgets about checking if there are links to the deleted pages. Therefore, make sure you don’t have 404 pages linked somewhere on your website. Now, it’s even easier than before thanks to a new function in ahrefs – Broken Backlinks.

  47. Improve the internal linking
  48. Make sure that the pages you especially care about are properly linked internally. You have total control over the internal linking – everything from the placement of links to their anchor texts.

    Avoid the mechanisms that automatically turn mentions of a given phrase in the body of text into links. It’s better to browse the entire website and associate the corresponding articles, e.g. the DIY article on a fireplace may be linked from the article on the decoration of a mountain cabin. Remember to use a diversity of anchor texts. While planning future publications, think about the links to other articles on your website.

  49. Facilitate linking to your page
  50. If you want others to link to your website, help them in doing so! Create a section/tab on your website where the users can find the URL to be copied and easily pasted on a message board, on a blog, or in a comment.

    The less Internet-experienced the users of your website are, the more such an element is needed.

  51. Provide support to those in need
  52. Find organisations that need help. You can support animal shelters, construction of tables, etc. The form of support depends on the line of business you’re in.

  53. Ask your customers
  54. Ask your customers to post a link to your domain and write a review of your product or service.

  55. Check if your brand is being mentioned
  56. If your brand is mentioned on another website, ask its webmaster for a link. This method can be supported by monitoring tools, such as linkbird, sentione, Brand24, and Fresh Web Explorer.

    linkbird Brand Monitoring to Find Potential Link Sources

    linkbird not only checks the web for brand mentions but also allows you to directly add the URLs as potential link sources.

  57. Check who has already linked to your page
  58. If somebody linked your website once, it’s quite likely they will do it again. Locate those people and make sure they remain up-to-date with the content you publish. This method involves constant monitoring of who is currently linking to your website (e.g. with the application of tools mentioned in the previous point), building relations with them (a simple “thank you” should do the trick) and informing them from time to time of what’s new on your website.

  59. Send a newsletter
  60. Placing links in the newsletter body is a great method for generating traffic on your website. In addition to your own e-mailing list, look for other popular newsletters within your field of expertise and try to to get your link placed in the next e-mail.

    Pro Tip: Find out who sends the newsletter and identify its sender.

  61. Send a PR note
  62. A good old-fashioned PR note is not a bad idea if you have something interesting/innovative to share. If you don’t want to involve a PR agency, make sure you properly select the addressees and express the request to post your note in a concise fashion.


Link Building/Gaining/Owning

It seems quite natural that the presented methods are dividable into 3 sections – links that you:

  • build
  • gain
  • own

Those you build result from your efforts in terms of promoting the website – you make entries to business directories, share the website with your group target, ask for links. This way, you mark its existence across the Internet.

Those you gain are built automatically as a result of having created the content that people are willing to share with others.

Those you own are controlled exclusively by you – internal linking and company profiles.


Want to know more?

If you want to learn more about building links to the content you own in order to gain more of them, you can’t miss the opportunity to meet Jon Cooper in London on 24th November 2014.

Search Marketing Week

linkbird Webinar

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Marek Gronski

Marek Groński is SEO specialist working as a Team Leader at GoldPosition.pl. He prepares and conducts organic visibility campaigns for various clients. Since 2011 he has educated over 100 people in the field of SEO.

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