We use cookies to make Serpstat better. By clicking "Accept cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Learn more

Report a bug

Cancel
756
SEO 29 min read

Finding Sites For Linkbuilding Opportunities: 10 Relevant Strategies

Searching for sites for placing external links
How to increase organic content with competitors semantics
Natalia Kurinnaya
Natalia Kurinnaya
Digital Marketer at SECL Group
A few years ago, Google claimed that links are the # 1 ranking factor along with content quality. Since then, little has changed regarding links. But where can we find these links? We will talk about this in today's article.

What is Google's linkbuilding policy?

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
One thing is for sure — if you don't work on your link profile, you won't increase organic traffic, which statistically has the highest conversion to sales/leads, etc.

The saying "The more the better" does not apply to links. A link can be good or bad for an acceptor depending on the donor's industry, country, language, keywords, and other less obvious factors. Unfortunately, there is no standard formula for determining quality.

Linkbuilding is a powerful tool to either get your site to the top or downgrade its ranking with the wrong tactics. Therefore, the links you create should be as natural as possible.

Otherwise, Google may conclude that you are trying to manipulate its search algorithms and punish you. It's better to aim for fewer high-quality links than thousands of links that are of no value.

In this article, we will consider the current linkbuilding areas. Still, we will not go into details and mathematical models for calculating the return on investment in links — these topics deserve separate articles.

It is worth noting that the approaches listed below are more or less general and will agree with almost everything: personal pages, portals, corporate sites, SaaS, and even online stores.

If you run a blog or column dedicated to communication with the audience, the most effective linkbuilding strategies are open to you. Most described techniques work even for niches that require individual approaches, such as gambling, essays, crypts, medicine, etc.
How To Get Quality Backlinks: The Ultimate Guide (2021 Linkbuilding Strategies That Work)

Ten effective link building techniques

Let's take a look at the 10 most effective SEO link building methods:
Replicating competitors' links
Skyscraper technique and linkbait content creation
Replacing broken links
Finding brand mentions without links
Placement in business listings
Adding pages to resource lists
Placement of crowd links
Mentions in social networks
List Of Requirements For A Perfect Donor Site

Replicating competitors' links

This is one of the most popular, simple, and effective strategies. But before diving in...

Disclaimer: if your competitors have links from any sources, this does not mean that they are of high quality. This method should be approached with caution if you have little experience in SEO and link building in particular.

That's all, let's move on to the details.

Preparation: who are my competitors?

If you know your competitors well, you can skip this point and go directly to the section "Here are the links you need."

Don't know who your competitors are? Voila! Meet:
how to find competitors
Use the Serpstat Competitor Analysis module. It can be used to quickly examine the list of domains competing in organic search with the analyzed domain.

Do you see Wikipedia and/or other information resources in the list of competing domains? That means your content contains many non-commercial informational keywords, which is not necessarily a bad thing. This can help attract new audiences and brand awareness. But in general, this is a call to analyze the content and, if necessary, adjust your content strategy.

This list of competitors contains the sites you share your search traffic with and found for the same (or similar) keywords.

By the way, in Serpstat, below the competitor review section, there is a domain comparison tool with which you can expand the semantics. It allows you to compare two or three sites simultaneously and find phrases for which competitors are shown, but not you.

If the list of found domains suits you, you can proceed to the next section. And if you think you must have other competitors in your search, include these "others" on your list of those from whom you can borrow linkbuilding sites. In most cases, it is enough to analyze competitors whom you have known well for a long time. But if you need to expand this list, the next section is for you.

Expanding the list of competitors: leader pages

Analyze the keywords you would like to be in the top for, commercially interesting keywords, or those for which you have a high conversion.

This is easy to do with the Leader Pages report. It will display pages that rank better than others for analyzed and semantically related phrases in the top 100 Google. In addition, here you can also see the number of keys by which these pages are ranked (you can see their list directly by clicking on the number reflecting the amount), the volume of organic content received, and how many times they have been shared in FB.

Thus, you can expand your list for link replication and select those for the level of visibility you are striving for.
how to find popular pages of competitors
In addition, you can look at the Top by Keyword report. Here you can see the top pages by keywords and basic information about them; paid results are also included in the report. Therefore, pay attention to the number of backlinks when selecting pages from this report.
анализ топа по ключевой фразе
Would you like to learn how to use Serpstat to boost your results?
Leave a request, and our experts will advise you on the development of your project, share training materials, and offer test access to Serpstat!
Personal demonstration
Leave a request, and we will conduct a personal demonstration of the service for you, provide you with a trial period, and offer comfortable conditions for starting exploring the tool

Competitors' rivals can become friends

pigeon gif
The list of resources for replication can be supplemented not only with competitors' sites but also with competitors of competitors. Analyze the pages you get and find direct competitors for specific pages with similar keywords and compete with them for positions.
You are only two clicks away from such analysis; just go to the "Competitors by URL" tab in the drop-down menu of the interface of the leader pages or the top by keyword.
URL competitors

Potential link donors

Once you've found your competitors, it's time to analyze their link profiles and finally get relevant linking sites.

For this, Serpstat has a Backlink Analysis module. Let's briefly study it in more detail:
To find sources of links, you need to look at your favorite competitor and then all the rest, in descending order.

So what we see:
URL competitors
The Overview report contains general information and visualizations that will help you draw useful conclusions for future strategies. Namely:
New referring domains
Linking page dynamics: you will need to calculate the growth you need to have to overtake them.
New and lost backlinks: this report is more interesting for analyzing your own site than competitor one.
SDR distribution: it is a crucial thing, it shows the number of referring domains by their range of rank.
That is, we can estimate that to "catch up", we need a certain number of links with a certain SDR. Ideally, your links should rank higher. This, of course, is not the rule. If a young, high-quality site links to you, that's ok. But there shouldn't be too many such sites in relation to other referring domains.
Distribition by type of backlinks: it is a useful report, but it is better to look together with other characteristics of links for our purposes.
Top anchor links by popularity: allows you to estimate what your anchor list might be.
Domain map: displays domains by country and domain zone. As a company that pays attention to SEO in the early stages of work on projects, we remember well that a geo site is determined not only by the domain zone. It can be set using meta tags in the code, as well as in the analytics settings. Therefore, to be on the safe side, it is better to read this report more closely.
Let's move on to the next section of the module called Referring Domains.
how to find referring domains
These are your potential donors.

Filter the list based on your desired Domain Authority score and traffic. And then examine the pages that link to your competitors: to which pages they link, whether it is an article, comment, image, or something else.

You can get to the interface with a list of referring pages by simply clicking on their number in front of each domain. Or filter the required domain (or several) in the inbound links tab. The screen below displays which pages of a particular site are linking to competitors, and to which of their pages.
Как найти обратные ссылки конкурентов
It will also be helpful to look into the reports on outbound links and domains to have an idea where exactly the site you are trying to get closer is linking.

With the help of Serpstat, you can even look at all competitors at the same time, more precisely, at a maximum of 100. But this is more than enough. This capability is provided by a Batch Analysis tool.
competitor batch analysis
An important point that will simplify further processing of the list of potential donors: if your site already has a decent number of links, you can exclude from the list of potential donors those sites that already link to you.

This is where the Link Intersection report helps you compare multiple domains and see common link sources.
Links Intersection Tool: Find New Growth Points For Link Building

Expanding the search with similar keywords

Let's imagine that you have processed all the previously selected sites and have already received a bunch of high-quality backlinks from them.
Obviously, you shouldn't stop there :)

Expand your donor list by keyword researching competitors. They are easy to find with the Keyword Analysis module.

Domain rank and traffic volume are essential factors in choosing donors. These and other valuable filters are found in almost every link analysis tool.

If you have doubts about indicators optimal for donor selection, refer to the documentation or knowledge bases of the tools you use. For example, Serpstat has a comprehensive knowledge base.

The second way to assess the "health" of potential donors is to study the parameters of several high-quality sites or sites from the top. This method is suitable if you have doubts about indicators that are calculated using complex formulas.

Here are some more signs by which it is easy to identify irrelevant sites:
inconsistency with your topic
unsuitable region
low attendance
excess advertising
spam anchors
It is also worth mentioning that compliance with the topic does not mean that the donor should directly relate to it. For example, if you are an online cosmetics store owner, your donors do not have to be directly related to cosmetics.

For example, it can also be quality news resources with relevant headings or sites for entrepreneurs where you can organically link, telling their audience something about your business.

To promote the site for specific keywords, the method should be slightly adjusted, taking into account which page and keywords you need to bring to the top. One option is to collect semantics close to the query of interest and build up links from sites from the top for similar phrases.

We hope this section of the article gave recognition of what a competitor's link replication method is and how to collect a database of potential donors.

There are 9 more linkbuilding directions ahead, which will be no less useful for your site.
Serpstat Backlink Analysis Tool: A Comprehensive Guide
Would you like to learn how to use Serpstat to strengthen your link profile?
Leave a request, and our experts will advise you on the development of your project, share training materials, and offer test access to Serpstat!

Guest posting

In general, this strategy is somewhat similar to the previous one, with the only difference that in the previous one, you need to analyze each potential donor and get links yourself, but here everything is transparent.

This option is based on sharing — creating unique, high-quality content, sharing experiences, research, statistics, infographics that can be included in the publication, etc. That is, you provide some value, contribute to the donor's content, and in return, you get a natural mention of your site.

Guest posting promotes SEO, increases visibility, and, in most cases, has a positive effect on brand awareness and generates valuable referral traffic. Moreover, it is thanks to this strategy that you are reading this post :)

How to find sites for guest posting

This is where advanced search operators come in handy. Use different combinations — requests for "guest post" or "write for us" in the URL or content, combined with keywords related to your topic, "become an author" or "post an article" in the content, etc.

For example, here is what was found by the query "inurl: write-for-us + web development" for our topic:
how to find sites for guest posting
Don't forget to check the sites for domain rating, traffic, trust, and other essential indicators so that the links bring the maximum benefit.

Many sites provide potential contributors with content topics, but you can always offer your options, having previously studied the interests of their target audience.

Serpstat will help us with this again — the Leader Pages report mentioned in the previous chapter will help us see the pages with the biggest traffic.

In addition to the search method described above, no one forbids you to turn to sites of interest, even if they do not have a section dedicated to guest publications.

You can link to sites that you visit yourself, that have been recommended to you, reputable in your niche. Offer them several options for content topics that will interest their audience.

Skyscraper technique and linkbait content creation

There is another very effective method, which has already become a classic, which I first learned about thanks to Brian Dean; for those who may not have heard of it, I'll retell about the Skyscraper Technique.

Three stages of the skyscraper technique

1
Find link-worthy content
Content that already contains a lot of links, with headlines-magnets, such as "10 Ways to Boost Sales".
2
Make it better
Update the content following the present day, work it out more thoroughly, expand the list, write about 30 or 50 ways. Keep in mind that this doesn't have to be linkbait bullshit. It has to be such awesome content, so useful that people can't resist not sharing it.
3
Reach the right people
For example, those that have already linked to similar content. Use Serpstat, find inbound links for the outdated content you are interested in, and check out anyone linked to that content that you have improved. Contact the sources of the links and share your current article with more recent and complete information on this topic.

The formula of link-generating content

In the context of link search, one cannot fail to mention the actual statistics regarding the content. Some time ago, BuzzSumo specialists conducted research in which they examined 1 million publications. They found that most of the content has no links at all. That is, more than 75% of all online content is not linked to.

But the good news is that research has found that some forms of content perform better than others. In particular, list posts are superior to other content formats.
viral content
Also, according to the research results, the following formats work perfectly:
publications containing lists
contests, giveaways
"why"-articles
"how to"-articles
posts containing infographics
posts containing videos
These formats give you a starting point for writing awesome content that works.
The second thing to mention: when offering guest publishing options, in addition to exploring the popular pages of the site, ask if any trending topics fit its format.
This will dramatically increase your chances that your topic will be accepted. You can find popular topics using Google Trends, BuzzSumo, or even Twitter.
How To Use Google Trends For Keyword Research

Ok, but what is linkbait content?

Since these tactics are very similar, we decided to combine them in one block. In the previous section, we learned that the vast majority of content attracts almost zero links. Linkbait content is a trending title for content that serves one purpose — building backlinks.

Let's give an example:

Stone Temple surveyed 1,000 people about their voice search habits.
исследование по голосовому поиску
Because their post gave people many insights and citation data, it has been an absolute link magnet since day one.

But not everyone has the resources to create such studies, you might say, and you'd be perfectly right. This is an example of the highest quality, original linkbait. But everyone saw cool infographics that contained what everyone seemed to know already. Still, someone guessed to consolidate and visualize it, and at the same time get a lot of links.

In addition, as stated above, the method is similar to the skyscraper tactic: the key to linking is to create valuable content on trending topics, given the insights above. Only this time, you make this content for yourself and not for third-party sites.

Replacing broken links

This is one of the oldest and most effective strategies, the essence of which is to find broken links on third-party sites, inform the administration about them and offer a replacement — your content.

The easiest way is to look for broken links to competitors. For this, the aforementioned Serpstat Link Analysis tool is suitable. It contains the "Lost backlinks" section, which shows a list of inactive anchors to the analyzed site.
how to find broken links to competitors
You can now contact the owners of the original pages and report broken links. A good reason to replace them with your relevant pages!

Finding brand mentions without links

Many sites may mention you but not link to the site. And you have every right to contact the administrator and ask to turn the mention into a link.

To do this, you need a brand mention monitoring tool. These include free services (such as Google Alerts) and paid tools (BrandMentions, Brand Analytics, and YouScan).

Placement in business listings

For all business owners, this item can be considered a must. What could be easier than placing a link to your website in a business directory and getting additional visitors? Just don't forget to update the information from time to time and follow the reviews if there is an opportunity to leave them on the site.

Among the must-have listings, one can distinguish Google My Business, Facebook Business, LinkedIn Pages, online maps (Google, Apple, Yandex, and so on).

More examples: TripAdvisor is suitable for several companies directly or indirectly related to tourism: hotels, restaurants, experience-related businesses — rafting, rock climbing, etc., and much more.

Please note that many listings have lost their relevance today, so it is essential to check the SEO parameters of the directory to which you want to add the site.
50 Free Places To Promote Your Website

Adding pages to resource lists

For example, lists of the best SEO tools tend to include Serpstat. Those who did not include it in the list probably did not use it, and it is worth contacting the author of such a list to have the tool in the list, indicating its merits.

If your site contains content that targets a specific set of people, try promoting it through various lists of valuable resources.

Also, suitable sites can be found using the search keywords "[subject] + useful links", "[subject] + resources".

Placement of crowd links

Placement of crowd links is, in the long term, a reasonably effective strategy for some niches. The essence of the crowd is to communicate with the target audience on web 2.0 resources, forums relevant to your industry, blogs, reviews, knowledge exchange platforms, etc.

For example, Reddit, Quora, and StackOverflow are suitable crowd sites for the SECL Group. Each niche has its own sites, up to Facebook, where everyone can meet their target audience. Also, everyone should check their company for negative reviews and work them out.
What Are Natural Links And Crowd Marketing

Mentions in social networks

It's pretty simple — share your content on as many social platforms as possible (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube). A personal social media profile helps you promote your brand and build trust. Today, perhaps only the laziest company hasn't started a Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter page or community.

Don't forget that some business niches should concentrate on narrowly focused social networks: an online store can perform well on Pinterest or YouTube with the author's reviews of their products. Designers should create an account on Behance, and it's hard to imagine a developer without a page on GitHub.

Explore niche social media platforms for your industry, find out if your competitors are there, and decide whether to start an account.

The principles of linkbait content for social networks, in general, are the same as described in the corresponding chapter: useful infographics, fresh content on trending topics, sharing good content to be re-posted with a link to your page. If possible - don't be too strict and add emotions in the form of thematic professional memes.

Collaboration with influencers

These can be both popular people from social networks, including Youtube, and personal blogs. What's more, influencers that are effective for your niche don't have to be super active or super famous.

For example, one post on LinkedIn brought many clients to one of our partners - it was published on the DevOps page of an engineer who works at Amazon.

If you have never worked with this traffic channel or worked unsuccessfully, it is worth taking the time to study in detail the advice from the gurus. The topic also deserves a separate article.

We use Buzzsumo (Twitter, Youtube, blogs), Socialblade (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Trovo, Dailymotion, Mixer, DLive, StoryFire) and Followerwonk (Twitter).

Conclusion

There are many ways to increase traffic and get your site to the top of the search engines. Building a good link profile is a sure and intelligent way to achieve this goal.

If you don't know yet which strategy is right for you, try to select a few resources. Once you understand which ones work, you can start scaling.
i really hope we win that contest

Learn how to get the most out of Serpstat

Want to get a personal demo, trial period or bunch of successful use cases?

Send a request and our expert will contact you ;)

Rate the article on a five-point scale

The article has already been rated by 6 people on average 5 out of 5
Found an error? Select it and press Ctrl + Enter to tell us

Share this article with your friends

Sign In Free Sign Up

You’ve reached your query limit.

Or email
Forgot password?
Or email
Optional
Back To Login

Don’t worry! Just fill in your email and we’ll send over your password.

Are you sure?

Awesome!

To complete your registration you need to enter your phone number

Back

We sent confirmation code to your phone number

Your phone Resend code Queries left

Something went wrong.

Contact our support team
Or confirm the registration using the Telegram bot Follow this link
Please pick the project to work on

Introducing Serpstat

Find out about the main features of the service in a convenient way for you!

Please send a request, and our specialist will offer you education options: a personal demonstration, a trial period, or materials for self-study and increasing expertise — everything for a comfortable start to work with Serpstat.

Name

Email

Phone

We are glad of your comment
Upgrade your plan

Upgrade your plan

Export is not available for your account. Please upgrade to Lite or higher to get access to the tool. Learn more

Sign Up Free

Thank you, we have saved your new mailing settings.

Invite
View Editing

E-mail
Message
Optional
E-mail
Message
Optional

You have run out of limits

You have reached the limit for the number of created projects. You cannot create new projects unless you increase the limits or delete existing projects.

I want more limits
Open support chat