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10+ White Hat Link Building Strategies

If you’re on a quest to scale up your online business, understanding the landscape of white hat link building is akin to discovering a treasure map in the vast world of SEO.

These strategies aren’t just about nudging your website up the search engine rankings; they’re about constructing a web of trust, authority, and genuine connections that signal to both users and search engines the value and credibility of your online presence.

1, SEO Hygiene

SEO Hygiene

SEO hygiene refers to the foundational practices and regular maintenance tasks that keep a website optimized for search engines.

These practices ensure that a site remains accessible, crawlable, and user-friendly, laying the groundwork for more advanced SEO strategies, including link building.

Here are seven important updates you need to be aware of to maximize SEO hygiene through link building.

  1. Regular Backlink Audits: Conduct periodic audits of your backlink profile to identify any toxic or low-quality links that could harm your website’s SEO. Use tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or Moz to analyze your backlinks and identify any potentially harmful ones.
  2. Disavow Harmful Links: After identifying toxic or spammy backlinks, use Google’s Disavow Tool to request that Google ignores those links when assessing your website’s ranking. This helps to prevent any negative impact on your SEO performance.
  3. Monitor Anchor Text Diversity: Ensure that your anchor text distribution is natural and diverse. Avoid over-optimizing anchor text with exact-match keywords, as this can raise red flags to search engines and result in penalties.
  4. Update Broken or Redirected Links: Regularly check for broken or redirected links within your backlink profile. Update or fix any broken links to ensure a seamless user experience and maintain the authority passed through those links.
  5. Avoid Link Schemes and Manipulative Tactics: Stay away from link schemes and manipulative tactics that violate search engine guidelines. Focus on building high-quality, relevant links through genuine relationships and valuable content.
  6. Maintain Relevance and Authority: Continuously seek opportunities to acquire links from authoritative and relevant websites within your industry. Quality over quantity should always be prioritized in link-building efforts.
  7. Stay Informed About Algorithm Updates: Stay updated on search engine algorithm changes and updates to ensure your link-building practices align with current best practices and guidelines.

2, Skyscraper Technique

Skyscraper TechniqueThe Skyscraper Technique is a strategic approach to content creation and link building in SEO, pioneered by Brian Dean of Backlinko. This technique involves three fundamental steps designed to enhance the quality of your content, making it more link-worthy and visible in search engine rankings.

Step 1: Research and Identify Link-Worthy Content

The first step involves identifying content within your niche that has already proven to be popular and has attracted a significant number of backlinks. This can be done using SEO tools that analyze top-performing content based on keywords, backlinks, and social shares.

The goal is to find a piece of content (often referred to as “linkable assets”) that is valuable to your target audience and has established a high level of engagement and backlinks.

Step 2: Create Something Better

Once you’ve identified a successful piece of content, the next step is to create something that surpasses the original in-depth, quality, and value. This could mean making your content more comprehensive, updating it with the latest information, enhancing its design, or making it more user-friendly. The idea is to take a good piece of content and turn it into something exceptional that provides even more value to readers.

Step 3: Reach Out to the Right People

After creating your superior piece of content, the final step involves reaching out to the websites that link to the original article. You inform them about your new and improved version, highlighting how it adds more value or is more up-to-date.

The goal is to persuade them to link to your content instead, leveraging the existing interest and engagement of the original piece to build backlinks to your website.

Why It Works

The Skyscraper Technique is effective because it focuses on adding value and improving upon what already exists.

By targeting content that has a proven track record of attracting backlinks, you’re tapping into an existing demand.

Moreover, by enhancing the content’s quality, you’re providing a compelling reason for other sites to link to yours instead of the original piece.

Considerations

While the Skyscraper Technique can be highly effective, it requires significant effort in terms of content creation and outreach.

It’s also important to approach the outreach phase with tact and personalization, as webmasters receive numerous link requests. Demonstrating genuine value and relevance to their audience is key to securing those backlinks.

3, Content Syndication

Content Syndication

Publish your content on platforms like Medium, LinkedIn Articles, or industry-specific forums. Ensure to use canonical tags where possible to link back to the original content on your site. These can ensure some valuable no-follow backlinks that are still valuable and can lead to referring traffic.

While this does not yield strong results immediately, they require low efforts for link building.

Here are a few great platforms to publish content for nofollow backlinks:

  1. SlideShare: Owned by LinkedIn, SlideShare is a platform for sharing presentations, infographics, and documents. You can repurpose your content into a presentation format and upload it to SlideShare to reach a professional and educational audience.
  2. Vocal Media: Vocal Media is a platform for content creators to publish and monetize their content across various niches. It allows for longer-form content, similar to Medium, and can be used to syndicate your articles or stories.
  3. Business2Community: Focused on business, marketing, tech, and social media topics, Business2Community allows professionals to contribute and syndicate content, providing another avenue to reach a business-oriented audience.
  4. Scoop.it: Scoop.it allows you to curate and publish content on specific topics, making it a useful platform for content syndication and curation. You can create your own topic pages where you share your own content alongside other relevant articles.
  5. Tumblr: This microblogging and social networking site enables users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. You can use Tumblr to syndicate blog posts, images, and videos, appealing to a diverse and often younger audience.
  6. BuzzFeed Community: While BuzzFeed is known for its viral content, the BuzzFeed Community section allows users to create and publish their own content on the platform. This can be a unique way to syndicate content that has the potential to go viral.
  7. GrowthHackers: Ideal for content related to marketing, growth hacking, and startups, GrowthHackers allows users to share and syndicate articles, fostering engagement and discussions within a community of growth-focused professionals.
  8. Zest.is: Zest is a content curation and discovery platform designed for marketers. You can submit your marketing-related content to be featured on their platform, reaching a highly targeted audience interested in marketing tools, strategies, and insights.

4, Slack link-building communities

Slack link-building communities

Slack link-building communities are the most powerful link-building platforms, mainly for link exchanges. The way these communities work is through networking, simply by entering as SEO professional SEO professionals, content marketers, bloggers, or digital marketers looking to enhance their website’s visibility and authority through ethical link-building practices.

The communities can range from general digital marketing topics to more niche-specific groups focused on particular industries or SEO tactics. However, to enter these Slack channels, you need to do it through networking or invitation.

As mentioned, link exchanges are the most common way Slack communities work. Mainly through something called ABC link exchanges

In some Slack communities focused on link building, a points-based system is implemented to facilitate and manage link exchanges among members. This system is designed to ensure fairness and reciprocity within the community, encouraging active participation and contribution.

Here’s how it typically works:

Understanding ABC Link Exchanges

  • Website A: This is the website, from which you are looking to gain a backlink.
  • Website B: This is a website that agrees to link to Website A.
  • Website C: Your website (Website A) will then link to Website C, which is another participant in the exchange.
  • The Exchange: Instead of Website A linking directly back to Website B (which would make it a direct reciprocal link), Website A links to Website C, and Website C links to Website B. This creates a circle of links that goes from A to B, B to C, and C back to A.

How It Works in Slack Communities

  1. Community Participation: Members of a Slack community dedicated to SEO or link building express their interest in participating in ABC link exchanges by posting their website details, niches, and what they’re looking for in terms of link quality and relevance.
  2. Matching Participants: Community members or moderators then match participants with complementary needs. For example, if you have a blog about digital marketing (Website A), you might be matched with a website about SEO tools (Website B) and another about social media strategies (Website C).
  3. Coordinating the Exchange: The involved parties coordinate the specifics of the link exchange, such as the content pieces where the links will be placed and the anchor texts to be used. The content on each site must be relevant to the link being inserted to maintain the quality and context of the link.
  4. Implementation: Each website owner then implements the agreed-upon links on their site, completing the cycle of the ABC link exchange.

5, Industry Partnerships and Collaborations

Industry Partnerships and Collaborations for Link Building

Partner with other businesses or influencers in your industry for co-marketing initiatives, webinars, or events, and link to each other’s sites where relevant. This approach leverages the mutual benefits of working with other businesses, influencers, or organizations related to your industry.

Here’s how industry partnerships and collaborations can help in link-building:

1. Content Collaboration and Guest Posting

Partnering with other businesses or influencers to create content offers a natural opportunity for link exchange. You can guest post on each other’s platforms, providing valuable content for their audience while including a backlink to your site.

Similarly, hosting content from your partners on your site not only diversifies your content but also encourages your partners to link back to their contributions on your platform.

2. Joint Webinars and Online Events

Collaborating on webinars, workshops, or online conferences with industry partners can significantly boost your backlink profile. These events usually have dedicated landing pages that participants and partners can link to from their websites.

Additionally, promotional activities for the event across various platforms can generate multiple backlinks from event directories, partner sites, and social media.

3. Co-Branded Research Studies or Reports

Engaging in collaborative research or industry studies with other organizations can yield highly linkable assets.

The original data, insights, and conclusions drawn from these studies are valuable to your industry and can attract backlinks from news sites, blogs, and other platforms interested in your findings.

Sharing the credit and results with your partners encourages them to link back to the full report on your site.

4. Affiliate Programs

Creating an affiliate program can encourage partners to link to your products or services. While the primary goal of affiliate links is sales conversion, they also contribute to your site’s overall link profile and can drive significant traffic to your site.

5. Product Reviews and Testimonials

Partnering with industry influencers for product reviews or testimonials can lead to high-quality backlinks. Influencers may write about your product on their blogs or feature it in their content, providing a link back to your website in order to support sales enablement in the long run.

Offering to provide testimonials for products or services you use and endorse can also result in a backlink from the provider’s website.

6. Resource Sharing and Linking

Creating valuable resources such as comprehensive guides, toolkits, or industry analyses encourages your partners to link to these resources. In return, you can offer to link back to their valuable resources, creating a mutually beneficial linking arrangement.

7. Professional Associations and Memberships

Being an active member of professional associations or industry groups often comes with opportunities to be featured on their websites, such as in member directories, expert articles, or event features, which can include backlinks to your site.

6, Story mode

Story mode for link building

Leverage the power of narrative to engage audiences and encourage other websites to link to your content. Stories resonate with people emotionally, making them more likely to share and reference your content.

Here’s how you can craft compelling story-driven content that naturally attracts backlinks:

  1. Identify Relatable Themes: Start with themes that resonate with your audience’s experiences, challenges, or aspirations. Whether it’s overcoming adversity, achieving success, or a transformative journey, choose narratives that align with your brand and audience interests.
  2. Incorporate Real-Life Examples: Stories grounded in real-life scenarios or case studies add authenticity and relatability. Share customer success stories, behind-the-scenes looks at your company, or how your product/service has made a difference. This not only humanizes your brand but also makes your content more link-worthy.
  3. Employ Engaging Storytelling Techniques: Use vivid descriptions, create relatable characters, and build a narrative arc with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The more engaging your story, the more likely readers are to share it, increasing its backlink potential.
  4. Visual and Interactive Elements: Enhance your stories with images, videos, infographics, or interactive elements. Visual storytelling can make your content more engaging and shareable, leading to increased backlink opportunities.
  5. Leverage Emotional Triggers: Content that evokes emotions—whether it’s joy, surprise, or even sadness—tends to be more shareable. Craft your stories to connect emotionally with your audience, making them more likely to be referenced and linked to by others.
  6. Incorporate Data and Research: While narratives are powerful, grounding them in data and research can add credibility and authority, making your content more appealing to link to. Whether it’s your research or citing reputable sources, data-driven storytelling can significantly boost your content’s backlink potential.
  7. Optimize for Shareability: Make your content easy to share with clear, compelling headlines and shareable snippets. Include social sharing buttons and encourage readers to share your stories on their platforms.

7, Data-driven content

Data driven content for link building

Produce valuable, informative, and engaging content that naturally attracts backlinks. This could be in the form of in-depth articles, research studies, tutorials, or compelling visuals like infographics.

This type of content is highly valued for its authority, uniqueness, and the insights it offers, making it a potent tool for earning backlinks.

Here’s how to maximize the backlink potential of data-driven content:

  1. Conduct Original Research: Original studies, surveys, and research projects provide fresh data that can’t be found elsewhere. By conducting your research, you create a primary source that others will reference in their articles, presentations, and reports, leading to high-quality backlinks.
  2. Analyze Existing Data: If conducting new research isn’t feasible, consider compiling and analyzing existing data sets. Offering new insights or presenting data in a novel way can also make your content a go-to resource.
  3. Create Comprehensive Reports: Package your findings into comprehensive reports or white papers that delve deep into a topic. The more in-depth and informative your content, the more likely it is to be cited by others in your field.
  4. Use Visualizations: Data visualizations, such as charts, graphs, and infographics, make complex data more accessible and shareable. Well-designed visuals are often used by others in their content, providing backlinks to your original work.
  5. Highlight Key Findings: Emphasize the most compelling or surprising insights from your data. Highlighting these takeaways can spark interest and encourage others to link to your content for more detailed information.
  6. Publish Data-Driven Blog Posts: Break down your larger reports or studies into more digestible blog posts that focus on specific aspects of your research. This can increase the shareability of your content and attract backlinks from a variety of sources.
  7. Leverage Industry Partnerships: Collaborate with industry partners or influencers to expand the reach of your data-driven content. Co-authoring a study or report can lead to shared audiences and more backlink opportunities.

8, HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

HARO for link building

Sign up for HARO to respond to media queries relevant to your industry. This can lead to high-quality backlinks from news sites and other publications. 

1. Sign Up and Set Up Your Profile

Register on the HARO website as a source, and set up your profile. Be clear about your areas of expertise to receive relevant queries from journalists looking for sources in your niche.

2. Monitor HARO Queries Regularly

HARO sends emails three times daily with queries from reporters and media outlets. Monitor these emails closely to find inquiries that match your expertise. The quicker you respond, the better your chances of being selected.

3. Craft Compelling and Relevant Responses

When you find a query you can contribute to, craft a response that is concise, informative, and directly addresses the reporter’s needs. Include unique insights or data points that could make your contribution stand out. Always adhere to the reporter’s instructions on how they prefer to receive responses.

4. Include Your Credentials

Briefly mention your credentials and why you are an authority on the subject matter. This increases your credibility and the likelihood of your response being used by the journalist.

5. Offer Additional Resources

If applicable, offer to provide additional information or resources. This could include original research, infographics, or further analysis. It shows you’re willing to go the extra mile and can make your contribution more valuable.

6. Follow Up Wisely

If you haven’t heard back and the deadline for the query hasn’t passed, a polite follow-up can reaffirm your interest in contributing. However, avoid being too persistent, as journalists often work under tight deadlines and receive many responses.

9, Anchortext Diversity

anchortext breakdown for link building

There are three anchor text strategies that you must implement into your white hat link-building plans.

  1. Branded anchors: These are anchor texts that contain the name of the brand, for example: “Apple”, “Nike”, or “Walmart.”
  2. Brand + phrase: These are anchors used with a combination of the brand and some text for example if your brand if called Apple, then you can use something like “according to Apple” “as mentioned by Apple” or “Apple’s article on this topic”
  3. Exact match: These anchors contain wordings that reflect the keyword intent. If your article is about selling iPhones, you can write texts like: “in the iPhone business” or “some of the best iPhones.” 

AgilePR client excel sheet

As you can see in the screenshot above, you can see we have several keywords listed for one of our clients. We divided the percentage of these anchors based on what we believe would bring the best outcome and link camouflage for our clients when it comes to link building.

What we want to achieve is to use anchors that would show that our client has links and anchors that demonstrate their knowledge. As you can see, the majority of these are branded, and brand and phrase anchors.

10, Newsjacking

Newsjacking for link building

Capitalize on trending topics or breaking news by creating relevant content that adds value to the conversation. By aligning your content with current events or hot topics, you can capture the audience’s attention and the interest of journalists and content creators, thereby earning valuable backlinks. Here’s a detailed look at how to effectively newsjack trends and insights for link building:

1. Monitor the News Landscape

Stay vigilant and continuously monitor the news across various platforms—social media, news outlets, blogs, and news aggregators like Google News. Tools like Google Alerts, Twitter Trends, and BuzzSumo can help you keep an eye on emerging stories related to your industry.

2. Quickly Identify Opportunities

Speed is of the essence in newsjacking. You need to identify and act on relevant news stories as they are unfolding. The ideal window for newsjacking is when the story is gaining traction but hasn’t yet reached its peak.

3. Assess Relevance and Angle

Evaluate how the trending topic relates to your brand, products, or services. The key is to find a genuine connection that feels natural, not forced. Then, determine your unique angle—how can your brand add value to the conversation, provide a new perspective, or offer a solution?

4. Create Compelling Content

Develop content that ties your brand to the news story in a meaningful way. This could be a blog post, an infographic, a video, or even a social media post that offers unique insights, expert commentary, or a fresh take on the situation.

5. Optimize for SEO and Shareability

Ensure your content is optimized with relevant keywords associated with the trending topic to improve its discoverability. Also, make your content easy to share by incorporating share buttons and engaging visuals.

6. Promote Your Content

Share your content across your social media platforms, and tag relevant influencers, journalists, and media outlets who might be interested in your take on the story. Use relevant hashtags to increase visibility.

11, Bonus+ Ego Bait Content

Ego Baiting for link building

Develop content that spotlights or references esteemed experts, brands, or influencers within your sector. Upon publication, inform these featured parties; they may reciprocate with a backlink to your site. For instance, we previously orchestrated an interview series featuring CMOs, partners, and directors discussing their marketing strategies.

After these pieces went live, we encouraged the interviewees to share links to our articles, yielding not just backlinks but also enhanced visibility on social media platforms, which they were eager to promote.

Consider extending invitations to marketing, communication, or PR specialists from prominent organizations to contribute to a series on thought leadership. This approach showcases unique insights from industry authorities, offering content that’s rare and highly valued.

thought leadership

Publications like Forbes Council, FastCompany, and Inc Magazine often run similar series, drawing on the expertise of C-level executives to address common inquiries, which then get shared widely.

By sharing specific quotes (like here) or addressing queries, these professionals are likely to link back to your content, underscoring their expertise and bolstering their reputational standing in the industry.

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