Blog posts and online resources list dozens and dozens of tactics to find backlinks for your site. But just when you think you’ve heard about or tried it all, you discover there are always more link building strategies. Here are a few innovative methods you may not have attempted yet.
Think Outside the Internet
Most articles describe how to find backlinks by using online tactics, such as guest posting and getting listed in digital directories. However, there are many offline methods of getting online links.
Create a real-life photo op. Give people something to talk about and link to by creating an unusual or funny stunt that creates an enticing photo opportunity. The special event can draw links and conversation from those who take photos and post about their experiences online. It also garners links from publishers who cover and share the story.
Lyft recently had success with this tactic when they sent an Ecto-1 ghostbusting vehicle around Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., getting attention from news media and bloggers alike.
Get involved with events. In-person events – from small industry gatherings to large conferences – present multiple opportunities to build links. You are likely to find backlinks for your site when you:
- Host a small panel, meet-up, or networking event.
- Get an influential person to speak at your event.
- Sponsor an event.
- Speak or present at an event.
- Attend an event.
These activities will help you get links when publishers and bloggers preview or promote the event, when attendees review their experiences and create online posts with links back to your site, and when speakers share their presentations.
To find sites that regularly cover events in your industry, use Alexa’s Competitive Intelligence Tools to research the URL of another event and get a report on the websites that link to it. This will help you identify places that are likely to promote an event.
Send people on a scavenger hunt. Another way to get people in the real world to share their experience online is a branded treasure or scavenger hunt. You can hide branded materials or free items around a city or region, and encourage fans and followers to go out and find them. This strategy acts as a backlink builder as people share their experiences online and news outlets cover the story.
Delta, Bloomingdale’s, Adidas, the Baltimore Ravens, and even Emma Watson have created scavenger hunts to attract attention and links to their brands and projects.
Follow in the Footsteps of Your Competitors
If you feel like you’ve hit a wall in finding opportunities to build backlinks, look closely at your competitors. When you dig deep into the habits and tactics of your competition, you’ll discover ways to build backlinks that you probably haven’t thought of before.
If you don’t already know who your competitors are, start by using Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter the URL of your site or one of your known competitors’ sites.
Run the report to produce a list of similar websites that share a similar audience to your target site. Use the filter to “show only sites with similar traffic levels,” select up to 10 competitors, and save the list.
Now go to Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker and choose the existing list you just created. (Available in the Advanced Plan)
The tool generates a report of the sites linking to the competitors on your list and shows which sites most frequently link to your competitors.
In this sample report, business2community.com links to all five of the competitor sites and is a good target for your link-building plans.
The report also includes the Alexa Rank of the linking sites so you can measure their authority and determine the value of the link. Sites with better Alexa Rankings have higher authority and provide better linking opportunities.
You can also use filter options to drill down into the information. You can adjust the Alexa Ranking so you see only similar authoritative websites, fine-tune the number of sites in common, and filter out unwanted URLs.
Using this backlink generator report, you can also click on the linking website to see the exact URLs pointing to your competitors.
This information creates a variety of backlink opportunities because you can look at the type of links your competitors have. You can also:
- See how to get backlinks from the same site. For example, if all of your competitors are included in a round-up post, you could reach out to the publisher and ask to be included in the list.
- Find ideal guest blogging opportunities. If multiple competitors have contributed to a website, it is a good indicator that the site both accepts guest posts and produces a good outcome for the contributor.
- Discover new directories. You may see that all of your competitors are a part of a directory to which you haven’t yet submitted your site.
To research one specific competitor or authoritative site, use the Sites Linking Report, which is part of Alexa’s Competitive Intelligence Tools. This backlink checker produces a comprehensive list of each linking site and the URLs leading to the target site.
Both of these reports help you see what competitors or other authoritative sites are doing to rank well, and they spark ideas for what you need to do to compete. The reports also point out holes that you may have missed while attempting to find backlinks for your website.
Give Away and Give Back
Another often-overlooked way to build backlinks to your website comes with a double benefit. You can create backlinks while giving back to your community, fans, and favorite charities.
Create a scholarship. Get involved with a local university to sponsor a yearly scholarship. Scholarships are usually listed on directories as well as the university website, which provides an opportunity to give back and get a high-quality .edu link.
Sponsor a charity. Commit to a charity, event, or cause, and support a positive initiative while earning links and attention for your branded website. Most charities list or mention sponsors on their websites, in published press releases, or in news stories.
Donate your services. Give away products or services to a deserving organization to support causes you care about while also getting a link back to your site. Many organizations acknowledge the brands that donate services or products on their websites.
Give away swag. Reward your followers and fans with free gifts, and they will likely return the favor by mentioning it on their sites and linking back to your page.
When choosing your giveaways and donations, first consider the quality of the potential recipient’s website. While you want to give to causes and projects you care about, you also want to receive a high-quality link in return. Use the Site Overview report from Alexa’s website traffic and statistics to check the website’s Alexa Rank, gauge the authority of the site, and measure the value of the link before you work to secure it.
Keep Looking for New Opportunities to Find Backlinks
Links have been and continue to be an effective way to improve SEO, build online authority, drive traffic, and improve brand awareness. As you start to develop your plan to find backlinks for your site, don’t get stuck in old habits.
Keep an eye out for new tactics and tools like Alexa’s new Competitor Backlink Checker to continue finding creative ways to build backlinks.
Ready to find better backlinks for your site?
Try out Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker as well as the Audience Overlap Tool, Sites Linking In Report, and other in-depth SEO, linking, and keyword tools by signing up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan.