Allow me to make some assumptions for as to why you’re reading this:
- You’re an agency marketer or in-house stakeholder in charge of planning and executing off-site optimisation
- You have experienced, or know, that content only link building is typically high investment, high return. But it holds at least some risk, even if you avoid some common content production mistakes.
Investing in content marketing for link building should often be your default choice for off-site performance. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in a back-up plan.
After all, even with the best creative production, your results still rely on your audience’s reaction.
It’s not enough for an outreach contact to like your piece, find it interesting or share it on social. There has to be a reason to link, a hook so to speak. This is one hurdle for content to overcome, but when it does the results can be spectacular.
For if hurdles start to slow you down, to be effective you need an alternative approach. Tactical link building can be that alternative.
With this approach, we should first invest in building a data file of:
- The tactical approach and type of link building
- The website and relevant page
- (Optional) site and URL quality metrics
- Outreach email and contact name
- Outreach templates
- The page we want the link for
- (Optional) the ideal, balanced anchor text
I’d recommend that this file is something you plug away at for a few months when times are quiet.
Outside of unforeseen delays to production, you should activate tactical link building if your account has the following hurdles:
- The dev queue is stacked for years
- There is difficulty in accessing fresh, relevant data for broader hooks
- The client can’t host content
- There is no budget for production
Practical advice for your outreach research
In the SlideShare link below, you can find some content free tactics on slide 24 onwards.
For more reading, I’ve categorised some of the articles and guides that have been useful in my career as an SEO.
Disclosure: these reading links are only ones I’ve personally found useful; your mileage may vary.
Reading: Link building tactics
- Link Building Tactics – The Complete List by Pointblankseo and Jon Cooper
- Link Reclamation: How to Find Mentions You Can Turn Into Links by Darren Kingman
- A Simple (But Complete) Guide to Broken Link Building by Joshua Hardwick
- 13 Advanced Link Building Strategies You (Probably) Haven’t Used by Glen Allsopp
- When the Big Links Aren’t on the Table, This is the Link Building Advice You Need to Read by Richard Baxter
- Easy Link Building with Images by Matthew Barby
Reading: Link building fundamentals
- The Noob Friendly Guide To Link Building by Ahrefs and David McSweeney
- Category Page Link Building for Ecommerce Sites. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Richard Baxter
Reading: Link building tools
- 3 Types of Link Building Tools and How to Use Them by Ahrefs and Joshua Hardwick