Handy Link Building Techniques: a Refresher


Every now and then it’s good to pull your head out of the link building trenches and give yourself a refresher. Certainly none of these techniques will be particularly new to the expert readers, but my hope here is to give you a bit of an ‘oh, yeah, I should try that for client x’ moment.

You see, I find the problem with link building is that you can easily fall into a groove. It’s gotten harder and harder to link build, so when you find something that works for a client it’s very tempting to devote the lion’s share of your link building time to that strategy. Oftentimes this will be at the cost of a varied link profile, which may start to send you down the slippery slope towards a manual action.

So take a look over these ideas and try one or two that you haven’t in a while. Try the quick wins; the ones that you instinctively know will add diversity to your client’s link profile.

Remember not to get carried away and use these techniques at scale!

University Links

Links from official university websites tend to be on a restricted domain (such as .ac.uk in the UK) and have very high trust values as a result of the high quality standards they adhere to.

There are a few ways you can get a link by adding value to the university:

  • Offer a staff discount – you can usually request orders be made with an official university email address, if you need to restrict the scope to staff only
  • Provide goods, services or sponsorship to the university
  • Can you offer a student valuable work placement experience? (Something that I would advise is well worth doing even if there’s no link in it for you)
  • Need to attract fresh talent? Put your vacancies out there on university job boards
  • Your site has lots of useful content, right? Search out the relevant university school and see if there’s a fit somewhere with one of your resources
  • Instead of virtual resources how about you offer yourself? Offer to provide a guest lecture or other educational support.

Review Your Connections

You probably did this, and asked your client to, at the beginning of the project. But it’s easy to forget a few weeks/months down the line. What could have changed since? Ask your client to have another think – perhaps they have a new supplier/client that can publicise their relationship. Also have another look yourself, what new connections do you have? If they will be receptive does your business have another client that’s a good fit for working together with them?

Review The Competition

When you started you almost certainly had a cheeky peak at the competition to see what links you could/should be pursuing. As an aside, I would recommend reviewing both your client’s stated competitors and ones you see cropping up on their most important keywords – quite often you’ll be able to unearth new competitors to analyse.

10-12 weeks into the project it’s time to take another look at the competition. Why? Well, whilst you’ve been link building they probably have too. So what have they got that’s new? Certain tools will helpfully pick out the new links for you, bonus! Secondly there may be new competitors to look at – or particularly, competitors that have suddenly risen to challenge your rankings. What are they playing at?


I hope that’s given you a little light bulb moment! What are some link building techniques that you’d like to revisit? Let me know in the comments!