Manual Link Building Tips (Including Strategies for Link Building without Guest Posting)
Manual link building dates back to the early days of SEO, before penguin and hummingbird. While automated link-building has become a thing, there is no denying that the best results come from building links manually as long as it is done strategically.
Looking back, it’s crazy how link building has evolved over the years to become one of the most important ranking factors for search engines.
It wasn’t always like this.
Back in the day, link building without guest posting was the norm but not all strategies were above board. Forum and blog commenting were the rage and marketers would spam comment sections with links to get backlinks.
In 2012, Google rained hell on this practice and millions of websites lost rankings overnight with the Penguin update.
When caught in the Penguin crossfire, web owners had no option but to revamp their link building strategy and rely on refined practices.
Table of Contents
This blog post will be focused on the difference between manual and automated link building. We’ll also talk about strategies for link building without guest posting.
For more advanced link building tips, you can read my other blog post.
Manual link building is the process of building links for your website without the help of any AI or software.
It’s a conventional method where you publish quality content, create a list of websites you want links from and launch an outreach campaign.
You control where you want your links and how you want them. In addition, you can cherry-pick sites within your niche because links from relevant websites are better for SEO.
And if you don’t like a website’s content or link profile, you can simply not reach out to them.
The only disadvantage of manual link building is that it’s time-consuming. Having said this, if you outsource link building to a team that can scale these efforts, you can make big gains quite quickly.
Automated link building, as the name suggests, is the use of software to build backlinks for your website.
Since it is automatic, it’s hassle free, and unfortunately also not completely white hat. Plus, there’s nothing much you can do to control where your links are placed.
This means that if irrelevant links are created or inappropriate links are found to your website, it can be challenging to disavow them.
Then there is also link building frequency which could come back to bite you. For instance, if you build too many links in a day, Google might flag them to be “manipulative” and penalize your site.
The question then becomes: is the time you’re saving creating backlinks worth the risk of a poor backlink profile or even a potential Google penalty?
Google prefers backlink quality over quantity, which is something you can only guarantee with manual link building.
Many businesses rely on automated link building thinking of it as a quick fix to lagging rankings. Let me say this: they’re doing more harm to their site than good.
Automated link building is more than likely to lead to quite a few spammy backlinks. Google’s algorithm is always evolving and there is a good chance you’ll be found out.
If you control where your links are going, this risk completely avoided, making your site future-proof and safe from Google penalties.
There are a number of ways you can build quality backlinks to you site, links that would be evergreen in terms of the benefit they provide.
Guest blogging at high DA sites for quality backlinks is a great option. If that’s something you’d like to explore, you can read our blog Guest Posting Master Plan for 2022.
Plug: We also offer a blogger outreach service, if you want help with guest posting. We’ve helped our clients get featured on sites like Forbes, Yahoo, Outbrain among others.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive into other manual link building strategies to help you build a solid backlink profile.
Although the most effective, guest posting can sometimes be expensive since high DA websites might charge a fee.
So here are some insider secretes to link building without guest posting, including my favorite, one-way link building.
One way link building is the process of writing content that organically creates backlinks. This type of content is unique, high quality, and adds tremendous value for the reader.
News sites and online magazines gain one-way links because they share unique information and industry data in their content.
To master one-way link building, you need to figure out what your readers are looking for. This is achieved through in-depth keyword analysis and competitor research.
You find keywords with high volume and low difficulty, write a stellar content piece, and share information that isn’t available on the internet.
This process builds your authority and compels other websites to cite your link because they can’t rehash or replicate your content.
Another method of one-way link building is sharing industry statistics through primary research. This type of content earns thousands of backlinks because many businesses are looking for data they can link to their content.
One way link building requires patience and assistance from a link building consultant because you need industry expertise to find out what your potential customers are searching for.
Another method of link building without guest posting is through building brand authority. For example, Gordon Ramsay (owner of multiple restaurants around the world) is huge TV personality and online celebrity.
It wasn’t always like this, but Gordon is a bigger brand than anything he owns.
What this means is that he is more trusted than any one of his businesses themselves.
This had a massive impact on Gordon Ramsay’s link profile because whatever content Gordon posts gains organic backlinks from other websites.
Building brand authority isn’t an overnight achievement. You need to put in the time and effort to discover something unique.
Once you have a unique value proposition, create content (written or visual) and get your industry peers engaged. That should get the ball rolling.
Make sure you tap into more than one channel for content publication.
Industry-relevant podcasts are fast becoming the number 1 way for customers to gain insights or expertise in their subject of interest. And because of the daily/weekly schedule of most podcasts, podcasters are often looking for people to interview.
You don’t need to go in for the biggest one in your niche to build backlinks.
Get yourself interviewed by reaching out to a podcast host and telling them what you want to talk about. The podcast will link back to your site.
This type of link is not only highly-relevant, but also gives listeners the chance to find you if they’re sufficiently impressed.
One great way of getting invited on a podcast is through podmatch. It’s an online service that connects pod hosts with guests for free.
Through podcast interviews, you build brand authority among your target audience. As a result, the content on your site gains value and organic backlinks.
Resource pages are pages that link to other sites or their content. The author of this page combs the internet for the best services, products, or content, makes a list, and uploads it on their website.
Your goal is to get featured on these resource pages. Hence, you’ll need to get in touch with the webmaster, and hope that your content is approved.
For this, you need to personalize your pitch as much as possible. But, your content needs to fit the resource page like a glove.
Resource page authors don’t want to include unnecessary information on their page.
You can use the following Google strings to ease your hunt for resources page.
- “Keyword” + “useful links”
- “Keyword” + “useful resources”
- “Keyword” + “helpful resources”
A quick search for Keto resources brings up 37 results
You can contact each resource guide owner and have your website linked for extra link juice.
To find the email address of the resource author you can use Hunter. It’s a powerful tool that can find anyone’s email address through a domain link.
Alright! I’ve proven that manual link building without guest posting is not only possible but perhaps your best bet to get quality links. But, is it scalable?
Know that quality link building isn’t a one-man show, especially if you’re looking for quick gains. You need a team of link building specialists to scale your efforts.
The best way to do that is through outsourcing.
Outsourcing your link building can help you scale and reach out to more websites through white hat practices. It’s certainly a better option than automated link building, if you’re looking for quantity and quality.
When you hire dedicated link building experts, they can dedicate more hours, expertise and resources to your project.
In addition, outsourcing link building is cost-effective compared to hiring an in-house team. This is because the function takes care of itself, there is no training involved, and you don’t have to pay employee benefits.
Plus it’s hard to find link building specialists with adequate knowledge and experience everywhere. Just the cost of finding the right candidate might be too much.
So why waste time finding the right resource when you can easily outsource link building.
Search Berg has been in SEO link building for more than 10 years with 1 million+ targeted backlinks created.
Our MO is simple. Our link building consultants take a deep dive into your industry and find high-quality profitable keywords for premium backlinks.
We avoid automated link building because it can hurt your website. Instead, we follow manual link building practices that deliver quality results.
After analyzing your backlink profile and site structure, our link building specialists will explain your current market position and set out a strategy for you.