The What, Why, Where and How of Link Building: Strategy + Tools

By Gina Broom
The What, Why, Where and How of Link Building: Strategy + Tools


Strategies and tools go hand in hand like weekend mornings and sweatpants: The first is just way less awesome without the latter. You need strategies to succeed, and you need to use tools when executing those strategies if you want enough time leftover to actually have that weekend. 

Link building is essential, but it can also be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating. That’s why I’m gonna get a spoon, and feed you the strategy and tools that you need to build your backlinks simply and effectively. 

So without further ado...

1. What Backlink Types to Choose

Firstly, you’ll want to have a hard think about the type of backlinks that will be easiest for you to acquire, weighing that against which backlinks will be the most effective for your brand. 

I’m going to cover the top three to try below. Note that none of them are spammy, but all of them will often get you organic traffic and the best SEO possible in this age of Internet marketing. 

Pick whichever one of these backlink methods suit your brand best, and then follow this process to target them effectively. 

Guest Posting Backlinks

Guest Posting

Guest posting is one of the most effective methods for building links, but it can also be a lot of work as it involves writing a post for someone else’s website that contains a link back to yours. 

You want to provide an enticing, high-quality article, with a well placed link back to your website. The more subtle the link, the better. It can be hard to get accepted by quality sites, and it’s time consuming to produce a full, high-quality article, but there are definitely benefits to putting in the effort.

Resource or Directory Backlinks

Resource of Directory Backlinks - AffiloTools

If you were looking for a resource, it’d make sense to check with a resource site or directory. Getting a backlink on one of these sites, with the information about what people can find if they click through, is an effective backlink building method to target both Google and people. 

Commenting Backlinks

Commenting Backlinks

Ever seen:

  1. A link back to someone’s website in the signature of a useful comment? 
  2. A relevant off-site article suggested in a comment on a blog post? 
  3. How about just a bunch of links in comments without anything useful to offer? 

The first two can be mutually beneficial comment backlink-building methods that add information and value to a web page and its users. The third is spam, and should be avoided!

2. Why You Want to Target These Methods

Knowing which link-building methods you can choose from isn't good enough. You need to know why you personally would pick one method or another, so let's take a look.

Why Guest Posting?

Both Google and users prefer quality over quantity, so selective guest posting can be very beneficial to your site. If you can convince other blogs to put a post on their websites because of the sheer quality of what you have to offer them, then guest posting is a fantastic link-building method for you.

Some people are asking if this method is dead in the current age of affiliate marketing. Google’s own Matt Cutts released an article called “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO,” which pretty much said as much until he updated it with this: 

Matt Cutts on guest blogging for SEO

So basically, these are the reasons for guest blogging, not just building links with a marketers tunnel-vision. It’s a chance to grow your exposure, develop your brand, and increase your reach, with the odd link as a bonus.

Why Resource or Directory Backlinks?

If you can get quality resource sites to link back to your website, it’ll provide another way for the people you’re targeting to find you, resulting in more traffic. Again, the SEO element is a bonus: the goal is to provide a quality resource, and get a high quality backlink in the process. If you focus on the link alone, you may come up short. 

The higher the quality of the resource site, the better. This is definitely a case of quality over quantity, as backlinks from low quality sites can actually do more harm than good. It's like the backlink quality gets diluted if there are too many low-quality links. 

A resource website that only links to high-quality sites is like pure orange juice, but a site that allows any links in gets overrun by spam, and you may as well be drinking slightly citrusy water. Google doesn’t like slightly citrusy water.

Link building questions

​That said, if you do get a backlink from a higher-quality site, it will not only help your SEO, it’ll also be more likely to provide traffic from its own site visitors. Keep in mind that .gov and .edu sites provide particularly potent link juice, so if you can get in there it wouldn't hurt.

Why Commenting Backlinks? 

Commenting backlinks will not get you the SEO juice they used to, plain and simple. Often blogs will embed an attribute called no-follow (rel=”nofollow”) in the HTML to make sure of it, so that they don’t get spammed. Any blogs that don’t are likely to be plagued by spam already and therefore not worth it. 

So why comment on blogs these days? It’s still great for getting you traffic, and building awareness of your brand as an authority. If you contribute with high-quality comments, others will think, “Hey, this person knows what they’re talking about,” and are a lot more likely to click a link back to your site for more.

3. Where: Find Backlink Opportunities

Tool: AffiloTools Link Finder

So you know what kind of links you want to build. It’s time to head to AffiloTools, and locate “Links” under “Research” in the lefthand sidebar menu. There you will find the tool that shall be the finder of links for your website. This tool will help you to find the “where” for any of the backlink types you want to try.

Simply select the keyword you want to target, (find more information on selecting this in my previous blog post) and click “Find Links.” 

Then AffiloTools will find you a wide variety of websites that could potentially be a great place to get a backlink. Because all the links will be relevant to that keyword, you already know you’ll be able to provide something relevant to both them, and your niche. 

For example, if I were interested in finding blogs that might want to post an article I’ve written (or could write) called, “How to get a guy in 10 days,” in which I’d target the keyword “How to get a guy”, this is how my search would look: 

Link Finder

Those blue links are just the few at the top of the page, and all are potential backlink opportunities for guest blogging related to that keyword.

I challenge you to approach at least one website a night with something of quality to offer them. Not all of them will say yes of course, but eventually, you will build the kinds of links that are really worthwhile to your business.

You might be wondering, so how exactly do I approach them? Conveniently, that’s exactly what my last point is all about.

4. How: The Way to Approach Them

Tool: Buzzstream

One very time-consuming aspect of link building is finding the contact information on these websites in order to approach them. Sure it doesn’t take that long for one, but when you are doing lots of websites, it can be annoying. That’s where a tool such as BuzzStream can be really useful.

BuzzStream for Link Building

You just enter the website from AffiloTools, and it will automatically find contact details and by lines for you. You can save the site, and it will be added to your Buzzstream account. 

Then, you just click on the email icon, and you’ll have the option to choose a template, if you like. The time-consuming part has been done for you, and all you have to focus on is the most important bit: What you’re going to say to let them know that your site is worth promoting on theirs by allowing a backlink.

Then, at the end of the process, you have your very own little black book of possible contacts for backlinks. You can delete any that are not successful, and keep any that you may want to build a relationship with for backlinks now and in the future. 

To view this process, see the demonstration video here. This is a paid service, so if you don’t want to spend any money, I’d suggest saving sites and their contact information in a spreadsheet that you can edit easily instead.

Your Checklist for This Week:

  • Figure out the best backlink building method for you.
  • Find viable backlinks with AffiloTools.
  • Keep track of them.

Keep up with this, and you’ll have backlinks that will help you to get the traffic you want in the present day, as opposed to spammy backlink methods of the past that will no longer do you any good.

If you have any thoughts or questions on link building, please feel free to comment below. Happy link-hunting!