3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

You already know some of the most common ways to build links:

Unfortunately, most of them are either too expensive, too long, or too saturated.

Instead, leverage these three alternative link building strategies that can dramatically improve your link acquisition rates.

1. Topic recovery method

Finding broken links is my least favorite link building strategy ever. And this is far from an alternative link building strategy.

His chances of success are worse than finding a needle in the biggest haystack in the world.

Instead, crave a more aggressive method that I call Topic Takeover:

Look for content that mentions a specific niche topic and aggressively pitch your valuable content as the “next step” for readers.

Here’s how.

First, launch an SEO tool and use the content explorer feature. Personally, I prefer Ahrefs.

In this example, I’ll show you the exact process and responses I got when using Topic Takeover for my travel blog.

Using the content explorer, enter the niche topic you want to link to. In my case, it was a blog post about a hike in Hawaii.

Be sure to set a filter publication date (the more recent the date, the higher your chance of success), a minimum domain rating of 25, only active links, and any other filters you might like:

Depending on the date range and specificity, you should return outstanding results on high authority sites.

Next, export the list:

3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

Upload the list to a Google sheet to start tracking progress, awareness, and live links.

Next, open each individual blog post and search for your target term:

3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

The context of the mention here will be essential to help you create a personalized email.

When it comes to scaling, be sure to prioritize personalized emails for higher authority domains.

Find the author of the article you are viewing by looking either at the top or bottom of the article:

3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

By using a number of email search tools, you should be able to find their contact details with relative ease.

The last step is to create a meaningful email. Be authentic by trying to both provide value to readers of their content and your own blog.

Your email should include:

  • What you liked about their content.
  • Why this resonated with you.
  • A quick one-sentence pitch about your message.
  • How your message will add value to their readers.

So, does it really work?

Absoutely. Here is just one of dozens of emails I received:

3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

This tactic is not sexy. It’s nothing revolutionary.

It’s just a matter of context and value, and how you can deliver it (and receive it).

2. Turn Homepage Mentions into Landing Page Links

When your brand starts to get recognized in the form of mentions and links, you’ll start to notice one thing:

They are almost always directed to your homepage.

It’s very easy to link to homepages when talking about a product in a blog post.

While it’s easy for the site to write about you, it’s not always the most valuable for your brand.


Imagine it this way:

You have a social media scheduling tool and are mentioned in a social media post.

The specific mention revolves around the aspect of scheduling times and uploading directly into the tool.

Would you prefer:

  • Have a generic mention on the home page requiring users to click through multiple pages on your site to find what was just talked about in the post.
  • Have a direct link mention to a specific landing page on your site featuring that exact scheduling feature.

Most often, the second option is far superior.

It’s likely to both reduce bounce rates from frustrated users who can’t find the exact feature mentioned and increase conversion rates on that referral traffic.

So how do you use this alternative link building strategy? Using the content explorer on Ahrefs, drop your brand name into several variations:

3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

This will return a filtered list of brand mentions.

Export the list and sort the results in a spreadsheet.

Extract each piece of content listed and search for your anchor, in this case, “search engine log”.

From there, it’s up to you to contact the author of the post and present them to replace the homepage link with a more interesting landing page directly related to the context of the original mention.

3. The give-and-take approach

Links are valuable, there is no doubt.

Google has repeatedly confirmed that links are a critical factor in search engine optimization.

Every website wants to acquire links, but few want to give them away.

If you’re having trouble acquiring natural links, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Simply taking advice like “create better content and the links will come” is pretty far-fetched in a digital landscape of billions of pieces of content.

This could work for websites with established authority over the past decade.

But is a new website looking to build its domain ranking? You’re going to have to do a lot more than just create content and expect your link profile to skyrocket.

One of the best approaches is give and take.

It’s simple, efficient and, although time-consuming, it can be adapted with the right process or recruitment.

So how does it work?

It’s relatively simple. First, launch Ahrefs (or any other SEO tool you like) and repeat the same beginning process as the Topic Takeover method:

3 Alternative Link Building Tactics to Use Now

Find your target topic/phrase for which you want to get a link to use the content explorer.

Be sure to filter again for date published, live links only, and one link per domain for best condensed results.

Now, instead of contacting via email asking for a link in the post, find the author of the post you want to acquire a link to.

Look for any more relevant content they’ve created recently, or better yet, find their own personal blog or website.

From there, browse their most recent content to see if any of their posts match the topics you’ve covered in your own corporate content or blog.

Now drop a link for them in your content where appropriate and where it will add the most value for readers.

In your outreach email, keep it simple:

Hey ___,

I loved your article on [Topic]. Actually I made a link here https://www.searchenginejournal.com/alternative-link-building-tactics/349780/!

I was reading another post from you https://www.searchenginejournal.com/alternative-link-building-tactics/349780/ here. I loved where you spoke [topic]. I recently wrote a detailed guide on this topic: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/alternative-link-building-tactics/349780/

I think this would be an extremely valuable continuation of the topic here for readers, what do you think?


[Your name]


Link building is more than just guest posting and finding broken links.

It’s about value, expertise, and creating better internet experiences for your readers.

Follow these three alternative link building strategies to start accelerating important link acquisitions.

More resources:

Image credits

Featured Image: Pixabay
All screenshots by author, February 2020

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