For me, Ahrefs is the ultimate link building tool. I use it every day to come up with new link building strategies. Of course you can check out the backlinks of competitors and copy them, you can check your own backlinks and see which pages have gotten links naturally. But you can do so much more! This guide will help you dig deep into the tool and get the most out of it.
14 ways to build links with Ahrefs
- Copying other countries
- Broken inbound links
- Broken links to competitors
- Organic incoming links
- Copying competitors
- Broken links on potential link targets
- Using the top linked content on the domain
- New links of competitors
- Reverse grey hat (Advanced)
- Lost links and get them back
- Building trusted links like a champ
- Find anomalies in your grossing pages
- Copy backlinks for referrals
- Outbound links to get listed on the linktarget of your dreams
1. Copying other countries
It’s awesome to be dutch, we have the second best beer in the world, beautiful women and Google algorithm updates first happen in the US long before we get hit. Also, SEOs in the US and UK are often further ahead than most dutch SEOs, they often have more competition to keep up with. Therefore we can often learn some new link building tactics by just analyzing the link profile of US based businesses in our niche and see what they’re doing.
But, US based companies can also check out dutch/german/UK sites in the same niche and look for inspiration. Maybe an infographic did really well here in the Netherlands, chances are, the same concept of infographic will work in the US. Maybe you can figure out which blogposts get the most links on a dutch site and see if you’ve covered those topics on your own/clients site already.
You can find these gems by manually looking through the entire link profile of an overseas competitor, or take a loot at the most linked pages.
Example: Airbnb has some blogposts that attract a lot of links and social shares. I can create similar content for my travel clients and reach out to the dutch sites that are similar to the ones linking to Airbnb.
2. Broken inbound links
These links are often the easiest, a quick win. Especially for new clients I work with. The first thing I do is check Ahrefs to see which links are already pointing to 404’s. So basically inbound links to pages that don’t exist anymore. Then I just send them a list of 301 redirects to implement.
Bonus: How to attract new clients using this method.
At the moment I get enough clients via word of mouth, but in the beginning I used this technique to get a foot in the door with some new clients I wanted to work for. Basically I did the following:
- Create a list of 10 to 20 sites you want to work for
- Check their broken inbound links and export them to Excel
- Cut out all irrelevant info from the sheet
- Add some suggestions on where you would redirect the old page to
- Send the list to the company and explain how it will benefit them
Subject: Problem with the site (page not found)
Dear Sir / Madam,
Please forward this email to the person responsible for SEO or the marketing manager.
I was doing link building research for a client of mine and I noticed you have some really good backlinks that currently don’t pass any value because they link to non-existent pages.
You’re missing out on Google traffic because of some deleted pages on your site. There are XXX links pointing to pages that return the 404 header status. These sites include Highauthoritylink.com and OtherGreatLink.com. These are very authoritative links and at the moment they don’t pass any link value to your site because of the 404s. I suggest you redirect those old 404 pages to relevant existing pages so you can benefit from those links. You’ll probably will rank higher in Google with almost no effort.
I added a list of all the links in the attachment.
Hope this helps your ranking.
If you have any questions, feel free to call: ##########.
Wouter van der Meij
Expect 80% to respond and about 40% will be interested in working with you. Pick sites that have a lot of these broken inbound links so the impact of fixing the issue is big. They’ll love you for it. I’ve landed my first couple of consulting clients this way. After that every new client came in through word of mouth.
Anyway, a good technique to get a foot in the door of some dream clients, but also really a good link building technique. It’s a nice first boost if you start off with a new client. Almost every site has broken inbound links. It’s a quick win with almost no impact on company resources.
3. Broken links to competitor site
Of course, using the same tool in Ahrefs, you can also find a lot of links pointing to non-existent pages on competing sites and tell the linking site the page they’re linking to doesn’t exist anymore. Be sure to have an alternative ready on your website so they can change the link to you.
If you don’t have an alternative, but you do think you have a page on your site that’s beneficial to the site you’re targeting, suggest that page to be included. In my experience 20% will add your link as well because you helped them out and they see the benefit for their users.
Sometimes you find a piece of content that has been taken down but has a lot of backlinks. Simply email all those linking sites and point them to your own (better/similar) content.
4. Organic incoming links, finding high potentials
Always check your entire link profile for links that you didn’t build yourself. Organic, natural links.
When working for one of my clients I suddenly found a couple of articles on how to save on expenses on your holiday. These articles were linking to the client’s products. I then proceeded to suggest the link to other similar sites about this subject as well. It resulted in some really good in-content backlinks, including a bank.
And the best of all, these links pointed directly to product pages!
At first I never thought these sites would directly link to the product pages of this highly commercial site, but once I saw some natural links coming in I tried anyway and it resulted in quite a success.