Relevant authority backlinks for any site in any niche

There used to be a time where we could rank a site by building a lot of crappy links from forum profiles, business directories and link directories in general. Now, those links will hurt your rankings more than help.

The hardest part of link building is not really earning the link, but designing a great strategy and perfecting it. Outreach is the easy part. The best link building campaigns involve a large set of prospects of high authority that are willing to link to you.

Tens of thousands of potential linkprospects

Most people are not really using the techniques described in this article, but there are literally tens of thousands of authority websites in the US alone, waiting to publish your link and craving for content you can provide.

These prospects can be found worldwide, for every niche and every business in every city.

Even if you’re just starting out, these sites can send a lot of trust and authority your way. It also doesn’t involve content that needs to be published on your (clients) site so those of you working for big, slow, bureaucratic businesses where content marketing is a pain in the ass will love this!

The value in these sites of course is that not everyone can register and spam the shit out of these sites, you actually have to do some work and provide some value for the prospects you’re targeting. The type of sites involved are:

  • Trade associations
  • Local business clubs
  • Government institutions

These sites are literally the authorities of your niche and will kickstart your link building campaign. And, there are tens of thousands of prospects in the US alone and around the world.

Authority sites that are craving for content: trade associations

In the USA you have these institutions called trade associations. In the Netherlands we call them “brancheorganisaties”. If you are a carpenter you can become a member of the carpenter trade association. These associations negotiate with the government, insurance companies, trade unions and provide all kinds of benefits to its members.

You can become a member of an association by applying and paying them some subscription fee. The true SEO value of course lies in getting links from these websites. These websites are literally the authorities in your niche. Which makes them awesome prospects to get a link from.

There are tens of thousands associations in the US. These sites are linked from government sites and have crazy link value. For example, check out this list of associations in Washington. That’s Washington alone…

The question is though, how are you going to get these links?

Well, there are actually three ways of getting them.

The biggest member benefit: the members directory

Some trade associations provide a list of their members on their site, either via a profile page of each individual business (smaller associations) or a complete list on a members page. These links have quite some value and are easy to get. Just sign up.

The other cool thing about this technique is you can often subscribe to multiple associations, for example, if you sell jewelry online you can sign up with the trade association for entrepreneurs, jewelers, online shops, retailers, fashion and maybe even import companies. Get creative and think outside the box to find more related associations to become a member of. You can often even find international associations to join.

Make sure the associations provide a page where either members are listed with a link or provide a profile page. If not, there are two other ways to get links from these badboys.

Some examples




And also
Dutch hotels:

Of course, every single one is very niche, but I found these within 30 minutes of searching. Find the associations in your own niche, closely related niches, regional, nationwide and worldwide. You’ll end up with a big list. Also remember the ones that don’t provide a list of their members, you can utilize those in two more ways…

To give is to get: spread the knowledge

It is the job of these associations to provide as much value as possible to their members.

You can help them with that.

You probably have some insights in the industry that might help others in your industry. So, write an article about it! These associations are craving for content and you can provide it, including links to your site of course. These links are great as the page you’ll be published on will only contain your site as outbound link instead of all members. And it’s free! No need to become a member.

Some examples
If you run a small business and have some advice for other small businesses in any of the areas listed at NFIB, send them an email and ask to provide that for them. See their info-section:


Articles sections:

Or become a volunteer on Score:

Last but not least: good old resource pages

Getting a link from the members list is great. An incontent-link from a news/blog article is awesome. But there is one more way to build some great links. The resources section.

A lot of associations have a resource section on their site. If you happen to publish some great content on your site that might be a great addition to the resource section, ask for a link. Another great thing about these resource sections is that your link will be next to links pointing to goverments/associations/.edu’s etc. These co-citations will help boost your trust in the eyes of Google.

Some examples

Now, not every business will be able to provide great content on their domain that is linkable from these resource pages. But, there is still a technique to leverage them. Actually it is a great technique in general that I haven’t seen many link builders do. It’s easy and it will help you rank higher without competitors knowing what happened!

It builds upon the methods described above but goes a little deeper, a little more advanced. I only share this with my members, as members get a little extra on every technique I post. Signing up is free and you will get these extra’s in your inbox every time I publish a new post.

There are still 2 other ways to get high quality relevant links. But first, some extra resources to get you started.

Some association resources:
A list of trade associations in the Netherlands, see Ondernemersplein, Rabobank and
A list of US trade associations, see Wikipedia.
A list of trade associations in the UK: Wikipedia.

These lists are far from complete, if you dig a little deeper for associations in your state you’ll find a lot more. But these will get you started.

Even though this technique will keep you busy for a while, there are still two more awesome groups of prospects to go.

Link building through business clubs

All those associations will give you a head start, but there are some more opportunities for building authority links anyone can get: business clubs.

We are all entrepreneurs or we work for a business, probably. A lot of cities and countries have multiple business clubs. Some of these, again, list their members and link to their sites. These sites have quite some authority as they are linked from local news and official city government sites. Sometimes they are listed on sites of summits. Some of them sponsor events where they receive links from.

These links are a little less relevant, especially if you’re not targeting local keywords, but they still bring in a lot of trust to your site.

There are more of these clubs as you might think. I live in Leiden, a town of about 250.000 people in the Netherlands and there are 5 societies I can become a member of and nationwide are a couple more that are quite good.

Next to the links from memberlists you can try to get yourself on resource pages and provide some articles for fellow businessmen as mentioned earlier. Again, these clubs are there to help each other out, so help each other out.

Some examples


Business club in my town:
Another one in my town:

How to get the government to link to you

If you own a business you may be able to get published on the website of your city.

Especially restaurants, cafés and hotels may be able to be published because it’s in the city’s best interest to promote tourism. Same goes for art and music. But also other businesses might be able to get themselves listed on these government sites as well.

Look for official government websites in your town or region, also look for specific areas within your city. Search for restaurants. Or check the outbound links of the site in Ahrefs and see if you find competitors/commercial sites being linked to and see what pages they’re on.

Hell, you can just send them an email asking to be listed, whether a page exists or not! You might as well be the first if nobody has done it before. Make sure it’s also in the best interest of the website itself though. “As you’re promoting tourism in the region through your campaign “name promotional government campaign”, it might help if you list some hotels, B&B’s and hostels in and around the city. I own hotel XXX In CITY and can deliver information on {insert useful information for visitor of governmentsite} to publish on your site.”. If your pitch sounds like a good plan that isn’t too expensive (time- or moneywise) you might end up with a great backlink to your site from a government site.

Some examples
Lodging in Ithaca, if you have an accommodation in Ithaca you can get listed, with a link, here:

Lodging in Austin, Nevada:

Or overall business listings in Austin, Nevada:
Official site of Den Haag listing hotels:
Bureau of tourism in Den Bosch:
Hotels of Leiden:

Let’s amp it up

All in all with these techniques you’ll be able to build a bunch of links that are authorities, relevant and make your site more trustworthy.

Remember, I mentioned there is a way to leverage those resource pages even more. Even if you can’t publish great content on your clients site. If you want this information as well, sign up below for free.

Ps. Are you a linkerati? If you shared or linked to this article, please let me know by sending me a quick email to I’d love to get to know the people who like my content and what they like best or dislike about it.

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