The Truth About Link Building in 2020 and Beyond

laptop phone and notepad on desk

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fact: one of the most effective SEO methods is link building. It has been like that for years now, and it has the same predominant standing in 2020. Simply put, the more high-quality backlinks your website possesses, the better ranking it will score with Google. There’s just one question: What’s the best method for acquiring those backlinks? This guide will help reveal the truth about link building.


Directories are one of the best – and easiest – ways to start on your link building adventure. As well as the benefit of being listed on high-ranking and trusting websites, directories help you to land targeted and relevant users. Many online directories are free for businesses to use, too. As a result, there’s no excuse not to submit your business information to the likes of Yelp, Bing Places, and Google My Business.

Local directories

In this day and age, many people turn to their search engine of choice to find details about local businesses. As a result, it is essential for any local business – such as a plumber – to be found within relevant local directories.

When someone types into Google “plumbers near me”, you want your plumbing client to crop up as one of the most prominent search results. Plenty of people also turn to major local directories and simply conduct searches directly through them, so you want to appear on as many online platforms as possible.

Industry bodies

If you represent a business that is part of any industry body, guess what: they need to be listed within their directory system. This works much in the same way as local directories, but it ensures you’re part of any searches on any relevant industry bodies.

Top 50 list

Say you type into Google “top 50 plumbers in Manchester”. This will produce a list of directories that – you guessed it – focus on what they believe to be the top 50 plumbers in that area. Featuring on these types of lists is another important part of link building with directories.

Content marketing

Once you are done with your directory links, it’s time to move onto content marketing. This is when the hard work begins. Yet if you’re willing to put in the effort, this is where your link building strategy will truly pay off.

When it comes to running an effective content marketing strategy, you will need one of the following elements:

  • Product
  • Service
  • Content
  • Asset

Whichever element you choose, it will need to be at a high standard. After all, it serves as the basis for your content marketing plan. An average product or thin content is never going to generate the type of reach – or links – you desire.

When putting together an effective content marketing strategy, there are various steps to take. We’ve highlighted the main ones below to ensure your link building goals are achieved.

Blogger outreach

The first step in the process is blogger outreach. This is where you find influential bloggers who have a prominent Google PageRank, send them a message, and hope they will feature your content (complete with backlink) on their website.

One of the bigger challenges is actually finding relevant blogs to target. An effective method is to use Google to search for relevant keywords in your industry. This will typically produce a healthy list of sources you can use for your blogger outreach plan. You can also utilise platforms that have a large directory of blogs “for any topic”. Simply search for the section most relevant for your industry, and you’ll gain an instant list of targeted websites.

You also have to remember to place a particular emphasis on your content. If you fail to create something that is deemed worthwhile, prominent bloggers are not going to share it on their platform – even if you hand over a guest post for free. You might also find you have to pay for the privilege of having your backlink on larger blogs.

Resource link building

For this technique to work, you first need a high-quality slice of pillar content. This content could be built with text, video, or infographics – or a combination of all three – and pack in as much detail and interesting stats as possible.

The reason for this is simple: you are reaching out to websites that feature resource pages. As the name implies, a resource page is one that features a detailed list of helpful links and resources for a specific topic. As an example, a food blog may create a dedicated resource page that highlights the best pizza recipes across the internet.

If you have a delicious pizza recipe, you’ll understandably want to feature it on this resource page. Along with exposure for your brand, you receive that all-important backlink. When you get in touch with a website owner in the hope of having your resource featured, remember to be polite and ensure it’s a good fit for the resource page.

Broken link building

This step works in a similar way to the aforementioned resource link building. You still create high-quality pillar content. You still reach out to websites with the optimism they will feature your backlink. There’s just one significant difference to the process: you actively search for broken/dead links and suggest your content replaces them.

Simply put, no website wants to have dead links populating their website. It promotes a poor user experience and doesn’t exactly gain favour with Google. As a result, if you let a site owner know about any broken links, they will happily replace these with your working ones – at least, that is the idea.

There are various tools available to find broken links, including the Site Explorer by Ahrefs.

EDU link building

Of all the steps on this list, we consider EDU link building to be the holy grail of the entire strategy. Not just because these backlinks are tricky to acquire, but also because they’re massively beneficial for your website. Those with the .edu domain are particularly valuable because they tend to have more authority and trust than other sites.

So how do you run a successful EDU link building campaign? Our recommendation is to create a comprehensive scholarship program. Outreach to educational institutions, advertise your scholarship, and see if it’s something they would be willing to offer to their students.

Author: Self

FREE Download:
What Is Social Media Marketing?

Everything you need to know in a Free Guide


You might also like these

10 Ways to Reinvent Your Link Building

Link building is an effective way to earn authority and build visibility online. With the right amou

What is broken link building and how it works

Within the world of SEO, link building is an incredibly important technique, especially for a busine

How To Check Backlink Quality

Do you remember the days when SEO experts were telling everyone to stuff their blogs with repeated s