SEO Tips: 19 Link-Building Steps You Should Follow In 2017

Dan Barcelon
Dan Barcelon
Published on October 8, 2017

In today’s business landscape, having an internet presence is a must. More and more Realtors are taking their business online as a way to get discovered and market their services. One of the ways you can stand out from the competition is by optimizing your web presence through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Link-Building is a major component of SEO and can help boost your rankings on Google and other search engines when done right. This week’s post is a guest post from my friend, Sergey Aliokhin over at ahrefs. Ahrefs are internet traffic experts that can help Realtors learn why your competitors are ranking so high and what you need to do online to outrank them. Here are 19 link-building steps you can implement for 2017 and beyond for Realtors who take their online presence seriously.

SEO changes every day. These changes bring some innovations and solutions that website owners need to know. Likely, there are lots of SEO tips on the web that you can use to improve your optimization. However, are all of them actionable?

It is pretty hard to answer this question for sure. SEO techniques perform in different ways for different SEOs. The tip that works for you might not work for me. Thus, your choice must be done wisely.

You know that SEO has many faces. On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, content, and others. But one of the most important divisions of SEO is link-building.

In this post, I would like to cover 19 actionable link-building steps you should follow in 2017.

Let’s start.

Links play a crucial role in your overall SEO strategy. You might have noticed what a big chase for links happens in SEO industry!

It is for a good reason.

Naturally, if you want to rank well in search, you need more links. And now let’s see what SEO tips you should use to improve your link-building strategy.

1.Fix Broken Backlinks

You know what broken backlinks are. However, I would like to refresh the term in your memory.

A broken backlink is a link that leads to some of your pages that don’t exist anymore. Such type of backlinks bring no authority to your website. It means, there is no need in these backlinks at all.

To find and fix these backlinks you should use Site Explorer tool. Put a link you want to analyze and jump to “best by links” report. Thereafter, filter the results by “404 not found” and see the results:

You can fix these backlinks using two methods. The first one is to reach out to the linking site asking to update the link; the second – is to set up a 301 redirect.

At the end of this process, you’ll get rid of broken backlinks keeping your site clean.

2.Don’t Shy Away from Stealing Competitor’s Broken Links

If you think that “stealing” links from your competitors is something criminal, you can relax. It is a well-known practice among SEOs. You just offer your unique content instead of the one that has been lost.

It takes a few steps only to get things done. Go to “broken backlink” report in Ahrefs Site Explorer tool and reap the benefits:

I don’t say that all broken backlinks opportunities will give you positive results. No. But some website owners might be impressed with your content and will replace broken backlinks with your ones.

3.Only Get Links That Bring Traffic

It makes no sense to get links that don’t bring any traffic. Waste of time and efforts. Thus, you should focus on the links that bring genuine referral traffic. Furthermore, this type of links is going to be safe regarding any Google update.

You might ask “how can I identify the “right” links that will drive traffic?

Simply pay attention to “organic traffic” report and other metrics that Site Explorer provides you with:

The higher organic traffic the link has, the more valuable it is for you.

4.Anchor Text Links Work As Well

Did you know that using keywords in anchor text affects the search rankings? It does. A study across 16, 000 keywords proved us that.


Despite this fact, only 2% of anchors had a partial match of around 30%. In other words, only 1 of 3 links can include a keyword you would like to rank for.

Try to ring the changes on anchors you want to use. Otherwise, you can get in trouble with Google Penguin.

5.”Dofollow” Or “Nofollow” Links? Use Both

I won’t deny that the majority of SEOs are chasing for “dofollow” links in most cases. It is obvious. “Dofollow” links are more valuable for rankings. Nevertheless, it has been already proven that “nofollow” links influence SEO as well.

Sometimes it seems too hard to get a “dofollow” link, while there is nothing difficult in getting a “nofollow” one. Under any circumstances, don’t bother yourself with a choice. It is a common practice to have both types of link. Thus, your backlink profile will look more natural.

You should better pay attention to a link’s quality. As you know, the higher quality of the link, the more traffic you will get.

6.Keep an Eye on Competitor’s Links

How can you use the competitors for your benefit? Yes, you can “spy” on the links they get.

There is no need to do it manually every day. With the help of alerts, you can get notifications about new backlinks your competitors get daily, weekly, or monthly. The only thing you will have to do is to set up an alert for a competitor’s domain or a page and start getting emails:

Now when you get all these notifications on backlinks your competitors have, it is time to reach these opportunities out too.

7.Clean Your Backlink Profile

I believe you know how important it is to keep a backlink profile clean. Mainly, to keep it safe from spammy links.

Moreover, you should always remember that you could be a victim of a negative SEO attack. Thus, check your backlink profile for low-quality and suspicious links!

What to do with suspicious links?

Go to a backlink profile of a page you analyze and export all the backlinks that seem suspicious to you.

The last step is to reach out to the webmaster asking him to remove suspicious links you’ve already found.

If it doesn’t work (or webmaster ignores you), you can try to “disavow” these links with the help of Google’s disavow tool.

8.Make Sure You’ve Found Competitor’s Recurring Backlinks

First and foremost, recurring backlink sources are the sites that link to your competitor pages multiple times. Here you can turn the tables.

Check out new backlink opportunities from your competitors’ recurring backlinks + discover promotional strategies your competitors use.

9.Take Care of Websites Linking to Your Competitors (Make Sure They Link to You)

There are cases when a particular website links to some of your competitors but not linking to your site. Don’t fall into panic. You can use this opportunity and get the link as well.

But how is it possible to find the intersections websites?

You can do it with the help of Intersect tool. Point out the competitors you are interested in and your website. Voila, you got the list of opportunities to reach out to:

10.Analyse Competitor’s Most Shareable Content and Write a Better One

I bet you want to know what competitor’s content gets more links.

Why is it important to know this?

It will help you understand what topic “sparks public outcry.” Knowing the right topic, you can write something relevant and push it up into masses. However, if you want to get a huge part of the links, you must write a better material.

To see if the topic is worth your attention, you should check out how many referring domains the page of the article has.

As I’ve already stated, the more RD the page has, the more popular the topic is.

11.Email Outreach (+ Buzzstream)

Talking about Email outreach, I recommend you to keep in mind a few core elements of this process. These elements are new opportunities, finding personal email addresses, crafting a personalized email template, and tracking the progress.

Now let me run through each element briefly.

How to find new opportunities?

You can do it manually searching for opportunities via Site Explorer tool (it takes lots of time), or you can set up alerts for the phrase you’re interested the most:

The scheme works pretty simple. When the system finds a new post that mentions a keyword you’ve specified, it will send you a report with all opportunities directly on your email. The rest depends on you. Pick up the best opportunities and try to reach them out.

I recommend you to use such tools as ContactOut,, and Voilanorbert to find personal email addresses. Everything you will have to find on your own is a person’s full name and a website this person is related to.

Crafting personalized email templates and tracking the progress of each outreach campaign is available with the help of Buzzstream.

Here you can craft an email template without any problems. Buzzstream offers you a wide range of “dynamic fields” you can add to your template. Also, you can point out “”subject line” for the template:

Another one impressive feature of Buzzstream is an opportunity to see how a particular template performs. Buzzstream shows you how many times the email template has been sent, what open rate it has, clicks, and how many replies it got:

Want more?

Buzzstream allows you to see if your message has been viewed or not:

I am sure this tool is a “must” attribute for any email outreach campaign you run.

12.Get Links from Wikipedia – It Is Not a Problem Anymore

Yes, it is not a big problem to get a link from Wikipedia; the problem is to preserve it.

If you want to reach success, you must add your link to Wikipedia if your content is relevant to the topic, brings some new information, and is high-quality.

Provide Wikipedia with stuff it needs, and you’ll get a link for sure.

 13.“Linkbait” Content Rocks!

The name of this content (“linkbait”) speaks for itself. The primal goal of this content is to catch links.

You might ask “what type of content tends to be “linkbait”?

It can be whatever content you may think of. But most importantly it must be high-quality, unique, and engageable. Here are some content branches you can stick to:

  • Infographics (any visual type of content)
  • Useful interactive tools or content
  • Data-driven map
  • Industry-specific curated sources

If you thought that “evergreen content” would be a good fit to get links – you are right. It works. But it will work if you add something new to the already existing topic. Nobody wants to consume the information that has been covered thousand times before. People want to get new insights.

14.Content Repurposing

Let’s say you’ve noticed that your content could find recognition among your target audience. The number of shares seems to grow. There are more & more comments are posted. People like it. But what then?

Even the best content is doomed to be forgotten if you don’t breath the new life into it.

And there is no better way to “resurrect” your content then turn it into a video, infographic, or SlideShare presentation.

Content syndication is another one awesome way to spread it over masses. Go to such authority websites like LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, Social Media Today and publish your info. Don’t forget to link back to the original piece of content.

15.Is It Possible to Turn Brand Mentions into Links? Yes, It Is

Have you ever seen that someone mentioned your brand but didn’t add a link back to your website?

I am sure you have! And it seemed to you a bit embarrassing, isn’t it?

Likely, you can ask the editors of these blogs to include a link (as a rule, they might ask something in return.)

The thing is to find all the mentions your brand has.

Go to “alerts” at Ahrefs and set up the notifications that will come to your email. Don’t forget to point out your brand:

16.Want More Traffic? Build Links on Forums

Any forum is a perfect place to share your thoughts with a community, ask questions, and get answers.

One of the most popular “question-answer” platforms is Quora. If you noticed, it allows to place links right in your comments. Have a look:

These links can be an excellent opportunity for you to get traffic to your website.

The trick here is straightforward – all you need is to find forums related specifically to your niche. Participate in discussions, leave your comments, ask questions, give answers, and include links to your web-resource.

17.Your Copyright Rights Can Bring You Some Traffic

When I started my marketing career, I had no idea about the rules that content writers must follow. I thought that there was nothing “criminal” in using someone else’s images in my own content without referring to a source. Fortunately, my senior colleagues pointed out my mistake.

How can you use it for your benefit?

If you find that some person uses your images without making any references to your website, you can ask to remove these visual elements.

On the other side, you can ask a blog editor to insert a link to the source. Smart, isn’t it?

18.Don’t Avoid Writing For “Green” Blogs

It goes without saying that when you think about “guest posting,” you want to offer your post to some high-authoritative websites. It is not surprising. I think every content writer wants the same.

As a result, high-authority websites get dozens of guest post pitches, and your inquiry might be lost or, even, ignored eventually. That’s frustrating!

Instead, focus on new websites that have just started their way in the world of marketing. Keep in mind that even the biggest websites names were unknown at the beginning of their journey. So, potentially every new website has chances to become a leader on the market some time.

Remember that:

  • New websites must be related to your niche
  • Offer only high-quality content (even if your target website has DR<30)
  • Don’t overuse with exact match anchor text links in your article
  • Add naked URL (to your website) in your bio section

19.Add Internal Links to Your Best Content

I am sure you want to boost your best content rapidly. And it is possible with the help of adding a few internal links from the pages with high URL rating right in your content.

By the way, Google Search Console can help you find pages with a few internal links that could move your target keywords in Google top10.

Here is a small tip: pay attention to keywords with a high number of impressions and a search position 11+.


This is it. Add internal links and get more traffic.

Over to You

I started my post with the words “SEO changes every day.” It does. It brings us some food for thought. It makes SEOs move ahead inventing new tricks and tips that will keep an optimization works better.

Despite the fact that SEO is a broad topic and has lots of tips to be shared, I’ve decided to stop on 19 link-building tips. Why link-building? Because it is an engine of any SEO campaign.

I hope you got some useful insights learning these 19 tricks.

Would be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

And don’t forget to share it with your friends on social media channels 🙂

Author’s bio: Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Apart from working at Ahrefs he likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.

SEO Tips: 19 Link-Building Steps You Should Follow In 2017
Please use a valid email.
Please fill in all fields.
view now