The Only 3 Link-Building Strategies You Actually Need to Raise Domain Authority

These link-building strategies are essential for mass-niche publishers who struggle to compete for search traffic online

Last week we talked about how to measure your domain authority, and this week I’d like to talk about how to improve it through link-building strategies. 

A client of ours, when they first launched their Mequoda System, had a domain authority of 27, which is not a bad or unusual domain authority for a publisher, but when the scale is 0 – 100, you always want to get as close to the top as you can. However, soon after, they acquired and assimilated with a publisher who had a higher domain authority, which raised their score to 40 over the course of 18 months while they adopted and integrated the new content. The major change? A massive number of high domain authority inbound links that they inherited.

Moz, who manages and reports domain authority, has made it no secret that just like the former Google PageRank, quality inbound links to your website pages can raise your domain authority. This is different than your self-made external links, which we have reported in the past can do more harm than good when they are stuffed into content.

And for our client mentioned above, who was in a hyper-competitive niche, inbound links made all the difference.

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While all of the publishers we work with benefit greatly from using our SEO Scorecard, if you are in a giant mass niche like news, health, investing and travel, that’s just the minimum requirement for your search optimization efforts. To raise your domain authority, you should engage in link-building strategies.

You’ll find plenty of lists on the internet that will give you 101 ways, or 25 “best” ways, but today I’m going to give you three. Because there are dozens of really poor and black-hat ways to build inbound links, and three that will get you the results you want without “faking it until you make it.”

#3 Link-Building Strategy: Leverage your Community

Although social media doesn’t offer high-value links, it does offer a heck of a lot of regular-value links. That’s why we suggest every publisher follow the 12x12x12 social media promotional schedule so that every post gets a healthy dose of inbound links from your social profiles and from those who share it. Additionally, you get a little value from email too, which is why we suggest promoting all of your articles through a daily email newsletter. You won’t get link juju from the email itself, but it does put your content in front of more people all at once, which can lead to inbound links from bloggers who share your content, or publish it in their own blog and link back to you. We’re playing with the law of large numbers here – these aren’t the most valuable inbound links, but they’re the easiest to get, completely in your control, and they leverage the work you’re already doing.

#2 Link-Building Strategy: Content Syndication

First, seek out websites in your niche that have a higher domain authority that you. You can do this through Moz’s Open Site Explorer and look for the Domain Authority metric at the top after you scan a website URL. Come up with a list of these websites, and then come up with a regular program you can offer these websites of syndicated or guest content. You offer them an SEO’d article, and in return they allow you to include 3 inbound links back to related articles on your website within the context of the article. One great example of a publisher doing this is Men’s Health back when David Zinczenko was at the helm. Yahoo! syndicated articles for him, and he was allowed to link back to Men’s Health. During this time, we saw their Google visibility soar from 5% to 60% over a six month period, and their traffic rose by 5x due to the domain authority Yahoo! was passing along to them.

#1 Link-Building Strategy: Domain Aggregation

The best, although not the easiest way to improve your domain authority through link building is to assimilate. Find websites in your niche with a higher domain authority than you, and buy them out. It’s the fastest way to build domain authority. Those who have been great at SEO, but unsuccessful at monetizing it would be great acquisitions.

Why are these the best link-building strategies? Because they deliver the best results, and because you can control them. As the old saying goes, “They just work.”

Of course before you even get started on these three strategies, make sure you have the most fundamental SEO strategies in place. That way you know you’re starting with your true domain authority before you start.

  • Follow our SEO scorecard for every new piece of evergreen content (published several times per week).
  • Re-publish your top 100 blockbuster posts—those which send the most traffic to your website every month—throughout the year and use that scorecard to make sure they continue to send traffic.
  • Implement 3C Zone Architecture so that you know you’re converting as many visitors into email subscribers as possible.

Once those pieces are in place, you can begin using the three link-building strategies above and can begin to truly dominate your niche.

To learn more about improving your domain authority through a search-optimize audience development machine, and to learn about how our Haven CXMS can get you there, schedule a time with us to chat more about it. 


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