How to Build Links in Difficult Industries


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Today’s episode interviews Nathan Gotch, the founder of Gotch SEO and the Gotch SEO Academy, which has helped hundreds of students achieve their own SEO success. We cover his approach to link building (even for non-link happy niches), including how he chooses a tactic, creates content and promotes it, as well as how to troubleshoot failing campaigns. Nathan also weighs in on Google’s new link building guidelines and discusses how it will affect the future of link building.
Google’s New Backlinking Guidelines

  • Don’t always follow all of Google’s recommendations
  • Start by thinking about what Google is trying to do with its new updates
    • They want to see what are paid links and what are not
  • For the most part, you can keep your links the same as long as you are already no following paid links


Will Websites That Are Based Completely on Guest Posts be affected?

  • No, as long as the content is useful and relevant, it shouldn’t affect websites that rely on user-generated content, like Moz
  • A website like Forbes or Huffington post no follows all of their websites simply because people try to buy links through contributors


Can You Still Allow Followed Links To The Guest Poster’s Website?

  • As long as the link is still creating value, having a link to the guest poster’s website is ok


How Do You Choose Which Link Building Tactic to Start With?

  • Perform an audit first and fix foundational issues
  • Think about how you can create linkable assets
  • Identify and qualify a keyword and then create the content
  • Content dependent vs non-content dependent
  • Drive links to informational content TOFU content rather than BOFU pages (product) 


Does Link Building Work For Ecommerce/Local SEO?

  • Yes, consider going after national keywords even if you are only a local SEO company and now you have a highly linkable asset
  • This asset then generates links and grows the overall authority of the website which in turn causes it to rank for its local keywords


You Can’t Guarantee Links – So How Do You Set Expectations With Your Boss/Client

  • Don’t put a hard number on how many links you will acquire for the client
  • We offer three different packages that have a range of links (10-20)
  • The “snowball effect” 
  • This heavily depends on the industry


What Promotion Strategies Do You Use in Industries That Are Not Link Happy

  • “Relevancy Pyramid”
  • Top of the period is very specific – fewer opportunities (direct competitor)
  • Next level – a little broader (lawyer that doesn’t directly compete with your client)
    • Collaborations can be guest post exchanges
  • Bottom of the Pyramid – focus on general law based websites 


What is the Most Common Reason Why a Promotion Strategy Fails

  • Your content isn’t as great as you think it is


What Are Your Go-To Strategies?

  • Look at what is already ranking – if there are a lot of ultimate guides, don’t create another one!
  • People won’t change their links from one ultimate guide to another ultimate guide just because you want them to
  • Create something that is radically different from what is in the SERPs
    • Create Expert Roundup if everything else is an ultimate guide
    • Create a Data-Driven Post
  • How can we make this the purple cow in the Search Results?


Do You Ever Have to Move On From a Link Tactic?

  • It varies industry to industry 
  • If we are promoting an asset and it isn’t generating results, look closer at the asset


If You Were To Go Back Grow An Agency Again, What Would You Do?

  • Think about how to get clients every morning
  • Make sure you have reliable ways to acquire new clients
  • Create Top of The Funnel Content

Twitter: @nathangotch

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