You've no doubt seen those blog posts that cite jaw-dropping stats about how much more it costs to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Well, the same can be said of SEO backlinks. There’s a lot you can do to get more out of the links you already have, and the efforts involved are tiny compared to the resources you need to get a great site to link to you for the first time.

That's why you need to be spending time making sure to strengthen the power of your existing inbound links, while at the same time investing resources into building new ones.

Here are some relatively easy tactics for doing just that that.

1. Ask People Who Already Link to You to Do It Again

Keep an eye on your link profile so you know where they're coming from. Reach out to those publications and ask them if they'd consider linking to you again. As long as your content provides an excellent source of relevant information for their audience, they’re likely to comply.

Need help identifying and evaluating all your backlinks? WooRank’s "Backlink Quality" module is a great place to start.

WooRank backlink quality analysis

This report can tell you whether the link is dofollow or nofollow, the URL of the linking page, the page on your site that they’re linking to, and the anchor text used. In addition, you can see a "Quality Score" for each link, which ranges from zero to three stars, depending on the trustworthiness of the link and the trust flow and citation flow scores for the relevant domain and subdomain – all based on data from Majestic.

Once you’ve got your pitch list set up, formulate personalized messages that emphasize "what’s in it for them." Try adding value to the standard link requests that publishers receive all day long, with something like this:

  • Offering to write a free piece of content for their website.

  • Find dead links, or another website issue that can be fixed.

  • Inform them of some news that's relevant and awesome.

This tactic works especially well because if someone has already found you interesting and authoritative enough to link to once, they usually won't have a problem doing it again. Plus, reaching out to them helps build a relationship.

Just make sure not to be a nag. Be polite about it, and don't ask the same people to link to you too often, or else it will start looking fishy to the search engines. Use this tactic sparingly, and only for your best content.

2. Drive Social Shares

Use social media advertising to increase your follower count and social shares. Promoted posts are generally relatively inexpensive and, with a bit of thought into smart targeting, can drive major impact.

It's important to note that Google and other search engines don't use social as a direct ranking factor, but there are still good SEO reasons to use this approach. Simply put, social sharing builds your brand's visibility and increases your link building potential, both of which are major signals that directly affect SEO.

It's not the social profiles themselves that matter – it's the results. Beyond social advertising, focus on creating content your audience will naturally want to share on their own. But content that people want to share isn't enough. You need to listen to what people are saying, and actively engage your followers. Take time to ask questions and reply to what people are saying to, or about you.

Pinterest board to connect buyer with entrepreneurs

Image source:

Etsy, for example, uses their Pinterest account to connect buyers with entrepreneurs selling products on their platform.

Here are some tools to help you with using social media for maximum SEO impact:

  • Get help with targeted content ideas using Google Trends and Portent's Content Title Generator. Test titles with CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer.

  • Create eye-catching graphics, with no design knowledge necessary, using Canva.

  • Make sure you have social sharing buttons on your blog with Shareaholic.

  • Monitor your followers with SocialRank. Find the most engaged followers and build relationships with them. Reach out to your less engaged followers to increase overall engagement.

When you build second-tier links, you're basically directing link juice to the most powerful pages that already link to your website, instead of linking directly to your website. Yes, I know that technically this counts as building new links, but it's easier to build links to a good article in a known publication than it is to build them to a branded page. This method ensures you have strong traffic sources even if your site doesn't yet rank well itself.

Realize that a site you've written for, or a site that links to you, may have higher search engine authority compared to your own website. As such, it may be easier to get links to an article there than it would be to get links to your brand new blog.

Make sure your second-tier links are developed with the same quality guidelines you use to build your first-tier links, though. Spend time trying to build good links to those sites just like you do with your main site. If someone has linked to a page on your main site before and you have a new piece of relevant content, reach out and let them know (remember the first tactic?). Don't focus on easy links that are low-quality, or go after worthless links, because this can make your brand and domain look bad.

And no matter what you do, don't try to automate the process of building your second-tier links.

Remember that this method, when done well, can help with rankings, of course, but there's a tremendous potential for traffic too. Audience members who are referred by second-tier links are likely to read the first-tier article and click through to your website. As such, it's not really a big deal that a vast majority of the popular websites that you can use to build second-tier links have nofollow-only policies.

4. Link Out From Your Blog to Relevant Pages on Authority Publications

With all the buzz of the most recent Google algorithm updates – I'm looking at you, Penguin and Hummingbird – it's easy to forget a primary update that occurred way back in 2003, known as Hilltop, that still has a whole lot of influence on today's ranking protocol.

Hilltop was the update that first picked up on your on page SEO signals, telling Google whether or not a page serves as a hub of information. Google determines whether or not a hub exists by the relevance and quality of that page's outbound links – because the pages you link to tend to reflect, or relate to the topic of your page.

Essentially, by linking to helpful resources, you can establish yourself as a hub of helpful content, at least where the search engines are concerned. Aim to link to at least three high-quality, relevant sources in each piece of content published on your site, and you'll be well on your way to seen as a Hilltop hub. Just don't saturate your pages with outbound links, and you'll be fine.

For instance, if you're writing about entrepreneurs who rose from nothing to become well-known and respected, consider linking to information about them on websites like Entrepreneur or Forbes.

5. Reach Out to Relevant Bloggers and Journalists

Use a tool like Content Marketer to automate the process of reaching out to relevant bloggers and journalists asking them to link to your pages that cite their work. Using this tool is simple. Just link it to your blog, and every time your content links out to an authority resource, the tool will find the resource’s author and shoot them a well-crafted pitch.

For this tactic to work, however, you must have high-quality content that works as a valid source for the bloggers and journalists to link to. This means well-researched blog posts, infographics, case studies, research studies, videos, podcasts and the like – the stuff that provides real value to someone’s readership.

Here are the basic elements that a great pitch message should include:

  • The recipient’s name (No, "Hey there!" just isn’t personalized enough)

  • An opening that includes a compliment about what they do

  • A brief explanation of why your content and brand is relevant to their audience

  • An overt ask, requesting that they share or write about your page or product

  • A few different options for getting in touch with you

Link Juice that Blasts from the Past

Amplification of your existing backlink profile takes effort and finesse, just like building original links. But with consistent work, you'll see increases in rankings and traffic, which should help with boosting conversions and, ultimately, profits as well.

Have you tried any of these techniques? Which one has worked better? Tell us in the comments below!