Link Building Pyramid – Hierarchy of Link Building Needs

Last Updated: May 29, 2020

“Link-worthy content is the last thing you need to get links.”

As SEO we all know how hard it is to get quality links for our sites. Link acquisition becomes even more difficult when we don’t follow any formalized process.

This blog post is an attempt to develop that formalized process and to make our jobs as link builders much easier. So without further delay, I present to you my ‘Link Building Pyramid’:


Here I have represented ‘Hierarchy of ‘Link Building Needs’ in the form of  a pyramid with the most basic needs at the bottom.

I got inspiration of this pyramid approach from ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’.  However, unlike Maslow’s theory, it has nothing to do with psychology. So you can chill :)


Resources are required to:

  • Gain domain knowledge
  • Develop/hire subject matter expertise
  • Develop networks, authority and link worthy contents.

That’s why I have chosen resources as the most basic need.

These resources can be:

  1. Top industry sites (from where you can acquire domain knowledge/expertise)
  2. Hardware, software, people, time, money, inclination, capacity etc required to run a link building campaign.

Say you have a client who runs a web development company and his target audience is ‘chiropractors’. His advertising goal is to get sign ups for his services from as many chiropractors as possible.

Now if you are not already familiar with ‘chiropractic’ then you need to acquire domain knowledge so that later you can find and hire ‘subject matter experts’.  You can start your domain knowledge hunt through sites like Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia:

Chiropractic is a health care discipline and profession that emphasizes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, under the hypothesis that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system.

Now you have got the rough idea of what chiropractic is.

Generally every Wikipedia article has the ‘References’ and ‘External links’ sections at the bottom which can help in finding industry resources.

As you follow these resources link by link, you can expect to find even more resources and industry experts (aka subject matter experts, SMEs).

Generally, a large sum of money is required to afford these SMEs.

Time and inclination are required to socialize with potential linking partners.

Hardware, software, and content development capabilities are required to develop link-worthy content.

In short, you need resources to run a successful link building campaign. You can’t expect to rule your industry with a shoestring budget.

Subject matter expertise (SME)

If your client is not an SME, then you have to hire one.

Since you are an SEO and not an SME, so acquiring basic knowledge of the domain (like chiropractic) is not good enough to network with chiropractors and establish your authority in the chiropractic industry (which will later help you in making your contents go viral and acquiring links).

You need to hire a person(s) who practice/study chiropractic and who can guide you with your content, help in networking, and establishing your authority in the chiropractic industry.

A chiropractor may charge anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars per hour depending upon his level of expertise and industry recognition. So subject matter experts are expensive and that’s why ‘Link Building Services’ are even more expensive.

Without subject matter expertise you can’t socialize with professionals in your niche and thus can’t establish your authority or make your link worthy contents go viral.

In short, without SME your link building campaign can’t get off the ground.


It is the platform where you can demonstrate your subject matter expertise.

It can be industry events (conferences, seminars, workshops, trade shows, training sessions), industry forums, industry blogs, meet-up groups, social networks, and other online/offline communities.

Network is required to establish authority and to build good relationship with your target audience and potential linking partners. 

Without network, you can’t make your contents go viral and thus probability of getting quality links diminishes significantly.

You can develop your network on your own site in the form of blogs, forums, or groups and you can also take advantage of one of the largest networks on the net like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

All these networks have ‘status update’ like features that can be used intelligently to make your content go viral among your target audience.

You can update your status to something like “found an interesting article on parasailing:“. Such updates generally appear on the home page of your connections.

So if your timing is right, you can catch the attention of a lot of your target audience immediately.

However, you need a lot of connections/followers/fans, for this strategy to work in the first place. Consequently, it makes sense to join and participate in at least all major industry events, forums, groups, and communities.


You need authority so that your connections show interest in what you say and take your tweets seriously.

One of the best way to become authority in your industry is through contributions.

Become one of the top-notch contributor of your network.

Here the theory of karma comes into the picture: “What goes around, comes around“. More people you help, more they will like you and tweet/re-tweet whatever you say. Consequently faster your contents will go viral which will eventually help you in getting links to your site.

Link worthy content

Although this is pretty obvious, you need link-worthy content to get backlinks.

People won’t promote crap, no matter how authoritative you are or how big your network is. Conversely, your link-worthy content won’t get you many links if you don’t have network and authority. Finally, link building is all about people.

Related Posts

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.


My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder,
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade

Get My Step-By-Step Blueprint For Finding The Best KPIs (32 pages ebook)

error: Alert: Content is protected !!