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Eric Carrell
Eric Carrell

How to Build Links in the Health & Fitness Niche

Since we started dofollow.io, we’ve built over 1,200 links in the health, fitness, sports niches. In fact, these sites have been some of our most successful clients in both link acquisition (quality and qualtity) and overall traffic growth.

The medic update left most people in the health market scrambling to figure out their next move. However, for those who made it through the update unscathed, it’s a brilliant time to pick through the links of your fallen competitors (RIP) and claim them for your own.

For the majority of these tactics, we’ll look at draxe.com, one of the most notorious cases of a site losing massive amounts of traffic from the medic update.

1. Find Killer Topics for Linkable Assets

The health niche is all about trends. If you’re in the space, you’re in a prime position to follow what new trends are popping up. This + having a good content team will help you build killer linkable assets to do outreach with.

There are tons of ways to find out what is trending: Google Trends, Twitter, just generally following and reading articles in the niche, following which pages are earning the most links for competitors, etc.

Let’s take a look at the topic of “keto diet.”

This is a super trendy health topic with a bunch of information out there. If we simply type “keto” into Google, there will be tons of results with hundreds or thousands of links to each of the pages. But simply targeting the keyword “keto” and trying to steal their links would just leave you slugging it out with dozens of other sites trying to do the same thing.

So let’s create a better angle. What about a keto calculator? This is a tool that could be created pretty easily, and it would compliment the information that is already out there, not pit you against them.

However, there are some keto calculators out there, and they’re earning some excellent links; that’s how we validated the idea. It’s earning links, but it’s not completely saturated.

I plugged the keyword into Ahref’s Content Explorer, and I sorted by “referring domains.” Here is what I found:

It’s important to check both Google and Ahrefs when checking data. I noticed that Ahrefs missed this opportunity:

Ahrefs allows you to export these backlink profiles so you’re able to contact the sites linking to these sites and pitch your tool.

2. Target Press Pages Naturally

We all know the press page style of link building and more recently, we know it has been abused and it’s not easy to scale. However, there is a way to do it both ethically and to build it into your entire content process to make scaling easy and natural.

Actually, the health and fitness niche works super well with this type of link building because most content needs citations to add credibility.

You can kill two birds with one stone; you can add citations to your health related content while building prospects to reach out to.

First, you need to build a database of citations what you give to your writers so they can sprinkle them into your content. Here is one I built recently:

This page will serve both as a resource for writers to use for citations, because all of the sites in this are medical sites that have research and articles written by medical professionals that can be used to add credibility to your articles. Also, all of these sites track mentions of their research around the web.

So the goal is to:

  1. Gather sites that can be used both by your writers for sources and for your outreach team to get links
  2. As your team writes content, they source these sites in their articles in the form of a link
  3. Reach out to the sites that your team sourced and tell them that you noticed they have press page, and you mentioned them in your recent article and show them where
  4. Ask them to link to your site on their press page if they still keep it updated

3. Steal Your Competitor’s Brand Mentions

This is quite a bit different than simply running skyscraper on your competitor’s pages. The goal here is to see what kind of links your competitors earn to their homepage and try to replicate them for your site.

These are usually in the form of expert round-ups, guest post opportunities, journalistic type mentions such as HARO, etc.

We’re going to check out Dr. Axe’s backlinks in this one but only the backlinks that point directly to the homepage.

To filter links only pointing to the homepage, type in the root URL and chance the tab to the right of the URL to “exact URL”

Next, you want to look for sites that your competitor only has a few links from (note the “links” column on the right.) If your competitor has 500 links from a site, it’s usually a sign of site wide links. If it only has one or two, that means it’s more unique.

You want to look at the pages your competitor has links on. Is the link from a guest post? If so, you can ask for the opportunity to publish a guest post also. Is the link on a resource page? Ask to be included on that page also. Is the link from an interview your competitor did? Ask to be interviewed also, etc.

When a site links to the homepage, they’re referencing the site on a more personal level. They likely didn’t just do a Google search on a topic and link to the reference. Links to the home page usually come from some sort of personal reference. These links are usually low hanging fruit.

4. Find Resource Pages That Link to Your Competitors

The goal here is to make more calculated resource page outreach. We can search for keywords like “links” and “resources” in your competitor’s backlink profiles, and then try to get links on those pages as well.

Again, we’ll use Ahrefs for this. Let’s take a look at Dr. Axe’s backlink profile:

Your settings should look like this. Use the search bar next to “include” to search for links or resource pages.

Here is a page I found:

A link on this page would be very respectable. Aside from having a domain rating of 53, it also has ~1,000 organic hits per month. There was a slight traffic loss over the past year, however, it’s not enough to suspect a manual penalty, and the site is still ranking well.

Here is what the actual target page looks like:

This is a link you could go out and build today. The webmaster is openly asking for suggestions to add to the page, the email address is right on the top of the page, and the page was updated in the past couple of weeks.

You can find tons of these pages by looking through your competitors backlinks. This is a bit more calculated than using Google search parameters; this will allow you to sift through and see links that have actually been built in your niche.

5. Find Guest Post Opportunities Before Anyone Else

Guest post outreach these days is just brutal. These sites get blasted everyday by dozens of SEOs asking for guest post opportunities to build links to their site. Not only has this annoyed site owners, but they now realized they can make money by charging people to add guest posts on their site.

So how do we get past this?

In my opinion, the best way to secure good links through guest posts without paying for them is to find guest post opportunities before anyone else does. These are newly published “write for us” pages that other people won’t see.

Let’s start by using Google search: health “write for us” – super simple, right?

Then click “tools” on the lower right corner of the search bar. Then change the time from “anytime” to “past week” or “past month” depending on the results you want.

Here is what it looks like:

Notice when these pages were last updated. These are pages that were either updated or published in the past week. So, these are people who are actively looking for people to contribute content to their blog.

Like this page:


This is the very first result. This is a company that hasn’t been around for very long, this “write for us” page was just published in the last week, so most certainly they aren’t getting spammed by a bunch of SEOs, and they almost certainly aren’t charging for links. The DR isn’t overly high at 18, but the site is relevant, it looks good, and the power of your link will grow over time.

The good thing about this method is you can find new prospects constantly. While everyone else is using the same old methods of finding guest post opportunities and paying for link placement, you can get fresh prospects on a weekly basis.

The Proof is in the Pudding

We’ve used these methods to grow our own sites and sites for our clients in the health and fitness niches.

Here are some of the results we’ve seen:

Case #1 – website in the outdoor sports & fitness niche

We started with this website December of 2017. We’ve built over 300 links for this website.

Case #2 – website in the health & sleep niche

We’ve built all 700+ links for this website. Admittedly, traffic has fluctuated quite a bit on this site, but we think it’s due to the medic update; it’s not a problem with the links.

Case #3 – website in the health, fitness, outdoors site

We built all 200+ links to this site. Aside from the basic on-page SEO and content creation, all traffic growth was due to the stellar quality of our links.

Need help building links? Shoot me an email here: [email protected] – let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other 🙂

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