Revealed: SEO Backlink Strategy of the World's Top Ski Brands and How You Can Copy It

by Florian Auckenthaler
29th Jan, 2018

This research article gives you a curated list of the most important sources and websites that your SKI Brand needs to get natural backlinks. By doing so, you will increase the rank of your website in Google search results. And higher ranking means more Exposure for your brand, more Visitors, and ultimately more Customers and Revenue.

Before we dive into the meat of this article, let's quickly define what link building is, why it’s important, and what a backlink profile is.

Link Building

Search engines use links that are pointing to your website as a measure of the popularity and relevance of your website. The search engines use complex algorithms to evaluate all the links that point to your website in order to determine where in the search results your website will rank for a given search. Of course, links aren't everything in SEO, there are around 200 other factors that search engines like Google use to figure out your rank. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, search engines attribute a huge portion of the algorithms to link related factors. It’s safe to say that backlinks are within the top 3 ranking factors.

As long as backlinks are one of the main factors to rank a website, it’s important for every website owner, every marketing manager, and every SEO consultant to engage in proper and ethical link building activities. If you want organic traffic, there is no way around this.

Let's make no mistake, link building is difficult. It’s hard, it takes time.

Sites we evaluate in this article have spent years building and earning links. In our research, we figured out where the most important links are coming from, in order for you to shorten your link building process. You still need a way to earn and get links from these sites, but at least this research will let you get started with the most valuable sources.

There are thousands of good websites and links that refer to the biggest ski manufacturers, however, for this article we included ONLY the most important backlink sources that meet these requirements:

  • high domain authority (DA);
  • high website popularity;
  • references to at least 5 out of the top 14 manufacturers from our list (this will increase the percentage of relevant to the ski industry websites, where you'll find the audience interested in ski gear).

Why Is This Important for Your SKI Brand?

This research article gives you a curated list of the most important sources and websites that you need to use to get natural backlinks to your website. By doing so, you will increase the rank of your website in Google’s search results pages. Higher ranking means more exposure for your brand, more visitors and ultimately more customers and revenue.

Backlink profile or link portfolio is the collection of all sites currently linking to your site. In general terms, you want your site to have a natural looking backlink profile, coming from diverse domains, including quality and authoritative sites from your niche. To get started, you can go to Google Search Console and click on ‘Search Traffic’ and then ‘Links to your Site’.

In addition, you can use tools to show your backlink profile. We recommend majestic.com and ahrefs.com. If you want to also understand what your backlink profile means, and how to improve it, we recommend our free SEO audit, which includes a 30 min consultation at the end.

In Summary:

  • Backlinks are still a major factor for Search Engine to determine your rankings
  • SEO’s and site owners need to focus on natural, ethical link building to boost rankings, traffic, visitors, and revenue
  • A diverse backlink profile from authoritative sites is essential.
  • This research article gives you the most important backlinks and categories that are used by the top ski brands. Take this information, and apply it to your site.
  • Check your site backlinks with search console, majestic.com or ahref.scom
  • Get your backlink profile professionally analyzed, with a free audit and call.

Top Ski Brands Backlink Research

We spoke about backlink diversity earlier in the article. An example of this can be found in the research for this article. The most important backlinks that we found are coming from 6 main categories. In addition, we include one additional category called ‘other’ which is a list of high-quality links that aren't necessarily inside a broader category.

  • Men’s Magazines
  • Resorts, Cities
  • Ski and Sports Magazines
  • Local Communities and Portals
  • Government Websites
  • Blogging Platforms
  • Other

These 7 categories are just the tip of the iceberg. Every brand can go much deeper building its backlink profile by working with websites, their audience, visitors, and doing different marketing activities through the Internet.

Men’s Magazines

  • Gearpatrol.com  (# of References-8, DA-44, Monthly Traffic Volume-3,920K)
  • Gq-magazin.de (# of References-5, DA-49, Monthly Traffic Volume-753K)
  • Menshealth.de (# of References-7, DA-49, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,560K)
  • Mensjournal.com (# of References-8, DA-60, Monthly Traffic Volume-3,910K)
  • Playboy.com (# of References-5, DA-61, Monthly Traffic Volume-3,496K)
  • Mensfitness.com (# of References-5, DA-58, Monthly Traffic Volume-11,550K)

Magazines for men are one of the best magazines to be featured on. They are popular and get a lot of publicity. As these magazines give a lot of attention to sports it is a great place to provide information about your brand, your products and share inspiring stories and news. These mags will help you to put your brand in front of a wider range of people than ski magazines. Here we offer a list of some of the most popular men’s magazines used by the world leading ski companies to gain links and broaden their audience.

How to get Links from these sites:

You can send them news tips, stories, submit photos and videos, provide reviews, or contact them directly and ask about advertising opportunities. Sometimes such magazines have online shops where you can sell your products as well.

Examples: www.playboy.com/articles/...

www.mensjournal.com/gear/collections/...

gearpatrol.com/best-ski-boots...

Resorts, Cities Websites

Another great source of backlinks is local websites of famous and beautiful skiing parks and resorts. This is what the most successful ski brands have been doing for a while. Parks and resorts websites have weather and snow reports, online webcams, bookings, local insights, planning kits, and much more.

Some ideas how to approach resorts:

The best way to interact with these websites is to contact the marketing or editorial team directly and send them suggestions. It can be news, articles, tips, and other kinds of suggestions.

Examples: www.chamonet.com/news/...

www.jacksonhole.com/...

Ski and Sports Magazines

Here is another list of magazines top ski manufacturers use to gain backlinks, trust, and visitors. These are ski and sport-related magazines some of which are local. On the web and print pages of these websites, you can find the latest news, weather reports, product and resort reviews, tips, guides, feature stories, awesome high-quality photos and videos, forums for like-minded people, and much more. There are plenty of opportunities to be featured on these pages. Just choose one and get your links and traffic!

Examples: www.backpacker.com/gear/...

www.skimag.com/gear/...

www.alpin.de/...

Local Communities and Portals

  • Alpinezone.com (# of References-8, DA-38, Monthly Traffic Volume-8K)
  • Bergsteigen.com (# of References-5, DA-45, Monthly Traffic Volume-413K)
  • Freeride.se (# of References-8, DA-41, Monthly Traffic Volume-489K)
  • Grindtv.com (# of References-8, DA-43, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,210K)
  • Horydoly.cz (# of References-6, DA-42, Monthly Traffic Volume-126K)
  • J2ski.com (# of References-6, DA-47, Monthly Traffic Volume-278K)
  • Nevasport.com (# of References-8, DA-45, Monthly Traffic Volume-557K)
  • Newschoolers.com (# of References-8, DA-43, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,640K)
  • Onthesnow.com (# of References-8, DA-52, Monthly Traffic Volume-699K)
  • Rasc.ru (# of References-7, DA-39, Monthly Traffic Volume-74K)
  • Sielok.hu (# of References-5, DA-45, Monthly Traffic Volume-458K)
  • Ski.ru (# of References-8, DA-46, Monthly Traffic Volume-608K)
  • Skipass.com (# of References-8, DA-35, Monthly Traffic Volume-646K)
  • Skisport.dk (# of References-6, DA-44, Monthly Traffic Volume-222K)
  • Utsidan.se (# of References-7, DA-43, Monthly Traffic Volume-498K)
  • Wintersporters.nl (# of References-5, DA-43, Monthly Traffic Volume-408K)

In this list, you will find local and worldwide ski portals and communities. They have many similar features with ski and sports magazines. The main difference is that these websites offer closer communication between users, more tips and how-to sections, a lot of information on the best tracks in the world, real-ife advice from ski enthusiasts and other information you won’t usually find on the magazine pages. To get these websites' audience to visit your website is easy. Here you can share your experience. Here you are a part of the conversation, and who doesn't like a good conversation? The only difficulty is that these websites are local. This means they are in local languages. At the same time, this becomes an opportunity when expanding your business abroad.

Examples: www.grindtv.com/skiing/...

www.nevasport.com/skibelievers/...

www.skipass.com/blogs/...

Governmental Websites

  • Cpsc.gov (# of References-5, DA-69, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,000K)
  • Konsument.at (# of References-5, DA-49, Monthly Traffic Volume-443K)

CPSC is an American product safety commission and Konsument is a magazine published by the Consumer's Association of Austria (VKI). Both organizations conduct comparative tests on products and services and publish the results. Contact one or both of them and offer them to review your product. You will get authoritative reviews and will be mentioned on their websites which will help you to gain trust and to grow traffic.

Examples: www.cpsc.gov/recalls/...

www.konsument.at/...

Blogging Platforms

Blogspot.com - now Blogger.com (# of References-6, DA-81, Monthly Traffic Volume-210,510K)

Top Ski Blogs:

Blogger.com is a blog-publishing platform. The industry-leading companies all have blogs. People love good and educating articles on their favorite topics. You should include a blog on your website too and share your expertise. You can also cooperate with famous bloggers and offer them to write about you or your products.

Examples: thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot.com

blomsterverkstad.blogspot.com

ilcorrieredelweb.blogspot.com

Other

  • Skiinfo.de (# of References-7, DA-39, Monthly Traffic Volume-166K)
  • Skiinfo.fr (# of References-6, DA-41, Monthly Traffic Volume-506K)
  • Skiinfo.no (# of References-8, DA-41, Monthly Traffic Volume-82K)

Skiinfo is a worldwide platform where you can get snow reports, snow forecasts, ski weather and news from the ski resorts. This platform is available in many languages. Submit pictures and videos in addition to commenting on the snow reports and other posts on this platform and see the traffic growth on your website.

Example: de.skiinfo.ch/ausruestung...

  • Ussa.org (# of References-6, DA-44, Monthly Traffic Volume-120K)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is an Olympic sports organization providing leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders. U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund athletic programs to assist athletes in reaching their dreams. This website is a good opportunity to promote your brand on the American market via the Internet. Be a sponsor. Help kids reach their dreams and grow your brand.

Example: ussa.org/ussa/...

  • Mpora.com (# of References-8, DA-49, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,080K)

Mpora is an action sports network. It is also a platform where you can submit awesome photos and videos you've made and get their audience interest in your brand.

Example: mpora.com/mountaineering...

  • Skiclub.co.uk (# of References-8, DA-46, Monthly Traffic Volume-20K)

This is a website of the Ski Club of Great Britain. They promote and protect safe, enjoyable and inspiring snowsports experiences for anyone who loves snow. To promote your brand on their website is an easy and enjoyable process. You can become a member or an affiliate, or contact them for direct advertising.

Example: www.skiclub.co.uk/news/...

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is a not-for-profit member-owned trade association whereby competing product and service suppliers work together for the development and growth of the snow sports industry. Join them and participate in trade shows, seminars, different programs, meetings, and events. You can be an initiative of all these as well. It will help you to become a more respectable expert in the eyes of others and will promote you, your brand, and your website greatly.

Example: www.snowsports.org/about...

This is an action sports media company. Teton Gravity Research showcases skiing, snowboarding, biking, surfing and adventure stories, videos, trip reports, gear reviews, and photos. They produce action sports films and an original television broadcast series rooted in skiing, snowboarding, and surfing. Contribute and increase the number of your visitors!

Example: www.tetongravity.com/team/...

  • Wikipedia.org (# of References-8, DA-96, Monthly Traffic Volume-6,6 Billion)

Wikipedia is the biggest online encyclopedia. You can use your expertise to edit existing pages by adding or removing the information someone put there before you. Or you can simply create a wiki page that tells the world about your brand. This will help to increase your traffic greatly and will make you look like a trustful source.

Example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salomon_Group

  • Extreme.com (# of References-7, DA-53, Monthly Traffic Volume-124K)

Extreme Sports Channel is the online home of a sports-related movie channel, showcasing content from the world of actions sports. There are videos, news, reviews and competitions alongside Live webcasts from major events across the globe. They broadcast to over 60 countries with 12 different language soundtracks. Submit a video or inform them about the upcoming event you planning to host. Once they feature you, you can expect your traffic and audience grow.

Example: extreme.com/freeski/...

  • Telegraph.co.uk (# of References-7, DA-81, Monthly Traffic Volume-150,580K)

The Telegraph is a popular newspaper. The online edition offers latest news, business, sport, comment, lifestyle and culture from the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and video from Telegraph TV. You can contact them directly for advertising opportunities or send them some great news tips or suggestions to get featured.

Example: www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/...

Cool Hunting is a publication, consultancy, and experimental retail platform. They uncover the latest in design, technology, style, travel, art, and culture. Their correspondents are all over the world, what means they cover a huge audience, what means good opportunities for your brand. Their editors work closely with contributors to write and create content. You can also be a contributor. Show your expertise, promote your brand and get your words published.

Example: www.coolhunting.com/travel/...

  • Feedburner.com (# of References-6, DA-90, Monthly Traffic Volume-6,300K)

FeedBurner is a web feed management provider. To you as a publisher this tool offers traffic analysis and an optional advertising system. Such tools are very useful and if you don't use any you should start.

  • Ispo.com (# of References-6, DA-47, Monthly Traffic Volume-396K)

ISPO is a place where you can connect with other companies in the sports business industry. There are 3 main yearly ISPO trade shows in Munich, Beijing, and Shanghai. Register on their website, take part, exhibit and promote your brand and your website. This is a good opportunity to greatly increase your traffic and get new customers.

Example: www.ispo.com/awards/ispo...

  • Youtube.com (# of References-6, DA-100, Monthly Traffic Volume-24,3 Billion)

Is your brand using social media for promotion? YouTube is one of the best media outlets to spread the word about you and your brand. Millions of people watch videos on a regular basis. It is one of the best and easiest ways to consume information. Turn your camera on and start vlogging!

Example: www.youtube.com/user/BlackDiamondVideo

AlpIndustria is an outdoor company in Russia. They have 20 shops in different regions, internet shop with a delivery across Russia, to Crimea, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. They sell clothes and equipment for winter sports enthusiasts to a wide audience. Contact them and offer or ask for cooperation. Sell your goods on their website, increase your traffic and get new clients.

Example: alpindustria.ru/brands/...

  • Bit.ly (# of References-5, DA-86, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,15 Billion)

Bitly is an online tool that allows you to shorten your URLs and track their performance. You can get to know which of your links perform best and bring you the most traffic.

  • Netguide.com (# of References-5, DA-48, Monthly Traffic Volume-72K)

French service company Netguide is a reference interface. You can customize the interface according to your needs and get updates as soon as something of your interest gets published on the internet. Contact them and offer a cooperation. Ask how can you get your brand in front of their audience.

Example: www.netguide.com/Marques-de-produits...

  • Nxtbook.com (# of References-5, DA-51, Monthly Traffic Volume-1,170K)

Nxtbook Media is a digital publishing company. They offer the creation, distribution, and tracking of digital content. It can be online magazines, catalogs, etc. If you want to be featured on their website and have access to their audience you need to become their partner or a client.

  • Sport2000.fr (# of References-5, DA-47, Monthly Traffic Volume-256K)

Sport 2000 is a group of independent merchants with credibility among consumers and sports players in France and abroad. You can join them to get all the privileges biggest ski companies already have.

Example: location-ski.sport2000.fr/...

Domain Authority

You notice that we show the Domain Authority for all the mentioned websites above. The Domain Authority, or DA, in short, is simply a score which estimates how well a website can rank on search engine result pages. The score ranges from 1 to 100 which higher scores having a greater ability to rank. There is no magic number to look for, but a DA around 40 would give you at least a good indicator for a solid link. You can use a tool like moz.com to get DA, or tools like ahref (DR Domain Rank), and majestic (CF citation flow) will have their own similar scores.

The actual Domain Authority score is less important. We recommend focussing on natural looking links which are relevant and effective. If a link makes sense for your site, then pursue it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would recommend creating linkable content, then try to get links by reaching out to a mix of local sites, relevant niche sites as well as high authority sites. Make sure you have your house in order by doing all the best practices for on-page optimization before you engage in link building. Lastly, we always encourage the type of link building that conforms to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. There are plenty of spammy ways to build links, let's avoid them and shoot for the more difficult, more time intensive, but more long-term oriented and rewarding ‘white hat’ way of building links.

Happy (link) Hunting!

To jumpstart your link building, click here to download the list of mentioned websites in an easy to use Excel format.

More Ski Marketing Research?

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