- What are backlinks
- How do backlinks work?
- The importance of backlinks
- How do you build backlinks?
- Proven ways to build backlinks to your website
- 1. Build internal links.
- 2. Broken-link building approach
- 3. Backlinks via infographics
- 4. The benefit of guest articles
- 5. Spy on your rivals (competitors).
- 6. Promote your content.
- 7. Write testimonials.
- 8. Get in contact with influencers and important bloggers.
- 9. Donate.
- 10. Get interviewed.
- 11. Become a source for Help a Reporters Out (HARO)
- 12. Publish "skyscraper" content
- 13. Publish ultimate guides
- 14. Use different content types that are proven to get links
- 15. Authority resource pages
- 16. Convert brand mentions into quality backlinks
- 17. Get forum links
- 18. Create a hub section
- Which backlinks you do not want to build
- How to keep backlinks
If you're wondering how to get backlinks to your site, you're not alone. Backlinks are important for SEO purposes. Getting backlinks to your site is a great way to improve your search engine rankings and reach more potential customers. Building them takes time, energy, and creativity.
Since that traffic is directly linked to the quality of backlinks your site has, the more reputable websites that link to you, the better rankings and traffic you get.
And you want to stay updated on your Google rankings, of course. When you're crawling the web, Google looks directly at your website's backlinks, how your webpages are linked to each other, and in what ways. There are, of course, dozens of ranking factors. But backlinks are the most significant parameter for SEO.
Now, of course, quality backlinks are difficult to find, but they shouldn't be. In reality, there are smart ways to earn or build backlinks, to have reputable websites to link to your online business.
A Backlink is a web address (hyperlink) on an external site that connects to your site. Backlinks are often referred to as inbound links or external backlinks.
Here's an example of a backlink from one site to ours:
Having a backlink from an external site is like getting a vote on your website. The more votes you have, the higher the search engine results rate your blog.
But not all backlinks are built equal.
There are some forms of backlinks that you need to get if you want to improve your search engine ranking—it's not just about quantity. You need to obtain backlinks from reputable websites and backlinks that are related to your industry or content.
When your site has quality, appropriate backlinks from other reputable sources, it allows search engines to identify your site as relevant and authoritative to the subject that you also rank for.
If search engines find your site authoritative, they will move you up on the search engine results page.
Here's what Google’s John Mueller said about links:
“We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. Because you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all... Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link. I don’t know, maybe from like a big news site’s home page, for example. So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant.”
It's not about quantity, but quality!
Backlinks are particularly important to SEO because they constitute a "vote of trust" from one site to another. Essentially, backlinks to your website are a signal to the search engines that others voucher for your content.
Backlinks are still important to SEO success since they are the base of Google's original PageRank algorithm. While Countless independent studies in the SEO industry have shown the effect of backlinks on organic search results.
For starters, you need to identify the different types of backlinks. There are many different types of backlinks, but the ones that matter the most are here in this list. Then you will need to come up with a strategy or a list of potential pages you might want to build links to. While it sounds simple, let's get into it a bit more.
Now that you know the value of backlinks in SEO, let's plunge into the different ways to gain more backlinks for your site.
I consider internal links to be similar to knitting. Internal links are the secret to running a successful blog, and it is the first thing you should be doing before reaching out to other sites for links. If you don't have a complete scarf to give to others, why offer them? Think of it this way, if you have a brand new site, would someone want to link you to theirs? However, if you build content, rank them decently, then you might get a better chance of others linking to your site.
Not just that, with a strong internal link structure, you can help people navigate your website quickly and improve their overall user experience. Also, search engines love internal link, as it gives more context to what that page is about.
Some tools can automatically build internal links on your blog, particularly if you are operating WordPress, but you should do this manually.
Need more reasons why this should be the first thing you should be doing? Well, if you already did your keyword research, and if you are ranking well for specific(s) keywords because of your internal link building. Then you can start reaching out for links for the keywords you want to improve.
Here's an example:
The article has been written and is ranking well, or prior to ranking, you intended to rank for "alkaline coffee". So you linked that specific keyword to other pages on your site. But then you noticed other keywords you are ranking for and you might want to rank better for those as well. So you can build more internal link and reach out to other sites for those keywords as well.
You can build a better link-building outreach approach with a specific ROI in mind, versus reaching out and finding a needle in a haystack.
I love the broken-link building approach because it works great to build one-way backlinks. The method entails reaching out to a webmaster to report broken links to his/her website. At about the same time, you propose other websites to replace this link. And of course, here, you recommend a website of your own. Since you do a favor to the webmaster by reporting broken links, the likelihood of a backlink back to your website is big.
So, to employ the broken-link approach, first, find specific websites within your niche that have resource pages. Use these search queries on Google to find them:
- Your keywords + resources
- Your keyword + links
- keywords inurl: links
Now, returning to the webmaster: be polite and identify yourself when you reach out. Tell this person that they are linking to several resources that are no longer usable. Also include the exact address of broken links so that they can be easily identified. Offer some alternatives to substitute those links, like your website. Try to be supportive, not greedy for a backlink. This approach will always work, but there will be times where the webmaster refuses to link back to you.
Infographics are among the most common ways to get visitors to your website and get useful backlinks. They're good, too, because they're simple to comprehend and share. Everyone loves visual data, don't they? That is why the market for infographics has increased dramatically. Consider that popular online publications such as Mashable publish several infographics across the Internet.
Then, pick your infographics thoughtfully: each should have a special and fascinating story for your audience. To make your pick, track current trends, see what people are searching for, and then build your infographic using statistical data.
To get going, gather and research content data. Then hire somebody to visualize your content.
Next, once the infographic is finished, you need to make it convenient for everyone to share it. Build your embed code using the Siege Media Generator to do this so people can copy and paste that on your social media accounts.
When all is in place and your infographic beams on your website, it's time to share it. There are several infographic directories where you can upload yours. For example, here is a list of more than 100 places to send your infographic.
Finally, do email outreach to individuals who have previously been linked to or shared similar infographics on social media. Seek feedback on your infographic, but don't ask for a link directly. If people like your infographic, they're going to know what to do.
Guest blogging is the most successful way to meet new audiences. By submitting articles on other mainstream websites, you'll get your content in front of new audiences and gain more visibility. Often it's not only about backlinking. It's about growing your online credibility or your social media followers.
Guest blogging lets you capitalize on your relationships and grow your audience. If you have reservations about guest posting, remember that even Google allows guest contributors on its Google Analytics blog.
There are several ways to find blogs that welcome guest posts. Here are three of them:
Use Google Search queries to search blogs that welcome guest contributors:
- your keyword + become a contributor
- your keyword + guest-posts
- your keyword + want to write for
- your keyword + become an author
- your keyword + inurl:guest-post-guidelines
- your keyword + inurl:write-for-us
- your keyword + now accepting guest posts
- your keyword + bloggers wanted
- your keyword + submit an article
- your keyword + contribute
- your keyword + guest post by
Find influencers who constantly publish guest posts and attempt to contribute to the same blogs they've had in the past.
Employ social media to explore other options.
On Twitter, search for "guest article," "guest author," or "guest post." To automate the process, use Topsy to set notifications for the keyword you want to monitor.
When writing and publishing a guest post, always make sure that you link your social media accounts. If anyone likes your post, he or she will follow you for similar posts in the future.
Eventually, you will start to build up your authority and you might start receiving emails too! If others are reaching out to you for links, why not provide a guest post for them?
If you're serious about gaining more organic traffic, it's necessary to be up to date with your major competitors' online marketing strategies. You need to spy on your social media rivals and look for their link-building or earning strategies, as well as their content-marketing strategies. Here are a few tips:
Set up for notifications when rivals are publishing new content on their websites.
Follow their social media or subscribe to their email newsletters. Another clever way to keep up with their latest content is to set up a Google alert for the keyword "site:yourrival.com." For instance, if your rival is Moz, you can set up a Google alert using the keyword: site:moz.com.
Observe when and what backlinks your rivals are building or earning.
This will help you reproduce their best backlinks and further understand their strategies to promote their website. If they get links from guest blogging, consider being a guest author on the same websites. If any of their links originate from blog reviews, get in contact with those bloggers and give them a trial to test your tool. Hopefully, they may write a review about it.
Great content won't get you backlinks, except you know how to get it right. You've got to get in the world and do email outreach to promote the best articles and blog posts.
One of the best ways to do this is to get in touch with bloggers or websites running monthly or weekly roundups. Again, you can use Google to search for queries like "keyword + roundup." Make sure you pick to see results for the previous week or month.
Also, reach out to the webmasters and give them a short introduction to your website. Send a link to one of your best tutorials or guides with your message. If they find your resource useful, they might link back to you in their next weekly roundup. These bloggers are always searching for great content, so they certainly want to hear from you.
A simple way to get quality backlinks is to write testimonials for websites that you are using. You're just going to spend a few minutes, and you can get a link from the authoritative website's homepage. As long as you are a user of that product, there is a strong chance that you will get a link in return for a testimonial.
Outline all the tools you are presently using and reach out and negotiate the possibility of your testimonial featuring on the desired website.
You need to spread the word about your business to earn links to your website. And what reasonable way to do this than to contact your niche reporters and influencers? Getting someone's email address can be frustrating, but there is no reason to be dissuaded. This is how to acquire anyone's email address:
- Over 90% of email addresses on websites and blogs are formatted as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. So, consider submitting your pitch directly to these addresses.
- Alternatively, you can send your message through social media, Google+, or Linkedin.
Note, too, that every pitch should be brief and to the point. Nobody's got time for lengthy, boring emails from strangers.
Yeah, you can make backlinks by giving to non-profit organizations. This method is fast and simple. All you need to do is find sites in your niche that take donations and link back to your donated websites. Only send the sum of donations you want to give and add the URL to your website.
Some searches in Google are needed to locate these websites. These are some of the queries that commonly deliver good results:
- donation + contributors + your keyword
- contributors page + donate + your keyword
- Contributors page + keyword
Online interviews are popular right now and a great and simple way to get backlinks to your website. If you become the expert in your niche, you're going to get a lot of interview invites, but before then, to get started, you have to take the first step. Look for the sites conducting interviews and tell them that you want to participate and what information you can add.
If you want to rank on Google's first page, you need to create backlinks from the authority's news blogs and websites.
(I am talking about white hat backlinks from authority news websites and blogs.)
Luckily, this is not as hard as it seems.
What you have to do is use a free service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO). What is HARO? It leads people who need sources (journalists and bloggers) to people who want links and coverage (you). Sort of a meeting place, or a dating app.
To be clear: this strategy requires effort. And it's not always that convenient. You might have to wait a long time if your niche is not something most reporters write about. You might also need to be very creative or research-based. However, this is one of the easiest ways to create high-quality backlinks on a scale in my experience.
Skyscraper Technique is a link-building strategy developed by Brian Dean of Backlinko as a way to create engaging content that will help you develop quality links.
The technique sits on the foundations of 3 core principles:
- Find popular content that has already been linked to from other sites.
- Create a better piece of content on the same topic and publish your own.
- Promote your content to the right people.
But, you also have to adapt to Skyscraper Technique 2.0:
- Figure out User Intent
- Satisfy User Intent
- Optimize for UX signals
To satisfy the user intent of that keyword and rank better overall. But finding the popular content that has been linked the most, might not be ranking well. For example, Mashable.com might generate amazing content that gets links, but not necessarily rank no.1. If your focus is to build links alone, you are only going to rely on their traffic and build your so called "authority", but if it does not benefit the user intent, chances of ranking, well, diminishes quickly.
According to a lot of SEO ranking factor studies perform by many SEO experts, long-form content appears to perform much better in Google than short articles:
Also, the ultimate guides cover the whole subject on a single page.
And because your guide is a "go-to" resource for a particular topic, people will link to it anytime they write about it on their blog.
Backlinko did a study on what type of content generates links the most. Here's a data:
If you are already producing articles, chances are, you are not writing to get links, or writing based on a content type that does not generate enough links. Why not try what's been proven to gain massive links?
- List Posts
- “Why” Posts
- “How to” Posts
Obviously, your content has to be amazing first, then see if its able to use these type of content formats to maximize your backlinks.
Resource webpages are a link builder's fantasy. Why? These are pages that exist only to link to other websites.
You might start to wonder. "OK, that's awesome. But how do I get links from resource pages?
Just like every method in this post, I'm going to walk you through the step-by-step process:
You need to find the resource pages first.
These could be tricky to locate. Only a few people label their resource page a "resource page."
Rather, people prefer to describe their pages with phrases such as:
- "additional resources."
- "helpful resources."
- "further reading."
- "useful resources."
So if you want to find these pages, you just need to search for these phrases with a keyword.
Let's assume, for example, that you just published a link building post.
You will do a Google search using the following keyword. Now that you've discovered a resource page, it's time to get out and (nicely) request for a link.
Every once in a while, someone's going to mention you in a blog post... but they're not really going to link to your website.
These links are considerably easy to gain backlinks from. The author of the article has already mentioned you. Which implies they like you.
So all you need to do is send them this nice email:
I have just come across your most recent article [Article Title].
All I wanted to do was reach out and say "Thanks" for mentioning [Your Brand Name] in your post. I genuinely appreciate that.
If you've got a minute, it would be awesome if you could link to our website. That way, your readers can conveniently find the article on our blog that you mentioned.
Once again, thank you for mentioning us in your article. And have a wonderful day.
[The First Name]
And you are set.
Here's what the link for a forum looks like:
They're easy to get, and if you noticed, this forum is Windows Central, one of the high authority site! You register for a forum, identify the threads you like, and leave a helpful comment on the thread. It's the same process with Q&A websites like Quora.
The problem, huh? These are often "nofollow" links that don't scale through PageRank.
So I will share with you a simple trick:
Site Explorer > Enter a rival domain > Backlinks > Filter for "dofollow" links > Filter for "message board" links
This displays all of your rivals' "dofollow" links from different forums.
Please register with the same forums. Find a suitable thread. Leave a very useful comment.
If you noticed, we have a dedicated section for our "SEO Academy". While most of the strategy above are proven ways to build or earn backlinks, it focuses on one content at a time. If you plan on doing a link building outreach, why not create a section like a hub, like a resource page and ask for other sites to link to it instead.
This is a combination of writing an ultimate guide, but with the possibility or link juice to flow through each of the section versus just one content. In our link building efforts, it seems far more easier to approach others to link to this section. And as for natural link building, this does tend to gain a bit more than our normal individual content.
Perhaps the most popular method of getting backlinks is through black hat link building. This method involves buying links or getting someone to buy links for you. It's possible to get some links that way. But the problem is that they're usually not good links.
As a result, they can negatively impact your SEO results.
Here are a few examples of bad backlinks:
- Links to pages with skinny content: Google devalues websites and pages with very little content, and it is clear that links from these kinds of websites have little SEO value.
- Websites that do not offer value to users. Social bookmarking websites, directories, and article directories are the best examples in this group. These can only be used for SEO purposes, and Google does not give them a big pat on the back. Worse still, once you have submitted your link to either of these websites, it is almost impossible to delete it.
- Comment spam. No one likes spam, and Google doesn't either. If you post spam comments all over the Internet, you may lose the credibility of your website, and you will also lose your search engine rankings.
You might hire someone to do your link building and see that you received 20 links and noticed that you lost 10.
There's no link building strategy that guarantees 100% link placement for life. The site that might be linking you can close their doors, or they might have re-optimized their content and replaced you with something else, you have no control over what they might do.
That is why I personally believe in writing quality content. Your goal should be to attract backlinks with a long-term strategy that'll eventually create value for you and ROI.
Therefore, you goal is to create high quality, user intent focus content so that people like your content and want to link you. You need content for your site to rank better, build expertise, authority, trust. If you can gain natural links while creating content, you don't need to focus too much on links.
Getting quality backlinks can be difficult at times, but you can successfully find link-building opportunities by leveraging the right tools and methods. Finally, note that retaining your backlinks is just as critical as building them. So, keep a record of backlinks on your website, using tools like Ahrefs, Monitor Backlinks, or Majestic.