What Are Backlinks and How Do They Work?
Backlinks are essential links to your website that act as quality signals for search engines to decide your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
These are the inbound links or incoming links, which search engines consider as a vote of trust coming from other websites.
If you have built backlinks from high authority domains within your niche, they send a strong signal to Google about your site’s quality and relevancy.
Search engines perceive your website as trustworthy and authoritative when multiple sites refer to your pages by providing the inbound links. This consequently boosts your SERP ranks exponentially.
The answer to earning quality backlinks depends on the quality of the content you produce. If your content is valuable and offers critical insights, others will naturally link back to it.
Over the years, Google has become very particular about the quality and type of backlinks you received.
Initially, Google considered the number of backlinks and the anchor text for ranking rather than its quality. But with the Penguin Algorithm Update, there is a sea change in the way Google looks at link quality.
Now, backlinks pass the link juice only if they satisfy the quality metrics set by Google, of which relevancy and domain authority are key factors.
Even if you buy backlinks, you have to be very cautious about the quality. This is one reason why Stan Ventures offers links that pass 20+ link metrics.
Given below are a few easy ways to get high-quality backlinks.
19 Easy Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks
1. Become a source for reporters and bloggers
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a free platform that helps journalists and bloggers connect with relevant authority sources for their news stories. This platform is helpful for anyone looking to connect with expert sources in their niche.
If you sign up as a source on HARO, you will get regular emails from the platform with queries on trending topics from different categories. Each query comes with detailed requirements, the deadline for submission, the media outlet where your inputs, if selected, will be published and the email address where you have to send your pitch.
If your pitch gets accepted, it will be quoted in the article with your name and a link to your website. You can check how Stan Ventures got backlinks from SocialPilot and Brand24 by sharing expert inputs on HARO.
Getting quoted by a reputable website along with backlinking will give your site positive exposure. However, respond to the requirements as soon as possible to maximize your chances of getting quoted. Also, ensure that you don’t deviate from the original requirement and pitch exactly what is asked.
It is advisable to spend an hour or two each day sifting through the requirements on HARO. Although the competition is vast, and every time your pitch might not get quoted, it is still worth a try due to the benefits it will bring to your website.
Getting a backlink through HARO will bolster your reputation, build brand awareness, bring you referral traffic, and get more citations besides improving your ranking. If you want to make more out of HARO, sign up for its paid packages to receive media opportunities through multiple channels.
2. Publish skyscraper content
Skyscraping content is finding the best-performing content in your niche and then creating something even better. Skyscraping is a concept popularized by Brain Dean of Backlinko.
So, how do you find a skyscraping opportunity for yourself? Pretty straightforward. Search on Google for any keyword you want to target and check out the first page results. Find the piece of content that is currently earning the maximum number of backlinks.
Scan through the content and find the gaps that you can profit from. You must create something similar that answers everything the current content doesn’t cover. Only then will you be able to outrank it.
If you want to be more accurate with your skyscraper technique, use Ahrefs Site Explorer or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to analyze competitor websites and sort their blog topics or keywords based on the total number of referring domains. It will help you understand what topics to prioritize for your skyscraper content.
Once you publish your content, you should promote it to increase its reach. Start by featuring it on your social media channels. Next, you can email it to your contacts in the industry who might be interested in it.
You should even reach out to the sites that have linked to similar content pieces and tell them that you’ve created something even better. If they find your content more interesting and relevant, they will be more than willing to give you a backlink.
3. Build links from outdated resources
Have you heard about the “moving man method”? This is yet another Brian Dean terminology. In this technique, you find sites in your niche that have either shut down, changed their name, moved to a different URL, or stopped offering service. Then, you find sites that are still linking to this old/non-functional URL. You then reach out to the sites linking the old URL, tell them about their outdated link, and request them to link to your site.
A while back, SEOMoz.org rebranded itself to Moz.com. It was the perfect opportunity for many SEO experts to reach out to the several sites still linking to the old URL and subtly suggest linking to their site instead.
4. Publish ultimate guides
Building lots of quality backlinks is one of the best ways to push your ranking toward the top on Google SERPs. But, the question is how to get quality backlinks and a good number of them?
To generate backlinks from other sites, you have to create content assets that people want to link to, such as ultimate guides.
Why ultimate guides?
First of all, an ultimate guide compiles every possible information on a given topic in a single place. According to many studies on SEO ranking factors, it has been observed that long-form content tends to perform better than short content. Moreover, since your ultimate guide will be a go-to resource for a given topic, other people will link to it whenever they cover the same topic.
To create a compelling and link-worthy ultimate guide for your website, find a popular topic not covered in depth by anybody in your industry. For example, I wrote a guide to reverse image search on my blog. You can find any important topic in your niche and work on the same.
Next, you need to create an extensive content outline that shouldn’t miss out on any information related to the topic. Remember, you are working on an ultimate guide, so you need to be inclusive of even the tiniest information you can find about the subject. Once you’ve created the guide, promote it as much as possible, and soon you’ll see other people in the industry linking back to it.
5. Resource page link building
Resource pages exist solely to link out to other sites. When someone adds your link to their resource page, it improves their page. So, if you think your content is a good fit for a resource page, approach them immediately.
But, how do you find resource pages in your niche? Well, you can run a Google search string like:
Your keyword +“helpful resources.”
Your keyword + “useful resources.”
Your keyword + “further reading.”
Your keyword + “additional resources.”
Although they curate a list of links, many resource pages don’t use the term “resource” on their pages. This means they will not appear in the search strings I suggested above. So to increase your link building opportunities, use these search strings too:
Your keyword + “best sites.”
Your keyword + “best blogs.”
Your keyword + “blog awards.”
Your keyword + “places to learn.”
Once you find a list of resource pages that matches your content, draft personalized emails for each stating how your content can add value to their existing resource pages. If you want to improve your chances of getting approval, try sending “feeler” emails.
Feeler emails are messages you send to your prospects without actually asking them to link to your page. It is an initial email that you send out to “feel” whether the person is receptive to your link-building proposal. Check out an example of a feeler email below.
You see how the sender has subtly asked if the person they are reaching out to would like to check out their content first. If this email gets a positive response, you can ask for a backlink in your following email.
Resource pages are credible sources that both humans and search engines like to follow. A backlink from a resource page improves your brand value and builds your authority.
6. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is another high-quality backlink strategy. Using this technique, you can reach out to an existing set of audiences in your niche, drive referral traffic and build authority to your site.
To find guest blogging opportunities in your niche, use these search strings on Google:
Your keyword + inurl:write-for-us
Your keyword + intitle: write for us
Your keyword + guest posts
Your keyword + become a contributor
Your keyword + inurl:contribute
You can also use SEO tools to analyze competitor backlinks and find where they are guest blogging at. You can then shortlist these sites based on their quality and reputation and send them outreach emails with your guest blogging proposal.
Although it is easy to find several sites that accept guest posts and increase the number of backlinks, Google despises backlinks built through guest posting on low-quality sites. Therefore, only reach out to high-quality sites in your niche, create good content and build contextual links within the content body. You can also hire an experienced guest blogging service provider who can help you build high-quality backlinks for your business.
7. Build backlinks with infographics
Infographics have become a popular link-building method in the past few years. The combination of visuals with written content makes infographics highly shareable and easy to understand. Popular sites like Mashable and Huffington Post often use infographics in their content.
Infographics are also significant assets for getting high-quality backlinks to your site. If you have a professional designer on board, you can create amazing infographics on different topics in your niche. Even if you don’t have a professional designer with you, many free tools like Canva and PiktoChart allow you to create infographics in a jiffy.
There are different ways to utilize infographics for link building. First, you can create infographics for your own site. If it is interesting, people will likely use it. To make it easier for them to use your infographic, generate embed code and paste it below your infographic.
When people use this embed code in their content, it will earn you a backlink. If people use your infographic without giving you due credit, you can run a reverse image search and find those sites. You can then reach out to them through email and request a link back.
Second, you can submit your infographics on infographic directories like Visual.ly. Third, you can identify bloggers in your niche and send them personalized emails stating how your infographic can benefit their content. Of course, they need to have existing content on their site that fits well with your infographic. If they accept using your infographic on their content, you will get a backlink from it.
8. Provide testimonials
Giving testimonials for products you love to use is one of the best ways to get backlinks. All brands love to showcase their customer testimonials. So, make sure you write a detailed testimonial and send it to your favorite brands for them to publish it on their testimonials page or homepage. When they do, you’ll earn good backlinks to your site.
9. Unlinked brand mentions
Some pages mention your brand in their content but don’t link back to you. These are called unlinked brand mentions. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to set an alert for your brand name so that you get notified whenever someone mentions it.
Getting backlinks from unlinked brand mentions is comparatively easier. You find pages that have mentioned your brand and reach out to them through email requesting a link back.
10. Identify pages that link your competitors but not you
Sometimes your evergreen content may rank on Page 1 for your target keyword, but it may not achieve the top 3 spots on Google. Without high-quality backlinks, it is a challenging feat to achieve.
However, a clever way to move up the SERP rankings is to steal your competitors’ backlinks and outrank their content. It is one of the most popular ways to get the best backlinks for your site.
The first thing you need to do is find the top 3 pages that rank for your target keyword. Second, you need to analyze the content on these top three pages and create something more comprehensive. When your content quality is good, people prefer linking back to it.
Next, use a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs or Semrush to find which sites link to these top three pages. Then, shortlist sites that can earn you potential backlinks for your post. Once the list of sites is ready, send a personalized outreach email to each stating why they should consider giving a backlink to your content instead of the ones they’re currently linking to.
If they find your content more informative and compelling than the ones they’ve currently linked to, they will be happy to replace those with your content. As you keep getting backlinks previously linked to other pages, your content will also move towards the top of SERP.
11. Broken link building
A broken link points to a page that has been moved to another page or deleted. Links to such pages return with a 404 error. Broken link building is a wonderful opportunity to build new and high-quality links from sites in your niche.
You can use Ahrefs Broken Link Checker to find broken links on any site that you want to earn a backlink. Once you find a broken link, send an email to the site owner stating the same and ask them if you can share a relevant piece of content from your site that they can link to instead. You can earn yourself a backlink if they find your content worth linking to. Below is a simple outreach template for broken link building:
I came across your article below while researching on [Topic]. I loved the article and would like to promote it in our next newsletter to our [add an approx number] customers. But, there’s a broken link that leads to an error page. Can you possibly fix the link so that we can promote it?
The broken link is here: [Add link]
We have an article on a similar topic on our blog for you to replace the broken link with. Would it be OK to send it over to you so you can replace the broken link?
12. Podcast interviews
You can build your link profile through podcast interviews. This is a link-building strategy that many people haven’t tapped into. Conducting your own podcast interviews will give you more creative control over your content, showcase your expertise and help build your brand.
You can pick up trending topics to discuss that interest your audience, connect with industry professionals, get valuable insights from them, and build good relationships through your podcast sessions. When your podcast session with an expert goes live, send them the link, and they’ll share it with their audience for better reach.
You can also send your podcast links to other prospective candidates through email outreach stating how these can enhance the quality of their content. If they add these podcasts to their content, you’ll get backlinks. You should also submit your podcast episodes to different podcasting apps for better reach, engagement and shares.
13. Create interactive content
Interactive content generates a lot of buzz and engagement. This is evident from the popularity of sites like Buzzfeed. Creating interactive content such as games, quizzes, polls, etc., can help you with backlinking and earn a lot of traffic. For example, Buzzfeed’s quiz on “Which city you should live in” has generated 1500+ backlinks from sites like Forbes, Techcrunch, etc.
14. Publish original research
Publishing original research can attract a lot of high-quality backlinks. Why? Because there are very few people who go to lengths to research well and write down comprehensively about it. Here’s an example of research done by Spaktoro in 2020 on how “Less than Half of Google Searches Now Result in a Click.”
Original research work is time-consuming and requires you to spend months collecting data, conducting surveys, producing case studies, and collecting stats that cannot be found in any other study or research work. You also need to backup your research data to prove its authenticity. Other websites will then take the interest to link to it whenever they write on a similar topic.
15. Business profile links
A business profile on an online directory contains information about your business and links back to your website. To increase your brand awareness and build high-quality backlinks, create your business profile on high-quality and niche-relevant business directories.
Some of the reputed business directories include Clutch, GoodFirms and Crunchbase. If you can build your business profiles on these directories, the backlinks you’ll receive from them will benefit you greatly in terms of improving your ranking and reputation.
16. Weekly roundups
Several high-quality blogs do weekly content roundups or link roundups. These roundups are posts that link out to the best content pieces published within a week for a particular niche. To get your content published in a weekly roundup, first, find sites that do weekly or monthly roundups.
You can go to Google and use these search strings:
- your keyword + link roundup
- your keyword + roundup
- best of + your keyword
- your keyword + this week
Shortlist a few sites in your target niche and pitch some of your best content pieces published recently to include in their upcoming roundup post. Your pitch can be something like this:
I’m [Your Name] from [Your Blog URL]. I know you like to make regular roundups on [topic]. So, I just wanted to send a few of my recent ones your way and see if you could include these articles in your monthly/weekly roundup.
[Link to Article 1]
[Link to Article 2]
[Link to Article 3]
If the site owners find your content relevant and valuable, they will link back to it, and you’ll end up earning quality backlinks.
17. Host an event or sponsor a meet-up
You can build high-quality backlinks through offline connections too. Hosting an event offline or sponsoring a meet-up are some of the offline strategies that work for high-quality link building.
When you host an event, you earn backlinks from event listing sites, and if you sponsor a meet-up, you generally get a link on the event page. Additionally, these offline activities also help you in branding.
18. Have a strong social sharing strategy
A solid social sharing strategy can improve your SEO efforts by driving traffic to your content and giving your brand a good online exposure. This is also beneficial when trying to earn quality backlinks to your website.
As your content gets more shares across the internet through social media, more people come across it. The odds of linking back to your content will also increase. You can also connect with niche influencers on social media and build lasting relationships. When these influencers reshare your content on their websites, it sends a strong signal to Google about your brand reputation besides getting you quality backlinks.
19. Tap into news and trending topics
While evergreen content will bring you traffic and backlinks throughout the year, it is advisable to publish time-sensitive and news-based content to attract backlinks. Writing content on trending topics can often get you backlinks from other sites such as fast-moving media houses. However, the link may not give you value for a lifetime. Nevertheless, it is an easy way to earn quality backlinks in a short period of time.
Exploding Topics is a useful tool that analyzes millions of searches, conversions, and mentions across the web and finds trends before they actually start trending. Just choose your preferred category and the duration of the trend and this tool will come up with the most popular search trends.
Create a seasonal calendar to tap into important events throughout the year, write about them and try to build backlinks using them.
13 Dos and Don’ts for Optimizing Your Backlinks
Backlink building might be a lengthy process, but it is not difficult to learn. However, even seasoned backlink experts can make mistakes if they do not keep certain things in mind during the link-building process. Here is a list of a few do’s and don’ts that you must keep in mind when creating backlinks.
|The Do’s||The Don’ts|
|Focus on “Natural” Links from Awesome Content||Getting Links from Low-Quality Content|
|Only Allow High-Quality Directories||Falling for Spammy Paid Links|
|Guest Blogs for High-Quality Links||Disapprove Backlinks That Aren’t in the Text|
|Earn Links With Relevancy and Authority||Any Form of Manipulation|
|Turn Your Donation into an SEO Booster||Trading Links|
|Focus on Blogger Outreach|| Injecting Links|
|Turn Mentions into Backlinks|
These are some of the tips to look out for if you are confused about how to create backlinks. Try incorporating them into your SEO strategy to speed up your backlink-building process. Which of these tips do you think is the most feasible way to earn backlinks? Let us know in the comments below.