Regardless of your business, industry, or niche, building high-quality backlinks can increase your site’s traffic and improve its SEO rankings.
This is done through link building.
There are two types of links: internal and external links. Internal links are those which connect the pages of your site to one another.
For example, below you’ll see that on my homepage, the “Let’s Talk” button links internally to my “Consulting” page.
Backlinks, on the other hand, are links coming from external websites.
For example, I’ve added a link, as shown below, to my author bio on Hubspot. This links back to my website.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why it’s important to earn high-quality backlinks for your site and how it affects your ability to generate more leads and customers.
I’ll also be sharing 20 different link building techniques to earn high-quality backlinks that you can begin using after reading this blog post.
Why is it important to get high-quality backlinks to your site?
A study by Mozrevealed that 99.2% of high-ranking sites have at least one backlink pointing back to their sites. The correlation between ranking and backlinks was one of the strongest that the study found.
They also found that it was tough to find a high-ranking page that had no backlinks at all.
That doesn’t mean that you should just go out and start sprinkling your links everywhere because Google knows that many websites try to manipulate their search rankings by resorting to unethical link building techniques like PBN networks.
This type of link building is done when you set up several fake websites or forum accounts for the sake of linking back to your website.
Google has been very stringent and no longer shows websites which violate their guidelines.
The excessive exchange of backlinks from one site to another is also considered unethical. That being said, Google has no issues with websites that link to each other a lot, as long as it is for legitimate and natural reasons.
Ultimately, it’s the quality of backlinks to your site that you need to focus on.
Having a backlink from a website with a high domain authority sends the signal to Google that your website is credible.
The logic here is that if a highly-trusted site was confident enough to reference your site, then this serve as an endorsement and helps improved your site credibility.
The two most common ways to measure a site’s credibility are your domain authority (DA) or your domain rating (DR). These are proprietary numbers that are calculated by Moz and Ahrefs respectively.
That said, here are 20 of my link building techniques to earn high-quality backlinks.
1. Understand what Google’s looking for
As mentioned earlier, if you want your website to become credible and trustworthy, you need to build backlinks from high-ranking websites, which can be measured by domain authority. This is calculated by several factors which includes link rooting domains and number of total links.
A study by Backlinko shows that sites with high domain authorities tend to rank higher in Google search results.
A website’s domain authority is heavily influenced by your website’s overall SEO. To rank higher though, the focus should be on getting links from other credible pages. Again, this is in line with you creating quality content on your website that your readers would want to link back to.
You can identify high-ranking websites by checking their domain authority by installing the MozBar Google Chrome browser extension.
The higher a site’s domain authority is, the more authoritative and more credible it is for Google.In general, websites with a domain authority of 80 and above are considered top-notch. Some examples of these websites include the New York Times, Huffington Post, and Time.
2. Index your website to search directories
If you don’t index your website, search engines won’t really know that you exist. This means earning backlinks will be tougher too.
Speed up the process by manually indexing your website and improving your website page speed.But first, check if your site is already indexed to Google, by searching “site: [your domain name].”
While Google dominates the search engine market at present, it won’t hurt to index your website to other search directories also.
Microsoft, for example, planned to boost Bing by making their users use their in-house search engine. While this did not push through because of negative customer feedback, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
To add to that, Bing’s index powers Yahoo. So by indexing your website to Bing, your site can also be found by Yahoo search engine users as well.
You may also use the method I just shared to check if you’re indexed to other search engines.
To index your website to Bing, just go to Bing Webmaster Tools.
On the menu, click ‘Submit URLs,’ then type in the URL of the website you’d want to submit for indexing. After that, you’re pretty much done!
3. Support videos with text
Another way to earn high-quality backlinks is by supporting video content on your website with text.
According to Moz, media-rich pages with videos, images, and text, are also more likely to be linked back to.
Adding text to your videos also makes it an in-depth resource that other websites would want to link back to. Additionally, this allows you to target specific keywords that you would like to rank for.
Backlinko writes media-rich pages quite often, including videos, images and text to provide context.
You can also create backlinks on the descriptions of your YouTube videos.
As shown above, Moz adds links to its article on its website which corresponds to the topic discussed in the video on their YouTube video description.
It is a quick and easy way to direct viewers to their website and add potential reference or backlinks.
4. Help reporters out
Being featured by the press is great exposure for your business as it has the ability to instantly boost your business’ publicity and exposure.
Press websites also usually have a high domain authority, which means high-quality backlinks. Fox News, for example, has a domain authority of 94.
Helping out reporters by contributing valuable and helpful insights within your area of expertise, they will reference your company in the articles they write, and include a backlink to your site.
After signing up, you can choose your specific topics of expertise.
HARO will then email you questions from journalists based on your chosen topics. If you think you can add value to their articles, then you answer the journalist’s question.
Take for example the case of Snappa’s co-founder, Christopher Gimmer.
Here is an example of a query that he got from HARO.
And here’s how he responded to it.
He made sure that his response answered helpfully every question that the journalist had.
Since he positioned himself as an expert, the reporter contacted him two days after, requesting for more insights.
Eventually, this successfully resulted in a feature for Snappa on Inc., and Snappa received a high-quality backlink.
Now just take a look at the impressive domain authority ranking of Inc!
5. Create content using the “Skyscraper” technique
The “Skyscraper” technique is used to rehash well-performing top content to even better content on your website.
The goal here would be to email websites that reference the top content in hopes that they would change the backlink to reference back to your website.
It starts with identifying pages and topics that you can improve or provide a more updated version.
You can find successful content in your industry or niche through Buzzsumo.
You can also do a quick Google search to see which articles are ranking on top.
In this example, you’d notice that the top-ranking post is “10 Quick and Easy Email Marketing Segmentation Strategies.”
So I created a more in-depth article on my website with 20 email marketing segmentation strategies to add more value compared to the original article.
6. Submit guest posts
Guest posting is when you contribute content to another company’s website. It’s another easy way to earn high-quality backlinks.
When you write guest posts, you can include backlinks to relevant content on your website.
You can find websites accepting guest posts by searching Google by typing [Your industry keyword] + “guest post” or “write for us”.
For instance, if you’d want to write about digital marketing, this is what your search would look like.
This is a strategy I personally used to generate a 20% increase in my monthly site traffic and generate more than 15 monthly qualified leads to convert to customers. I go into more detail about the exact steps I used in my 5-step guest posting strategy article.
7. The “Moving Man” Method
The “Moving Man” method works by sending emails to websites that have outdated links and updating them with backlinks to your website.
More often than not, other websites will appreciate your gesture of reaching out to them to help, and a potential backlink is a bonus.
Talk about one man’s trash becoming another man’s treasure, right?
This technique consists of 3 steps.
First, find sites or resources in your industry that have rebranded, shut down, or are no longer running.
One way is by searching the phrase “rebrands as” on Google.
Another way is by going to PRWeb, a press release portal where many businesses post press releases announcing a company name change.
Next, find sites linking to the old resource through a backlink checking tool. You can use the backlink checker on Ahrefs and type in the outdated URL.
Now that you have a list of opportunities, send an email to the websites that still link to the outdated resource. Explain how these links can be potentially bad for their search ranking. Then, you can recommend using your link as a replacement.
Here’s an example of an email that you can send.
8. Create topic clusters
Using topic clusters is a great strategy to establish yourself as an ultimate linkable resource for a specific niche.
In turn, you’ll increase your chances of becoming a website that other pages will link back to.
Also, if your pages and blog posts are organized, your readers can find other related topics that they can link to as well.
Start by creating your pillar page. This will be your main topic.
For example, you’re an agency offering digital marketing services, your pillar topic can be content marketing.
Cluster content goes into more in detail to the subheadings included in the pillar article.
Your cluster content may then include articles on content marketing strategy, brainstorming techniques, content creation tools, blog post topics, and so on.
Lastly, connect the cluster content to the pillar page using internal links.
9. Publish more list posts
A study by BuzzSumo and Moz found that list posts tend to achieve higher shares and links on average than other content formats.
One reason lies in how your site visitors read online content.
Research from NN Group concluded that 79% of people scans, not read, online content.
Because list posts make your website scan-friendly and easy to read, your audience can quickly gauge if your article is helpful and worth sharing.
Adding a table of contents can also make navigation easier, especially if you’re publishing long form articles like what I do on my website..
10. Consider infographics
Infographics have been the go-to of marketers for building links.
An analysis by Buzzsumo and Okdork showed that infographics get the highest number of average shares compared to other content types.
Why do they work?
Because humans are visual creatures. In fact, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without images.
Infographics, in particular, are a great medium to utilize as this can condense complex information in a visual format, and has a higher potential to go viral.
For example, this infographic by verticalmeasures.com on “What Makes An Infographic Bad” was embedded more than 80 times on different websites.
These websites obviously had to credit the source, and linked back to verticalmeasures.com.
They were also able to earn backlinks from high-authority websites such as Ninja Outreach, HubSpot, Marketland Land, Ragan, and DesignTAXI!
After publishing your infographic, make sure to reach out to other websites that publish content relevant to your infographic and encourage them to use this as an additional resource.
Here’s a sample email body to get you started:
“Great article on [topic]!
We recently posted an infographic on a similar topic on our site.
You might find it useful to add to your article as a visual summary.”
Here’s another infographic that summarizes how you can optimize yours for traffic.
11. Write long-form, in-depth guides
A study by Backlinko proved that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles.
That’s because long-form content provides more comprehensive information on a certain topic.
But ever feel like your ideas on a specific topic aren’t enough to create a long-form content?
The topic research tool of SEMrush will help you solve your problem.
Start by putting in the certain topic which you are interested in writing more on, as well as your geographic preferences.
From your input, SEMrush would generate an overview on the top ten headlines and questions based on backlinks generated.
You can use this as a sort of a mind map of ideas and from here, you can proceed to crafting the outline of your long-form content.
Easy right? You can even export all these data into an excel file!
12. Collaborate with influencers
Working with influencers is another way to work with websites and blogs that have a high domain authority.
Influencers already have credibility with their audience, and if they link back to you, it helps boost your website’s authority and trustworthiness.
However, it is important to work with influencers in your niche so that you will reach a relevant audience. They can create backlinks on their website or blog which can link back to you.
Here’s an example of how I approached the co-founder of SmartInsights.
In the end, it even got me the chance to guest post on their website.
Another way to reach out to influencers is through Ninja Outreach, an influencer marketing tool.
From your indicated topic, a list of prospects would be shown which includes each prospects’ name, description, social profile, contact details, and engagement data.
After which, you may save prospects into a list which you can share to your team members.
Finally, when you’re ready to send outreach, simply load your list and start sending emails automatically with your customized templates.
For you to track the status, Ninja Outreach also gives insights such as clicks, opens, and replies.
13. Give a name to your strategies
Giving a catchy name for a strategy you’ve developed makes it easier for other websites to refer to when they write about it. It also makes long, complicated strategies easier to remember.
When coming up with a name for your strategy, make sure it can easily be associated with what the strategy is or does.
Also, don’t forget to create an article about the new strategy you’ve coined on your website, so that you give other websites a resource they can link back to.
Here’s an example from Merlin Mann.
On his website, 43 Folders, Merlin shared his personal productivity technique. He uses his inbox as his to-do list and named this strategy “Inbox Zero.”
Merlin received over 5,000 backlinks from other websites referencing his strategy. This shows you how effective naming a strategy can be for backlinking.
14. Add a resource page to your website
A survey conducted by Moz showed that 56% of SEO professionals use resource page link building, making it the second most popular link building tactic.
A resource page is a page that shows a curated list of branded and external resources relevant to your industry like this one from TopRank Marketing.
You can search for resource pages and send an email that includes recommendations of articles you’ve written they can add as additional resource links.
Here’s an example of an email I sent James Scherer, content editor of Wishpond.
They included my article as an additional resource, and I was able to get a backlink.
15. Practice social listening
Use social listening to monitor when other websites reference any of the articles published on your site.
For example, travel bloggers usually work together to promote each other’s websites. It’s a great way to help each other as well.
If they haven’t linked back to you, you can encourage them to add a backlink to your site.
Here’s an email body template to get you started but feel free to add your creative twist to it:
“Thanks for the feature! Love your take on [topic, niche, product].
We would appreciate it if you could place our link so that people can easily visit our website!”
If there are other websites in your niche that have similar interests, don’t be afraid to reach out to them too. Developing a relationship with other publications and bloggers may also enable you to earn a spot as a partner website.
16. Publish LinkedIn articles
Creating articles on LinkedIn Pulse is a great way to create additional backlinks by building thought leadership and credibility among your professional network.
According to Moz, LinkedIn’s current domain authority is also 98. This means that backlinks from LinkedIn are highly valued by Google. So publishing articles is an easy way to create high-quality backlinks for your website.
For example, I wrote an article on LinkedIn Pulse and left a link at the end which led back to the original article on my website. This helps readers know where to link back to if they’d use my content as a reference.
You can also repurpose your existing blog articles into content on LinkedIn Pulse to further increase your site traffic.
17. Participate in niche groups
Niche groups give you the chance to reach your target audience more directly.
Sharing your website with a relevant audience also increases the chances that they would be genuinely interested in your content.
Depending on your industry, you can find niche groups on Slack, subreddits on Reddit, web forums, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Think about the websites that your target audience would be visiting and search for your niche.
Let’s say you’re looking for beer drinkers.
If you’d want to look for specific websites and forums, you might want to Google their frequently asked questions like: “where can I find the best beer?” and see which websites have communities of beer drinkers.
You can also search [Niche] + “online community” on Google. The example below targets Atkins Diet communities.
Once you find these communities, make sure that you add value to the discussion with the secondary goal of linking back to your website.
There is an Atkins Support Group on MyFitnessPal — a forum that discusses topics related to the diet. The person above wrote a comment that added value to the discussion and openly asked for recommendations. Linking back to the website was secondary.
18. Leave well-thought-out comments
Similar to what I just mentioned, comments are another way to gain brand awareness and authority. It’s important, however, that your comments are helpful and straight to the point.
Here are some guidelines to craft a well-thought-out comment:
- Are you qualified to give an answer to the question?
- Summarize your answer to the question in the first sentence to grab attention.
- Can you provide additional value in comparison to other comments?
- Does your article provide further context to your comment? If so, feel free to add your link.
This works not only in blogs and articles but also in discussion websites like Reddit and Quora.
Readers who find your comment helpful would also want to visit your website to learn more.
Here’s an example.
19. Spy on your competitors
Competition is fierce, no matter what industry or niche your business is in.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available to help you find out what your competitors are doing.
As mentioned earlier, Buzzsumo can help you find articles that are shared the most on social media.
You can also search for a specific domain on Buzzsumo and you’ll be able to see a list of their most-shared pages, and specific share counts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Or for example you’re a skincare brand, for example, analyze what types of content are working for your competitors in this niche.
Once you understand what topics and articles get the most backlinks, you can publish a better and more comprehensive version on your website.
If you find content gaps, you can leverage them, and be the reference site for that.
20. Guest on other people’s podcasts
Guesting on other people’s podcasts is also a way to score backlinks.
For one, it gives you an amazing opportunity to establish your thought leadership while building a relationship with the podcast’s host and its audience.
It’s also a great avenue to build awareness of your business.
Most importantly, links to your website will be included in the episode’s summary or show notes. These links will drive valuable referral traffic too.
For instance, when I guested on the Motivation and Confidence podcast hosted by Tommy Dangert, we had an engaging two-way conversation about finding our passion.
Towards the end, I was given the time to promote my blog to his listeners.
In this post, I’ve shared with you 20 different link building techniques that will help you earn high-quality backlinks. I’ve also included some success stories and pro tips to keep you motivated.
With everything said, there are a lot of ways you can earn high-quality backlinks for your site but all of them boil down to producing value-adding and impressive content that is worth spreading to others.
It also helps to build relationships among those in your industry with whom you can share new knowledge. Are there any link building techniques you’re using that weren’t listed here?
If so, I’d love to learn what these are. Share them in the comments below.