Everyone wants more high quality backlinks right? That’s a no brainer. But, how do you get high quality backlinks in the first place?
In this guide, I want to explain some of the best strategies that we use to learn quality backlinks for our clients. These are all white hat, legitimate strategies that earn you high quality links that will make a positive impact on your rankings in the search engines.
Let’s get into it.
What is a Quality Backlink?
First, what are quality backlinks? What features make quality links?
One of the first things we look for is quality content on-site. You want to make sure that the web page you’re considering getting a link from is high quality and reputable. Remember that factors such as domain authority and domain rating can be misleading at times. Don’t rely entirely on domain authority to tell you everything you need to know about a website.
Do your own research, make sure the site is putting out quality content, and that they’re doing so on a consistent basis.
Another thing we want to look for is a link profile of its own.
When you go into Ahrefs, you want to see that the website you’re considering getting a link from has links of its own. If the site is just giving out links to everyone but isn’t doing their own link building, chances are the site has very little value to your link building strategy.
Lastly, when you’re prospecting for links, you want to find websites that have their own traffic. Not only does this tell you that they’re legit but some of this traffic could be funneled to you which has an added benefit.
If you’d like to learn more about the factors that determine the quality of a link, we break it down in a quality framework.
12 Ways to Get High Quality Backlinks
Now let’s discuss some of the ways you can build high quality backlinks on your website.
1. Strategic Manual Outreach
The key to manual outreach for link building is having great content on your site. If your site is brand new and doesn’t even have a single blog post, you’ll want to start there.
The reason content is so important is because it shows the people you’re reaching out to that you’re already providing value to your audience and that you’ll likely be able to provide value to them as well.
For example, if you’re doing link building for real estate, you’ll want to create a ton of valuable real estate content on your website, compile a list of websites you want a link from, and then start manually reaching out to them via email to ask for links.
If your site is awesome, don’t you think it increases your chances of getting a link?
To do manual outreach, you need to first find websites that you want links from. One of the easiest ways to do this is using competitor link analysis which we’ll get into for tip number four so stick around.
2. Value-Packed Guest Posting
Another super simple way to build links is through guest blogging. For this strategy, you’ll manually reach out to a website owner and offer to write them a valuable blog post for their website in exchange for a link pointing back to you.
The reason guest blogging works so well is because the value proposition is so clear. You’re writing something for free in exchange for a link. Keep in mind that even though these are guest blogging opportunities, people may still want to charge you for the link. You’ll have to determine whether or not it’s worth it.
This is something we do at WeOutreach; it’s like a balancing act. You have to determine if the pros outweigh the cons and if they do, the link might be worth going after.
To find guest blogging opportunities, there are a few strategies. The first one is to do a “site:” search in Google.
If I type “site: write for us” into Google, you can see that it brings up a ton of results of websites that I can write a guest post for. Keep in mind that you’ll need to vet these sites carefully because they likely give links out to everyone since they advertise it.
Make sure that they fit into the guidelines of our quality framework and if they do, you might benefit from writing a guest post for them.
3. Claiming Unlinked Mentions
Unlinked mentions are another great link building tactic. An unlinked mention is when a company mentions you or your brand online but doesn’t give you a link. Anytime you’re mentioned online, it’s a great link building opportunity, but only if you can find these mentions.
That’s the hard part.
How are you supposed to know when someone mentions you in the vast abyss that is the internet. On social media, it’s easy. Someone tags you in something and you get a notification.
Thankfully, there are media monitoring tools that can help you find unlinked mentions every time they occur.
Brand24 is one of these tools.
With Brand24, you get notified each time someone mentions you or keywords related to your brand.
So, for example, if you work for Gatorade and you want to find unlinked mentions, you could add the following keywords and receive notifications each time someone mentions these on their website:
- Sports drink
- Vitamin water
- Sports beverage
Google Alerts is another one of these. With Google Alerts, you can set up an alert to send you an email everytime someone mentions your brand.
Once you find various unlinked mentions, you’ll want to reach out to the site owner and ask them if they can add links pointing back to your website for the places they mention you. Getting an inbound link in this way is easy and site owners are usually more than willing to do so if you provide them something of value worth linking to.
4. Stealing Your Competitors Backlinks
One of the most effective link building strategies to generate new link building opportunities is through competitor backlink analysis. This is when you reverse engineer the things your competitors are doing right to find out what websites are linking to them and build links for yourself using the same methods.
To do this, you’ll need a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs.
The first step is to find out who your competitors are. A simple Google search for keywords you’re trying to rank for can do this.
If you’re doing a city guide and are trying to rank an article comparing two major cities like Chicago and LA, these might be your top competitors in the search engines.
Once you know who your competitors are, you can pop them into the site explorer tab in Ahrefs and see how many referring domains as well as backlinks they have pointing to their website.
By clicking the referring domains tab, you’ll bring up 100+ websites that are linking to this page. As you can see, the site is only a DR 2 and ranks number one for this search phrase. That means that the site probably has a lot of great links that you can capitalize on.
There are a number of filters you can apply to narrow the list down and we talk about that in our competitor backlink analysis guide linked above.
Once you have a list of referring domains, you can use a tool like Hunter.io to find their contact information and reach out to them pitching your content. If your content is just as good or better than the competitors, you should have a solid chance of building a high quality backlink and sending referral traffic back to your site as well.
5. 3-Way Link Exchanges
One of the link building methods we like using more than any other is a link exchange. A link exchange is when two websites come to an agreement to provide each other with a link. The SEO strategy that helps take this to the next level is when you get into a 3-way link exchange.
With this method, you’re able to provide more value to someone because you offer to go out and find them a great link in exchange for a link back to your website.
This is a great method for new websites that don’t have a lot of authority yet. Think about it; if you have a DR 5 website and want to earn DR50+ links, no one is going to want a link from your website or even guest posts either. To build backlinks, you’re going to need to get authoritative links from other websites.
By pitching this to other websites, you can maximize your link building efforts and build backlinks much faster too.
6. Partnering with Suppliers
This is a unique way of building backlinks that not everyone thinks about. You can generate backlinks by reaching out to tools and softwares that you use and ask for a link in exchange for something.
SaaS companies and software owners are always looking for testimonials, trust signals, and ways to boost their reputation. By offering them a testimonial in exchange for a link, you can earn inbound links from high authority websites without having to do much.
For example, let’s say you’ve used a content agency for a number of years. You regularly purchase content from them, you’re satisfied with the content they write, and you’re looking for ways to create backlinks.
This could be a great way for you to easily get links while providing obvious value to the site as well. It’s especially true if you, yourself, have some credibility. Take a look at the example above.
Mark Webster from Authority Hacker is a massively popular name in the Organic Affiliate Marketing business. He provided a testimonial for WordAgents (a content production company). Not only is this great for Authority Hacker but it’s also super powerful for WordAgents.
You can do this even on a smaller scale if you don’t have a large following or you don’t use any really popular tools. Just make sure that the tool that is providing you with the link is relevant to your business.
7. Get on Podcasts
Getting on a podcast is a simple but effective way to get links from high quality sites. There are a few things you’ll want to think about of course.
First, what type of podcast are you going to go on?
Make sure the podcast you’re on is relevant to your business and helps to boost your credibility. Sometimes podcasts aren’t all that meets the eye and they can have a negative impact on your authority as a business owner or influencer.
Another important thing to think about is your ability to “be on a podcast.” You might think it’s an easy breezy sort of thing but that’s not always the case. Prepare yourself ahead of time, make sure you’re not super nervous, and get as much information ahead of time.
Locating podcasts to get on is also a challenge. You can use a quick Google search of podcasts in your niche and search through their websites to see if they accept applications for guests. Most podcasts do.
Make sure you come up with an interesting topic to pitch and be sure to look through their previous interviews to ensure you’re not pitching them something they’ve done a million times before.
Once you’ve done all of this, try to find the best contact information and reach out to the right person. Pitch yourself from a perspective of wanting to provide them with a valuable interview that their audience will love.
I also recommend starting small and doing whatever you can to get on a few podcasts before you go and pitch to anyone major. Being on a number of small podcasts will show the larger podcast owner that you have experience and they can trust you.
In the end, you should have no problem getting a link once you do the interview as most podcasters are more than happy to oblige.
8. Rank for Link-Worthy Keywords
An interesting and potentially great way to build links is by designing your content around building links organically. This is done by building content with keywords that are naturally searched by journalists and creators.
When you do this, people are able to find your content naturally and provide you with links without you having to manually go and reach out to them.
In a perfect world, this is how Google wants us to build links so if you could do so in this fashion, you stand a good chance of leaping past your competitors.
That said, it’s easier said than done.
You need to first think about topics that journalists would be researching and looking for more information on. Think about trendy, newsworthy keywords that have search volume.
While this keyword doesn’t have a ton of search volume, it’s likely that people who look this keyword up are looking for information to include in something.
If you could rank for this keyword, you should be able to build a bunch of links naturally and rank higher in the search engine results pages bringing in more links. This creates a compounding effect that helps you generate a lot of links until you’re eventually in the first position.
Keep in mind that this is only one topic as well. You could do a number of articles like this with the goal of building organic links from high quality sites on autopilot.
9. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
HARO is a simple and common way of building links from high authority news sites. You can sign up for free and receive emails like the one below to your inbox.
You can then go through these options and if your website focuses on similar topics, you could pitch yourself as a “source” of information to the journalist. If they like your pitch then they can use your information or set up a call with you to get more.
Once all of that happens, they give you a link to your site. A lot of these links can come from super high authority sites.
If you look at the image again you’ll see that Medical News Today is on there which is a DR 91 website. A link from a site like that could have a big impact on your seo efforts.
While we do think HARO link building still has potential, it’s becoming a bit saturated with SEOs and Digital Marketers trying to build links.
10. Create Infographics
Infographic link building is another way of building backlinks that we’ve discussed quite a bit. This method works by creating an image or picture that is used to represent data.
If we use the smoking example again, you can see that the top ranking article from Statista uses a graphic to represent the data. This image better explains the data and can be reused on other peoples websites (just like I did here).
If you have a knack for creating images, you could create infographics just like this, rank the article, and then people would find your image and use it in their articles. When they use the image, they should give you credit with a link.
This is another great way to generate links organically which looks good for Google and makes it easy for you to provide value without having to reach for links.
11. Create Skyscraper Content
Skyscraper content is when you take all of the top ranking articles and make sure to cover everything in those articles in your piece. What happens is your content then becomes the ultimate compilation and the one stop shop for everything anyone could want to learn about a topic.
One example of this could be:
How to Start a Business: The Ultimate Guide
It sounds a little silly to create an article on this topic because there are so many steps involved but this would be an example of skyscraper content.
Instead of having to go and read multiple articles on each step and aspect of the process, they can get everything they need to know broken down in one place.
This is another great way to build backlinks organically because your article will outrank the competition and you’ll generate links naturally.
12. Broken Link Building
One of the most common types of links is a broken link. A broken link occurs when a website links out to something that no longer exists. Many link builders have developed entire campaigns around building links this way.
Broken link building does involve outreach because you have to go to their website, find the broken links, and offer your content instead.
One easy way to find broken links is with the Ahrefs site explorer. You can filter a website’s links to find the broken ones. Do this with websites in your niche and you’re bound to find a piece of content that they linked out to that no longer exists. You can create content around that topic and offer your content instead of the existing article.
Broken link building can be a powerful strategy because the value proposition is clear. They have a broken link, you have a great piece of content. You’re alerting them of the broken links and in exchange, they give you a link to your site.
Final Thoughts on Link Building Strategy
The goal of any link builder is to get as many high quality backlinks as needed to help articles rank higher. That’s obvious. The main thing that separates great from good link building is the methods used.
All 12 of the link building methods in this guide will help you build good links to your site. We use most of these strategies for our own clients at WeOutreach as well.
If you’re struggling to have success with link building, consider reaching out to us!