How to build backlinks?
If you’re in the SEO game for any amount of time, you probably have already asked this question to yourself.
If not, you definitely should.
Because backlinks are one of Google’s top two ranking factors.
And in this article, I’ll show you how to build backlinks safely and 11 of my “working” & “unsaturated” backlink building strategies for 2020.
Did I tell you they work like a charm?
I don’t need to… I’ll share live examples and tips so that you can replicate these for your own website.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is a link that a website directs towards your website as an attempt to refer or cite your website (when it is a homepage link) or it’s content (any specific article/page).
In a layman’s term, a backlink is a vote of confidence from site A to site B.
This further helps visitors of site A (and search engines) discover site B (probably something more valuable or content that compliments the content on site A) which gives a boost in ranking for site B.
What is the importance of backlinks in SEO?
If you’re here looking for how to build backlinks, I’m sure you already know the importance of them.
But, in case you don’t know…
Backlinks, like I said, are votes from other websites to your website which sends a signal to search engines that your content is valuable.
The more the authority of website linking to you, the more is the power of the link and likewise the more boost you get in your rankings.
In layman’s terms, the more votes your site gets the more boost in authority it gets in the search engine ranking pages.
Which means higher rankings.
And higher rankings = more traffic = more visitors = more sales.
You get the maths, right?
Speaking of maths, let’s get into the mathematics of building backlinks safely aka how to create backlinks that help you improve your rankings.
How to Build Backlinks safely in 2020
Here are 11 ways to build high-quality backlinks in 2020:
- Leverage Your Content To Get Backlinks
- Get Backlinks Through Infographics
- HARO: How I Got Two DR 87 Dofollow Backlinks
- Use The Site Marriage Technique
- Guest Post With The Link Highlight Method
- How To Get High DA Backlinks From Stock Photo Sites
- Create Linkable Assets To Get Industry Specific Backlinks
- Link Reclamation
- Build Your Own White Hat CBN To Get Backlinks
- Get Editorial Backlinks Using This Technique
- Build a Tool Or Resource To Get Resource Backlinks
1. Leverage Your Content To Get Backlinks
While there are 1000s of ways to build backlinks, the one tactic that will always work no matter what industry or niche you blog in is leveraging your content to get backlinks.
Creating high quality content that wows your audience is the best way to earn backlinks naturally.
Compelling content not only gets shared like crazy, it gets picked up by influencers thereby helping you with more exposure for links.
Also, content that has been proven successful (with social shares/shoutout from influencers etc) easily get accepted when you pitch or outreach for links.
Speaking of successful content, the now obvious question is…
Use The SkyScraper 2.0 Technique
Every backlink guru will tell you to use the Skyscraper technique if you want to get more links.
Heck! Even Brian Dean (the awesome “crush” of every SEO and the one who coined & introduced both the techniques) suggests you something similar.
But, what’s the problem in it, you ask?
With the Skyscraper technique, Brian agrees, the traffic will fade away sooner or later but with the Skyscraper 2.0 technique your rankings will be intact forever (or at least till you keep it updated).
Hence, more chances of getting backlinks from the same piece of content.
So, what is the Skyscraper 2.0 technique?
Essentially, the Skyscraper 2.0 technique is all about creating 10x content (better than all the top 10 ranking pages) but also paying attention to user intent for that query term.
Since, user intent is a very important criteria for Google (so that it can surface the most relevant result on the top) articles with Skyscraper technique 1.0 (that miss to satisfy the user’s intent) tend to tank in traffic & rankings over time.
Hence, I’d advise you to go the safer & better route for long-term results.
Writing epic content takes time & resources and it’s worth it too… but it’s only 50% work done.
The next 50% would be content promotion.
The next obvious step would be to promote your article so that it gets the maximum attention it should.
You can follow this guide on how to promote your blog post effectively and leverage influencer marketing to make the process of backlink acquisition faster than before.
2. Get Backlinks Through Infographics
Link building with infographics has always been one with a lucrative ROI.
Before you leave arguing…
…that infographics were link magnets back in the day and they are dead now… look at this!
Those numbers itself are pretty cool but what’s even cooler is the authority of these referring domains.
Well, this is not a one in a million case of successful link building with infographics…
in fact I’ve not chosen to show those type of infographics (they exist with some over 10K backlinks) because those are not easily replicable & take time (if you can do it, trust me there is nothing better than that!).
Now the question arises…
How do you create an infographic and how to get backlinks to it?
1 Research your infographic idea well:
What matters the most in making an infographic viral the topic or subject it is based around.
In the 13 reasons why your brain craves infographics example above, the topic hit the right chord because infographics are always the most consumable information format. And that piece provided research backed tips explaining why.
You can use tools like Google trends to find what is trending right now or how will be the audience interest on your topic in the next 12-14 months.
Double validate your infographic idea with tools like Buzzsumo to see if those topics are popular (social signals are a good indicator).
There is no point wasting your resources on something that generates no interest.
Because outreach takes time and if you select a trend of short lifespan it will be hard for you to scale your backlink after a certain level because no one will likely be interested in publishing content in that topic.
Apart from the hard work you put into it, a good infographic might cost you upwards of $500-$1000 and you wouldn’t want your hard work to settle down with minimal results.
2 Outsource your infographic from experts
Well, the number one reason people complain about infographics not working is creating low quality ones. I am guilty of that too (check this one & this one to get an idea of how not to create an infographic).
Unless you’ve some seriously good skills, I recommend hiring professionals to do it for you.
3 Outreach to get it published/syndicated
If you want to build SEO friendly backlinks to your infographics fast you need to reach out to brands that are already doing it.
Target the high authority publishers to get high DA backlinks instantly. These are the backlinks that will give you a strong boost in rankings.
Another benefit of doing this is, the audience base of these blogs will themselves embed or share it across giving you plenty of mid-quality backlinks without extra work.
How to get your link pitch accepted?
- Build a relationship first (with the editor or blog owner)
- Offer something that will lower their efforts to publish the piece (like a custom intro, a blog post etc).
- What’s in it for them? Make efforts to show what you bring to the table. You can say something like, “I’ll return the favor and bring you links by mentioning this article in my future guest posts”.
- Do not use a generic outreach template, personalize it to get accepted faster.
3. HARO: How I Got Two High DR 87 Dofollow Backlinks
Ever wanted to get high quality backlinks for free?
And, I am not talking about your average DA30 or DA 40 backlinks…
I’m talking about creating backlinks for your site from high authority sites with DA 70 & above?
Yes, the ones like backlinks from Forbes, Tech Crunch, Business Insider, The New York Times etc.
Does it seem impossible?
Well…. Actually “nothing is impossible”!
And you don’t have to pay upwards of $5000 for those links to authors on those sites.
I’ll show you, how I do it for free & tips to replicate my process.
HARO or Help a reporter out is the tool I use to get these type of authoritative backlinks for free.
HARO is an amazing platform that connects publishers and editors (people who need information & quotes for their articles) with bloggers (or literally anyone who can provide related information) with each other.
And it doesn’t cost a dime.
HARO sends you periodical emails (typically 3 each day, Monday through Friday) which are lists of a number of questions categorized into topics like health, business, general etc.
You also get detailed information about the qualifications necessary to answer those queries (usually nothing crucial).
You’ll be informed and your pitch gets selected.
This is the exact way I got two powerful Ahrefs DR (domain rating) 87 or DA 82 backlinks.
You can replicate it for your sites too!
And here is the exact process I followed…
Tips to get success with HARO for backlinks:
Here are some tips to get more SEO friendly and high authority backlinks with HARO:
- Read all emails from HARO: Read all emails you get daily, in other sections too (queries are grouped in sections but sometimes they also appear in other sections, like a SEO topic may appear in general section)
- Get your pitch accepted: Reply in a convincing & professional manner with proof to back up what you say (sources, citations etc) and provide them with head shots, site links etc to avoid chances of rejection.
- Be quick to reply: Since it reaches a global audience make sure to reply within a couple of hours. This will maximize your chances to get accepted.
- Keep Trying: Do NOT get satisfied with a few answers, make sure to answer every time you know. Getting a DR 87 (or similar backlink) is worth it even if you need to write 50 answers for it.
- Build nice relationships with the PRs & journalists: If you see a second query by a journalist, make sure to let them know how much you appreciated the article (no matter your pitch was accepted or not). These simple things will make you a familiar face in their inboxes and your pitches will stand out.
- Try shameless plugs: Add links to relevant pages/posts on your blog inside your blurb. Sometimes they get the whole pitch rejected, at other times you’ll find the PR just removed the link and published your blurb (you got one link in your author bio so that’s okay). But other times, like in the above HARO case study, I got 2 backlinks (one inside the blurb and one more in author bio).So, don’t hesitate to double your chances to get links from single pitches.
4. Use The Site Marriage Technique
The site marriage technique has been around quite some time but it is getting more and more popular these days.
So, what is this Site Marriage Technique of getting links?
The site marriage technique (a term I coined) is when you merge two sites (of similar niche) with one another.
You’ve seen Neil Patel do it not once but many times… including many other high profile SEOs & bloggers.
Even Brian Dean married his site with PointBlankSEO (of Jon Cooper) with Backlinko.
And the result?
He had all these lucrative links 301 redirected to relevant articles on his blog.
Now, let me clear one thing.
Brian Dean has no shortage of incoming organic backlinks from high authority sites & PointBlankSEO didn’t have any decent traffic numbers but getting some extra links from a highly site isn’t a bad deal, is it?
Tips to find sites to merge with your site:
- Look around in your niche: Check out competitor sites that are inactive. Keep an eye on comments on your site (old articles might have comments from site owners that are no longer maintained).
- Keep an eye on sites like Flippa, Empire Flippers
- Ask: You can openly ask in your network (like Facebook, or Twitter) to see if anyone is interested in selling a site they no longer want to grow.
5. Guest Post With The Link Highlight Method
Guest posting has always been a good way to build backlinks without spamming. And this still is one of my most favorite ways to get some contextual backlinks right from sites in your niche.
Guest posting tend to be slower (you need to write the content yourself or outsource it), you need to be at the top of your game (unless your pitch is something more than amazing, you wouldn’t be approved) and isn’t as scalable as other techniques mentioned in this article.
Having said that, if you want to get niche-relevant backlinks without shelling a lot of your money guest posting isn’t a bad idea.
How to maximize the link juice & authority flow from guest post links?
1. Always try to place your link within the content: Author bio links don’t carry much link juice neither are they enticing enough to get clicks.
2. Use the link highlight method: 100s of cups of coffee and a few good guest articles later, I realized that no one clicks on a link (your link on the guest article) because it looks like just another internal link.
That’s when I thought you need create backlinks in your guest posts that call users to click on them.
Here’s an example
In the above guest post, I strategically placed my guest post link in a section of its own. That paragraph and the next talk about the article the link directs to and thereby maximizing the CTR.
You can do something similar, just make sure:
- You have something to show off (any case study or success/failure you’ve gotten with your blog)
- Make sure it aligns with your guest post topic and doesn’t look over promotional.
6. How To Get High DA Backlinks From Stock Photo Sites
No, I’m not talking about profile links.
I’m talking about a little known way of getting natural backlinks by leveraging stock photos.
The idea is…
You earn highly authoritative backlinks via image attributions.
This is a perfect example of strategic link building where you upload some images to free stock image sites like Pixabay.com, Flickr etc. The reason of uploading it to stock photo sites rather than a section of your own blog is to leverage the audience size of those sites.
Like all other backlink strategies, here is a live example of someone successfully doing it.
You can see they’ve gotten coveted linkbacks from VentureBeat, GigaOm, DailyDot & more.
7. Create Linkable Assets To Get Industry Specific Backlinks
Wondering how to get backlinks from authority sites? The linkable assets technique is the way to go!
If you’re looking for some quick links from highly relevant industry this should be your go to backlink tactic.
What you’ve to do in this is create assets that people will want to refer to and thus give you backlinks.
Here’s an example Stone Temple used their resources to create a “original” research piece on Mobile vs Desktop usage.
And take a look at the number of backlinks it has earned over time!
Not only Stone Temple, SEMrush did something similar for their study on featured snippets.
They too have earned a decent number of links by now.
But, this is not possible for bloggers, you might argue…
I understand. I also understand that this is not a scalable backlink strategy for most niches but in case you’ve resources you should give this a try.
Plus, if you see creating linkable assets won’t cost you more than buying backlinks (from probably crappy sites or PBNs).
Imagine the amount you’d spend to getting mediocre links from SEO agencies and compare it with getting highly targeted industry specific backlinks from authority sites.
Needless to say, links earned by linkable assets will always be the best white hat backlinks you can ever get.
If you’re wondering how to build backlinks for new websites, the linkable assets technique of link building is a big-time winner!
See Rand Fishkin of SparkToro use this strategy to get some nice media attention and mentions for his new blog by the same name.
8. Link Reclamation
Link reclamation is a good way to get links from unlinked mentions of you or your website on the web.
This is a very common strategy to build backlinks safely.
I recommend this approach to create backlinks because these backlinks are unique to you and your brand, it will be hard for your competitors to replicate.
Because you got mentions on the web due to your sole merits or things that are unique to you, those links can hardly be replicated by your competitors as they would do to your link acquisitions from guest posting or using the skyscraper technique.
Here’s a detailed guide to build backlinks using the link reclamation strategy.
9. Build Your Own White Hat CBN To Get Backlinks
If you want to build SEO-friendly white hat backlinks, getting links from private blog networks (PBNs) is a big no-no.
In that case, you need a white hat alternative to PBNs.
Introducing CBN (Contributor Blog Networks)!
CBN (is a term coined by me) or contributor blog networks are when you contribute to high profile blogs and media sites and for a network of those sites for your blog.
When you get into these sites you get much more than just link juice. Branding, traffic, leads, social proof all follow. But for this specific article, we’ll concentrate on backlinks only.
Getting into these media sites might not be easy but you aren’t expecting DA 70+ backlinks and tons of traffic without any hassle, are you?
Additionally, backlinks from these sites are highly authoritative. Here is mine from The Next Web.
Having a private contributor blog network is more powerful & profitable than having a PBN because in PBNs you worry about all the hassles (like hosting, site maintenance, content etc).
Apart from that, PBNs can never come close to CBNs because CBNs are real sites with real traffic and authority. Besides, PBNs aren’t in the good books of Google, anyway.
10. Get Editorial Backlinks Using This Technique
Editorial backlinks are links you get naturally from other websites.
These links are often the best way to get backlinks and differ from other link building tactics in this list because, here, you get links or mentions naturally from others in your industry.
These are the types of links you should be aiming for.
How to get editorial backlinks?
- Write epic stuff: Again use the skyscraper technique I described above
- Build a brand so that everyone knows about you and your content and the work you do.
- Build relationships: I’ve gotten editorial backlinks from some really good sites solely because the authors/contributors knew me over the years and loved my work.
11. Build a Tool or Resource to Get Resource Backlinks
Another cool way to get editorial backlinks safely is to create a tool, or a cheat sheet that solves your users’ problems.
Apart from the editorial backlinks, you can use your tools to pitch for links from resource pages.
Tools are easier to get placed as resource page backlinks and even get picked from educational sites giving you .edu backlinks for free.
This is a good way to build backlinks for Amazon niche sites since no one would link to those sites easily.
Check out how this site uses a simple HTML5 cheat sheet to get over 1.5K backlinks from 306 referring domains.
Not to mention, 8 .edu backlinks for free!
While on the topic, here’s another tip to build .edu backlinks for free.
We all know that scholarship link building is dead this technique is a good way to get .edu backlinks for free.
Top Best Backlink Checker Tools To Check Your Backlinks [Free & Paid]
Backlink checker tools are one of the top must-have tools for anyone interested in building links or creating backlinks at ease.
You can not only check your backlinks, see the sources (& know what works and what to scale ahead) but also get cool backlink ideas by spying the link profiles of your competitor sites.
1) SEMrush: SEMrush is one of my most favorite DIY SEO tool that helps you with everything SEO. Apart from keyword research, organic competitor research, SEO audit etc, SEMrush’s backlink checker tool provides amazing data on your link profile as well as your competitors. It offers you complete access to backlink analysis including referring IPs, geolocation of links etc.
Click here to claim your SEMrush free trial (worth $99.95).
2) Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a powerful backlink checker tool or you can say, like SEMrush, a complete SEO tool. With the second most active web crawler (after Google) Ahrefs has one of the biggest backlink database you can find.
Like Moz’s domain authority, Ahrefs has its own Ahrefs rank, domain rating & URL rating based on the quality of links. You can use Ahrefs to get details of link type (dofollow/nofollow), platform of linking sites (WordPress, forum links, .edu links etc) etc.
3) Serpstat: I am a user of Serpstat’s lifetime deal plan & I like how it gives you almost same features with half the price. Serpstat’s backlink analysis tool offers better link database than its competitors like Moz. Click here to read my Serpstat review to know about other features as well.
4) Link Explorer: If you’re looking for a free online backlink checker tool, Link explorer from Moz has got you covered. It gives you a decent data about new links acquired, changes in backlink (new or lost) and anchor text data and the ability to export backlink reports.
How to Get Backlinks in 2020
How did you like these tips on building backlinks safely?
If yes, I would highly appreciate if you can share it across on social media.
The above 11 are my all time favorite ways to get white hat backlinks naturally. What backlink strategy do you already use?
Or did I miss your favorite backlink building strategy? Click To Comment
You might have noticed I haven’t added tricks to build backlinks via directory submissions, scholarship link building, social media profile links or links from press releases.
The reason being most of these link building tactics have become obsolete these days and make your site prone to Google algorithm penalties.
That’s why I wanted to focus on sharing tips to build quality backlinks that give a boost in rankings to your website rather than risk it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Link Building
How to earn backlinks?
If you want to earn backlinks you can do so by a) creating epic content or linkable assets and b) branding or building your authority. This is the only way you get links because you deserve. Earning backlinks is the only way of backlink building that is recommended by Google. Other ways of build backlinks like guest posting, outreach, link reclamation can be white hat but not the way to earn backlinks because there you ASK for backlinks rather than they link to you on their own based on your merit.
How to get high quality backlinks?
To get high quality backlinks, you should be having high quality content that people will want to link to. The best way to do this is build your site’s authority (start by ranking for small and less competitive keywords) and make your content discover-able by potential linking sites. Other ways to get high quality backlinks is using techniques HARO, guest posting, link building with infographic etc.
Where to get backlinks?
The best places to get backlinks from are from authoritative sites in your niche, editorial mentions from media websites, relevant industry blogs and educational sites.
To check your backlinks in Google analytics, go to the acquisitions tab on the left hand side. From there, select “referrals” option under the “all traffic” tab. It will display all the sites that are linking to your site. Or, you can use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to check accurate link data.
How to get .edu backlinks?
Here are some working ways to get .edu backlinks:
You can sponsor a college/university event. Build specific student discounts of products or build a tool that is helpful for students and pitch to colleges for placement as resource links.
How many backlinks do I need?
Here’s how to find how many backlinks you need rank:
Install the Mozbar extension. Hit Google & search for your target keyword (that you want to rank for). Mozbar will display the number of referring domains for each ranking page in the SERP. Find the average number of backlinks referring to al the top 10 ranking pages. That average number should tell you how many backlinks you need to rank. The more the better.
My backlinks are decreasing. Why?
Losing backlinks over time is natural. Here are a few reasons your backlinks are decreasing:
1) Referring sites might have replaced that content or deleted it.
2) The linking site might have come across a better resource than yours to link to & must have replaced your link with the new one.
3) Incorrect redirect setup after URL change
Please know that losing some links is okay and completely natural. What you should focus now on is building more links to make up for those lost links.
Is buying backlinks safe?
Buying backlinks is safe if you know the sites that are linking to you. For example, I know site owners who have purchased links from Forbes, Inc etc (via freelance contributors on those platforms) and they do extremely well.
You can also use a platform like Links Management to buy backlinks safely from a number of sites.
Why are my backlinks not showing on backlink monitoring tools?
Most backlink monitoring tools have detect your backlinks by regularly crawling the web and building a backlink database to check your links from. They aren’t perfect and often big enough to detect all links as you build them. Even Google’s own search console shows a small amount of links you receive. You should either give enough time for your backlinks to get indexed or use a better link checker tool like Ahrefs that probably has the best & biggest live backlink database.
Buy Quality Backlinks Safely: Can you buy high DA backlinks that are safe?
YES! & No!
Yes & no because it depends on the seller of these links.
While it is definitely not recommendable to get links from random sellers, there are reputed and reliable backlink selling agencies that do it for you in an authentic way.
Nowadays there are services that provide you backlinks from their reserve websites. These blogs range from PR1 to PR9 in various niches and work as PBNs. You can buy links for very cheap prices starting from $1. What you get is an increase in rankings for your blog and thus organic traffic.
These links can give you an edge over your competitor and help you outrank your blog. You can use these for long-term blogging. These are best for event based and niche blogging. Learn more about buying backlinks here.
I personally use this service to buy natural backlinks for my amazon niche sites and so far they have worked wonders. Imagine, you get some high PR safe dofollow backlinks to your long term or event blog and what’s amazing is you also get $50 FREE added to your account if you use my personal link.
Please note: Due to the fact that Google behaves erratically these days, one backlink hack that
works now might not work in some years, so don’t take my word for it, visit the site & then decide if you want these links or prefer building backlinks organically and then take a wise decision. I’ll not be responsible for any of your actions.
How to build backlinks for niche and amazon affiliate sites?
As the backlinks from these PBNs are safe and can be bought with the help of SEO experts, you can use them to boost event blogs, niche blogs and amazon affiliate sites.
These backlinks are SEO-friendly and has been used by many affiliate marketers. I personally use them to rank my niche sites. :) Click here to get your $50 bonus & try these links to see if they’re the ones you need or not.